The New Real Estate Trend: Live at the Spa

by Mariet Smart

Posted on Thursday 9th of October 2008

Spa living – the new trend in real estate – allows those who want to incorporate a holistic approach to living with their actual physical surroundings. While spa living may have once denoted something as basic as a golf course community, today's spa real estate come with much more. In fact, the best properties have made spa living the main focus. Spa real estate options come in many shapes and sizes, from single-family residences to condos to condo-hotels.

Canyon Ranch Living communities take the world-class health and wellness services of Canyon Ranch resorts and incorporate them into truly spa-inspired lifestyle. Miami Beach's Canyon Ranch Living property is situated along the oceanfront and features a seven-acre complex with condo and condo-hotel options. For those fortunate enough to live at Canyon Ranch Living- Miami Beach, life is good with access to the property's luxurious facilities, swimming pools, terraces overlooking the sea, concierge service, and an oceanfront restaurant featuring spa cuisine.

The development's Spa and Wellness Center is 65,000 square feet and is serviced by a staff that numbers 150 and includes spa therapists and medical practitioners. A monthly membership fee opens the door to a host of spa services and lifestyle programs. Here, guests can learn better nutrition, take a Salsa class, indulge in the European thermal suite, or enjoy a mineral essential facial. Outdoors, residents may also take part in water sports, tai chi, yoga, and beach volleyball for no additional charge. From the property's front door, residents also enjoy direct access to the beach, ocean and Miami Beach itself.

Imagine rolling out of a "cottage" at Sea Island Resort in Georgia on a Townie bike headed to one of the property's 100 fitness classes at the Sea Island Club. What will it be today? Triathlete swimming class or a horse ride along the five-mile beach? Or perhaps a Pilates class is in order. Always pushing the spa envelope, the property has a wellness chef who not only teaches nutrition but is also available to audit residents' kitchen cupboards and accompany them to the grocery store to show them what they should be eating. Other staff members include a professional running coach, sports psychologist and a world-champion squash player. Currently being developed are the Ocean Club residences, or condos and Sea Island also features a cottage-rental program for those who want to give the spa lifestyle a test drive.

Situated along the southernmost edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Cliffs of Keowee Springs is comprised of eight communities. The development's forward-thinking commitment to wellness is more than just a marketing concept. Residents are challenged to achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. This is attained through peaceful walks on groomed trails, a round of golf, or a relaxing afternoon at Keowee Springs Lodge and Spa. The facility is the country's first Luxury Family Wellness Resort where residents have access to the Springs International Wellness Retreat. Here, physicians and specialists create one-of-a-kind lifestyle assessments, followed by education and support for residents to reach their personal health goals.

Overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, the spa features both outdoor and indoor treatments for its guests. Health-conscious cuisine, a beach club and championship golf are just a few of the other amenities created to optimize the well-being of every member of the family. Membership at one community affords residents access to the amenities at all seven of The Cliffs Communities.

Spa communities such as these are cropping everywhere, but before making an investment it's important to examine the property's commitment to the spa lifestyle. Following are several questions to ask, according to SpaFinder:

1. How did the community originate? Some spas have been added to residential communities, are real estate developments, or are hotels with spas that added a residential component.

2. What is the role of the spa? Does the spa represent the developer's commitment to a more balanced lifestyle or just a place to receive a massage after a round of golf. The best spa communities infuse the spa into the center of social activity.

3. Is wellness a part of daily life? The best spa communities offer a medical component that includes doctors, specialists and therapists.

4. Does the spa reflect the development's commitment to wellness? Has it been created to entice and pamper its guests to spend as much time at the spa as possible?

5. Does the treatment menu offer both standard and unique treatments? In addition to a deep tissue massage, does the spa feature treatments such as Watsu, acupuncture or holistic therapy to encourage exploration?

6. What are the staff credentials? Various states require various hours of training to achieve licensing. But more importantly, give the spa treatments a test drive to get a feel for service, ambiance and expertise levels.

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