A Healthy Gamble at The Spa at Silver Legacy

Spa-goers can relax 
in the lounge or in the 
salt inhalation room. // Photo courtesy of The Spa at Silver Legacy (Reno, NV)

Known as “the biggest little city in the world,” Reno has long attracted visitors with a host of hotels and casinos. Silver Legacy Resort & Casino (NV), offering a variety of entertainment and nightlife offerings, is just one of the city’s enticing options. However, Reno doesn’t immediately come to mind for its plethora of wellness offerings. That designation is typically reserved for nearby Lake Tahoe, a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Fortunately, spa-goers can get a taste of both thanks to the recent debut of The Spa at Silver Legacy, which is part of The Row’s master renovation of more than $100 million. The Row, considered one of Reno’s premier destinations, is made up of three resorts, 25 restaurants, 22 bars and lounges, 11 nightspots, and now this inviting wellness offering. “The Spa at Silver Legacy was designed specifically to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between Reno and Lake Tahoe and many of the indigenous items that surround this location,” says spa director George Powell-Lopez. “We wanted to portray the beauty and significance of how each location truly depends on each other.”

The 21,000-square-foot spa features three couples’ treatment rooms, four individual treatment rooms, five facial treatment rooms, three relaxation lounges, a salt inhalation chamber, seven hydrotherapy soaking tubs, two steam rooms, and two saunas. Also available are two private hospitality suites, which can be booked for bachelorette or bridal parties and other special events. The spa, complete with a salon, a boutique, and a fitness center, benefits from a prime location within the resort. According to spa consultant Lynn Curry, president and co-owner of Resources for Leisure Assets, the design was inspired by the beauty of Lake Tahoe and the Sierras. “It also came from the spa’s location within the hotel in that we had views of the mountains and sky, natural light, and convenient access to the pool deck,” says Curry. “From the early feasibility stage of development, Rhonda Carano, the owner, envisioned honoring the region and incorporating Lake Tahoe’s natural colors and beauty into the spa design.”

The women's locker room provides a spacious area with a variety of amenities.

Taking up the entire fourth floor, the spa sets the stage for guests to enjoy the facilities, such as the salt inhalation chamber, which is designed to counteract the arid Nevada climate, or the women’s steam room, which features pink and purple pearlescent tiles. “We wanted a beautiful facility that had the capability of providing a high level of bespoke experience,” says Curry. “We wanted to be sure to make hotel guests and day guests feel welcome and be encouraged to stay for the day and to become regulars.” Locals can take advantage of the spa’s Local Appreciation Program (LAP of Luxury), which provides high-end complimentary upgrades with each service. 


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With Tahoe-inspired treatments, Powell-Lopez and his team try to rely on organic products as much as possible. Naturopathica is used for facial and body treatments; OM4Men fits the bill for male-oriented services; and Sorella Apothecary, a botanically based skincare company from Reno, is ideal for those interested in a local line. According to Powell-Lopez, the spa’s most popular treatment is The Tahoe Trilogy ($250, 2 hours), which involves guests creating their own personal salt scrub at the Salt of the Earth Blending Bar, enjoying a body salt scrub followed by a salt bath, and concluding with a Swedish massage. Other inspired treatments include the Fiery Snow Facial ($180, 80 minutes), a stimulating facial featuring a cherry pepper peel and marble facial stones that alternate between warm and cool temperatures, and the Silver Legacy Signature Massage ($190, 80 minutes), an indulgent experience involving a classic full-body massage enhanced with a face and scalp massage, reflexology, and a gentle hand massage.

Beautiful views from outside and within can be found in the couples’ treatment room.

A recommended tea pairing accompanies each service. “When I found that Davidson’s Tea was local and they were experts in the Ayurvedic way of life, we worked together to come up with the presentation and pairing of the teas,” says Powell-Lopez. For example, the Dirty Mess Detoxifying Body Treatment ($145, 50 minutes), a stimulating exfoliation with volcanic pumice and coffee Arabica and a warm wrap with mineral-rich black silt clay and herbal extracts of Indian sarsaparilla and honey, is paired with Mellow Mint Tulsi for additional detoxification. Each tea is intentionally selected to enhance the benefits of the chosen treatments.

With 41 employees on staff and a plan to top off at 55, the spa can accommodate up to approximately 100 to 110 appointments each day. According to Powell-Lopez, guests are looking for “something different.” What seems to be resonating are treatments that provide multiple sensory opportunities. While staffing remains a challenge, Powell-Lopez and his team are focused on delivering a true journey to guests. “I’ve opened lavish spas across the country, and The Spa at Silver Legacy has an unparalleled majesty,” says Powell-Lopez. “The experience at the spa far exceeds the treatments themselves, offering a holistic, unmistakable progression of wellness from the moment the elevator doors open.” 

The women’s relaxation lounge.


Owner: El Dorado Resorts

Spa Director: George Powell-Lopez

Opened: October 2018

Client Base: 70% female, 30% male

Space: 29,000 square feet; 12 treatment rooms

Products & Equipment: Baxter of California, Book4Time, Dazzle Dry, Life Fitness, Make Up Factory, Naturopathica, Organic Male Om4Men, Peloton, Redken, Salt of the Earth, Silver Legacy signature line, Sorella, SpaEquip, T-Spheres, Technogym, Universal Companies 

Architect: Casey Clark, principal architect, MBA Architecture + Interior Design (Reno, NV)

Interior Design: Karen Buttrum, registered interior designer, MBA Architecture + Interior Design (Reno,NV)

Spa Consultant: Lynn Curry, president and co-owner, Resources for Leisure Assets (Sonoma, CA) 



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