Staff at the newly opened Woodhouse Day Spa (4030 Canal Street, 482-6652, www.-nola.woodhousespas.com) answer the phone with an invitation: "Experience the difference at the Woodhouse." It's one of many ways the franchise conveys the message that a trip to Woodhouse is more than a service or a group of services.
"We offer great massages and other tried-and-true treatments," says Stuart Rome, who owns and operates the New Orleans spa with his wife Siobhan. "But it's really about the experience. We stress the entire experience."
Woodhouse's Mid-City location is convenient to a variety of areas, including Uptown, Downtown, Lakeview and Metairie, and its pricing is comparable with other local day spas. What sets it apart is how luxurious it feels, which is characteristic of a destination spa. "We are a full-service day spa with the complete amenities of a nice hotel spa," Rome says.
After being shown to one of several beautifully appointed locker rooms and outfitted with thick, cotton robes and reflexology sandals, guests are escorted to one of several quiet rooms where they can relax and sip hot, loose-leaf teas before having one or more services. And there's no shortage of services from which to choose. The menu has 50 different treatment options, including some exclusive to the spa. The Woodhouse Minkyti Facial utilizes a proprietary massage technique designed to rejuvenate the skin and fight visible signs of aging. There's also a list of signature services like the Woodhouse Four-Handed Massage, which is choreographed by two massage therapists; the Wood-house Escape, a 110-minute, head-to-toe massage that's a combination of five treatments in one; treatments just for men; and a rewards program in which clients earn points toward the cost of future services. Packages can be tailored to the needs of business groups or for special events, holidays, bridal parties and other celebrations. "We have the facilities to host any type of event," Rome says.
With 5,200 square feet of custom-designed space, the spa's interior features warm woods, crown moldings, mahogany tray ceilings and iron chandeliers, along with top-notch treatment rooms and a retail area with skin care products, robes, candles, gifts and more. The owners, both native New Orleanians, added local flair with exposed brick and Bevolo gas lanterns.
By combining the ease of a day spa with the extra-mile pampering of a destination spa, Rome says Woodhouse appeals to locals and tourists alike. Locals will feel like they've had a mini-getaway within their own city, and tourists can reach the spa easily via the Canal Street streetcar line. "It's about price point and quality point," he says. "We're looking to create a great atmosphere and a great guest experience."