Spa Aria

Hotel Monteleone

214 Royal Street

New Orleans, LA

Renovated reception area for a hotel spa in the Vieux Carré of New Orleans featuring custom designed displays and partitions.
Hotel Monteleone + Spa Aria, client
522 sf

Wayne Troyer FAIA

Tracie Ashe AIA

Natan Diacon-Furtado

Daniel Kautz

Nancy Bowden Stewart


Sara Essex Bradley

Project Type: Commercial, Interiors

Located in the historic, iconic Hotel Monteleone in the Vieux Carré of New Orleans, Spa Aria had been in business more than ten years when the owners decided it was time for a facelift to update finishes and fixtures and reflect the “air” aesthetic integral in the spa’s branding. The previous space was dark and dated, so the challenge was to devise a fresh palette of colors, new materials, and custom casework that would elevate the guest experience to something truly refreshing and memorable. During concept and material visioning, WTA kept the hotel’s classic aesthetic in mind, employing similar subtle color shifts and brass accents in the spa’s design.

The scope of the project included a reimagining of the entry hall, lounge/waiting area/check-in, hallway leading to rear treatment rooms, and manicure/pedicure stations. A Phase II will include renovation of the locker rooms and treatment rooms throughout.

The first design effort was a focus on layout and the spatial relationship of elements in the entry and waiting area such as display shelves, seating, and check-in desk. The large, existing desk was removed and the owners agreed to pare down equipment and administrative documents so the new, custom desk could be less than half the length of the original, giving some much-needed breathing room to the lounge. Two translucent floor-to-ceiling glass panels inserted in the space provide both openness and privacy, addressing a previously existing sense of discomfort between staff and clients in the reception area.The check-in desk is flanked by these panels, which reinforce an implied spatial separation of uses between check-in, waiting, and circulation. Previously, doors to the locker rooms were visually screened by the solid bulk of a large desk with shelves behind it. Once those elements were removed, privacy for the locker rooms was reintroduced using sheet glass with an applied film created to match the marbled wallpaper on the feature wall. New display shelving was designed and created to compliment the lightness of the space, and existing wall shelves were freshened up with stain and brass accents.

In order to visually increase the feeling of the space, mirrored glass baseboards were installed throughout, allowing the new tiled floor to disappear under the walls. Due to discrepancies in the existing conditions, the expressive floor tile was turned forty-five degrees in the hallway connecting the lounge to the rear treatment area to mitigate the effect of skewed grout lines due to out-of-plumb walls. A palette of cool greys and whites is offset and enhanced by the pops of deep blue and pink in strategic locations.

A sister location, Shine Spa, was completed by studioWTA in 2014.