Despite its subtle fa§ade, when you walk through the doors of the newly opened Float Luxury Spa (18 E. Canon Perdido St., 845-7777, floatluxuryspa.com), you enter a relaxation haven that emits a simple chic atmosphere and a modern coastal vibe. The spa also has an outdoor garden with a reflecting pool for patrons to sit by while they enjoy a quiet lunch catered by Grapevine. When I arrived for my treatment, I was handed a lush robe and slippers and then led upstairs to unwind in the Sky room, a light and airy retreat.
The co-owners of Float are sisters Natalie Rowe and Stephanie Phelan, who are no strangers to the world of spas. Stephanie is a former co-owner of Surf Spa, with retreats in both Costa Rica and Hawai’i, which provides treatments and surf classes. With Float, Stephanie hopes to build strong spa/client relationships. As for opening a business during an economically challenging time, Stephanie said that given the “high stress of the recession, pampering is a must.”
Float is not only leisurely and luxurious, it is environmentally friendly. Its floors are made from recycled glass and plastic-based tiles and sustainable wood; the walls are painted with a nontoxic paint. Float’s products are also eco-minded, with bags that are forest certified, meaning they are made of raw materials and from controlled wood sources. The company has opted for recyclable cups instead of water bottles, and the treatments conserve water by using steam-based treatments instead of the Vichy water flow method, which wastes gallons of water. Float also has a “Global Goodness” program, where proceeds from the Indonesian Candlenut Body Ritual, a treatment that borrows Indonesian massage techniques, are given to SurfAid, a nonprofit humanitarian charity that works to improve the well-being and health of people living in isolated Indonesian villages.
After several moments of relaxing in the Sky Room, I was greeted by my massage therapist, Angie, whose soft-spoken voice and friendly demeanor instantly made me feel relaxed. I was treated to the Ultimate Body Facial, an 80-minute treatment that combines exfoliation, an enzyme wrap in a steam cocoon (a tent placed over the body that exudes a warm steam), followed by a full-body massage. The process is beyond heavenly, not to mention my skin has never looked or felt this amazing. The combination of the soothing music, aromatic smells of the lavish lotions, and the gentle steam made me realize why the name “Float” fits the spa so well-that’s exactly the sensation experienced after a treatment.
In addition to the Ultimate Body Facial I received, Float offers several interesting treatments. One of the most popular is the Thai Massage. Performed by a massage therapist educated in Thailand, the Thai massage offers effortless yoga-you sit passively while the therapist stretches and massages your muscles simultaneously. Float also provides treatments exclusively for men, who make up about 40 percent of its clientele, and the Mellow Mama massage for women who are expecting. Float provides catering services and packages for private parties, which is wonderfully accommodating for birthday and bridal showers or for a girls’ day out.