68,000 Pounds of Pure Luxury How Smarthinking Inc. Built an authentic idaho brand

When Whitetail Club and Shore Lodge looked at all that they offered in their luxurious mountain resort lifestyle, they felt something was missing. They had some of the finest amenities in the Pacific Northwest – championship golf, a private beach, exquisite fine dining, proximity to three major river systems, the most plentiful hot springs in the country, fantastic winter sports, and the largest area of protected wilderness in the Continental United States - but they still felt that they were missing something. It occurred to them that a world-class spa would complete the lifestyle that their members and guests expected and deserved. The addition of the spa would round out the 5-star offering that the properties wanted to include, BUT they were not interested in building the typical 5-star spa. This had to be different. Reflective of the town. Authentically McCall.

Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho

To accomplish this goal, the client enlisted Smarthinking Inc., an award-winning brand agency, that has a long history of developing unique and compelling real estate and hospitality projects. The firm’s New York roots were an advantage as they were seeing and experiencing McCall, Idaho for the first time.

“When we first arrived in McCall, we were awestruck. This has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the country, and we immediately began strategizing on how to incorporate that beauty into the design of the spa.” Says Mark Natale, Principal of Smarthinking Inc.
The Branded Experience was reflected in the floor plans and interior design.

The devil is in the details. Every aspect of the design, from the name of the spa to the interior design to the marketing strategy was rethought and redesigned until it was exactly right. Ten years later, it’s safe to say that Smarthinking Inc.’s strategic eye for detail paid off…literally. ‍

Development of the spa lobby.
Development of immersion pools.
Brand Identity Study

In the past ten years, the spa has not revamped their treatment menus with trendy offerings or enhancements. Instead, the spa offers their top 5 selection of massages, facials, scrubs, and body wraps. They’ve excelled in them ever since and the ROI has kept a healthy pulse.

Natale refers to the spa’s two immersion pools as a great example of setting the standard in spa excellence. In fact, the spa was even named into Forbes’ exclusive list of star rating winners worldwide. “We knew we wanted to build indoor and outdoor immersion pools in the spa that could be used in all four seasons. Beautiful soaking pools with heated, saline water, bringing the concept of the hot spring inside the spa. But we needed to do something different, something reflective of McCall. We felt to capture an authentic design, the pools should look like they were newly discovered natural hot springs. We sat down with the pool designers and said, "forget everything you know about traditional pool design. This needed to be completely different." In the end, we were left with two stunning immersion pools that incorporate roughly 68,000 pounds of local granite boulders.”

Hand selection of the local boulders and purposeful placement for the design.
Smarthinking Inc.'s photoshoots showcased the spa as well as the brand's personality.

This maniacal attention to detail continued throughout the project, all 12 months of it! From the marketing collateral that features imaginative treatments like the “Wildflower Facial” and the “Trailblazer Massage,” to the 60+ floor-to-ceiling Douglas Fir Logs in the spa’s lobby; this is a spa-like no other. The majority of the spa’s woodwork was made from Pacific Northwest Antique Oak, selected for its rich, warm hues and enduring allure. Natale says, “To see the demand for The Cove continue to grow within the community of McCall and beyond has been rewarding, but what Smarthinking Inc. is most proud of is that the spa remains being an honest representation of its surrounding landscape.

Spa Brochure
Stationary Set
We never planned for The Cove to be the best spa in McCall, we aimed to conceptualize the best spa globally. Its continued success and high demand speak for themselves.

For more information on the project, contact Smarthinking Inc. at thinkers@smarthinkinginc.com or 888.315.4056.

Created By
Mark Natale