When Cascade Investment, a company owned by Bill Gates, purchased the 468-room Four Seasons Hotel Houston in 2013, it was to capitalize on the real estate investment opportunity that the booming oil and natural gas business presented to the Houston area. The change in ownership also had the added advantage of benefiting the hotel, which was in need of a major update. Among those updates was a multimillion-dollar transformation of The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Houston, which made its debut this past April. “Our beautifully transformed spa and Fitness Center is part of our ever-evolving effort to continually enhance and elevate the Four Seasons guest experience,” says general manager Tom Segesta. “The inspiration stems from our guest who believes in today’s world that health and wellness are the keys to a balanced and professional life. This multimillion-dollar renovation to our spa and Fitness Center is the first phase of our property-wide enhancements, beginning our renaissance as a reimagined hotel for all guests.”
The spa features three newly built treatment rooms, a relaxation room, and a nail bar. The redesign was spearheaded by the Rottet Studio, an award-winning architecture firm. According to spa director Tina Hay, the goal of the renovation was to create a state-of-the-art facility with a focus on the customized spa and fitness experience. The contemporary design incorporates white marble, dark travertine tile, natural eucalyptus, and oak burl wood. Inside the locker rooms, guests will find marble bathing and grooming areas, floating vanities, and custom mirrors. “We created the spa to be an overall wellness destination or a great place for a staycation when coupled with a room here at the hotel,” says Hay. “Hotel guests and local spa patrons can enjoy the full range of amenities for the day and relax at the resort-style pool or work out in the new fitness facility.”
Along with the revamped look came a Texas-centric menu. In revising the menu, the idea was to create a unique treatment experience that relies on locally inspired scents and ingredients. For example, in the Southern Silk Warming Thermal Body Polish ($225, 80 minutes), spa-goers can choose among four signature scents: Texas Green Tea, a moisturizing mix of aloe and green tea; Bamboo Bayou, a masculine fragrance blending cedar, musk, sandalwood, and sweet fruit; Cowboy Crush, an intoxicating infusion of cocoa butter, coconut, melon, and pineapple; and Houston Dream, a lavender and vanilla blend. Unfortunately, not everyone can make time for a lengthier service. “Spa patrons don’t always have the time to indulge in the 80-minute and two-hour treatment offerings due to scheduling constraints, so selling these treatments tends to be harder than booking a 50-minute spa service,” says Hay. As a result, the spa has introduced a series of Go and Glow express spa treatments that are available Monday through Friday, 11 am to 2 pm. The Power-Hour Treatments, including the Much Kneaded Massage ($80, 25 minutes) and Rapid Results Facial ($85, 25 minutes), all include a gourmet Four Seasons to-go lunch and are designed to have guests back at their desks in just one hour.
According to Hay, two of the most requested treatments on the menu are the Custom Massage ($140, 50 minutes; $180, 80 minutes) and the Skin Solution Facial ($140, 50 minutes; $180, 80 minutes), which pairs Clarins formulas with proprietary facial massage techniques. “We wanted to offer effective products that deliver visible results and a unique and customized experience,” says Hay. Other popular offerings include the Deborah Lippmann Signature Manicure ($50, 30 minutes) and the Deborah Lippmann Signature Pedicure ($75, 40 minutes), which are available at the Nail Bar, where guests can take advantage of the brand’s Houston-inspired Color Collection, which launched this summer. The spa introduced a social media campaign to source Houston-inspired names for the polishes.
Because the spa is located on the same floor as the resort’s outdoor pool, guests can spa alfresco with a host of poolside treatments, such as the Sunburn Tamer ($30, 15 minutes), the Coconut Scalp Soothie ($30, 15 minutes), and the Mango Mini Massage ($45, 15 minutes). “We wanted to keep the spa and fitness center on the same floor as the resort-style pool to provide an all-encompassing wellness destination within the hotel,” says Hay. She finds that most spa-goers who visit the hotel are looking for a relaxing oasis in which to escape and recharge.
With nine full-time and four part-time employees, the spa can accommodate up to 65 spa treatments each day. Since the renovation, Hay and her team have noticed more company groups utilizing the spa for incentives and employee outings.“We have come up with creative ways to accommodate these requests by utilizing the beautiful pool for a relaxing area to gather in or can include a yoga or meditation class between services,” says Hay. Thanks to the recent multimillion-dollar makeover, the pool is just one of countless sites enticing spa-goers to enjoy this tempting new contender in the Houston spa scene.
Owner: Mt. Jefferson Holdings LLC
Spa Director: Tina Hay
Renovated: April 2016
5,000 square feet; 3 treatment rooms
Blinc, Cirépil, Clarins, Deborah Lippmann, Four Seasons Spa Robes, HydraFacial MD, Ila, Kashwére, Moroccanoil, Pure Fiji, Salt of the Earth, Yeah Baby
Book4Time, Gharieni, HydraFacial MD, Ionto-Comed, LifeFitness, Living Earth Crafts, Matrix, Michele Pelafas
Architect & Interior Designer
Rottet Studio (New York City)
American Leisure (Nanuet, NY)