Written by Emily Wichmer
Water laps gently, producing a calming white noise as visitors sleepily recline in padded folding chairs. The air is warm and humid, creating a dreamlike atmosphere. This isn’t the beach — it’s the spa at The Elms Hotel.
The Elms, part historical hotel, part spa, is located in Excelsior Springs, Mo., about an hour north of Kansas City. The stone building, which dates back to 1912, was built on the site of a former mineral spring many believed to have cured several diseases. Even though the spring no longer exists, The Elms staff offers a variety of healing treatments using new, top-of-the-line equipment.
Spa Director Kevin Snedden says recent renovations to the spa, which marked its 100th anniversary, have shifted its focus.
Snedden says visitors to the spa can request their treatments in the couples treatment rooms, which contain two sets of massage tables. Some specialized treatments, such as the Vichy Shower, can be made to accommodate couples, simply by folding back the screen that separates the massage tables resting under nine silver shower heads of different sizes. Snedden explains he wants visitors to leave the spa feeling relaxed.
Although the spa at The Elms includes specialized treatment rooms where guests can take time to relax and enjoy themselves, it also includes a gift shop, where guests can purchase some of the spa’s “tried-and-true,” products, Snedden says. The products are all-natural, he explains, because the management prides itself on leaving both their guests and the environment in good shape.
However, there is one room that guests should not miss, says Karen Haywood, Kansas City resident and visitor to the spa.
“[Guests] should always visit the lap pool,” Haywood says. “I love to sit at the pool, dip my feet in the water, and enjoy a nice, cold drink. It really helps me recharge.”
A sauna, hot tub and cold shower are also open to spa-goers, as well as an exfoliation bar, which features different scrubs, salts and oils guests can apply to their skin.
John Mormino, Director of Operations at The Elms, says the motto of The Elms is, “Do what’s right by those we serve.” He says the building and staff exemplify this ideal by creating a genuine, eager-to-please atmosphere that keeps guests coming back.
The Elms Hotel and Spa
401 Regent Street Excelsior Springs, Missouri 64024