Alpharetta, GA

Seeking Beauty and Wellness at The Woodhouse Day Spa in Avalon

Bebe Nicholson

Sip champagne and choose from over 70 treatment options for a luxurious experience at this Alpharetta spa.

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Stephanie Crystal, Lead Esthetician:photo by author

“I want to look ten years younger,” I joked with the esthetician at The Woodhouse Day Spa when she asked what results I was looking for.

“Oh, you’ll look at least 20 years younger when we’re done,” she laughed before explaining what my facial treatment would involve.

My trip to the spa was a couple’s gift to my husband and me from our church class. Class members knew we were stressed from taking care of my elderly mother, and they wanted to “treat” us with an unexpected afternoon of pampering.

We discovered as soon as we were ushered toward the men’s and women’s changing rooms that pampering and relaxation were high priorities.

“You’ll find robes and shoes and a private locker. After changing into your robes, leave your personal belongings in an open locker and key in any four-digit code,” a spa attendant instructed. “Then return to the Quiet Room, where we’ll provide a beverage of your choice.”

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Customers change into robes before going to the Quiet Room:Photo by author

My husband, looking concerned, asked what he should wear under his robe. This was his first visit to a spa.

“Whatever you feel comfortable in,” the spa attendant reassured him.

A few minutes later in the Quiet Room, robed and comfortable, we sipped champagne and relaxed for about 15 minutes, until an esthetician named Stephanie escorted me to a smaller, private room with a massage table.

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You get a beverage of your choice:photo by author

There was a vast array of facial treatments to choose from, including a microcurrent treatment, but I finally decided on a dermabrasion peel for exfoliation and two masks offering deep hydration to reduce the signs of premature aging and sun damage.

I’m 68 and have been a sun lover all my life, so I was sold on the idea of a treatment to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. When I asked how long the treatment would take, Stephanie said about 50 minutes, which meant I should finish up at about the same time as my husband.

Some of the more expensive treatments lasted 80 minutes, but I decided to stick within the time frame we had decided on earlier. I also didn’t want to exceed our gift card limit by too much.

The entire experience was soothing and comfortable, with Stephanie explaining each step in the process. “You’ll feel a little tingling when I put the exfoliator on your face, but on a scale of one to ten, it shouldn’t exceed three,” she said.

The tingling only lasted a few seconds, and then she was smoothing a cool moisturizer that was the first of several lotions that she applied.

Low lights, warm blankets and soft music created the perfect ambiance for a relaxing experience. I could have fallen asleep as Stephanie massaged gels and lotions into my face, but I was curious about the spa.

Who owned it and when did it come to Avalon?

Avalon, an upscale, mixed-use development in Alpharetta had opened to great fanfare in 2014. Three years later, in 2017, phase 2 opened with 90,000 additional square feet of retail and restaurant space.

Stephanie said the Woodhouse Day Spa opened three years ago. The owner, Justin Bachtell, told the North Fulton Neighbor newspaper that he and his wife, Kelly, “knew that if we started a business of our own, we wanted to be in the health and wellness industry.”

Mr. Bachtell said the spa aims to “add a luxurious one-of-a-kind spa component” to Avalon.

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The Woodhouse Spa provides a variety of facials:Woodhouse Day Spa Facebook page

In 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, The Woodhouse Spa, along with most other retail businesses, was challenged to the maximum degree with lockdowns and safety concerns.

But according to Stephanie, who had high praise for her boss, Mr. Bachtell continued paying his staff, even when they couldn’t stay open full time.

“It was a challenge,” Stephanie admitted. “We are glad to see a turnaround. Things are finally getting back to normal.”

When the spa fully reopened, people were ready to escape the confines of a pandemic lockdown. They filled the streets of Avalon, and the Woodhouse Spa is once again fully booked.

My husband and I had to make reservations several weeks in advance, so this gives you some inkling of the post-pandemic business turnaround that is occurring in Georgia.

Stephanie says it’s great to be seeing a full load of clients again. She gives a lot of credit to Mr. Bachtell. “He’s been great through it all, and we’re up and running full speed again.”

On the way out, I had one more question. What kind of spa sandals did the spa provide? I wanted to buy a pair, since they were the most comfortable shoes I had ever put on my feet.

When we were in the car, my husband and I compared notes. For a man who isn’t normally a spa patron, he was pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. And I want to go back for an 80-minute treatment.

Do I look ten years younger after my microderm and facial? Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but I’m pleased with my smooth skin and youthful glow. Next time, maybe I’ll try the Swedish or Salt Stone Massage, after I’ve relaxed with another glass of champagne in the Quiet Room.

You'll find the Woodhouse Day Spa at 7150 Avalon Boulevard in Alpharetta.

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I've worked as editor, newspaper reporter, freelance writer, and book publisher. My writing includes lifestyle, humor, travel, relationship, family, politics, faith and health articles, along with three published books. In my various careers, I've been a journalist, retail manager, nonprofit director, flight attendant, freelancer and mom. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Medium.

Alpharetta, GA
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