The Spa's focus on customer satisfaction and relaxation has gained the staff recognition from the press, including a nod in Orlando Weekly's Best of Orlando 2011 list. Its vast menu of spa services runs a soothing gamut from traditional western massage to Dermalogica skincare treatments, as well as extravagant spa packages designed for men and women.
About once a month, or whenever the original cast of Footloose shows up, The Spa cranks up the tunes and opens up its hardwood floors for dancing during happy-hour spa parties. The themed shindigs pair lavish massages or facials with a nightclub ambiance of cocktails and activities such as gambling tables or oxygen bars.
Martisa and Stan had a problem with sinus pressure and congestion. When they discovered how much salt therapy helped that, they started dropping by regularly. They're joined by clients seeking treatment for respiratory and skin conditions that range from asthma to ear infections.
While at The Salt Room, visitors lounge in a tranquil chamber whose walls, like Liberace's favorite kitchen apron, are entirely covered with sparkling salt crystals. To multiply the therapeutic effects, state-of-the-art halogenerators emit a breathable saline dust made from pharmaceutical-grade salt and fresh, filtered air. As guests inhale deeply, NASA-inspired, zero-gravity recliners lift their feet slightly above heart level, reducing the strain on their spines as they nap or read. A children’s room entertains little ones with art and toys as they absorb the beneficial effects, and a third chamber hosts yoga classes. Deep-tissue and Thai massages enable clients to take in the rooms’ healing properties as the tension in their backs ebbs away.
Outside of its therapy rooms, The Salt Room continues to guide guests on their path to wellness with acupuncture sessions and skincare treatments. These rely on exfoliation, extractions, and vitamin-C peels to cleanse skin without relying on licks from salt-hungry deer.
While massages can help alleviate built-up tension, they can also be used to restore muscles to their proper function after injuries or accidents. Specializing in both of these aspects of massage is therapist Renee Antoinette and her highly trained staff, who customize their strokes to carefully stretch out limbs aching from poor posture or one too many Muppet presentations of Anna Karenina. Renee also has training in Eastern techniques, manipulating heads and faces with Indian, Japanese, and Thai strokes that blend stretching with ayurvedic oils and aromatherapy to bring about deep relaxation.
Along with her partner, Arturo Diaz, Paola Salamanca decided to open Studio Spa Garden of Healing in 2009, located in a renovated two-story cottage lit by ample windows. The spa—winner of MyCityBeauty magazine's Best Spa in Orlando award—represents a tripartite marriage of Paola's interests in television and film, her family's work in the beauty industry, and Arturo's career in acupuncture and natural medicine.
This harmony among diverse elements becomes apparent as soon as one walks in the spa’s front door and encounters, amid shades of pale lilac, Arturo crafting herbal remedies or redirecting energy pathways with acupuncture. Not far off, beyond a skin bar stocked with Dermalogica products, guests sip sangria or herbal tea in a dimmed relaxation room as they await appointments for facials or a variety of massages, including deep tissue, Thai massage, and "tui na," a Chinese therapeutic massage.
Having traveled abroad to locales such as Spain, Colombia, and India, the spa’s staff boasts knowledge of basic skincare techniques as well as advanced or alternative methods such as vacuum therapy and fire cupping. For her part, Paola works with actors and models and often travels on-set to share her wisdom—a fact that may explain her penchant for adding a dramatic musical score to each of her treatments back at the spa.