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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Sepielli leads design of ‘quietly elegant’ spa at Palm Beach’s iconic The Breakers

Spa consultant and designer Sylvia Sepielli is leading the US$8 m (€7.1m, £5.2m) renovation of a 20,000sq ft (1,858sq m) spa at The Breakers, Henry Flagler’s historic hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

Sepielli, who has just finished work on Bath, England’s Gainsborough Bath Spa, is working in conjunction with Peacock + Lewis architects and landscape architect Gregory Lombardi Design on the indoor/outdoor spa, which will include 17 treatment rooms and a private courtyard and is set to open in November of this year.

Sepielli told Spa Opportunities she took her inspiration from the hotel’s rich history.

“I just let the building tell me what it wanted to happen,” she said. “I thought about how timeless the hotel is, and I wanted to reflect its Italian roots, but not replicate them.”

The result is what Sepielli calls “modern Italian,” and features clean lines, a relaxed style, artisan elements and “50 shades of white.”

“I describe it as ‘Armani’s beach house,’” she said. “I wanted the feel to be quietly elegant – very relaxed and comfortable, but suitable to the locale and the historical aspects of the building.”

First built in 1896 by Standard Oil Company magnate Henry Flagler – who built Florida’s east coast railroads – The Breakers hosted U.S. presidents, European nobility, and notable families such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Carnegies in its early days.

After fires destroyed both the original building and a subsequent rebuild, today’s hotel was built in 1926 and modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome – 75 artisans were even brought from Italy to complete the ceilings of the 200ft (61m)-long lobby and first-floor public rooms.

“The artisan work that was done in the early 20s makes for such an unexpected pleasure when you walk into that building,” said Sepielli. “Coming in and doing anything now has to be done with grace and finesse.”

Sepielli said she was aware not just of the historical and artisanal aspects of the property, but also of the legacy of the guests.

“There’s a lot of tradition at The Breakers,” she explained. “People have been coming here for generations and generations – we’re not just building this for right now.”

Sepielli said she wanted to acknowledge the traditions that come with multiple generations having visited the hotel – a grandmother taking a granddaughter for a first manicure, or first facial, for instance.

The element of tradition also inspired the spa concept of “Held in our hands.”

“When you have something really precious, you don’t put it down and walk away,” said Sepielli. “You ask someone ‘Would you hold this for me?’ And of course, with a spa, we are literally holding you in our hands. It’s a really nice way of reflecting our care for each other and our guests.”

Sepielli said she also considered the idea of tradition when selecting products to use at the spa, which include Palm Beach-based Tammy Fender organic, custom-blended botanical formulations for face and body; Erbe, a hand-crafted Italian line with formulas dating back to 16th century monasteries; and Osea, a marine-based product with essential oils.

The spa also includes a deluxe room with a steam shower and tub for two; three dedicated lounge spaces for men, women and coed; a vichy table; a heated sand-quartz bed for massages; three spa suites that open directly onto the spa’s courtyard; and a recently opened 6,000sq ft (557sq m) ocean fitness centre.

The Breakers is still owned by Flagler’s descendants – who re-invest US$25m (€22m, £16.5m) annually in the property – and features half a mile of private beach, eight restaurants, a championship golf course, four oceanfront pools and five whirlpools.

Spa consultant and designer Sylvia Sepielli is leading the US$8 m (€7.1m, £5.2m) renovation of the spa at The Breakers, Henry Flagler’s historic hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.
SAB,HHR,HOT,RST,ARC,DES,CLD,SWC
776157_937789.jpg
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Sepielli leads design of ‘quietly elegant’ spa at Palm Beach’s iconic The Breakers

Spa consultant and designer Sylvia Sepielli is leading the US$8 m (€7.1m, £5.2m) renovation of a 20,000sq ft (1,858sq m) spa at The Breakers, Henry Flagler’s historic hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

Sepielli, who has just finished work on Bath, England’s Gainsborough Bath Spa, is working in conjunction with Peacock + Lewis architects and landscape architect Gregory Lombardi Design on the indoor/outdoor spa, which will include 17 treatment rooms and a private courtyard and is set to open in November of this year.

Sepielli told Spa Opportunities she took her inspiration from the hotel’s rich history.

“I just let the building tell me what it wanted to happen,” she said. “I thought about how timeless the hotel is, and I wanted to reflect its Italian roots, but not replicate them.”

The result is what Sepielli calls “modern Italian,” and features clean lines, a relaxed style, artisan elements and “50 shades of white.”

“I describe it as ‘Armani’s beach house,’” she said. “I wanted the feel to be quietly elegant – very relaxed and comfortable, but suitable to the locale and the historical aspects of the building.”

First built in 1896 by Standard Oil Company magnate Henry Flagler – who built Florida’s east coast railroads – The Breakers hosted U.S. presidents, European nobility, and notable families such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Carnegies in its early days.

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“The artisan work that was done in the early 20s makes for such an unexpected pleasure when you walk into that building,” said Sepielli. “Coming in and doing anything now has to be done with grace and finesse.”

Sepielli said she was aware not just of the historical and artisanal aspects of the property, but also of the legacy of the guests.

“There’s a lot of tradition at The Breakers,” she explained. “People have been coming here for generations and generations – we’re not just building this for right now.”

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The element of tradition also inspired the spa concept of “Held in our hands.”

“When you have something really precious, you don’t put it down and walk away,” said Sepielli. “You ask someone ‘Would you hold this for me?’ And of course, with a spa, we are literally holding you in our hands. It’s a really nice way of reflecting our care for each other and our guests.”

Sepielli said she also considered the idea of tradition when selecting products to use at the spa, which include Palm Beach-based Tammy Fender organic, custom-blended botanical formulations for face and body; Erbe, a hand-crafted Italian line with formulas dating back to 16th century monasteries; and Osea, a marine-based product with essential oils.

The spa also includes a deluxe room with a steam shower and tub for two; three dedicated lounge spaces for men, women and coed; a vichy table; a heated sand-quartz bed for massages; three spa suites that open directly onto the spa’s courtyard; and a recently opened 6,000sq ft (557sq m) ocean fitness centre.

The Breakers is still owned by Flagler’s descendants – who re-invest US$25m (€22m, £16.5m) annually in the property – and features half a mile of private beach, eight restaurants, a championship golf course, four oceanfront pools and five whirlpools.

Spa consultant and designer Sylvia Sepielli is leading the US$8 m (€7.1m, £5.2m) renovation of the spa at The Breakers, Henry Flagler’s historic hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.
SAB,HHR,HOT,RST,ARC,DES,CLD,SWC
776157_937789.jpg

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