A Balm for the Soul
Nurture Spa in New Hope provides a restorative experience with services customized to each client, delivered in an environment of tranquility and refinement.
by Erica Young

A spa experience should enable guests to relax, reset, and rejuvenate. Carolyn Holdsworth took that lesson to heart 18 years ago when she founded Nurture Spa in the heart of New Hope.

Holdsworth began her career in corporate America, working in marketing and brand licensing with esteemed brands such as Estée Lauder, the Hearst Corp., and Mary Kay Inc., among others. Her experience, as well as a love of skincare, inspired her to create Nurture with a single goal in mind: to create a nurturing experience for every guest, from beginning to end.  
“What I believe has set us apart for all of these years, through the pandemic, through our expansion, up to now, is that we revere service,” she says. “We focus on service as an individual business, from the grace you’re given when you walk through the door, to how your [massage] therapist talks with you and treats you before, during, and after your treatment. Whether it’s a full day of treatments or a single service, delivering the highest-quality client experience is everything to us.”
Nurture Spa is a place unlike any other, spacious and elegant. The spa includes 13 treatment rooms, three relaxation lounges, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a 1,200-square-foot outdoor terrace.
The spa grew out of Holdsworth’s intense desire to satisfy an unmet need. She recalls going to spas hoping to receive either a therapeutic massage or an effective facial, only to be intimated by the feel of the environment, confused by the spa menu, and lost in what they were trying to sell her. So, when it came time to cultivate the mission of Nurture Spa and develop its menu of services, she took a simple and straightforward approach.
“I wanted to create the spa I was never able to find myself: a spa with highly talented therapists in a luxurious environment, that wasn’t arrogant or pretentious,” she adds. “I came up with the name Nurture Spa, because I wanted the name of the business to communicate exactly what we are. There is beauty in simplicity, beauty in offering a high-quality experience that isn’t fluffed up with buzzwords or bells and whistles. This was the driving philosophy when I created the company in 2005, and it is still the driving philosophy behind everything we do today. From the interior to the linens to the products to the spa menu, a philosophy of nurturing is at the heart of everything.”
The menu at Nurture Spa focuses on communication, customization, and connection, with services designed to nourish and restore different aspects of the face and body: an array of massages, from therapeutic deep tissue to raindrop therapy; an assortment of facials, from a European-style experience to more advanced facials such as HydraFacial and dermaplaning; medi-spa treatments including microneedling from SkinPen; manicures and pedicures; lashes, brows, and waxing; and access to injectables administered by a double-board-certified plastic surgeon.
As an aesthetician and nail technician herself, Holdsworth is constantly working to support and expand her team of therapists that share her approach to client service. Every member of the team strives to deliver a positive experience that provides the results clients seek.
“Our team not only has the technical expertise you would expect from a spa of our level, but they also speak our language, understand our brand, and know how to effectively communicate with the client,” she says. “A spa is not a traditional business environment, so it is imperative that we have a team that understands the kind of nontraditional, interpersonal energy that drives our success. My team leads with compassion and heart to deliver that nurturing experience each and every time.”
In what can be a challenging and demanding industry, Holdsworth has fostered a culture designed to nurture employees as well as clients. The approach appears to be working; some members of her team have been working by her side for a decade or longer.
To Holdsworth, the team she has cultivated is a great source of pride.
“I worked as a therapist with clients daily for more than a decade, to launch and build the business, and because of this I truly understand the job, I understand what my team works with every day, and I understand the challenges from an employee’s perspective,” she says. “Having this experience in working with and beside my team made me adopt a different management style than what I used in the corporate world.
“This business model of a luxury spa revolves around the transfer of energy and helping a client feel something within the span of that appointment,” she continues. “It’s like no other business I have experienced. And because of the uniqueness of this business model and what I hoped to achieve in each client’s experience, I had to operate differently as a manager, as well as an owner/operator. Ensuring that the employee’s daily experience is positive is paramount, as their experience can and will have a direct impact on the client’s experience. Again, it’s all about energy, and we must protect that and lead with compassion at all times.”
Other pride points of Nurture Spa include the spa’s elegant interior design, which feels more like a luxury residence than a traditional spa, not to mention the expansion of its retail space, called The Collective. The 2,000-square-foot shop provides a well-curated collection of fashions, gifts, and beauty products. Holdsworth has assembled a collection of brands and items that she could not find anywhere else in the New Hope-Lambertville area—refined bath-and-body products and on-trend apparel brands such as Varley, Sanctuary, Beyond Yoga, Lacoste, Lilla P, and others. Guests will also find signature skincare brands including Dr. Barbara Sturm and Skinceuticals, among others. All are available in the brick-and-mortar location, as well as through Nurture Spa’s online store.
“Because of our unique and expansive space, we are able to isolate our retail primarily to one floor, allowing us to separate the spa experience from the retail experience,” explains Holdsworth. “This is a collection of items and brands that I love and that our clients love. It’s all about style, not price point. This is a place to go to treat yourself or to find unique gifts when you want to avoid the mall and need the personal approach.”
Expertise, beauty, and client-first service are infused into every aspect of Nurture Spa. Holdsworth cannot imagine living her life—or running her business—any other way.
“It’s the compassion that sets us apart,” she says. “It is our job to listen to our client on all levels, truly hear what they are saying—and sometimes not saying—so that we deliver the experience that is right for them at that moment. We sincerely love what we do, and we want our clients to feel this sincerity at every touchpoint of their visit.
“Now more than ever, visiting a spa is a ‘want to’ not a ‘have to’ kind of decision,” she continues. “This concept has been in the forefront of my mind for 18 years, and because of this, Nurture Spa will continue to innovate with intention, hone our talents, and be humbly grateful for the opportunity to provide the services we do. The moment you take things for granted is when everything shifts. And at Nurture Spa, that will never happen.”
Nurture Spa
31 W. Ferry Street
New Hope, PA 18938
(215) 862-7010
Photo by Alison Dunlap
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, October 2023.