In a market overflowing with spas, Alvadora Spa at Royal Palms in Phoenix, manages to strike a unique chord that sets it apart.
Designing award-winning spas is what Cary Collier of Blu Spas has done for years, primarily in Asia until recently. The vision he brought to Alvadora combines the mystique of Asian spas with the vibrancy of the Mediterranean theme of the resort.
Says Collier, “I`ve always believed that Frank Lloyd Wright`s inspiration to blend indoor and outdoor spaces is a perfect design mantra for spa planning. While living and working in Asia in the 90s, I was intrigued by the mix of inner and outer spaces at the idyllic resorts of Thailand and Indonesia. As I walked the beaches, I begin to image a spa with private gardens and water features instead of the clinical design of spas at that time”.
In the beginning, it was a hard sell. Imagine that the Asian owners wanted to copy the sterile look of American spas instead of creating a replica of the paradise they inhabited!” Without realizing it at the time, Collier was a pioneer of a new era of spas that began in Asia with his designs at Banyan Tree Resort & Spa in Phuket, Thailand; Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa in Bali; and the spas at the Four Seasons Resorts in Jimbaran Bay and Sayan in Bali.
Collier knew that the new spa planned for Royal Palms Resort and Spa, one of his favorite resort hotels in North America, was a perfect setting in which to translate what he had learned in Asia. In describing another of his design mantras he says, “I strive to create sensory sanctuaries where each space within the spa conveys a different experience, and the design elements and service touches tell those stories.”
For Collier, Alvadora Spa became a vision of uplifting color, open air spaces, mountain views, gardens and water features. “My primary objective was to move guests `out-of-the-box` with outdoor surprises,” explains Collier. The result is a blend of design concepts unusual in spas of the Southwest.
At Alvadora Spa, Collier created Acqua Dolce, a signature villa for two that flows into Acqua Giardino, a private garden setting with a tub for “taking the waters,” fireplace, and a cascading waterfall therapy and rainshower.
The Acqua Dolce villa features two heated stone tables with custom overhead showers and French doors opening to a Watsu garden. Collier says, “I was inspired by a series of waterfalls and pools from a tropical rockscape in Java.
Access to private gardens, patios and relaxation niches were integrated with the spa entry and foyer, locker rooms and treatment rooms.
The flow presents an extraordinary setting of both serenity and mystique. “I wanted guests to feel they have entered a special place with a sense of pleasant mystery that lies just around the next corner or with the next treatment,” continues Collier.
This project was a unique collaboration of creativity among the Royal Palms management team, Destination Hotels & Resorts (the resort`s management company), Oz Architects of Scottsdale and Vallone Design of Scottsdale.
It began with the vision of Greg Miller, general manager of Royal Palms and resulted in an intimate spa that combines a variety of healing spaces including ten treatment areas, each one different from the next in color and design touches.
Alvadora reflects the Old World milieu of the resort itself with its inviting flow of indoor and outdoor spaces embellished with features such as natural stone, aged timbers, large wooden doors, rich colors and textures, residential furniture, aromatic gardens and fireplaces, murals and tiled fountains.
Blu Spas` client list includes some of the world`s best spas and salons including The Spas at Four Seasons Resorts, Jimbaran Bay and Sayan, Bali; Amrita Spa at Raffles Hotel, Singapore; and Yamaguchi at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa in Los Angeles.
The Blu Spas team has consulted on over 100 spa projects in 17 countries creating spa concepts, designs and solutions and has one of the most award-winning portfolios of any consulting firm in the industry today.
For more information on Alvadora Spa at Royal Palms please visit http://www.royalpalmshotel.com/spa.htm