Relax at Remede Spa in Puerto Rico | Bahia Beach

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Bask in Tranquility

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort’s Remede Spa uses its natural riches and staff expertise to create a unique experience.

By Gwyn Herbein

Puerto Rico is Spanish for “rich port,”
and that richness extends to all aspects of the island’s culture. From gastronomical delights to rum and coffee tours to the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, historical tours and water sports, the island packs a punch when it comes to the endless options for enjoying a getaway. The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort takes this richness to new heights, with all of the bespoke amenities that are synonymous with the St. Regis name.

These cultural riches are especially evident within the calming environs of the resort’s Remède Spa. With a focus on pampering and tranquility, the Remède Spa uses indigenous techniques and materials in all of its treatments. The knowledgeable staff that puts together these customized treatments is one of the most well-trained on the island, working tirelessly to ensure that each guest has a memorable and relaxing experience.

Creating an Experience

The spa’s high level of service extends to a wide variety of treatments, which St. Regis therapists are uniquely qualified to perform.

“The Remède Spa therapists bring a wide range of expertise to the spa,” says Mark Bodnar, director of the spa at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. “Their massage modalities include Swedish, deep tissue, reiki, acupressure, reflexology, shiatsu, sports massage and specific focus on back pain relief and stress reduction.”

Because of the wide variety of expertise possessed by the entire spa staff, guests are sure to find exactly what they need to relax. They can also design a treatment based on individual needs and health concerns, from sore backs and stiff necks to aching shoulders or sports injuries.

“The staff will speak to the guest about their individual concerns and then design and deliver a service,” Bodnar says. “All spa services follow this guest scenario as well ensure that we truly offer a personal experience for our guests.” This personalization and care carries through from the reservation to guests’ departure from the spa.

At Remède Spa, distinctive elements go into each treatment. The spa designs its menu around Puerto Rico’s culture and includes indigenous ingredients such as coconut, sugar cane, ginger and coffee. By celebrating the local culture, the spa and its staff can transport guests to a tropical paradise through sight, sound and smell.

“In the Bahia Beach Organic Body Treatment, the guests choose from a variety of indigenous herbs that are combined with either sea salt or sugar to create a unique treatment that leaves the guest relaxed and refreshed,” Bodnar says. “The Bahia Reflexology begins with a warm sugar cane scrub consisting of fresh mint, vanilla and coconut oil extract. This is followed by 25 minutes of a blissful reflexology massage.”

Spa Paradise

The exclusive treatments and accoutrements make Remède an ideal destination for a one-of-a-kind spa experience. When combined with the tropical setting and tranquil ambience, guests of the spa will feel they have been transported to another world, far away from the stress and demands of daily life.

This feeling takes over before guests even enter the facility.  “A floating pathway delivers guests to seven secluded massage villas, each with large picture windows framing the spa’s fire garden,” Bodnar says.

On the way, guests will encounter koi ponds and landscaping featuring orchids, palm trees, giant ferns, bamboo and other exotic plants. In beautiful earth-toned marble, the entryway displays the name of the spa, meaning “remedy” in French—a nod to both the multiculturalism of Puerto Rico and the relaxation that awaits guests inside.

Guests then enter the reception area, a soothing sanctuary where the light wood floors complement the darker cabinets and inviting blue couches. Outdoor relaxation lounge areas and fountains outside each treatment room ensure that guests are always connected to the tropical environment that surrounds them. Throughout the facility, artwork and paintings from renowned Puerto Rican painter Rafael Rivera Rosa and sculptor Luis Torruella accent the space.

Overall, Bodnar says the layout and ambience of the spa is meant to create a symbiotic relationship with the natural surroundings of the island.  The natural and elegant ambience of the 10,000-square-foot spa facility complements the staff’s attention to detail as well as the many treatment options. In addition to massage, nail and skin services, there are also steam, sauna and hot and cold plunges for both men and women.

In addition to their technical training and expertise, Remède staff members are attuned to the needs of guests and can provide cashmere throws, chilled Champagne and a selection of seasonal, healthy refreshments hand-picked by the resort’s executive chef.

If guests prefer to squeeze in a workout before or after their treatment, they can take advantage of an adjacent 1,000-square-foot fitness facility. Guests can use the state-of-the-art cardio equipment and a selection of free weights or attend classes in the yoga/pilates studio.

And for those who like to end the experience with a little bit of shopping, the spa boutique offers a variety of health and beauty products for purchase as well as jewelry designed by a local artist. The combination of a beautiful natural environment, caring staff and a wide variety of services means that guests can relax and enjoy every moment in the spa.

 Becoming a Remède StafferBefore a guest lies down on the massage table for a treatment, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes to ensure the quality of the experience. In order to become a staff member at Remède, applicants go through a rigorous interview, training and testing process. Bodnar says that the resort’s human resources department is an integral part of finding quality staff members.Spa guests can rest assured that therapists on staff at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort are passionate about their profession and that they understand the responsibilities inherent in treating everyone who walks through the doors. “In Puerto Rico, the Board of Therapists requires the therapist to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of education and successfully pass a certification test,” Bodnar explains.This requirement is one of the highest in terms of hours in the U.S. Even after certification, therapists must complete continuing education courses on topics such as professional ethics and medical knowledge. This ensures that staff members are always up to date on what is happening in their profession and can adapt accordingly. This expertise provides a solid foundation for Remède Spa’s unique and restorative menu of services. After a staff member is hired, Bodnar says he or she will undergo an intensive training program specific to Remède, which includes treatment protocols and product knowledge.The spa experience is one to delight guests for years to come: Because the staff creates a foundation for the experience, Remède Spa will continue to seek quality staff members who understand and can attend to guests’ needs. Bodnar says The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort strives to create an environment that has a relentless pursuit of excellence in every aspect of the spa experience.“We are constantly … creating an environment in the spa that is based on the expertise and passion of the team; by focusing on the specific and ever-evolving needs of our guests will ensure that the staff and the spa continue on the correct path,” he says. For now, he is confident that The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort boasts the finest spa staff on the island.

“The feedback that have received from our guests has been outstanding,” he continues. From the sugar scrubs and deep tissue massages to the unique location in a Puerto Rican national forest, the Remède Spa is truly a paradise in and of itself. There is no doubt that the combination of a tropical environment and a knowledgeable staff is a recipe for success.

Massage Villas

Given its location nestled between the Espiritu River and the El Yunque National Forest, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort goes to great lengths to make the most of its surroundings. One of the most unique features at the resort, the Remède Spa’s massage villas take full advantage of the rich, natural environment. These seven individual and secluded villas ensure the utmost in privacy and relaxation for guests enjoying the spa’s specialized treatments—like the prenatal harmony massage, beachside massage or couples’ massage. These services are carried out in a tranquil setting, complete with marble countertops and walls painted in a warm yellow that recall the warmth of the sun outside. The villas can be closed off with either a retractable shade or a curtain so that guests are never completely separated from the beauty and tranquility of the rainforest. Each villa looks out onto the spa’s fire garden, and individual lounge chairs provide additional spaces to relax either before or after treatments. Imagine sitting outside and sipping a cool drink while listening to the rainforest’s birds and other wildlife chatter the day away.