Shop, relax, eat - repeat. Offering the very best in spa treatments, boutique shopping, and gourmet spa cuisine, Kinara Skincare Clinic, SpaCafe in Los Angeles is a true one-stop. And clients are eating it up.
Anything You Want
In a place where clients take for granted the best treatments and customer service that money can buy, how does a new spa differentiate itself? By offering them the unexpected: gourmet spa cuisine from their very own kitchen, and an electric shop offering not only the traditional spa retail items, but duplicates of the electric furnishings and accessories that decorates the spa. By adding unique experiences and extending the idea of what a spa can be, Kina Skincare Clinic, Spa/Cafe and its boutique, cadeaux, in Los Angeles has carved a lofty niche for itself.
The brainchild of Yugoslavian skin expert Olga Lorencin and her long-time client Christine Splichal, an esteemed french restaurateur, Kinara fuses their seemingly divergent fortes into a singular spa. “We were friends for over a decade and we discussed creating a new spa that would offer the best in skincare, healthy and delicious cuisine, as well as a wonderful boutique stocked with luxurious products,” says Lorencin, “a combination that was missing in Los Angeles.”
In Hindi, “kinara” means “on the edge,” and it is a true assessment of the triple life the spa leads - Kinara is a complete spa on the edge of a complete gourmet restaurant on the edge of a self-contained boutique. If the spa were a person, it would need some serious therapy.
Happily, partners Lorencin and Splichal have staked their claim on each of the branches of the business and lend their expertise where it is best suited; Lorencin is in charge of all things spa related, while Sphichal sees to the boutique and restaurant affairs. Adding great clout to the restaurant, Splichal’s husband, master chef Joanchim Splichal of Los Angeles’ Patina Group, designed the menu. So prestigious is the restaurant that it was independently reviewed by a los Angeles Times restaurant critic.
The two partners work closely to create a cohesive feel to the spa and nurture a family atmosphere. “Both Christine and I are very hands-on and are present at Kinara every day,” says Lorencin. As a result, “the spa offers a mix of serious skincare and luxurious body treatments, the cafe features healthy, skin-benefiting cuisine, all in a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere,” notes Lorencin, while the boutique boasts a worldly array of home luxury items, spa accessories, fine chocolates, and beauty items.
Clients appreciate the separate but-together quality of the spa, boutique, and restaurant, and it is not unusual for clients to run in for a quick bite (but not a power peel treatment), or a mini shopping-spree (but not a wild salmon with artichoke tartine), or a mani/pedi (but may forgo the glided slippers in the boutique).
Kabocha Squash Soup with your Pedicure?
With all of this business coming from three different avenues, nails manage to hold their own. Making up 20% of Kinara’s business, natural nail clients keep the spa’s two nail techs busy. Julia Palmer, who heads up the nail department, gleefully reports brisk business and imminent additions to the menu and retail department.
“We’re working closely with Olga to develop hand and foot treatments; we’re using her knowledge of skincare to create some truly effective add-ons to our manicures and pedicures,” she says. “People want their manicures and pedicures to benefit the entire hand or foot. They expect a full hand and foot treatment that is beneficial to the skin, as well as the nails,” says Lorencin.
Also on the horizon: nail products in the boutique. “We’re incorporating them slowly and choosing each item very carefully,” says Palmer.
While so many spas tend to hide away the nail department. Kinara has given their manicure and pedicure area the full treatment. Private but certainly not hidden, “The pedicure area feels more like your living room,” says Palmer, “with two big, comfortable couches and basins. I haven’t seen a station like it.”
“A trend that I see is that clients are pressed for time,” says Lorencin, “so they are enjoying food and drink during their mani/pedi - timesaving treatments are popular.”
And while the nail menu is not vast (one nail tech does offer wraps and gel services), the level of pampering the nail techs are able to offer their clients is inspiring. “They sit in these comfortable couches with luxurious pillows and blankets that they can buy when they leave. They can drink champagne with strawberries, or order a meal from the cafe,” says Palmer. “We have a tremendous amount of repeat clients. And the mani/padi parties are very popular.”
“Groups of up to eight women may come for a party,” says Palmer. On such occasions she enlists the help of a third nail tech to be able to comfortably service the group. These groups are offered a special tea menu from the cafe that includes Fuji apple and celery root re-moulade tea sandwiches, or the decadent Kinara cookie plate complete with cognac truffles.
But while Palmer expects business to keep growing, there are no plans to add new personnel to the nails staff. For now, the balance of the nail department, spa, cafe, and boutique is perfect.