The Presidential Treatment

SPA OWNER NANCY REAGAN IS NOT THE FORMER FIRST LADY OF the U.S., nor is she related to her, but in South Florida's growing community of Delray Beach, she is a celebrity in her own right with a devoted following to prove it. The story of N. Reagan Spa began in 1995 as a two-person operation, where Reagan did everything from facials to laundry. As her clientele began to outgrow the tiny space, Reagan relocated a year later to a larger facility, where she employed 22 workers and began focusing mostly on the business side of things as opposed to actually performing treatments. Then, about two years ago, Reagan learned that the plaza where the spa was located was being torn down, and she set out on a quest to find a new location that would satisfy her clients. "We approached the Marriott when we learned it was in need of a spa," says Reagan. "It was just great timing."

The pedicure area
The pedicure area

Reagan worked closely with Marriott executives under the hotel's corporate structure when creating the new spa, which is located in a two-story 11,000-square-foot facility and features 12 treatment rooms, a salon, a fully equipped fitness center, locker rooms, steam rooms, a men's and women's lounge, an ocean view terrace, and a consultation area. The new space opened in October 2006 to much local fanfare. According to Reagan, because the Delray Beach Marriott is only a few blocks away from the spa's former location, none of her existing clients were inconvenienced. "Our clients were thrilled about the move," she says. "They couldn't wait to see the new space."

In addition to loyal local clientele, N. Reagan Spa serves as a respite for hotel guests visiting the area for business and pleasure. "Delray Beach has become a hot spot in South Florida, so we get a lot of tourists," explains Reagan. "But we also get a lot of business people looking for an excuse to visit."

Manicure area feature soothing tones of blue and cream to create a relaxing environment.
Manicure area feature soothing tones of blue and cream to create a relaxing environment.

When it came to choosing the spa's decor, Reagan wanted to stay away from anything too trendy. "We don't play techno music, and we don't have uncomfortable, contemporary furniture." Instead, the interior features soothing shades of blue and violet, rich fabrics, and classic accents, such as crystal chandeliers and tasteful artwork, to keep clients calm and relaxed. "While other spas in the area market themselves as a place to 'be seen,' we are a place that clients come for a true getaway," explains Reagan.

According to her, months of thought went into creating the spa menu, which features everything from basic massage to more elaborate "Superstar Spa Packages," such as the Red Carpet Full Day Treatment ($700), which includes a facial, massage, sun ritual treatment, manicure and pedicure, shampoo, blowdry, makeup application, and spa lunch. "From the selection of treatments to brand development, we tried to create services that everyone would love."

The vanity area in the women's locker room offers guests a range of amenities in an elegant environment.
The vanity area in the women's locker room offers guests a range of amenities in an elegant environment.

In addition to existing offerings, Reagan expanded the spa menu to include new offerings, such as a couples' massage in a private cabana, six new fitness and wellness classes, and spa cuisine prepared by executive chef Adam Savage. Spa guests also have complete access to the hotel's pool and Jacuzzi. "We encourage our guests to take full advantage," says Reagan.

Among the most popular treatments is the Green Tea & Cucumber Facial ($250, 80 minutes), which includes microdermabrasion, a collagen mask application, a green tea massage, and a hand treatment with bamboo, lime leaf, and green tea lotion. Not surprisingly, massage is also among the top sellers, especially with hotel guests. "They tend to use massage as an introduction to the spa experience," explains Reagan.

Some treatment rooms offer guests a view of the ocean just beyond the spa terrace.
Some treatment rooms offer guests a view of the ocean just beyond the spa terrace.

For those who really want to indulge, Reagan recently introduced the Fairytale Spa Package ($2,000), which includes limo service to and from the spa, a full day of lavender-infused spa treatments, a gourmet spa lunch, a signature robe, slippers, and a gift bag. "This package is super feminine and fun," says Reagan. "I wanted to create a spa package for spring that would make any girl feel like a princess."

More than 10 years after her humble beginnings, Reagan now employs 38 full-time and seven part-time workers in a luxurious space that can accommodate 250 clients at maximum capacity. According to her, the difference between the new Marriott location and her former one is light years and beyond. "It's like I clicked my heels, and I wasn't in Kansas anymore," she jokes.

N. Reagan spa (Delray Beach, FL)
N. Reagan spa (Delray Beach, FL)

Never one to rest on her laurels, Reagan welcomes the opportunity to open more spas in the future. But with all that she has accomplished over the years, she is careful not to lose sight of her original vision. "I initially wanted to open a spa because I loved skin and makeup," she says. "And now I am doing what I love."

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