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By Everett Potter

RISMEDIA, Jan. 2, 2008-The spa residential community is going to take a great leap forward in the next few years. Until now, spa communities have mostly come about through retrofitting. Spas added residences (such as Utah’s Red Mountain and Wisconsin’s Sundara), and developments (mostly centered on golf) added spas. In the new communities, the key word is integration – not just the spa but the larger idea of wellness is built in, so to speak. The seven projects profiled here, all of which are scheduled to open within the next two years, exemplify the trend in various ways, from the spa-centric residences at Canyon Ranch Living in Miami to the medical program at the Cliffs at Keowee in South Carolina. Some of these communities are under construction, and some are just getting off the drawing board. The state of the real estate market will certainly affect opening dates.


The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage

A project in the California desert- 650 feet above the Coachella Valley- that dares to do without a golf course, a revolutionary concept here. Instead, the focus will be the La Prairie spa, to the extent that some units have private walkways right to it. Includes a 244-room Ritz-Carlton hotel.

THE SPA: 23,000 square feet, 16 treatment rooms.
THE AMENITIES: Private Residence Clubhouse building, two residence-only swimming pools, access to hotel restaurants, pools, and services.
THE REAL ESTATE: 18 Spa Suites, one- and two-bedroom condominiums with private connections to the spa and its courtyard swimming pool. 74 Residences, two- to four-bedroom villas. 58 one- to three-bedroom Condominium Suites.
PRICES: From US$895,000.
SLATED TO OPEN: Summer 2008


Mandarin Oriental Tower

A triple-decker 90-story building-a Mandarin Oriental hotel topped by 250 residences-in the Millennium Park area, an up-and-coming neighborhood south of the Miracle Mile and not far from the Art Institute. Adapts the urban-hotel-with-a-major-spa concept to a residential format.

THE SPA: 20,000 square feet, plus 10,000-square-foot health club.
THE AMENITIES: Access to spa and health club, priority-access restaurant reservations, and hotel room service and housekeeping.
THE REAL ESTATE:103 one- and two-bedroom Residences that start at 844 square feet and include full kitchens. 159 Tower Condominiums (floors 55 to 74) starting at 770 square feet with their own concierge service, private lobby, and valet parking.
PRICES: Residences from US$1 million. Tower Condominiums, US$600,000-$21 million.


Capella Telluride

Telluride’s Mountain Village (altitude: 9,500 feet), a gondola ride from what is arguably the West’s most photogenic town, is the setting for this new luxury resort brand’s first U.S. hotel-residence project. Clearly aimed at those who love winter sports, it adds a spa component to a prime mountain-living commodity, ski-in, ski-out boutique accommodations.

THE SPA: 3,304 square feet, five treatment rooms including two couple’s suites with hydrotubs, fireplaces, and mountain views.
THE AMENITIES: Ski-in, ski-out access.
THE REAL ESTATE: 100 condo-hotel units (580 square feet) and 48 private condominiums (1,450 to 4,600 square feet) around an ice- skating rink.
PRICES: Hotel condominiums from US$510,000 (with rental pool option). Private condominiums from US$1.75 million.


Snake River Sporting Club

Marries the Western sporting club to the spa lifestyle. The developers snagged 554 acres including 6.5 very private miles of the Snake River. The community is aimed at the big dogs: There are just 130 homesites. There’s a full range of sporting activities, including on-site heli-ski pickup. The developer, DPS, has a blue-chip track record that includes the Greenbrier Sporting Club in West Virginia and the Ford Plantation in Georgia.

THE SPA: Size and specifics to be determined, but native hot springs will play a major role.
THE AMENITIES: Private fly-fishing on the Snake River, Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course, fitness center, squash and tennis courts, and equestrian center. Abundant mountain biking, hiking, climbing, and river rafting nearby. In winter, private groomed cross-country ski trails, with a private day lodge at Jackson Hole Ski Resort, 15 minutes away.
THE REAL ESTATE: 130 homesites of ½ acre to 2.25 acres.
PRICES: From US$1.25 million.
SLATED TO OPEN: Summer 2008


Canyon Ranch Living

Total wellness as lifestyle-fitness classes, pools, and gym-wrapped in a stylish Rockwell Group and Arquitectonica design. The centerpiece for the six-acre project is the reborn Art Deco-style Carillon Hotel, which is flanked by residential condominium towers and includes an immense spa.

THE SPA: 70,000 square feet, 23 treatment rooms, Finnish sauna, hydrotub, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, ice igloo, reflexology basins, heated loungers, and experience showers.
THE AMENITIES: Fitness center with ocean views; climbing wall; Pilates, yoga, and aerobics studios; three swimming pools; and 750 feet of prime beachfront.
THE REAL ESTATE: 430 one-, two-, and three-bedroom and condominium residences.
PRICES: US$1.3 million-$4 million.
SLATED TO OPEN: February 2008



A dream four-season community for the active and well-heeled: 640 acres of high desert outside Bend bordering 20,000 acres of federal land. It takes the patented spa-and-golf formula and gives it an outdoorsy Northwestern twist with activities including fly-fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, and mountain biking.

THE SPA: Size to be determined. There will also be a number of two-bedroom spa casitas that will have private access to the spa.
THE AMENITIES: 55,000-square-foot clubhouse, private ski facility at nearby Mount Bachelor, and two 18-hole courses, one by Jack Nicklaus and one by Tom Fazio.
THE REAL ESTATE: 289 Estate Homesites (1/2 to 1 acre). 76 fractional-ownership villas at the Residence Club overlooking the 18th green of the Nicklaus course and 16 full-ownership Villas, 2,400 to 4,400 square feet.
PRICES: Estate Homesites, US$700,000-$1.8 million. Fractional-ownership villas from US$164,800 for a 1/12 share. Full-ownership villas, US$1.5 million-$2.5 million.
SLATED TO OPEN: Spring 2009


The Cliffs at Keowee Springs

The latest installment at the Cliffs at Keowee, eight master-planned communities on 20,000 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North and South Carolina. The developers claim that this is the country’s first “luxury family wellness resort,” and the details bear that out. The 53,000-square-foot wellness center, headed by Sam Varner, a former fitness director at Pebble Beach Corporation and trainer for seven U.S. Olympic medalists, offers access to top-tier medical professionals and an à la carte wellness menu. Among the offerings: the Biophysical250 blood test, which looks at more than 250 biomarkers. There’s also a vast organic garden to address the diet side of the wellness equation.

THE SPA: 23,000 square feet, 14 treatment rooms, ten of which will be indoor-outdoor, and eight “sleeping rooms” (with a dedicated spa butler) reserved for residents and guests on “spa retreats.”
THE AMENITIES: Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole golf course, state-of-the-art golf learning
center, full-service marina, abundant hiking and biking opportunities, and a 10,000-square-foot KidFit activity center.
THE REAL ESTATE: Estimated 250 residences on Lake Keowee. Number of villas and lodge cottages to be determined.
PRICES: To be determined
SLATED TO OPEN: Spring 2009

Source: Luxury SpaFinder’s Special “60 Spas We Love” November/December issue.
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