Spa Spectacular

There's no question that today's most elite hotels simply must offer a spa experience to discerning and demanding guests, so it was high time last year for the prestigious Beverly Wilshire hotel, Los Angeles, to create an exquisite spa of its own.

Enter Barry Design Associates, a prominent interior architectural design firm specializing in five-star luxury hotels, spas and restaurants. Senior Designer Stella Abdoulin created a design that centers around a curved water wall that embraces a geode of amethyst crystal, “emitting vibrant energy throughout the spa.” Natural materials are used throughout the facility to create a tranquil Zen-like quality, and minimalist interiors support its calm, peaceful environment.

The $4-million project carved out 12,000 square feet for the spa from half a wing of guestrooms. “It was difficult working with existing conditions,” says Abdoulin. “The ceilings were very low so we improvised by working with light colors on the ceilings, accent lighting and cove lighting to give an illusion of height.”

Serenity and quiet are imperative in a spa, with traffic flow key to maintaining those qualities. “As a guest, you don't want to hear or see big carts piled with linens rumbling through the corridors, so there was a lot of rerouting doors to accommodate hidden storage areas,” says Abdoulin. “It's all about tranquility.”

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