The Adrenaline Antidote
Situated on the stunning shore of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by majestic mountains, the Hilton Queenstown (New Zealand) is home to Eforea: Spa at Hilton, the first resort location for the company’s rapidly expanding spa brand. With 11 locations open to date and more than 90 in the pipeline, the spa is proving to be a formidable contender in the industry. “As the first global spa concept from our flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand, Eforea: Spa at Hilton is unique in that it delivers an intimate, transformative journey of the senses while honoring a consistent set of global treatment, service, and design standards that can be customized for the cultural and guest preferences of each location,” says Tyra Lowman, senior director, spa brands, Hilton Worldwide.
The Queenstown Eforea captures the South Island’s spectacular scenery with its contemporary design. According to spa director Elizabeth Regan, the spa honors iconic elements indigenous to New Zealand. From toffee-colored walls that reflect the geography of the Southern Alps to a smoked oak wood floor that harmonizes with the alpine and lake surroundings, Eforea encompasses three floors linked by a spiral staircase that leads to a 25-meter heated swimming pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center with relaxing lounge areas. Even the lighting is authentic to New Zealand and created by an Auckland-based designer. According to Lowman, incorporating such indigenous influences ensures there is nothing cookie cutter about the spa.
Attracting outdoor enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies alike, Queenstown offers a variety of pursuits that actually complement the spa. “Spa-goers visit us for a few key reasons—for relaxation and a true escape for the body and mind and also for re-energizing experiences that deliver results for ailments associated with outdoor adventures, like skiing, for which Queenstown is famous,” says Regan. Fortunately, menu development played a key role in the creation of the Hilton spa concept, and three signature treatment journeys resulted from the extensive research and creative collaboration that went into the process. At all Eforea locations, guests will find The Essentials Journey, which relies on technology-driven products from Kerstin Florian; The Escape Journey, which delivers head-to-toe wellness experiences using LI’TYA, an Australian line based on natural and organic ingredients; and The Men’s Journey, which includes a collection of re-energizing treatments featuring VitaMan products. Since first introducing the Eforea concept, Hilton has expanded its product offerings to include Peter Thomas Roth. Interestingly enough, many of the experiences from The Men’s Journey are just as popular with female spa-goers. “In developing our treatment menu, we considered global spa preferences and must-haves to ensure that our core treatments would resonate with guests as near as Arizona and as far-flung as Azerbaijan, destinations that today represent two of our eleven Eforea locations,” says Lowman. “In line with this thinking, the Eforea treatment menu had to be feasible and offer an ease of implementation for our network of owners around the world.”
At the Queenstown location, the clientele encompasses locals as well as business and leisure travelers from New Zealand and farther afield. With five full-time and seven part-time staff members, the 10-treatment-room spa is able to accommodate approximately 45 guests each day. According to Regan, residents and tourists staying elsewhere represent more than 50 percent of the spa’s clientele. Most have a pretty good idea of what they want. “Our guests gravitate toward massage treatments, as Hilton Queenstown is located in what many consider to be the adrenaline sports capital of the world,” says Regan. “The majority of people who visit Queenstown or who reside here are very active and enjoy a range of sporting activities that result in a high demand for massage.” Not surprisingly, the spa’s most popular treatment is The Escape Journey’s Meditation Massage ($105, 60 minutes; $146, 90 minutes).
According to Regan, her future plans for the spa include developing and expanding her team of seasoned spa therapists to meet the needs of Eforea’s ever-growing clientele. “Sometimes our biggest challenge is fitting all appointments into a busy day while giving each guest his or her preferred treatment time,” says Regan. One way in which the spa has been successful in anticipating and meeting its clients’ needs is with its travel bar experience, which features each of its retail products in security-approved travel sizes. The travel bar encourages spa-goers to sample products before purchasing. Says Regan, “Our team is thrilled to be part of such an innovative spa concept that has taken the world by storm since launching two years ago, and we look forward to seeing Eforea: Spa at Hilton continue to blossom as a premiere spa experience in New Zealand.”