Recent renovations at Gente Bella Salon and Spa have turned the popular Chilliwack venture into a veritable sanctuary of serenity.
They’ve undergone a stunning transformation in only a couple of months, and changes were celebrated in grand style with an official opening of the new day spa last weekend.
What was originally a little more than 1000 square feet now measures more than 6000 sprawling feet, balancing beautiful and chic design with relaxation-inducing natural elements.
“We’re still tweaking the details,” says Gente Bella owner Lesley Reid. “But we’re proud it has become a real day spa with a full complement of services and treatments.”
From the noise-free “wash house” where exquisite scalp massages are a treatment in themselves, to the aptly named serenity lounge where a starry-night scene is fed by fibre optics, the attention to detail is incredible.
“That’s always been the vision, to create something extraordinary right here in Chilliwack that would become the best in the Fraser Valley,” the owner says.
Reid bought the faltering Sardis business more than two years ago, vowing to one day provide a big-city day-spa experience, “but at Chilliwack prices.”
It’s part of the overarching vision.
“I think it is important to keep our prices at a level where everyone can afford them,” she says. “I really wanted a place where we could all come and enjoy the luxury of the spa without having to mortgage the house to do it.”
Some of the eye-popping elements include a shimmering water wall, dazzling crystal chandeliers and a giant rock feature in the guest seating area. Some of the impressive reno work was executed by a local business called Stonetree Studios.
“We have a fabulous team,” says Reid. “More than anything Gente Bella is about the people.”
Now proudly featuring a hand-picked staff of 30, including estheticians, stylists and other technicians, Gente Bella prides itself on delivering fantastic customer service.
Services run the gamut from delightful facials, to rejuvenating skin care like microdermabrasion or spray tans. There are, of course, self-care standards like lovely manicures and pedicures, along with a range of sigh-inducing massages, wraps and body treatments.
When Reid comes through the door of her salon and spa, she does it “as a client,” assessing everything from the perspective of the clientele, to make sure all their bases are covered.
They offer complimentary use of their coveted eucalyptus steam room or infrared sauna, when available, and a free shampoo is always in the offing to remove the massage oil that’s seeped into a client’s hairdo.
They’ve brought in a Eurowave machine for clients who want to tone muscles and lose inches, as well as a whole-body vibration machine known as Proellixe.
Ongoing education and upgrading of skills is a big part of the long-term Gente Bella vision.
Reid made the decision to purchase the Vallé School of Beauty on Young Road in October, renaming it the Gente Bella Academy.
“Our stylists love to share their knowledge,” she says.
Gente Bella has also made a point of supporting its community by getting involved in a range of Chilliwack charities from Chilliwack Hospice Society to local hockey tournaments and Dry Grad events at the local high schools.
“It’s important to give back to your community, and I like to support kids whenever I can,” Reid says.
Gente Bella manager Genny Morran graciously invites the public in for a peek or a little tour of the beautiful and newly expanded digs, located at #202-7592 Vedder Road.
Behind the rather sedate storefront exterior of the business lies a honeycomb of activity related to state-of-the-art spa and salon services.
“We don’t want anyone to ever be afraid to come into the spa and just have a look around,” says Morran.
Their philosophy of service is simple.
You might come in as a client, but you’ll leave a friend.