Within the tranquil, century-old walls of the Belvedere house, the staff of The Secret Spa & Salon beautify bodies from the toes up. Hair stylists transform coifs with Aveda, Bumble and bumble, and Schwarzkopf products, as owner Richelle enhances natural nails with OPI, CND, and Gelish polish or extensions made from acrylic, silk, or fiberglass. A massage therapist eases tension with hot stones, aromatic oils, and custom pressure, and Dermalogica skincare experts clear complexions with relaxing facials that combat fine lines, acne, and premature aging. The spa also uses Jane Iredale makeup products.
Built in 1905 by the same architect behind the historic Biltmore house, Belvedere—which is part of the historic society—now has a slightly more modern feel thanks to the spa's staff, who accented its wood floors and abundant natural light with green plants and paintings by local artists. The multigabled house also boasts a projecting bay window, which makes an ideal spot for drying nail polish or testing the reflective properties of freshly waxed skin.
As visitors to Spa Theology slip into plush robes and slippers and nibble organic treats in the relaxation lounge, stress falls away—so does the rest of the outside world. Evoking a secluded country farmhouse perpetually filled with warm, late-afternoon light and truckloads of all-organic crops, the spa spirits guests away to a realm of rough brick walls, creamy curtains, and recessed nooks glowing with tea lights. Once pamperees have reached at least a level eight on the ahhmeter, they're ushered into a treatment room to be plied with only botanically-based, paraben-free salves.
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Upon checking in to Suraj Spa and Salon, clients can don a plush robe and spend a few minutes in the infrared sauna. It's one way for them to literally warm up for the botanically based treatments that follow. Perhaps the most impressive of these are the spa's facials, since they make skin glow using everything from naturally derived Privai skincare and LED light to the old "lantern earrings" trick. In the salon, clients entrust their cuts and colors to stylists who trained at the esteemed Aveda Institute and who engage in annual continuing education in New York City. Even the spa's decor suggests organic beauty, since earth-toned hues blanket the walls and wood planks line the floors. White lights twinkle through the gauzy curtain that encloses the lounge, where a blossom-shaped chandelier drizzles light upon couches that surround a brick fireplace.
James Whittle gleaned extensive knowledge of acupuncture and holistic health care from his studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Seattle's Bastyr University, and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as during an eight-month stint working alongside doctors in Chinese hospitals. The acupuncturist currently leads a staff of dedicated well-wishers and emotionally fulfilled pincushions, helping relieve patients' pain with such contemporary and non-Western treatments as evidence-based acupuncture, massage therapy, and herbal medicine. Taking a holistic view of each guest's well-being, Blue Ridge Acupuncture Clinic also proffers lifestyle and nutritional counseling to help with weight loss and healthy eating while emphasizing the importance of prevention in maintaining well-balanced, pain-free physical and mental health.
Steve Mohrman, an alumnus of the New York College of Health Professions, is the official massage therapist of the UNCA athletic department. As the founder of Hands on Health, he has steered the practice toward treating clients to the soothing strokes of clinical-massage and sports-massage services. He and his crew have designed these modalities to treat chronic pain, improve athletic performance, and promote general health and wellness, which used to be colonel health and wellness. Steve and his team of licensed massage therapists take their bodywork treatments a step further than many spas do by offering integrated-massage sessions customized to address each individual's specific therapeutic needs, and they emphasize relaxation at all times.
A member of the International Chiropractic Association, Dr. Nicole D’Ippolito seeks to spread good health and wellness in as many ways as she can. In working with her clients, she attempts to find and treat the root of each of their problems, and in the community, she spreads her knowledge through educational workshops, speaking engagements, and outreach as a local and UN ambassador for Foot RX. Along with chiropractic care, the wellness center offers massage therapy, decompression treatments, and the Beautiful Image treatment, a procedure that reduces the appearance of fine lines on the face through noninvasive, microcurrent skin tightening.