A resort in downtown Birmingham.
By Matthew Totsky
Photography by Jerry Zolynsky
Get ready spa-aficionados; it’s time to step into an oasis in the heart of downtown Birmingham. The Rivage Day Spa recently opened its doors to guests looking to transport themselves to a world of luxury, relaxation and pampering on par with an upscale seaside resort. Along with decadent facial treatments, body massages and nail services, they also offer the highest quality personal care products from around the world.
The project is the brainchild of proprietor and certified medical aesthetician Nahil Gebara and her daughter Jessica Lundberg, who act as the spa’s directors. Additionally, the pair have teamed up with Dr. Ahmet Karaca, M.D., who serves as the facility’s medical director.
“The three of us worked together for over six years,” Lundberg says. “We have a great working relationship and an understanding about how this business works and are united behind the common goal of happy clients and total customer satisfaction.”
Rivage Day Spa is located in a sprawling space that takes up nearly 7,500-square-feet with black and white marble floors, stunning chandeliers, custom-made furnishings, a picture-perfect fireplace and a one-of-a-kind 1,000-square-foot relaxation atrium situated in the heart of the spa.
“When we first walked into this space, I got the feeling of a resort rather than a downtown area,” Lundberg says. “That feeling aligned with our goals as a place to escape. We want our clients to feel like they’re on vacation when they’re actually still near to their homes. We were very particular about the design of everything here, right down to the fabrics, massage beds, flooring and furniture. We wanted people to walk in here and feel an amazing energy.”
The Rivage Day Spa offers a full array of medical spa services, including laser hair removal, Botox and machine procedures that are available through a partnership with Birmingham Plastic Surgery and Dr. Karaca.
Dr. Karaca brings nearly 40 years of experience to Rivage Day Spa and sees the partnership with Lundberg and Gebara as a mutually beneficial one. “Many plastic surgeons start their own spas,” he says. “But I chose to partner with this pair of established spa experts. There is a natural cross-over between a practice like mine and a spa. Clients become patients and patients become clients. For example, if a client wants a facelift, they would refer them to me. I refer my patients to them for various spa treatments as well.”
Known throughout Metro Detroit as one of the more experienced plastic surgeons in area, Dr. Karaca has always shown an interest in non-surgical procedures. “I’ve been at the forefront of machine procedures,” he says. “A popular one is our medically-designed microdermabrasion machine. It releases crystals to resurface the skin for an anti-aging effect with immediate radiant results.”
Other machine-based procedures available at Rivage Day Spa include CoolSculpting, a method that freezes about 30 percent of body fat and gets rid of it without any side effects; the Halo Laser, the world’s first hybrid fractional laser; the Forever Young BroadBand Light, which is used for a variety of skin conditions and Sublime and Sublative, which are skin rejuvenation treatments.
“Using these machines in a spa setting allows me to get the most use out of them,” Dr. Karaca says. “Spa clients and our patients are interchangeable when it comes to enjoying everything we have to offer.”
Rivage Day Spa has only been open since the first week of August but the local community has already welcomed them with open arms. “The reaction so far has been humbling,” Lundberg says. “We have yet to do any advertising, but so many people have walked in off the street and are excited about we have to offer. There’s been a lot of support from residents and from the city and we look forward to serving them for many years to come.” NS
For more information:
Rivage Day Spa
210 S. Old Woodward Ave. Suite 250, Birmingham