Mashantucket – Casinos are known to be bustling places where the energy and the noise level are high. But they have their oases…

”There really isn’t anything like it around here,” said Charisse Duroure, the Rhode Islander who was named spa director a couple of months ago. “This is more like something you’d find in New York or Boston,” where, in fact, Gretta Monahan, the style mogul who owns G Spa, opened the first one on Newbury Street…

The spa boasts a pool for swimming laps, an exercise room equipped with treadmill after treadmill, and 12 massage rooms, including two that can accommodate couples and two devoted to special “wet” treatments that feature exfoliating scrubs and showers. The locker rooms have a whirlpool, a sauna and a Jacuzzi with a waterfall. Before entering a massage room, customers can relax in a “tranquility room” that could pass for a destination in itself…

Duroure, who has nearly 30 years’ experience at health-and-fitness clubs and spas, made her way home to take the G Spa job after helping launch Ethos Fitness and Spa for Women in Midland Park, N.J., where she was general manager. She also has managed upscale athletic facilities for a Colorado-based company, and learned the spa business at Williams Island, a private club near Miami. She spent three years there between stints at Glastonbury-based Healthtrax, which operates fitness centers throughout New England…

”They’re looking to add more local clientele here, which is one of the reasons I was brought in,” she said. “We’re spreading the word, meeting with PTAs and networking through the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. … The saying in New Jersey was that we’d go to the opening of an envelope…”

While the spa’s rates are “definitely at the high end” of the spectrum, Duroure said, treatments that range as high as $200 to $300 are available for as little as $99 early in the day. Although no memberships have yet been offered, Duroure said she’s working on some kind of deal for locals. And, she noted, patrons can come in and use the pool, the fitness center and the locker rooms for $25 a day. The price of a standard $130 massage also entitles one to use of the amenities…

The spa has 68 full- and part-time employees, including 19 massage therapists, 15 locker-room attendants, six estheticians skilled in facial treatments and four hairstylists. It featues top-of-the-line Kérastase (hair), Peter Thomas Roth (face) and June Jacob (skin) products.

Men account for about 35 percent of the clientele, Duroure said.

TheDay.com, Mashantucket, Connecticut, July 19, 2009
http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=c9a2eab8-4dca-4c03-9cf6-3be35fa6b40b

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