In October, India K. Robinson, aka “Spa Bunny” – MPA, interviewed Robert D. Henry (RDH) regarding the SETAI SPA in lower Manhattan, NY. Asked what RDH enjoys most about designing spas, Bob Henry said, “Spas allow us to create an experiential journey for Guests integrating all the senses…”
Below is Spa Bunny’s article, which she graciously permitted us to share with you.
CONFESSIONS FROM THE SETAI SPA &
ROBERT D. HENRY ARCHITECTS
In the middle of a bustling financial district, I looked for the branded flag that identified the entrance to the Wall Street wellness sanctuary. Hidden within a residential building, The Setai Club & Spa resides on the 3rd floor and welcomes you with warm hues of red and tan, dark woods, tiled walls, and an air of seduction.
With a welcome as warm as the decor, I was escorted to the locker room to change into my robe and slippers. I wandered the softly lit corridor to the heat experience area, which was dark and mysterious as if you were far removed from any city and hidden within your own private lair.
My therapist, Erica, soon came to retrieve me for my “suite experience” with a Polynesian Spa Ritual. I entered a gorgeous room with an oversized marble soaking tub, rain shower, plush treatment table, and gorgeous Italian glass tilework.
The ritual commenced with a yummy drink called the Yumberry Elixir (no, seriously, that’s the name). I was told it is packed with Vitamin A, C, and E is anti-inflammatory, and lowers bad cholesterol. I then enjoyed the sand, salt, and coconut shell scrub enriched with Tahitian vanilla extracts and Monoi oil, a rinse in the shower. Then, I soaked in a White Lilly Lagoon bath and ended with a restful full body massage with Bora Bora sand pouches (which I could take home with me).
The scents transported me to an exotic island, and the spa music made me feel like I was the star of my own Broadway show. My snort awoke me from my slumber somewhere between the island and Broadway. My skin felt radiant and smelled amazing as I floated in a daze to my next destination.
The SETAI SPA is unique in the fact that not only is it an exclusive amenity within a residential building, but they also open its doors to non-residents.
Confessions from Robert D. Henry Architects
at the SETAI SPA Wall Street
Following my treatment, I had the pleasure of chatting in the Setai Tea Lounge with the architect behind it, Robert D. Henry.
Mr. Henry’s love affair with spas started 18 years ago, with his first project being the Mar-a-Lago Spa in Palm Beach for Donald Trump and Marla Maples. I wanted to learn more, and asked Mr. Henry to share more of his confessions:
What do you enjoy the most about designing spas over other types of architectural projects (i.e. commercial, residential)?
Spas allow us to create an experiential journey for Guests integrating all the senses. It is our specialty and focus and influences all our other projects. We are doing several homes with wellness as a focus, enhancing the quality of life for the Owners.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
Wellness research and practitioners; I’ve had more than 300 spa treatments all over the world.
What do you feel is the most unique design feature of The Setai compared to other spas you’ve designed?
The East meets West fusion associated with the Setai brand. Mysterious, sensuous, and exotic, an escape from the everyday…other-worldly.
Were there any design considerations that had to be accounted for with the spa being primarily in a residential setting instead of a hotel spa?
The aesthetic was brought through from the Lobby to the Amenities and Residences.
What will the spa of the future look like?
Our next generation of spa projects will establish new experiences with our projects for the Mandarin Oriental in New York and the new signature spa for Ivanka Trump’s Washington Hotel.
Robert D. Henry recently debuted a new line of signature spa furniture at the 2016 International Spa Association Conference in partnership with SALT Chamber and Touch America.
HIS Agency, LLC
India K. Robinson, MPA
President & CEO