2022 YIR: Passport Springs Set to Open in 2023
The luxurious spa retreat, first reported on in April, is nearing completion, and preparing to open to the public next year.
Sasha Heller is the Web Editor and Copy Editor for the Atlanta Jewish Times
It’s about to get much more luxurious in Forsyth County as the new, 10-acre oasis, Passport Springs & Spa, is nearing completion and preparing to open to the public in the fall of 2023.
The lush spa and resort, designed by veteran architects Voelker Gray, will feature themed pavilions representing Costa Rica, Italy, Israel, and Japan. Recently updated digital renderings show the spa’s plan to operate 25 thermal mineral pools, a centralized and glass-encased ocean pool that links each of the themed hot springs together, and the Grotto, an underground cave network featuring snow, sauna, and salt rooms. The various spa rooms will offer massages, facials, and other rejuvenating treatments.
Slade Gulledge, vice president of economic development for Forsyth Chamber of Commerce, in April, called Passport Springs a “very innovative, ambitious and exciting project.”
“We are thrilled Forsyth County has been chosen for their flagship location and look forward to continuing our work with their development team,” Gulledge said.
Read on to learn about each of the themed pavilions.
Inspired by Beppu Onsen, a famous group of hot springs located in the city of Beppu in Japan, the Japan-themed pavilion at Passport Springs will feature rocky shorelines, dramatic water chutes, wooden post and lintel construction and sliding tatami screen walls. The landscape will also feature a multi-story pagoda with arcing blue tile roofs and glistening finials that towers above a serene garden collection of bonsai, cherry blossoms, maple, and bamboo.
While inside the pagoda, guests can enjoy sushi and sake while enjoying the sights and ambience. Also, a highlight of the Japanese pavilion is the volcanic sunbathing experience, while VIP guests can soak in a private hot spring pool, courtyard and house.
According to press materials, the Israel Dead Sea experience will be the largest flotation pool in North America, and largest in the world, second to only the Dead Sea itself. During the day, guests can experience the novelty of floating in the water; however, at night, the pavilion transforms into a dimly-lit, atmospheric Middle Eastern bathhouse featuring flickering, handcrafted chandeliers. Adjacent to the floating pool is a luxurious expanse of authentic Dead Sea mud, where patrons can lather themselves and friends in soothing clay.
The pools in the Costa Rica-themed pavilion are influenced by minerals in the volcanically warmed hot springs. The pavilion also features a vibrant greenhouse with living rainforest walls and an infinity pool overlooking a 50-foot cliffside. Of note, the Costa Rica pool will glow in the evenings due to its bioluminescence, making it the world’s first of its kind.
Guests will enter the Italy pavilion via a courtyard and loggia, harking back to the days of Roman patrician states, that leads to a pantheon that is lined with cypress trees and mounted with a monumental pediment relief. The pantheon houses pools of varying temperatures and mineral content underneath a coffered, domed roof containing a sky-light oculus. The area is inspired by the iconic hot springs of Bath, England, created by the Romans during occupation.
Patrons can also journey through the Grotto, a subterranean cave network featuring a sequence of sauna, steam, snow, and salt rooms. Fine wine, personal brick oven pizzas, and gelato dessert will tempt guests’ taste buds as they soak in the idyllic Tuscan-inspired scenery.
Finally, Passport Pool will connect the network of international pavilions in a centralized, glass-enclosed hub. The Passport Pool, inspired by the Gellert Bath in Budapest, Hungary, features a 100-foot-long retractable glass roof and wall. When not soaking in the pool, guests can recline in seats affixed to the Baja bench pool or wade in the river current. Guests can also enjoy the Passport Bistro, Bar, and Café, with delectable selections of meals and drinks prepared by world-renowned chefs and mixologists.
Situated in Forsyth County at the intersection of Georgia Highway 400, State Route 141 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard, Passport Springs is easily accessible to the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta metropolitan area.
Daniel Elkind contributed to this article.