Spa Snapshot: Cedar Creek Spa at Big Cedar Lodge

[Image: Courtesy of Cedar Creek Spa][Image: Courtesy of Cedar Creek Spa]A mountain-inspired haven nestled in the highland forests near the Missouri-Arkansas border.

A stunning, candle-lit grotto pool area, an Aspen-lined entryway and stone-laden accent walls are Cedar Creek Spa’s unique physical standouts. “Everything we do is inspired by the beauty, nature and rustic elegance of the Ozark Mountains,” says spa manager Barb Reffitt. But equally important are the veteran therapists. “We have excellent, caring and well-trained staff ,” Reffitt reports, “many of whom have worked here for more than a decade, when the spa was merely two quaint cottages.”

Because the spa is a part of Big Cedar Lodge, the majority of its clientele comprises overnight guests, but more and more locals have been making their way there. “We’ve seen steady growth among local and regional guests as they learn about us. The secret is out!” laughs Reffitt. The spa frequently hosts journalists who cover their experiences; this, in conjunction with the Lodge’s overall advertising campaigns, have been successful marketing avenues. Refitt emphasizes, however, that the best referrals tend to be verbal. “Word of mouth is a powerful thing!” she says. “Our guests are often so wowed by their experiences that they’ll send their friends and family to us as well.”

“I have an open door, hands-on policy,” explains Reffitt. “I’m always involved in our daily operations and I do any and all jobs.” And her employment strategy? Hire those with a passion for spa and the spa world. In other words, her employees must live and breathe spa—“This is one big, happy family!” she says.

Big Cedar Lodge The Spa at Big CedarBig Cedar Lodge

The Spa at Big Cedar

There’s no question as to why the Ozarks Rain Treatment (50 min./$140) is a noteworthy menu offering—clients get to experience a battery-operated hydraulic table, complete with eight adjustable shower jet heads. “While we wash off the body scrub, we use a waving motion with the water to simulate the gentle ebb and flow of nearby Table Rock Lake,” Reffitt details. After the guest’s skin has been slathered in cedar-infused body butter, they’re wrapped in a warm robe and guided to a chaise lounge at the grotto pool to relax.

Management worked with ReadyCare Industries to develop a signature scent for their locker room and shower amenities—a blend of green tea and lemongrass, which Reffitt describes as “fresh, light and citrusy.” In treatment rooms, the spa’s staff has opted for BodyBliss private label scrubs and body butters, along with Éminence and Dr. Lili Fan as its backbar brands

– by Rachel Kossman

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