Niki Gauthier has always loved fitness. Some of her earliest memories include watching her mom exercise at home and wishing she could escape from the gym's childcare center to join the grown-ups who were working out. And as a mother of two who lost 50lbs after each child, she knows what it takes to lose weight and tone up. Today, she tailors her boot-camp classes to be more than just a fitness class. One that helps women achieve their fitness goals, whether they'd like to lose weight, tone up, or look more like their favorite marble statue. Trainers work to provide a complete personal fitness programs and keep their students accountable for showing up to class and putting in a good workout, and they offer exercise modifications that help customize the workouts to every ability level. Classes develop camaraderie among participants as they encourage each other through varied exercises, whether they're swinging kettlebells, practicing kickboxing motions, running a mile, or cooling down with yoga poses. Regular body assessments help students see their results, and the trainers bolster the workouts with continual nutrition education.
Medical director Dr. Subash Duggirala and president and CEO Jennifer Swalwell drive Serenity Zone Med Spa ever forward, using their expertise to lead a team of physicians, aestheticians, and nailcare technicians. Dr. Duggirala—a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians—has treated patients for more than a quarter century and has taught at prestigious institutions such as Georgetown University School of Medicine. Swalwell, on the other hand, focuses on mind-body transformations as a health coach. She became versed in more than 100 dietary theories and numerous lifestyle-coaching methods at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where her studies included training with renowned health experts Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Since its founding, Serenity Zone Med Spa has remained up to date on the technological front. Two Syneron lasers and a Matrix IR system perform advanced skin treatments, adding youthful vigor to lax skin with a combination of radiofrequency, infrared energy, and motivational speeches. In addition to clinical skin treatments, the crew offers relaxing massages, mani-pedis, and spa packages.
Old World charm commingles with a contemporary vibe at Dabble Studio, where students gather with friends old and new to relax, unwind, and explore new skills. Amid the easels and ovens, instructors dole out guidance as flicking brushstrokes conjure impressionist landscapes and abstract still lifes, and knives and whisks prepare rustic pizzas and quiches. While enjoying drinks ? BYOB or purchased in-house ? with the company of fellow food- and art-lovers, students in this hands-on studio environment can cook and paint in the same session, rendering their own interpretations of each class's featured painting, from a peacock's plume to a shimmering skyline, while preparing and cooking custom dishes using studio-provided ingredients. The studio's Brentwood location is equipped with all the cooking tools, supplies, and ingredients for a tasty night of fun. This upscale studio is an ideal place to take a date, schedule a family reunion, or host a bachelorette party. Available classes include exotic cooking classes, painting classes, and combinations of the two, all of which are overseen by experienced art instructors and culinary experts.
Different clients may choose the same treatment from Belledonne Spa’s menu, but the spa’s focus on custom skin and body solutions ensures that no two experiences are quite alike. Though the massage menu includes specialized techniques for athletes and expectant moms, its two anchors are the Swedish and deep-tissue massages, each of which is tailored to clients’ preferred pressures.
The spa’s aestheticians match their nimble-fingered counterparts’ concern for customized care. Before embarking on a facial, they survey the skin’s topography to identify its specific needs. Then they pull from a wide array of therapies that include advanced microdermabrasion treatments, ultrasound technologies, and chemical peels that exfoliate as vigorously as skin will allow. Their therapies aren’t just skin-deep, however: Lumicell Touch body-contouring treatments work to reduce cellulite with a blend of collagen-boosting LED light, skin-smoothing rollers, and vacuums that suck up pennies lodged between back muscles.
Professional sportsman Chris Nischan chaperones the curious through the majesty of local nature as a wilderness, hunting, and fishing guide. A previous winner and many-time selected competitor of the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge, he has mastered knowledge of diverse ecosystems from North Carolina to Belize. After earning a degree in wildlife management years ago, Chris moved on to a stint in the retail sporting goods industry before becoming a full-time guide and teacher. His guiding resum? now stretches 30-plus years and includes escorting big game hunters and Ernest Hemingway impersonators through the woodlands of Montana for 11 years. Upon touching wading boots down in Tennessee, he promptly decoded the way of the state's trophy bass, trout, and other warm- and cold-water species and now puts that knowledge to use for his clients. All these years as an outdoorsman have given Chris many soul-sustaining encounters with Mother Nature, including a life-changing encounter with Leisha, his wife of 14 years, whom he met on a guide outing.
Amerigo’s executive chef Stephen Ward maintains a healthy rapport with local farmers to source fresh ingredients, which fill the eatery with the aromas of garlic, basil, tomatoes, and polenta. The Nashville Scene has lauded his efforts to work with area agrarians, and Amerigo also received the 2009 Diner's Choice award from OpenTable. In the bustling kitchen, chefs pull pizzas from the rippling-hot waves of a brick oven, where pickled onions cook into molten feta from Tennessee-based Bonnie Blue farms. Gluten-free and wheat pastas as well as ravioli and tortellini stuffed with smoked chicken and crab swim in a range of house-made sauces, and the complex earthy scent of cedar wood mingles with the aromas of fresh fish. The wine list brims with local elixirs and wines from Italy, which clink together in glasses with the soft jangling of robots playing Twister.