Spas Refurbish For a More “Now” Look by Susie Ellis
As promised, a few insights from my spa-focused trip to the UK.
Someone once told me that in fashion and in decorating, after about seven years, no matter how great and fresh a design was, it’s going to begin looking tired and out-of-date. At the time I was aghast thinking that surely all of the great “centuries-old” architecture and the little black dress (which has been popular for decades) is proof that this theory couldn’t possibly be correct. However….more often than not, I have to admit, that this seven-year-rule does seem to apply.
Elemis in London (left) is under renovation. They opened in 2001 and I remember there was quite a bit of media and consumer buzz at the time. Their around-the-world themed design with colors and textures from exotic places such as Bali, Morocco, and Thailand was a real hit. Now, it is all being refurbished.
On this trip, I visited Spa Illuminata (right). It has a relaxing ambiance with huge windows, a large retail space in the front and tastefully designed treatment areas with crème-colored tumbled marble in the back. It has a bit of an Italian feel to me. As I was touring, it struck me that this beautiful spa with its perfectly acceptable layout and design is now a bit dated – especially compared to new spas opening up.
Later I visited Champneys at Tring, where they have just completed a major renovation. I was struck by some of the new guest suites which had an unexpected, yet successful “W” Hotel look – except with more interesting colors.
Since the spa industry is still fairly new, we haven’t seen a great deal of “spa redecorating.” Instead, we have been celebrating lots of new spa design. But as more spas approach their fifth, sixth, and seventh year in business (or the anniversary of their last refurbishment), I suspect we will be seeing more make-overs.
Looks like my travel plans will need some adjusting going forward…instead of just visiting the new spas which have opened in an area, I will want to visit the “new” old ones as well. Fine with me!