Great Adventure



Set at the foot of the red sandstone cliffs of the Mojave Desert, Red Mountain Spa (St. George, UT) has long been a mecca for adventure-loving spa-goers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Recently, the property underwent a multi-million-dollar enhancement that included the addition of Sagestone spa and salon. Created by Judith Testani of Testani Design Group, the new spa is housed in a three-story geodesic dome, which features views of the dramatic red rock canyons and spires.

  With a host of scenic trails, the area is a prime spot for mountain biking.
With a host of scenic trails, the area is a prime spot for mountain biking.

For those interested in enjoying the views on a more permanent basis, Red Mountain introduced 12 villas in 2002 as part of The Residence Club at Red Mountain, which allows fans of the property to purchase their very own two-bedroom villa. The addition of the luxury villas is part of an overall repositioning the spa is going through to widen its appeal. "Red Mountain will work to retain its market share in its current price structure and will be adding luxury suites and improving service throughout the spa," says general manager Deborah Evans. Another 16 suites are being introduced this fall. "We felt it was time to step it up," says Evans, noting that the repositioning helped inspire the new spa facility.

The Relaxation Room at Sagestone offers stunning views of the red rock landscape.
The Relaxation Room at Sagestone offers stunning views of the red rock landscape.

Depending on the season, Sagestone treats 80 to 100 guests each day. Most come from large urban areas, such as New York City, which serves as the top market, followed by San Francisco, then Los Angeles. Evans reports seeing growing numbers from the Midwest. According to her, guests are typically drawn to Red Mountain for one of three reasons. One-third come for the adventure sports and opportunity to visit nearby national parks, another third come to make a life transition, and the final third are resort guests looking for a little rest and relaxation.

The women's steam room offers another place to relax.
The women's steam room offers another place to relax.

Sagestone's 14 treatment rooms consist of one multipurpose room, two facial rooms, eight massage rooms, one couples' massage room, and two outdoor temperature-controlled cabanas. Like the spa itself, the treatment menu is new as well. Reflecting the local surroundings, it provides a range of treatments that complement the active lifestyle Red Mountain promotes. "We tried to create experiences that are relational to outdoor activities," says Evans. Many of the services incorporate indigenous ingredients such as canyon stones, muds, rosemary, sage, and Utah salts. Some of the spa's signature treatments include the Adobe Lavender Hydrating Cocoon ($105, 50 minutes), the Desert Pearl Facial ($100, 50 minutes), and the Red Rock Hiker's Massage ($140, 80 minutes).

Manicures are available in the salon.
Manicures are available in the salon.

Although massage reigns supreme at most spas, Sagestone's clientele tends to gravitate toward body treatments. Evans attributes this to the fact that the spa's clientele is fairly sophisticated and thereby open to trying new things. Another factor is that the average length of stay for guests is five days. This gives spa-goers an opportunity to sample a variety of treatments in addition to massage.

Thai Yoga Massage ($95, 50 minutes; $140, 80 minutes) stimulates energy flow by blending yoga stretching with rhythmic compressions.
Thai Yoga Massage ($95, 50 minutes; $140, 80 minutes) stimulates energy flow by blending yoga stretching with rhythmic compressions.

According to Evans, one of her biggest challenges is Red Mountain's location. Working to create a nationally recognized brand in a small, unknown destination poses its share of problems. Despite the stunning locale, Evans notes that selling St. George isn't always easy. Labor is another issue. Although help is available, she is often forced to draw from an unsophisticated labor pool. Red Mountain is staffed with a total of 251 employees, 110 of whom are full time.

Blending well with the natural surroundings, Red Mountain Spa offers a variety of accommodations.
Blending well with the natural surroundings, Red Mountain Spa offers a variety of accommodations.

Despite the challenges, Red Mountain Spa rarely fails to impress, as evidenced by its noteworthy return rate. According to Evans, more than half of the spa's clientele returns once or twice a year. Seven to 8 percent visit two to four times a year. Evans credits that to the fact that most people are time-impoverished and the average Red Mountain stay is of a duration that most can fit into their busy schedules. The other reason is affordability. Add to that the numerous activities available and there is no shortage of adventures to be had.

Sagestone
Sagestone

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