Though SPA eleven (Delray Beach, FL) is an elegant oasis of pampering and relaxation, it got its start as a reactionary response from a frustrated spa enthusiast. After several exasperating years of receiving sub-par service at a local spa, Nicole Oden, a former investment banker and longtime spa connoisseur, decided to take matters into her own hands and produce what she considered the perfect spa haven. "I created Spa Eleven out of desperation for a place to go and be pampered," she says. "I thought 'What happened to pure, luxurious pampering?' and decided I needed to do something about it."
Clients can enjoy the tranquil courtyard tanning pool before and after treatments.
Oden spent months visiting spas around the country and picking the brains of spa directors and owners of some of the world's most prestigious retreats. She then purchased and gutted an 11,000-square-foot space, hired spa consultant Lisa Starr of Preston Wynne, and began to fulfill her mission of creating the perfect beauty sanctuary in an area not known for its luxury treatments. The result is Spa Eleven, designed by Oden to be an elegant escape in a fun atmosphere and a reflection of her effervescent character. "My personality is 'Let's have a party,'" she says. "The spa reflects that."
The strategy has been a success. The spa has become a destination for local clients in search of a luxurious day spa experience as well as tourists visiting the surrounding beach communities. Locals make up about 70 percent of the clientele, and tourists fill out the remaining 30 percent. According to Oden, the spa has seen a monthly growth of 28 to 32 percent since it opened in November 2004.
Above: The spas most popular pedicure, performed in one of six pedicure stations or in one of the mobile pedicure stations, is Nikkis High Heeled Pedicure ($75, 60 minutes), a pedicure for stiletto lovers. Bottom Left: The color room, where haircolor is mixed, is bathed in true white light for accurate color application. Bottom Right: Clients can partake in various body treatments alfresco in one of seven outdoor cabanas.
The sprawling, gleaming-white space that is peppered with areas of bright color is designed in the modern style of Phillipe Starck and provides guests with a vast range of amenities. Along with traditional services like manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, and body treatments, the spa features a full-service salon, makeup consultation and application, spray-on tanning, Zoom teeth-whitening services, a retail boutique that offers clothing, lingerie, and accessories, and a physician on staff who performs non-surgical cosmetic procedures like Botox and Restylane injections. Spa Eleven also features private-label skincare, body care, and haircare lines in the product shop.
There are, aptly, 11 treatment rooms at Spa Eleven, as well as seven outdoor private cabanas, a courtyard with a tanning pool and waterfall, private lounges for men and women, a media room where medical and beauty events are held, and a relaxation room filled with white leather couches that were custom made in Italy. Special design touches include original paintings with an "Old Hollywood" theme and creatively designed phone booth nooks. Gourmet snacks and complimentary drinks served in chilled glasses are also available to spa-goers.
Above: The relaxation room also hosts presentations on Botox and Restylane treatments by staff doctor Anne Morgan. Below: Spa Eleven's outdoor cabanas are often used for private events held by local businesses and charities.
Additionally, an entire section of the spa called Club 12 is devoted to male clientele, with styling chairs designed by Porsche, flat-screen televisions on the wall, and masculine-looking manicure and pedicure stations. Offerings include haircuts and color, shaves, facials, shoe shines, and more services tailored specifically for men. "Men are very comfortable in our surroundings because the spa was designed with not only women in mind, but also the discerning male," says Oden.
Client comfort is also a priority for Oden. She offers every new client a welcome kit that includes a letter from her, a business card, a calendar of future events, and a point-reward system for referrals and pre-booking. She also spends a significant portion of her day greeting guests at the door and visiting them before, during, and after treatments to solicit feedback about their spa experience. "We want to know our clients through and through," explains Oden. "When you own your customers' needs, they will keep coming back."
Oden also knows the importance of marketing and the power of partnerships in drawing new clientele. The spa is a bit off the beaten path, on Federal Highway outside of the town's main shopping district, so walk-in clients are few and far between. Spa Eleven has established a name for itself, however, due in large part to Oden's party planning, networking, and socializing abilities. Along with renting out areas of the spa for special events on a weekly basis, which draws all kinds of new clients, she hosts monthly "Night of Beauty" parties and offers giveaways. She also hosts periodic events for South Florida concierges and other potential referral sources. Additionally, Oden partners with many local charities and event planners to gain even more exposure for the spa. "Pampering and the finer things in life complement each other," she says. "Therefore, it is my goal to continue giving exposure to Spa Eleven through upscale South Florida events in the future."
The future of Spa Eleven is indeed bright. With spa expertise and marketing savvy, Oden has succeeded in her mission to make Spa Eleven, "Not a spa, an escape."