RED DOOR LIFESTYLE SPA, FLORIDA
by Anne Dimon
The Spa:Red Door Lifestyle Spa at the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Centre & Spa in Westin, Florida (about 15 miles from Fort Lauderdale International Airport) is a first for Red Door. What distinguishes it from other Red Door Spas (about 31 day spas in the U.S.) is the lifestyle program component – particularly fitness. Melissa Fronstin, the spas’ sales and marketing manager defines “lifestyle spa” as a spa that offers more than typical day or resort spa activities.
Environment: Located adjacent to the hotel’s main entrance the spa is freestanding building contained on it own special little piece of the planet. Once you walk through a set of massive red doors, there’s a beautifully-landscaped Zen garden and the sound of trickling waters to get you into the spa mood. Definitely, the “wow” moment. The 48,000 sq foot facility – with about 30 treatment rooms, a salon, lounges (one main lounge plus private mens and ladies lounges), a café, swimming pool, an extensively-equipped gym (for a fitness buff, another “wow” moment) and thre large, well-equipped workout studios – is spacious and nicely appointed. It’s a calming and relaxing space and one you can easily see yourself spending the day in.
Point of Distinction/Décor:
The variety of fitness classes and the caliber of trainers is the Red Door Lifestyle Spas main point of distinction. There are about 20 classes a wekk including weight training, Aqua yoga, Pilates, Zumba (a fusion of dance and fitness), spinning, power yoga and kickboxing. Classes are $15 each (or $25 for a day pass) or can be included in some of the customized packages. Those customized packages of two, five or seven-night stays – can include your choice of fitness classes, a choice of lifestyle classes (ayurvedic workshop, make-up lesion, colorized yoga, morning walk, for instance) and spa treatments.
Spa Menu/Signature Treatments: The menu offers the usual variety of facials, massages and body scrubs/wraps/polishes plus there are Ayurveda-based therapies. Esthetics, hair services and make-up application are also offered. Signature services include the Pink Grapfruit Essential Oil Hydrotub Treatment ($60 U.S. for 25 minutes), the Phyto-Organic Sun Soother Facial Treatment ($140 U.S. for 65 minutes) and the Red Door Lifestyle Tropical Ritual ($315 U.S. for 180 minutes). This Ritual includes a foot soak, body exfoliation, wrap, massage and a sorbet snack.
The Experience: Always up for a challenge, I booked myself in for the Red Door Challenge one of many daily scheduled fitness activities. Turns out there are only two of us in this class directed by Rosie Sita, a physical fitness trainer with a degree from a Brazilian university. Turns out the 60-minute class is a mix of walking, running and Pilates. She takes out us outside for a combo of walking/running along the neighbourhood sidewalks. It’s set up as a learn-to-run workshop but Sita demonstrates that simply walking can maintain an elevated heart rate and be good for cardio. The class ends back in the studio for Pilates exercises to stretch the muscles.
Next I’m booked for a Mineral Glow which begins with a sea salt scrub followed by a shower but we run into a bit of problem when the shower won’t work properly and I have to don a robe and go to the locker room to shower off the salt. Put a damper on the experience but things sometimes don’t work out as planned so just have to stay calm and think Zen. Back in the treatment room, the Mineral Glow finishes with the application of lotion and I’m back into a relaxed state-of-mind. A sucker for punishment, later that day I sign up for my first Spinning class. As a runner, I consider myself pretty fit, but this class was a killer. Wendy Halperin explains that on a stationary bike you’re seated all the time but with spinning you’re standing or sitting, and you’re using more muscles due to the changes in position. The goal of newbie spinners, she said, is just making it through their first one-hour class. Now this was the true Red Door Challenge.
Accommodations: The Red Door Lifestyle Spa has an alliance with the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure Conference Centre & Spa and since they are both on the same property with their front entrances just steps away from one another you won’t have far to walk from your guest room. The four-star conference hotel offers about 500 rooms and suites.
Where to eat: The Red Door’s Bamboo Spa Café, overlooking the outdoor pool area is a lovely spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu includes dishes such as Cinnamon Scented Chicken Wrap with quinoa and rice vinegar vinaigress, and Whole Wheat Penne with Romano beachs, zucchini, eggplant and goat cheese, and Shrimp Salad on Pita.
Downside is that the café is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays but on these days spa guests can order from the resort’s room service.
Other Facilities/Features: The Hyatt Bonaventure offers a number of swimming pools, various dining options, a nature trail and guests have access to nearby tennis and golf. Anyone looking to work in a little retail therapy will find lots of places to indulge at the Sawgrass Mills outlet mall (Florida’s largest with over 350 stores) located about four miles from the spa.
The Cost: There is a four-night package starting at $2305 for individuals and $4080 for couples. There is also a 4-night Focus on Fitness package with rates starting at $1956 per person and $3384 per couple. Click for package details Outside the all-inclusive programs, spa treatments are a-la-carte with prices starting at $26 U.S. for a manicure. A day pass to use the pool and facilities is $25.
What I liked best: The wide range of fitness classes and excellent instructors.
Words to the wise: While I liked the spa and the availability of fitness classes I really wasn’t blown over with the resort. The rooms thenselves are really nice but in some ways – particularly the guest room corridors and elevators – there’s a bit of a motel feel. They also a need to work on a better cohesiveness between the resort staff and the spa. Resort staff didn’t seem to know much about the spa.
For more info on Red Door Lifestye Spa
Editor’s note: Please note prices reflect the time of our visit. Please contact the spa for updated pricing.
Anne Dimon is a spa and wellness travel writer and founder/editor of Traveltowellness. Comments are always appreciated. Please send to email@example.com