organic & wellness The spa is conceptualized After meditating on the feng shui of the mountain, Master Chen believed the beauty of nature surrounding the lodge should be honored. In addition to indoor treatments, he also wanted spa services to be possible in the midst of nature. With that idea in mind, a peaceful path was designed up the mountain into the heart of the trees, where an elegant spa tent now awaits the guests at the retreat. Master Chen then based the foundation of the resort on the concept of simplicity, which is naturally already in place with the beauty of the high surrounding mountains, forested land and broad valley that brings an immediate sense of calm and appreciation for simple joys.
Location, location, location
BY MARIA CAMILLE
cultural tradition of the community coming together, Master Chen called on skilled family, friends and students to prepare the lodging and grounds for guests by the opening deadline. This first phase was completed just in time for a soft opening in the spring of 2012. The spa would be planned in the next phase of construction in the spring of 2013. In the fall, it was decided that the resort would stay open all winter—something that most of the other resorts in the area do not do because of the high altitude, severe cold, snow and winds. The lodge is located an hour away from the ski resorts, so large numbers of winter visitors cannot be expected. However, because Master Chen decided to offer sleigh rides throughout the holidays with the four experienced draft horses that had been with the property for many years, there were more guests than expected. Additionally, many local residents came to celebrate the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and even several days of the Chinese New Year. Many visitors also came to enjoy the unique and historical experience of traveling through the silent beauty of the snow, hiking in snowshoes up the mountain paths, along with ice-skating on the frozen lake at the front of the lodge. Hot chocolate and a cozy fireplace were well appreciated by the first winter guests as they shared their experiences with one another. While the resort enjoyed success, there were many challenges the first winter, such as the broken pipes on the property that froze due to the light snowfall, which did not provide much insulation over the frozen ground. At almost 10,000 ft., there was a steep learning curve for running a resort in the middle of winter. November 2013 • Les Nouvelles Esthétiques & Spa
The area of the spa that is now under construction sits comfortably under the main lodge with its own deck, offering a view of the towering peaks. The location is precious! Previously, the space had been a dorm for people working on the property. The area is approximately 4,500 sq. ft. and consists of a spacious sitting area at the front, with three treatment rooms on both sides, along with spacious rest-
Architect and designer Spa manager Maria Camille worked with architect and designer Larry Scheiderer of Transform Development, LLC to conceptualize the spa buildout.
rooms situated at the back. The space was already the perfect layout for the spa, as it had large rooms, natural walkways, a beautiful relaxation area and outdoor patio, facing out toward the mountain peaks. After gutting the entire area, clean and simple earthy textures were picked to refinish the venue. The elegant space was designed around the five elements of wood, water, metal, fire and earth, in accordance with traditional Chinese viewpoints. The highlight of the facility will be a large waterfall that is being installed on the back wall of the relaxation area. Beautiful, one-of-a-kind Chinese antiques have been personally selected by Master Chen to be placed creatively in key areas of the spa, though the main focus will always be the mountains and nature.
Forming the spa team and menu Because of the special location and energy of the project coming together, exceptional spa therapists were naturally interested in working at the retreat. A “spa team” was continues LNEONLINE.com • Page 97