One Wellness & Spa in Alberta, Canada, chooses personalization over protocols.
It’s no wonder that locals treasure their community of Canmore, Alberta, Canada, home to One Wellness & Spa at the Solara Resort. The Rocky Mountains provide spectacular scenery, and year-round pleasures abound with world-class cross-country skiing and warm-weather mountain biking and golf. And it was in this Shangri-La that Hugh Simson, a physiologist, wanted to meld his healing work with a spa setting. Thus, One Wellness & Spa was born.
Determined to set his facility apart from purely pampering-oriented resort spas, Simson and his team partnered with the consultants at Under a Tree, who helped them through every aspect of their vision. “We started out by assessing overall feasibility,” explains One Wellness spa director Jennifer Buckler. “We researched and studied to understand the market in terms of both the community and the resort, and what was warranted. There weren’t a lot of examples of what we wanted to do.” With Under a Tree’s help and a lot of brainstorming, they developed a menu heavy on personalization. “We absolutely didn’t want to be so protocol-driven that we’d lose sight of a guest’s dream and vision. We want our guests to achieve fulfillment,” Buckler says.
The Fitness Centre’s offerings include personal training, yoga and Pilates, and help bring the local community into the spa. Buckler estimates that most weekday spa clients are locals, while weekends attract the resort guests. Additionally, Simson’s physiotherapy patients utilize the spa services, which sometimes facilitates cross-marketing and client education. “For example, we can help a fitness guest learn about skin health,” says Buckler. “Overall, we provide a safe and approachable environment to help guests explore ways to fulfillment and wellness with which they might not be familiar.”
One Wellness & Spa
Location: Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Opened: January 2012
Owner: Hugh Simson
Size: 9,500 square feet
Facility: 8 treatment rooms; 3 manicure stations; 3 pedicure stations; fitness centre with movement studios; relaxation lounge; men’s and women’s locker rooms; sauna and steam circuit; retail area
Staff: 6 therapists; 3 estheticians; 4 fitness; 7 front desk and support
Signature service: Pathways to Engagement
Product lines used/retailed: Natur’el Tea, Naturopathica, SkinCeuticals
Message: Be Inspired. Be Engaged. Be One
Pathways to Engagement Bodywork
(90-120 min./$195-$255; corresponding facial 90 min./$245)
Sleep…Release…Clearing…Transition…Joy. These are five powerful words that One Wellness translates into five distinct journeys, or Pathways to Engagement. Highlighting the spa’s non cookie-cutter approach to wellness, these individualized treatments afford each guest a transformative experience created specifically for his or her individual focus. Bodywork sessions incorporate a full massage, plus breath work and guided imagery, and chosen specialized modalities such as trigger-point therapy and shiatsu, stretching, lymphatic drainage and reflexology.
Most importantly, the guest is sent home with a “tool box” of self-care instructions to help them continue on their journey. “With sleep, for example, we’ll talk about what makes you relax,” says Buckler. “Could it be a tea meditation? Perhaps running makes you relax, so visualization about that can help you sleep? We’ll send the guest home with cue cards about what we did in the session and a prescription for products or exercises or stretches to use at home.”
Some guests elect a facial to correspond to their Pathway. “It’s not always just about mental toxins and physical energy sappers—the skin itself can be sluggish and congested and not benefiting from proper breathing,” says Buckler. “It may need double exfoliation. It may need facial massage or hydration.” All of this customization points to extensive staff training. “We only have a few of our therapists trained for the Pathways right now,” says Buckler. “We really want to train our employees to be responsive and understand each guest’s intention. We want them to be independent thinkers. This is very different from following an established protocol.”
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