Upon opening its doors, The Estuary Spa at The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina became the first and only LEED-certified hotel building in the area. The ocean- inspired decor reflects its tranquil waterfront location, with panoramic views of historic Charleston, Patriots Point and Fort Sumter, all just a stroll or 30-minute water taxi away. “It’s a one-of-a-kind view that takes your breath away,” says spa manager Tiffany Plestis, who was deeply involved in the design. The Estuary delivers a discrete boutique spa experience for those staying at the luxury resort—and day visitors are also welcome to take advantage of the Beach Club’s 30,000-square-foot tropical pool deck, private beachfront, nature trail and jogging path.
Locals make approximately 45 percent of spa bookings, while guests from other hotels account for 5 percent of the spa’s business. “A lot of bridal parties choose us for our treatments, hospitality spaces and unique Beach Club privileges,” says Plestis. About half of the resort’s overnight guests book services thanks to the reservations and check-in staff, and spa personnel give tours and complimentary poolside “teasers” like mini-facials and margaritas, or mini-massages and mimosas to attract additional bookings.
Among its range of face and body treatments, two specialty massages stand out as client and staff favorites: the Nirvana Stress Relief Massage (50-80 min./$130-$180) incorporates a stretching component and uses a peppermint/menthol cream on the upper body, as well as calming lavender oil; and the Blue Eucalyptus Massage (50-80 min./$130-$180) focuses on the abdomen and legs, combining friction movements and ginger root oil to aid digestion and energize the client.
Having an open-door policy fosters communication and respect, says Plestis, who adds that it’s just as important to care for staff as it is for clientele. To that end, employees are treated to a free recovery massage every month. “When they feel better, they perform better,” she explains. Continuing education focuses on new techniques and protocols, particularly for any products being added to the treatment specials and retail stock.
Services feature Éminence, Naturopathica, Pevonia and Phytomer product lines. The retail area also stocks those brands, as well as items from La Bella Donna and Hampton Sun, all charmingly displayed in armoires.
Location: Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
Owner: Brothers Property Management.
Opened: October 2016.
The Space: 2,200 square feet with 5 treatment rooms (2 singles, 2 couples and 1 esthetics) and a coed relaxation lounge with retail displays.
Staff: 1 spa manager, 7 massage therapists, 2 estheticians.
–by Vicki Arkoff