When it came time to create an unforgettable spa at Pelican Grand Beach Resort (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), the Swedish owners drew from their firsthand knowledge of the wellness benefits of a Scandinavian lifestyle, as well as the joys of oceanfront Florida living. As such, when the resort underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that included a new spa, the unique idea for Pure Spa was born. “The entire concept of Pure Spa was specifically geared toward introducing a Scandinavian sense of luxury and infusing it into the sun, fun, and beauty of the Atlantic Ocean,” says director of spa George Powell-Lopez.
Unlike some spas found in the dark subterranean recesses of many resorts, Pure Spa is located on the Pelican Grand’s 11th-floor rooftop. “We invite the light,” says Powell-Lopez. The 3,000-square-foot spa features three-indoor treatment rooms, two outdoor spa cabanas, a relaxation room with hanging chairs, two oceanfront manicure and pedicure stations, locker rooms, and an outdoor shower, all of which offer unobstructed views. Rooftop yoga is also offered, and another highlight is the octagonal-shaped Spa Suite, which faces the Atlantic Ocean with floor-to-ceiling windows. It offers a Jason International micro-silk soaking tub for two, as well as the option of offering treatments for up to three people along with a manicure station, making it ideal for couples and small groups who want to enjoy the sublime setting. “Pure Spa offers the ultimate mind-body connection through the warm and nurturing location and creates harmony with its surroundings by incorporating elements of the ocean views at several points in the spa,” says Powell-Lopez.
Also important to the spa design was a Scandinavian sensibility. “The clean lines and color of Scandinavian design shows a clear, crisp experience that is unlike many spas,” says Powell-Lopez. “We’ve used natural woods and white in much of the spa’s design, highlighted by pops of color that represent Florida and Scandinavian lifestyles. The colors are turquoise, lime green, and fuchsia. These colors are not only in the Jelly Bean glassware from Sweden, but they are also part of the staff’s uniforms, as well as the towels and pillows on the white lounge chairs outside.”
Indeed, the Florida and Sweden connection is strong throughout the spa. Along with Jelly Bean glassware, the spa is the only one in the U.S. to carry Maria Åkerberg’s full line of organic pharmaceutical-grade skincare and cosmetic products developed and made in Sweden. Meanwhile, the spa linens come from Miami-based luxury line The Madison Collection and the U.S. headquarters of featured skincare line, Babor, is located nearby.
Another distinct aspect of the spa can be found on the menu, most notably the Pure You signature services, which are completely customizable. The Pure You Massage ($145, 50 minutes; $205, 80 minutes), for example, allows guests to work with their therapist to personalize the treatment, selecting such options as aromatherapy, hot stones, or reflexology. The Pure You Facial ($135, 50 minutes), meanwhile, includes cleansing, extractions, toning, a mask, and two add-ons of the client’s choice. “Our staff is trained to ask questions and to not be afraid to find out what the guest is seeking out of their visit,” says Powell-Lopez. “You would be surprised at how easy it is to meet the needs of guests and exceed them by programming your team to be insightful and inquisitive about guests’ needs.”
In fact, it is the background and training of the team of 10 full-time and three part-time staffers that also make the spa stand out. “We take training very seriously to ensure a high level of knowledge among team members,” says Powell-Lopez. “Therefore, there is continuous education for our staff.” Vendor training is a big priority for the team—Maria Åkerberg flew in from Sweden to assist in launching her company in the U.S. at Pure Spa, and Babor hosted the team at their training academy in Florida. Plus, the close proximity to the academy allows the staff ongoing access to personalized service and products. “We have developed an unparalleled partnership with our vendors that allows both parties to reap the benefits of marketing together,” says Powell-Lopez. Several team members also boast multiple licenses. “We ensure our guests are experiencing service beyond the traditional and that our staff is always articulate and knowledgeable about the products and services offered at Pure Spa,” he adds.
The spa team is also working hard to make sure that the nearby community and hotel guests are familiar with the new spa, which can accommodate 30 to 35 clients a day. Short-term specials, media events, and events with the Florida Spa Association and the International Spa Association (ISPA) have created local buzz and encouraged a good deal of walk-in traffic. “We work with realtors, yacht salespeople, and high-end dealerships to offer a Pure Spa gift card upon purchase of their luxury products, giving the gift of luxury instead of a common bottle of Champagne,” says Powell-Lopez. For hotel guests, marketing moves include monitor signage, brochures in every room, and special inserts in every restaurant or lounge ticket with enticements on certain treatments. “Because Pure Spa is a boutique spa specializing in service, word seems to get out quickly,”he says. With such an effective strategy and a unique spa concept, it’s no surprise that Pure Spa has quickly found its place in the sun.
Owner: Jefast Pelican Grand LLC
Director of Spa: George Powell-Lopez
Opened: June 2015
3,000 square feet; 4 treatment rooms
Babor, Coola, Dogeared, Feeling Smittin, Kashwére, The Madison Collection, Maria Åkerberg, Soy Delicious, SpaRitual, Tara Spa Therapy
Amber Spa Products, Jason Hydrotherapy, Living Earth Crafts, Touch America
FSMY Architects and Planners (Ft. Lauderdale)