You have the spa routine down: change into a robe and sip herbal tea in a chic, minimally decorated waiting room before your therapist performs a much needed deep-tissue massage. However, this is not how it goes down at the new LUSH spa.
The British cosmetics brand opened its first U.S. spa locations in New York and Philadelphia last week, and aims to give spa clients a unique experience.
“It’s quite different from any other spa,” says co-founder Rowena Bird. “It’s the amount of thought that’s put into each treatment.”
Right from the start, guests entering the flagship stores know they are in for an unusual treat. They first walk through a playland-style shop filled with the brightly colored bath bombs and handmade soaps the brand is known for. Head upstairs to the spa, and things quiet down.
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Designed to resemble a home in the idyllic Dorset countryside, each room is meticulously fashioned with jars of wildflowers, sweet vintage teacups and old books. In the main waiting area is a board with words such as "energized" and "at peace" — “behavioral prescriptions” created by behavioral therapist Lady Helen Kennedy, who worked with the founders on capturing these moods. For the spa’s signature treatment, Synesthesia,an intertwining of the senses, clients pick a word or mood they’d like to feel from the board and that dictates everything in the massage from the color of the room to the scents used. The music, composed by folk artist Simon Emmerson, is also tailored to achieve a certain feeling of choice.
“There is a little bit of magic at the beginning and the end; it’s always something special,” says Bird. “There’s a little twist that you wouldn’t expect and that makes you smile. So when you come out, we have picked you up and put you into a different space.”