FX Excursions

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Mokara Spa Debuts at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa

by Marlene Goldman

May 1, 2019
May 2019

STARING FACE DOWN at a white chrysanthemum, a flower Confucius once suggested be used as an object of meditation, my mind began to reset after a stressful few weeks.

The spider mum set the tone for the next hour of bliss as I sampled a normally 75-minute Mokara Spa signature massage replete with hot and cold stones for loosening stiff joints and treating inflammation, detoxifying ginger oil and a magical set of hands that knew how to untie more than a few knots.

I was on a venture to the Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin’s Hill Country, promoting its May debut of an expansive resort renovation, including the introduction of the 13,000-square-foot Mokara, the biggest spa in the Mokara brand with 20 treatment rooms, including three couple’s rooms.

Having the three couple’s rooms proves a benefit according to spa director Jackie Flory, who previously served as spa director for the Mokara Spa at the Omni San Antonio.

“At a lot of spas, the couple rooms book up immediately. In San Antonio they are booked on a busy weekend, so having more will be really nice,” Flory said. “One will have a hydrotherapy room. We’ll be able to offer couple’s body treatments as well.”

Flory is introducing similar amenities that helped make the Mokara Spa at the Omni San Antonio part of a Forbes-rated property. The key is attention to detail and level of service.

“You’ll notice we have the little flower bowls underneath the face, so you look at that versus just looking at the floor,” Flory said. “All of our guests receive a warm neck wrap when they come out of the treatment room and an amenity tray from the massage therapist with water and fruit on it. Throughout the spa we have a sweet mango scent we burn, so a lot of guests walk in and that’s the first thing that they notice, that’s what they remember. So it’s a nice way for them to tie that experience back after they leave the spa.”

Artist’s rendering of the spa’s adults-only pool and deck

Artist’s rendering of the spa’s adults-only pool and deck © OMNI BARTON CREEK RESORT & SPA

While the spa was far from finished during a January pre-opening hard-hat tour, we walked through the lineup of upcoming treatment rooms and relaxation lounges, as well as the expansive pool terrace with views of Austin Hill Country, a highlight feature of the spa.

The spa also offers separate steam, sauna and whirlpool areas for men and women, and guests having a treatment will have access to the entire facility for a day. Mani-pedi and hair stations are available as well. Though the spa menu was still in the works at press time, Flory will partner with New York-based Naturopathica for its body treatment lines, including massages and facials.

“It’s a natural, organic line, eco-certified, the highest certification you can have,” Flory said.

Mokara works with Naturopathica to pull ingredients local to the area.

“I plan on doing a custom essential oil blend specific for this property which will be a signature blend with things local to us in the Hill Country. There are a lot of lavender fields around in Texas. Cedar wood is very popular for this area. So we’ll be incorporating something special with what’s around here.”

Some of the confirmed treatments include the Mokara Signature Massage I experienced in a surprisingly relaxing makeshift spa on property, as well as several body wraps Naturopathica offers, such as an espresso mud body wrap as well as a lemongrass mimosa body scrub. A lemon verbena body polish and wrap includes natural ingredients such as aloe vera, oat protein and shea butter.

“We’ll also do some herbal teas that are focused on skin health,” Flory said. “We will also have a muscle and joint tea, which we’ll serve at check-in, and guests will get to enjoy a little taste before they start their experience.”

Muscle and joint teas feature arnica, and other tinctures can be added for stress as well as immune boosters such as echinacea.

“We’ll probably rotate different teas during the week so guests that visit us often will get to try different kinds.”

For facials, Mokara uses the product line Babor, including its anti-aging HSR lifting series, which focuses on firming and tightening. Babor also offers ampoule concentrates, vials catering to various skin needs such as its Collagen Concentrate.

For meeting groups at the resort, Mokara can work with planners to arrange pre-meeting yoga sessions, express treatments and spa breaks and chair massages.

Noting the resort is only about 80 miles from Omni San Antonio, Flory said, “That’s another exciting thing, to have another spa so close in the region that we really can pull together if there is a big group event. We have resources around us.”

Mokara Spa

Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa
8212 Barton Club Drive
Austin, TX 78735
tel 512 329 4000
omnihotels.com

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