On the Waterfront

WHEN THE COEUR D'ALENE RESORT FIRST opened in 1986, many had their doubts as to how successful it would be. Its location in Coeur d'Alene, ID, was considered to be too remote for such a large and elaborate hotel. However, owner Duane Hagadone, a native, had the vision to dream big. This past year marked the 20th anniversary of the resort. Having recently undergone a $25 million expansion and renovation, the resort is now home to a new two-story spa.

Lake Coeur d'Alene serves as inspiration for the spa's numerous water features.
Lake Coeur d'Alene serves as inspiration for the spa's numerous water features.

Overlooking its namesake lake, The Spa Coeur d'Alene is the result of a team of spa visionaries including designer Tag Galyean, who was inspired by the resort's lakefront location. The 30,000-square-foot spa features 21 treatment rooms and eight manicure and pedicure stations, many of which have floor-to-ceiling views of the lake. Drawing from Idaho's natural resources, Galyean used stone, river rock, and red cedar throughout the spa to evoke a sense of the great outdoors. "In the Northwest, there are a lot of rushing rivers, cedar groves, and pine trees, so the inside of our spa reflects that with a two-story waterfall and fresh-cut cedar throughout," says spa director Berni Campbell. Guests are greeted with the fresh scent of cedar when they enter the spa thanks to six cedar slabs strategically placed at the entrance. They are also treated to the sound of rushing water from the two-story waterfall. The scent of cedar coupled with a pebble walkway gives guests the sensation that they're walking through a cedar grove. "They get the feeling of the Northwest when they enter the spa," says Campbell.

A stunning waterfall treats guests to the sound of rushing water.
A stunning waterfall treats guests to the sound of rushing water.

Incorporating scenic lake views and interior waterfalls, Galyean used water as a major focal point of the spa's design. Not surprisingly, the spa added to that water-based theme by subscribing to the idea that hydrotherapy should precede all massage therapy. As a result, the spa features Galyean's signature hydrotherapy equipment, such as two $100,000 computer-controlled SilverTAG showers and four TAG Signature FlowThru Tubs. "We've embraced our natural surroundings, and our spa treatments reflect that throughout our menu," says Campbell.

The couples' suite features a fireplace as well as views of the lake.
The couples' suite features a fireplace as well as views of the lake.

Spa and Wellness Show

IECSC Florida | October 6-7, 2019

Join us in Fort Lauderdale for the 22nd IECSC Florida event! The conference program features dozens of sessions and a variety of specialized tracks taught by industry experts. Don’t miss our Beauty Education, free Healthcare & Wellness Session and six CBD-focused classes – all new for 2019! Register by September 3 and save $10 per day on admission and up to $100 on conference. Exhibit hall admission includes access to 200+ exhibitors and 30+ free classes. Don't miss IECSC Florida – the southeast’s leading spa and wellness show!

Drawing on the area's natural ingredients, the spa uses cedar, spruce, and mineral-rich lake algae in a number of treatments. For instance, the Oh (meaning only here) signature Spruce & Cedar Vitality Bath ($25, 10 minutes) relies on the Northwest's fragrant spruce and cedar forests to create a soak that helps soothe nerves and improve circulation. The Alpine Lake Natural Spirulina Wrap ($120, 50 minutes), featuring pure lake algae, nourishes and revitalizes the body. In creating the menu, Campbell considered a number of factors. "It was important to us that we stayed with traditional therapies and had credibility with our staff and that the staff believed in our treatments," she says. It was also important to offer a number of indigenous and water-based treatments. According to Campbell, the spa's most popular package, Mountain Spirit ($225, 110 minutes), incorporates both such treatments. It features a Pure Essence Shower, an Invigorating Waters Bath, a Forest Mineral Scrub, and a Swedish Massage.

The spa's entryway is lined with cedar slabs and features a pebble walkway.
The spa's entryway is lined with cedar slabs and features a pebble walkway.

Attracting a large local following, the spa caters to a number of guests from the Spokane, WA, area, which is just a 45-minute drive away. According to Campbell, they tend to frequent the spa in the off-season. In addition, the spa also caters to a diverse resort clientele. "The resort lends itself to a variety of travelers such as business people, vacationers, and honeymooners," says Campbell, noting that the number of resort guests visiting the spa has more than doubled the number of guests who visited the original 5,000-square-foot spa.

Because hydrotherapy plays a major role in the menu, the spa has not one but four TAG Signature FlowThru Tubs.
Because hydrotherapy plays a major role in the menu, the spa has not one but four TAG Signature FlowThru Tubs.

In season, the spa is staffed with roughly 90 employees. In its first summer of operation, it handled approximately 120 clients a day. At capacity, the spa can accommodate 276 spa-goers. The staff is reduced to between 65 and 70 employees in the off season, as the number of guests falls to about 70 a day.

The spa also features two $100,000 SilverTag showers.
The spa also features two $100,000 SilverTag showers.

Today, Campbell's greatest challenge is keeping open the lines of communication with her team. "My biggest personal challenge—because we went from five-thousand to thirty-thousand-square-feet and from one-story to two-stories—has been communication throughout the spa," says Campbell. To improve the situation, the spa invested in pagers for the staff.

The Spa Coeur d'Alene
The Spa Coeur d'Alene

As for the future, Campbell is focused on continuing to grow the spa's male clientele with treatments geared toward their specific needs. The resort is a favorite among men on account of its golf course and signature floating green. "With the resort, we're known for our golf," says Campbell. "I know that when people start thinking of the Coeur d'Alene Resort, we want them, in the future, to automatically think spa."

Suggested Articles

American Spa and Salt Chamber sat down for a chat inside one of Salt Chamber's projects at Âme Spa and Wellness Collective. Watch it here.

A new certification program from Vios Spa Group can ensure your spa is genuinely sustainable.

Meet Natalie Gilbert, wellness director at Mountain Sky Wellness Center (Emigrant, MT), who started in the industry at age 17.