Lap of Luxury

Published 10:04 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wind Creek Executive Director of Hotel Operations Roger Kuehn explains some of the finer points of the Escape experience in the spa’s fully equipped kitchen.

Change is in the air at Wind Creek Casino and Hotel as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians have transformed their property’s spa into a full-scale health and wellness resort location.

Escape, which officially opened its doors Jan. 16, provides all of the luxury of a resort retreat with the convenience of its location in Atmore, Executive Director of Hotel Operations Roger Kuehn said.

“It’s a new product for Wind Creek,” Kuehn said. “It’s designed on just the influence of nature and it’s predicated on comfort.”

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Kuehn said Escape will combine existing aspects of the Wind Creek Spa with the amenities offered by larger health retreat resorts.

Wind Creek Director of Operations Laura Satterfield said the retreat aspect of Escape truly sets it apart from other local spa locations.

“We’re going to have our first retreat in March,” Satterfield said. “We’re really excited about that. With Escape you can pick and choose what you want to do, kind of like you would on a cruise. You can do everything or you can do as little as you want. It’s highly customizable.”

And those choices include everything from yoga and pilates with a personal trainer to messages and manicures.

Kuehn said the ability to customize people’s experience allows them to create the exact spa experience they have in mind.

“If we’re dealing with individuals, we’ll have a regularly published itinerary with a list of events,” he said. “If we’re dealing with a group of people we can customize it directly towards their needs and wants.”

Catering to the desires of their customers is something the Escape staff focused on as they designed the spa, seemingly adjusting even the smallest details to maximize guests’ comfort.

Kuehn said the Escape experience begins before the guests ever arrive at Wind Creek.

“When we make the reservation for people staying with us we collect all credit information up front,” he said. “We find out if they have any food allergies or any other health conditions. We essentially want to learn as much about people on the front end before they come in so we can prepare for their stay.”

Kuehn said once guests do arrive, they are treated to a special hotel experience from the beginning.

“It starts with the check in,” Kuehn said. “It’s not like traditionally check ins. They don’t go to the main desk. We’ll have people here waiting for them and essentially just greeting people. We escort them to their room. It’s a really hassle free type check in experience.”

And what follows the special check in is a stay on a newly remodeled hotel floor, open only to Escape guests and designed specifically to adhere to the relaxing environment of the spa itself.

“We’re reaching out to new markets,” Kuehn said. “We took one level of the hotel tower and we redesigned it with the retreat in mind. The fifteenth floor, which we call level 15.”

Once guests swipe their VIP Escape cards in order to gain access to the floor from the elevator, they are free to explore the 16-room floor that is like no other in the hotel. Complete with bamboo flooring and honey walls, made entirely of illuminated jars of honey, the floor’s design is as unique as the spa itself.

“The honey walls are called live art,” Kuehn said. “They are always crystallizing and changing color.”

Statterfield, who was personally involved in designing the floor, said the honey walls are made up of 36 cases of honey.

Keuhn said everything was taken into account in designing the floor. Guests wanting something cool to drink without leaving the floor will find the typical soda machine has been replaced on Level 15 with a Sobe machine, in order to offer healthier choices. Guests who have a hard time getting their day started will also find soothing alternatives to typical hotel room amenities on Level 15.

“We don’t have your traditional alarm clock,” Kuehn said. “They’re called wake up lights. They start illuminating thirty minutes before your desired wake up time.”

Kuehn said that level of attention to detail can found throughout the Escape spa. From a large workout area, complete with a studio for Yoga and other exercises, to the spa’s own personal cooking and dining area, every aspect of a guest’s stay will be different than any other visitor to Wind Creek.

And there is plenty more coming to Escape as the summer months near. Upgrades to the spa’s private lake, including a floating “meditation deck,” a private poolside area for Escape guests and improvement to the outside patio area are all in the works according to Kuehn.

For all of the details of how an Escape retreat can be crafted to fit personal preferences as well as a full list of amenities and activities offered by the spa, visit