An Oasis in An Office Building
Just over a week ago, Le Mani Day Spa moved to an unexpected location, with surprising and beautiful results.
Le Mani Day Spa moved to a new location just over a week ago, and its new spot is a surprising one. Located at 63 Shore Road, inside a large office building filled with lawyers and doctors, it's not a place that screams "day spa." But enter the building, take the elevator up to the second floor, open the plain wooden office door, and suddenly you'll have stepped into an unexpected oasis.
The dimmed reception room opens to cushy, oversized white leather chairs, a glass-topped coffee table with a vase of fresh flowers, and soft New Age music playing.
Owner Gail Lemerise loves the new location. "It's quiet. I think it has a serene feeling, which I was really happy about."
Lemerise has owned the day spa for 10 years, taking it over from a previous owner who had started it five years before. Le Mani had been on Thompson Street from the beginning, but the atmosphere changed after the Black Horse Tavern moved in nearby. Suddenly, when the tavern windows were open, its music could be heard inside the spa.
"It forced us to make a move, and we're thrilled to do it, actually," Lemerise said.
There are still three treatment rooms, as before, but each room is larger than in the previous location. Lemerise's favorite room has a wall of windows looking out onto an expanse of trees.
"It feels like the woods," she said. "It will be beautiful with the snow too."
One of the treatment rooms is for cosmetic tattooing and permanent eyeliner, services used frequently by cancer patients Lemerise treats. Her clients with cancer were forefront in Lemerise’s mind when she looked for a new space – she wanted a place that was relaxing for them.
When Lemerise first looked at the space, it was occupied by accountants. Even so, she could see the potential for a day spa. After she signed the lease, the work began to convert the office space to a tranquil spa. Everything had to be done over, including re-painting all the walls, ripping up the wall-to-wall carpeting, and putting in wood flooring to accommodate Lemerise's chemical sensitivities.
Le Mani also specializes in teenage skin issues. “It’s a huge part of our business,” Lemerise said, adding the teenage boy who had just left was the fourth teen client of the day. In fact, when the economic downturn came and some clients were forced to cut back, they often chose to cancel their own sessions but bring their teens to Le Mani.
“Parents are choosing their children because they trust us,” Lemerise said.
One afternoon last week, as an employee searched for a packed item she couldn’t find, Lemerise said they still had some settling in to do. But the day spa space is finished, and clients have been reporting they like it.
"It's a good space. It's a good feeling," Lemerise said, adding she just hopes clients will continue to find them and come to the spa now that it's moved to the new location.