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Heavenly Renewal

The Heavenly Spa by Westin, conceived by tvsdesign, creates a holistic getaway while evoking the roots of its South Carolina location.

By Robert Nieminen

The Heavenly Spa by Westin, conceived by tvsdesign, creates a holistic getaway while evoking the roots of its South Carolina location.

As the wellness boom continues to flourish in the consumer market, the allure of spa services grows ever more enticing, as people seek to rejuvenate in tranquil environments that help them unwind from daily stresses. Furthermore, as alternative medicines and healing also rise in popularity, the trend in spa design in recent years has moved away from glitzy showpieces and toward a more holistic approach that stimulates the five senses.

Holistic room concepts create an oasis of wellbeing for guests by utilizing relaxation beds, multimedia technology, sound systems, aromatic scents and thoughtful lighting effects.

Starwood Capital wisely looked to incorporate these trends in its first Heavenly Spa by Westin in the continental United States, and turned to tvsdesign to create its vision of a calming getaway for hotel guests. The design goal for the spa was to create a relaxing environment filled with natural materials that evoke a sense of renewal, while using elements that root the spa to its location on Hilton Head Island—the heart of South Carolina Lowcountry.

The 8,000-square-foot spa features nine deluxe treatment rooms, including two facial rooms and one opulent couples' suite with dual beds and an oversized soaking tub. Perhaps the most unique characteristic is the architectural design of the facility; the modern and simplistic elements invite guests to enjoy the relaxing sanctuaries and alcoves, complemented by tranquil fire and water fixtures to further enhance the sensory experience.  

A sense of calm is felt immediately upon entering the spa from either the lobby or the porte-cochere. A portico of quarter-cut walnut on the walls and ceiling with dropped crystal lights signifies guests' entry into the spa and leads them to the reception desk of honed black limestone with a white back-painted glass top. A water wall with lacquered glass tiles and stacked white river rock provides a soothing backdrop to the reception lobby.

The nine treatment rooms are appointed with walnut floors, wenge wood cabinetry, plantation shutters on the windows, and a soft white sheer drapery panel that is lit from above and acts as the main light source in the room. The spa also has full locker room facilities for both men and women with steam and sauna rooms, as well as relaxation lounges with fireplaces. A full-service salon is located off of the reception area and provides views into the hotel through a feature glass wall embedded with dune grasses.

The halcyon environment of the spa is reflected by small, thoughtful touches. Serene visual stimuli such as white flowers and insightful messages are displayed throughout the spa, and the sound of gentle waterfalls provides a beautifully minimal aural backdrop.

Above all the services and amenities available, the spa ultimately provides guests with a sensually therapeutic and tranquil experience that mentally, physically and spiritually stimulates the five senses.