Aimed at making wellness and relaxation experiences a regular part of its clients’ regimens, Hiatus Spa + Retreat has locations in Dallas, Plano, Austin, San Antonio and Houston—all in Texas and ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 square feet each—with plans to open two more in the very near future. Offerings run the gamut from traditional massages, facials and nail services to more alternative treatments like hydrotherapy, acupuncture, auricular therapy and even fire cupping; guest experiences are personalized to holistically boost well-being and encourage happier, healthier lifestyles. Each spa contains a bright, airy reception area complete with retail offerings, seasonal service and event information, and warm tea; changing areas with showers, soft robes, towels, product amenities and, in some locations, a sauna; and a relaxation room featuring more herbal tea, fruit-infused water, magazines or coffee table books, and heated neck wraps. Every 60-minute service begins with a foot soak ritual, hand and foot massage, and customized aromatherapy journey; post-treatment, therapists provide clients with a basket containing a handwritten note and product recommendations to consider as they check out.
Hiatus owners Sheila Garrison and Casey Evans take a hands-on approach to spa management, noting that they’re emotionally invested in the spa’s mission and are committed to giving their staff the tools they need to succeed. The business itself is membership based, so Hiatus tends to attract new clients via word of mouth as well as its referral program, in which new guests and the member who referred them are rewarded with an account credit. Service providers are also encouraged to market themselves via their own social media channels, the logic being that there’s no better marketing than word of mouth and a personal client-therapist connection—a strategy that has clearly paid off.
The Hiatus Monthly Retreat (80 min./$139 for members, $195 for nonmembers) is a body treatment that changes every month, but typically takes place in the hydrotherapy suite and always ends with a specialty cocktail. “One October we made a scrub mask from fresh carrots and walnut shell powder, with essences of cedar wood, marjoram and orange. The aroma was incredible and seasonal without being predictably pumpkin,” says director of education Mason Hickman. “The cocktail was equally delectable, thanks to carrot juice, bourbon and walnut liqueur.” An average Monthly Retreat may start with full body exfoliation—a scrub, dry brushing or exfoliation glove—followed by a neck-to-toe mask, steam wrap, and scalp and foot rub. Next, the client receives a Vichy shower with massage, which can incorporate cold stones or smooth, stone-shaped ice that gradually melts as it’s used. The treatment ends with a moisturizing massage using a body oil or butter. Because the service is regularly reinvented, management gets to experiment and think outside the box—and Hickman says that clients love the constant novelty and surprise of each month’s fun offering.
–by Laura Waldon
This story first appeared in the June issue of Dayspa magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
[Images: Courtesy of Molly Culver]