A Peak Inside

A resort town on the shores of the glacier-carved Payette Lake and on the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, McCall, ID, is known for its year-round outdoor activities. In the mild summers, locals and visitors partake in activities like swimming, fishing, waterskiing, hiking, horseback riding, and camping. In the winter, sports like skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling take center stage. Located two hours north of Boise, McCall is home to Shore Lodge, a mountain-lake development that attracts visitors from across the country looking to appreciate the great outdoors while also enjoying luxurious accommodations, a championship golf course, delicious dining options, and pampering at The Cove.

The spa, which opened last June, incorporates the outdoors into its design theme using locally sourced materials. “When entering the spa, guests are greeted by an impressive two-story lobby crafted from more than 60 Douglas-fir logs,” says spa director Abril Gruber. “Also, more than 5,000 square feet of Pacific Northwest antique oak form the spa’s woodwork, which is paired with pebble walls to create a luxurious, natural feeling throughout.”

The natural, local feeling continues throughout The Cove. Among the spa’s most impressive features are its indoor and outdoor saltwater immersion pools, which are designed to recreate the experience of sitting in one of Idaho’s famous natural hot springs. One pool is located indoors with windows looking out on the beautiful surroundings, and the other is outdoors surrounded by the breathtaking landscape and open year-round. However, the beauty of these pools lies in their design. While many spa pools have geometric shapes, these feel like newly discovered natural hot springs and are lined with 40 tons of local granite boulders.

The outdoors and the landscape surrounding the hotel also inspired the spa’s treatment menu with appropriately named offerings like Big Game ($95, 60 minutes), which is a robust massage that targets the tight spots deep in the muscle layers; Trailblazer ($95, 60 minutes), which allows guests to pick a specific area on which to work that serves as the therapist’s focus throughout the session; and Skipping Stones ($145, 90 minutes), a hot stone massage. Other aptly named treatments include the Wildflower ($95, 60 minutes), which is a custom facial; the Clearwater Scrub ($70, 45 minutes), a body exfoliation; One Tough Mug ($95, 60 minutes), a deep-cleansing facial designed for men; and Mountain MANicure ($25, 20 minutes), a nail treatment for men.

In addition, day packages are named after some of the area’s best climbs like Granite Mountain ($265, 3 hours), which includes a massage, a facial, and a manicure and pedicure, and Rainbow Peak ($300, 4 hours), which includes a body wrap, a facial, and a manicure and pedicure. “The whole menu was designed to be fun, unique, and totally relevant to our beautiful location,” says Gruber. “You can see in the names and ingredients of our treatments that they were developed and named for local places and experiences.”

Treatments are performed in one of the spa’s six treatment rooms, and during their visit to the spa, guests also have access to the fitness studio, a full-service salon, men’s and women’s locker rooms and steam rooms, and an outdoor sanctuary featuring a fire pit, a garden, and seating areas. The spa also offers food and beverage service led by the property’s executive chef, who also happens to be Gruber’s husband. “We have a really diverse clientele that ranges from businesspeople and athletes—we have lots of skiers, mountain bikers, and hikers—who are seeking relief for their tired muscles to stay-at-home moms who are treating themselves to some much-deserved pampering,” says Gruber. “One thing they all have in common is they are looking to relax, self-heal, and just get away from it all.”

The 11 full-time staff members in the winter and 17 in the summer can accommodate approximately 35 to 40 guests daily, with a maximum capacity of 60. While the spa has been very successful so far, Gruber feels that there is always room for improvement to attract even more visitors and locals to the Shore Lodge. “The Cove is only a year old, so we have a beautiful new environment,” says Gruber. “Our continual challenge now is to improve in all that we do. We are planning on bringing some fun new offerings to the spa. McCall is all about outdoor adventure, so we treat The Cove as an indoor luxurious adventure that creates the same sense of excitement and fun for our guests.” 


Spa Director: Abril Gruber

Opened: June 2011



80% female
20% male



9,000 square feet;
6 treatment rooms



aromatherapy, body treatments, couples’ treatments, energy work, eyelash and brow tinting, facials, fitness, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, massage, nailcare, outdoor treatments, prenatal services, reflexology, waxing



Wildflower Facial ($95, 60 minutes)



Éminence Organic Skin Care, Priti NYC



HOIST Fitness, Living Earth Crafts, OKA b., Precor, Silhouet-Tone, Woodway



McCartan (New York City) and Smarthinking Inc. (Philadelphia)



McCartan (New York City)



Smarthinking Inc. (Philadelphia)



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