World-renowned, Award-winning Wellness Spa Designers Cary Collier and Doug Chambers Lend Global Expertise to Create a Compelling Social Wellness Experience Matching the Thrill and High Energy of Sin City

Whitefish, MT (October 25, 2021) – Cue the Sauna Meister. Said no one ever at a health spa in the United States. Until now.

Inspired by bathhouses in Finland and Austria, the Art of Aufguss makes its US debut on the Strip with a spa experience that is both performative and holistic. The Blu Spas design team’s goal was to create a new way to “spa” when they helped envisioned Awana Spa & Wellness at Resorts World Las Vegas, which just opened its doors September 2021. The spa, through its design and unique amenities, naturally invites a social spa experience and pays homage to sacred geometry and ancient therapies such as contrast bathing. The award-winning design team assembled a menagerie of experiences within the 26,000 square-foot facility, including: 

  • Art of Aufguss, a social sauna event space complete with a Sauna Meister 
  • Fountain of Youth, a water-themed area with five pools at different temperatures
  • Sacred Geometry, design elements that use mathematics to create energy 
  • Crystal Laconium Room with heated salt stones for halotherapy
  • Tepidarium Chairs, heated seats to soothe sore muscles and promote relaxation
  • Rain Walk, a cooling and warming rain hydrotherapy experience
  • Fitness Center, a 7,000-square-foot health club with Pelotons and Recovery Zone
  • Bali-inspired spa services by Kim Collier, JAMUspa  

 The first of its kind in the US, the Art of Aufguss is a community-centric sauna experience led by a Sauna Meister who orchestrates a journey of heat, aromatherapy, choregraphed music, lighting and dancing towels while moving heat around the room to the beat of the music. This performance within a spa experience originates from Austria and is very popular in Europe. Blu sought consultation from a team of experts in the wellness space, including London-based CEO of Design for Leisure Don Genders, who recommended the event sauna to be part of the design. 

Inspired by the BLU GALAXY design concepts that the company envisioned for future spa design work are a symphony of aquatic features that underscore the importance of water to well-being. The Fountain of Youth experience provides five soaking pools, all varying in temperature which have different benefits for the body. The pools are similar in size and shaped in the form of flower petals, making it easy to move from pool to pool. The space is also home to a heated Crystal Laconium room with salt inhalation stones and radiant heat coming through to the benches. There are vapor-filled steam rooms, cool mist showers and a separate Rain Walk leading out of the sauna. The co-ed facility features LED screens which rotate different nature scenes in the background, with changing room temperatures to match the visuals. 

Desmond Stevens, President of STO Design Group was integral to the layout and vision of the water feature designs. 

“Awana Spa & Wellness’s signature water features are uniquely configured in an ‘Aquatic Lounge’; a space where a four leafed cluster of cold, tepid, warm and hot water bodies intersect on a centered, shallow dish of cool water. The close adjacency visually suggests a confluence of these waters, inviting and enticing bodily reinvigoration by successive immersions through the distinct basins; a metaphor for the swirling temperature changes common in natural thermal springs,” comments Stevens.  

He adds, “Augmenting the aquatic ambience, a soft rain periodically falls the full height of the room, lightly splashing into the central, circular area. Bathers can choose to pass through or around this gentle, vertical stream while moving between the pools. Other features include aerated hydrotherapy jets and elevated swan-neck nozzles to provide both submerged hydrotherapy back relaxation and reviving water streams for neck and shoulders, while those in the hot basin can enjoy rising plumes of champagne-sized bubbles ascending from the floor to envelop and sooth from foot level to the upper body.”

When planning the layout of the spa, the team wanted to ensure good flow, good vibes and to honor the principles of sacred geometry into the plans with the help of Scott Elden, Blu’s creative design guru. The layout design and inspiration came from patterns in nature, the golden ratio and fractal geometry – things a spa guest would never dream go into the design of a spa. Rounded rooms and circular themes were used throughout and if one were to hover above the spa, the depiction of Gautama Buddha seated in a meditation pose with a forehead mark and traditional topknot would overlay onto the reception and water areas – resulting in a natural calmness and good energy within these spaces, a subtlety not noticeable to the naked eye.    

