The restorative, healthful powers of water have been harnessed since ancient times and as a waterpark or resort operator, you capture that essence at your facility.

By adding unique touches that provide additional comfort and rejuvenation, it’s possible to set your facility ahead of the competition by increasing foot traffic and ensuring repeat visits from satisfied customers.

That’s what the team at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas set out to do at their property.

Mandarin Oriental has built a reputation as a state-of-the art destination brand, but it needed to stand out from all the competition in Las Vegas.

To go above and beyond, a development team was challenged to create additional restorative comfort utilizing the natural effects of water and temperature. The 27,000-square-foot spa facility opened in December 2009 and in addition to the pool, it includes a vitality pool with views of Las Vegas Boulevard.

The pools offer beneficial exercise and recreation opportunities, but developers went one step further, using light, color, sound and aroma to provide additional benefits. A hydro-lounge steam environment features aromatherapy and specially designed lighting and after experiencing the heated steam environment, guests can cool face and body at an ice fountain that dispenses ice chips into an elegant glass bowl.

For many visitors, Las Vegas is a mental and physical oasis, and that was a key concept in Mandarin Oriental’s goal. To that end, there are nine experience showers — which include ambient sound, light and aromatherapy — located in the locker rooms.

According to comments on, guests have responded to the wellness-focused extras.

“This is by far the best spa I have ever been to. The amenities were top-notch. … I will definitely go back my next time in Vegas,” said one Yelp-er.

So what can less luxurious operations do to achieve the same kind of response and mirror the results of Mandarin Oriental? Perhaps simple upgrades in showerheads could make a huge difference in the experience of your showers.

Music might be the norm for most facilities, but consider using different channels for different spaces, such as the locker rooms.

Also think about ways to incorporate small niceties such as ice fountains, which don’t necessarily have to be in relaxation rooms.