July 2014

Revitalization! :The Sanctuary Spa puts on a fresh face

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and whisper, “renew, refresh, revitalize,” the mantra of the modern day spa, and of The Sanctuary on Hilton Head Island. Evolving from the centuries-old belief that bathing in special waters provide purification of both the body and the spirit, today’s varied interpretations of spa around the world have one common thread: to improve both physical health and mental well-being. Lisa Gomez, owner of The Sanctuary – A European Day Spa, believes in ever-evolving to bring an outstanding spa experience to her clientele, and she recently debuted a complete renovation and renewal of her facilities on the island’s south end.

Since opening in 1997, spiffing up The Sanctuary annually or bi-annually has always been on the agenda; however, starting in January of this year, Gomez, her husband, and her staff embarked on a four-month journey to complete renovation. Just inside the front door, a stunning modern wavy wall anchors the reception space, where luxurious spa and cosmetic products flow to the manicure and make-up areas, furnished in crisp whites, sparkling accents, and exactly the right lighting, providing a clean, refreshing environment.

Casting a lovely glow from above, hanging light fixtures lead the way to the lounge area, decorated in a palette of earth tones and whites, underscored by nature-inspired art, reflective surfaces, glass brick, mercury-glass candle holders flickering and lightly-scenting the spa, and flowers spilling from their containers. Transitioning to the cocoon-like feel of The Sanctuary from the outside world is easily imagined here and certainly desired.

The spa offers five treatment rooms, one Vichy shower, two manicure stations, three pedicure chairs, and one environmental capsule; every square inch has undergone renewal. Calming colors, botanical artwork, inspirational quotes, and luxurious treatment chairs and tables define each of the rooms, expertly designed to meet the requirements for any of the treatments on The Sanctuary’s extensive menu of options. And the options are endless.

This is where Gomez’s experience and expertise are radiantly evident. Starting her spa career in England in an extensive two-year aesthetician program, Gomez has worked in spas around the world, and on the seas with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Understanding both the physical and mental benefits of each treatment she offers, and combining them with the best products from around the world, gives The Sanctuary a special spa niche here on Hilton Head Island.

Much like the ancient spas in Egypt, Rome, and Persia, where plants and elements of the earth were used to treat nobility and privileged classes, skin care at The Sanctuary is designed to achieve lovely results by using the best ingredients available, combining nature and science. From facials created to reduce to the signs of aging, to ones that lift, lighten, revitalize, and repair, the science and application of the client’s skin care goals are in expert hands with Gomez and her staff, allowing the customer to de-stress and de-compress.

Visiting The Sanctuary’s website or giving them a call will aid in selecting just the right treatments to meet your needs and goals, and it is more than a little likely that you will discover something delightfully new. The spa offers professional waxing, electrolysis, and various eye care services, including eyebrow shaping, waxing, tweezing, along with eyelash treatments, nail care, scrubs, showers, and body wraps.

The renewed massage rooms are perfectly appointed havens to enjoy The Sanctuary’s massage options, including, Swedish, deep tissue, sports, hot stone, aromatherapy, reflexology, ionithermie (European cellulite treatment), couples, pre- and post-natal, and Shirodhara (rain drop therapy). The renovated locker room includes two showers, sleek lockers facing a black granite sink, surrounded by sparkling chrome fixtures and reflective tile. Adjacent to the locker room is the spa’s Hollywood tanning area, where clients get the most even coverage and long-lasting results with their exceptional hand-spray technique.

The spa’s Alpha Environmental Capsule is considered to be the ultimate dry heat therapy. Sitting in its private room like a portal to heaven, the capsule addresses several treatment possibilities, including relaxation, energy, detoxification, weight loss, pain relief, and sleep. Combining other spa treatments with time spent in the capsule brings about striking results. Gomez saw the benefits of the capsule during her time working on cruise ships and has found that her Hilton Head clientele appreciate its benefits.

Spas have been a part of everyday life in many societies for centuries, utilizing the healing powers of hot springs and cold springs, mud and stone, solitude and peaceful surroundings to improve physical and mental well-being, and to aid in recovery from illness or injury. Once thought to be a pampering playground for the wealthy, available only at resorts and luxurious destinations, reasonable pricing and handy locations have made holistically improving one’s health and well-being via spa treatments within easy reach. It’s time to renew, refresh and revitalize. 

The Sanctuary – A European Day Spa is located at 217 Park Plaza, Office Park Road, Hilton Head Island, SC. Please call (843) 842-5999 or visit sanctuaryeurospa.com for more information.

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