A new 7,000-square-foot Fitness Center serves more as a full-service health club and was designed by Matt Laird, Blu’s accomplished fitness expert. The space not only incorporates Pelotons and a Mirror – for those who don’t want to miss a beat on their at-home workouts -- it also features a Recovery Zone – a core component for athletes working to achieve peak performance. The zone features TheraBody massagers, vibrating power plates and compression pants. In addition to cutting-edge fitness equipment from LifeFitness, motivating and inspiring messaging can be seen on the walls such as “Your Only Limit is You.” A Vero water system in the fitness center and spa serves to cut back on plastic bottle waste with still and sparkling water available on tap. 

When Resorts World Las Vegas Spa Director Jennifer Lynn was ready to curate products and services for this one-of-a-kind space, she connected with Bali-inspired product line JAMUspa to bring the unique benefits of herbal healing, spa rituals and JAMU Massage to the 19 treatment rooms. Three signature experiences were designed by Kim Collier using JAMU including:

Javanese Lulur 

A luxurious ritual from the royal palaces of Central Java, Indonesia. Traditionally given for 40 days, every day, prior to the wedding day, the bride-to-be receives this body treatment & massage from women in the family, as a way of passing down wisdom. Begin with foot soak ritual, continue with ‘Lulur’ turmeric body scrub, fresh yoghurt rub and flower shower rinse. Complete with JAMU Massage for body balancing, energizing and empowering the feminine energies. Includes 30 minutes of relaxation time in the suite.

Midnight in Bali 

Increase chi, blood flow and healing potential with the next best thing to Bali, Indonesia at midnight or anytime. Begin with Foot Soak Ritual, continue with full body ginger spice ‘Boreh’ scrub and flower shower. Continue with Balinese foot reflexology and full body balancing JAMU massage. A must experience for body, sole and soul. Includes 30 minutes of relaxation time in the suite.

Balinese Waves 

This energizing full body treatment uses a combination of warming spices and Balinese techniques including skin rolling, wringing, rocking and pressure points to soothe damaged tissue and relieve strained muscles. Begin with foot soak ritual, continue with JAMU massage and choice of Jasmine Frangipani or Ginger Spice organic oils massaged into the body and scalp. Complete with traditional ‘Boreh’ spice back scrub with using ginger root to enhance energy, promote digestion and improve circulation.

Cary Collier, co-founder of Blu Spas Inc says of the project, “The wellness and spa planning for the Awana Spa & Wellness was thrilling due to a punch bowl full of innovations and distinctive design elements. The quest with our stakeholders and project team was to craft a communal bathing signature hub with sizzle and a fun gathering vibe. Introducing the Sauna Aufguss to the US market was a highlight and something new and memorable for Las Vegas. The collection of social venues allows for flexible operating hours during the day or for a nightly hang out. Guests have a great variety of choices for experiences to relax and play in feel good spaces. Importantly, our concept and design were created to establish a business model reducing overall payroll-related operating costs.”

Overall Design: Blu Spas Inc. 

Thermal Feature Consult: Design for Leisure

Water Feature Design: STO Design Group

Pool & Thermal Feature Design and Fabrication: WaterFX

Interior Design: Rodrigo Vargas Design 

Wellness and Spa Director: Jennifer Lynn 

Awana Spa & Wellness is one of several spas designed by Blu that has opened post-Covid in 2021 and are seeing a huge increase in visitation and bookings due to a supercharged demand for wellness experiences. 


  • Four Seasons New Orleans 
  • Market Square Tower Residences in Houston, Texas    

More information on Blu Spas Inc may be found on or by e-mailing 

About Blu Spas, Inc. – Since launching Blu Spas in 1999, Cary Collier, Doug Chambers and their team have provided consulting, and operating solutions for more than 400 different projects – including hotels, resorts, clubs, and residential properties – in over 40 countries. Spanning the wellness, spa, salon and fitness industries, their experience includes distinctive design, operations, business models and analysis, treatment development, product designation and training. Named among the “Top Innovators in the World” by Hospitality Design, Blu Spas works with renowned brands including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton Reserve / St. Regis / W / Bulgari / Autograph, Belmond, Hyatt, Waldorf-Astoria / Hilton, Kimpton, Nobu, Hard Rock.

Media Contact: Darlene Fiske, or 512-331-7755
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.