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An Indulgence in Wellness

Welcome to The Henderson

By Zandra Wolfgram | Photography by Chandler Williams, Modus Photography

Located along two miles of one of America’s top rated beaches in Destin, Florida, and also adjacent to the stunning 208-acre Henderson Beach State Park, The Henderson, a Salamander Beach Resort and Spa, is poised to be one of the first luxury resorts to open along the Gulf Coast in a generation.

Much anticipation has surrounded the opening of this beautiful 170-room hotel reminiscent of a seaside manor of yesteryear. At the heart of this classic coastal jewel box is a stunning ten-thousand-square-foot nature-inspired wellness sanctuary—the Salamander Spa. Drawing on its inspirational beach venue with treatments that incorporate the natural surroundings, The Henderson’s full-service day spa features eleven spacious treatment rooms, soothing experiential water features, women’s and men’s relaxation lounges, and a view overlooking the treetops of the pristine Henderson preserves and beyond to the Gulf’s horizon.

To be expected, Salamander Spa is indulgent, as demonstrated by its skincare line, Kerstin Florian, a luxury skin care brand that focuses on results with the guiding philosophy that outer beauty is achieved through inner health.

Salamander Spa director Kim DeOrsey is clearly an industry powerhouse. She’s opened and operated some of the most illustrious and award-winning spas in the country: PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; the Club at Ibis in West Palm Beach, Florida; and the Omphoy Ocean Resort and Spa in Palm Beach, Florida, which readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine voted the number one resort spa in the United States.

Lounging room at Henderson Inn Beach Resort Spa

A graduate of Central Michigan University, DeOrsey is an active member of the International Spa Association, the Florida Spa Association, and the Club Spa and Fitness Association, and has served on the Starwood North American Spa Council and provided spa advisory task force guidance for several luxury hotel companies. In addition to overseeing the Salamander Spa, DeOrsey also operates the fitness, recreation, and retail operations at the Henderson.

Drawing on its inspirational beach venue with treatments that incorporate the natural surroundings.

But wellness isn’t just relegated to the spa; DeOrsey’s vision is to promote wellness in as many ways as she can through fitness classes, year-round wellness workshops, and children’s programs, to name a few.

“We begin our program where we all begin and end our day—in our sleeping rooms,” she says. “We created a wellness crate that contains everything you need to fully enjoy our spa and fitness center, including a wellness mat.”

Spa guest rooms are stocked with a special line of amenities, too. “Instead of chips and sweets, we have a well-being bar,” DeOrsey explains. “You can do an eye mask, soak in the tub, or enjoy a nourishing exfoliating mask. We even have a journal so you can reflect and write down your thoughts and relax your mind.”

It appears DeOrsey has thought of everything, from the moment her guests wake to the time they retire. “You’ve heard of a wake-up call; we have a turndown call. We call our spa guests with a gentle reminder to unplug, detach, and focus on themselves for a good night’s rest.”

DeOrsey has long been admired for her commitment to integrating cutting-edge holistic treatments into the spa environment and for always putting the guests first. “I am especially passionate about arming our guests with education, so they take home key knowledge and insight that will forever enrich their lives,” she says. “We have wellness cards for our guests to take home that include recipes with a Salamander Spa ingredient. For example, we have one for lavender truffles. These are chocolate truffles made with lavender and food-grade sea salt.” 

Henderson Inn Beach Resort Spa located in Destin, Florida

For this lifelong health and fitness devotee, existing within a spa world is second nature. Since she was a child, she was inspired to make mindful, healthy choices by watching her grandmother Irene, who lived to be 103. “She was playing tennis and doing yoga just a few years before she passed,” DeOrsey says. “She always took good care of her skin and she taught me how important it is.”

You’ve heard of a wake-up call; we have a turndown call. We call our spa guests with a gentle reminder to unplug, detach, and focus on themselves for a good night’s rest.

DeOrsey, who taught gymnastics to children when she was just fifteen years old, now passes along her passion for leading an active, healthy life to her three children: Tyler, 20, Elle, 10, and Remington, 8. “For our family, wellness is definitely a lifestyle choice,” she says.

What is DeOrsey’s wish for the world in the new year? “I want everyone to get out there with their families to take a bike ride and enjoy what the Emerald Coast has to offer,” she says. “Put your feet in the sand more and be more playful.”

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