One Happy Island Escape
Many spas take inspiration from their locales, but ZoiA Spa at the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino (Palm Beach) truly takes its indigenous offerings to heart. This Aruba-inspired escape, which opened its doors in February, was created entirely with local lore and ingredients in mind. There, treatments are based on four key Caribbean elements—sun, sand, sea, and love—and the colors of the Aruban flag—yellow, white, blue, and red. “We have created treatments with pure products from the islands, including essential oils from our plants, flowers, and seeds,” says spa director Karin Cofino, who points out that the spa’s name means “balance” in Papiamento, Aruba’s native language.
The first treatment element, sun, signifies energy and is represented by the color yellow. Sun treatments are geared toward brightening and revitalizing the skin through the use of botanical blossoms. The ZoiA Botanical Massage ($80, 30 minutes; $145, 60 minutes; $215, 90 minutes) and the ZoiA Botanical Wrap ($145, 60 minutes; $215, 90 minutes), which is infused with organic rosemary, citrus, and sea salt and includes an envelopment in warm seaweed, are among the popular sun services. The second treatment element, sand, is reflected by the color white and evokes purity. Through the use of Aruba’s mineral-rich mud, the treatments, including the Pure Mud Restore Wrap ($145, 60 minutes; $215, 90 minutes), are designed to detoxify and rid the skin of impurities. The third spa element, sea, is represented by the color blue, and its treatments aim to make guests experience the relaxation and serenity felt when hearing gently crashing waves.
The final element, love, represents devotion and commitment. Love treatments incorporate indigenous aloe from Aloe Aruba, the island’s only producer of aloe products. Aloe is a great plant when it comes to treating the skin—its healing gel is a cooling balm for sunburns, dry skin, insect bites, and skin irritation. Because of these benefits and more, aloe is a perfect plant for balmy Aruba and is incorporated in nearly all of the spa’s treatments, including the love services. Popular sessions include the Aruban Sun Rescue ($130, 60 minutes), which is a healing, hydrating aloe body wrap or facial, and the Aloe Recovery Wrap ($145, 60 minutes; $215, 90 minutes). “Aruba is a sunny island all year, so it is inevitable for guests to get a bit of a sunburn from time to time and look for a way to soothe and moisturize,” says Cofino.
The Love, Sea, Sand, and Sun motif is also evident in the music choices, post-treatment refreshments, and the welcoming foot ritual that is performed at the beginning of each treatment. A sense of place is achieved with the spa design, as well. “We wanted the design to have a very tranquil, Caribbean look through the use of serene, yet warm, colors,” says Cofino. “An aloe garden located in front of the spa further encapsulates the theme and demonstrates the importance of Aruba’s multidimensional plant.”
Another important spa theme is one of sustainability. Among the materials used in the spa’s design are cork, recycled glass tiles, and quartz, a granite-like stone made from seashells. The artwork, lamps, and veneers are made from recycled materials, and most of the products and equipment are eco-friendly. In addition to Aloe Aruba, other products used include Kerstin Florian, Naturopathica, and SpaRitual, as well as hand-pressed oils and home-grown herbs provided by Caribbean herbologist Dina Veeris.
Since the spa opened, Cofino says both guests and her 22-member team are thrilled. “We are the newest spa on the island, and our staff, unique treatments, atmosphere, and design are a step above other offerings in Aruba,” she says. “This was long awaited, and now that it is here, they are ecstatic. We always had the best staff on the island, and now it is complete—the best facility and the best staff—who can stop us?”