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Native American culture and Spanish colonial history inspires new spa and wellness centre

By Rebecca Barnes    13 Apr 2017
WTS collaborated with the hotel’s design team to incorporate elements of local Pueblo and Navajo tribes’ identities into the spa’s design / The Blake at Taos Ski Valley

The Spa & Wellness Centre, designed and managed by spa consultancy management firm WTS International, has opened at The Blake at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.

Influenced by Native American culture and Spanish colonial history, Taos Ski Valley Resort was founded by German skiing pioneer, Ernie Blake in 1955.

Recognising the importance of respecting these cultures, WTS collaborated with the hotel’s design team to incorporate elements of local Pueblo and Navajo tribes’ identities into the spa’s design and layout.

The property showcases a collection of original art, while original Pueblo pottery is on display in the relaxation lounge.

“There’s a real sense of place at the resort,” said Mary Lynn Mellinger, director of planning and design at WTS International. “We were tasked with making suggestions for ways of integrating the rich history of the region into the look and feel of the spa and wellness centre. The spa menu’s services and treatments also draw on these traditional influences.”

Aiming to connect guests to the goodness of the earth though authentic and therapeutic experiences, the spa has four treatment rooms with one couple’s room, a relaxation space and mixed quiet room with a water feature.

An express treatment area offers chair massage sessions for guests who require immediate relief after a day on the slopes.

The spa menu includes innovative treatments such as the Intentional Aromatherapy Massage, during which guests are invited to the aroma design bar to work with an alchemista and create a custom blend of aromatherapy oils for use during the massage.

The Earth Elements massage was developed in partnership with Saltability, and uses hand-carved, organic salt stones which are warmed and incorporated into the massage.

The fitness centre provides equipment to suit guests who visit the region all year round, and includes specific pieces of equipment designed for skier’s needs.

WTS also advised on the layout of the pool deck to maximise the use of allocated space and on the placement of furniture.

The Wellness Centre has been designed around the philosophy of the Circle of Life, which has been practised throughout the ages by the resident European, Hispanic, and native North American peoples who live in the region.

It offers a range of workouts and treatments based on the Cirle of Life and referencing the Sacred Directions, including NORTH, which is connected with growth and renewal and associated with the earth; EAST, which is restorative; SOUTH, which is purifying: and WEST, which is associated with vitality and the Golden Centre, which is linked to balance.

Spa treatments based on NORTH are those of renewal and expansion, such as the Rebalance Facial; EAST related treatments focus on cooling and rehydration, such as the Sole Renewal; SOUTH is associated with water and purification, with treatments such as Yoga and The Blake Signature Massage; and WEST is connected to fire, with treatments that build vitality and energy, such as the hot salt stone massage.

At the heart of all treatments is the Golden Centre, which nourishes and supports the other directions and represents a state of optimum balance. Spa treatments and fitness programmes focus on balancing the body’s energies and include small group circuit training and sports massage.

www.wtsinternational.com

The Blake at Taos  Taos Ski Valley  spa  WTS International  New Mexico  skiing  wellness  Ernie Blake  
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