Women in Business
An oasis for mind, body and spirit, the Assuage Luxury Spa is one woman’s endeavor to blend beauty and wellness
Opening her own spa was Tehjan Sherif Prendiville’s dream. Today her Assuage Luxury Spa welcomes those seeking an oasis for mind, body and spirit.
Some call it a sanctuary. Others call it an oasis for the soul. Assuage Luxury Spa in Fort Myers is both. Assuage, which means to soothe, relieve or ease, is the creation of Tehjan Sherif Prendiville, who brings a lifetime of mental health experience to her latest business venture. “I wanted to set the stage for pleasure by creating a relaxing, intimate atmosphere that focuses on mind, body and spirit,” she says.
Her vision includes fresh flowers, soothing music, dim lighting and exotic treatments from around the globe. Everyday stresses melt away the moment guests enter the Moroccan-inspired spa tucked in a quiet corner on Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers. Gracious staff offer cucumber, lemon and mint-infused water before and after treatments, which can be combined with time spent in the sauna or steam bath to extend the experience. And because the boutique spa is small by design, you may be the only person there, making it seem like your own private spa.
Tehjan’s husband, facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Prendiville, has an office adjacent to Assuage and serves as medical director for the spa. “I was pleased about Assuage from the inception of the idea of the spa because of its potential to be of value to my patients,” says Prendiville. “Assuage in its physical form has far exceeded my expectations. To begin with, it is a beautiful and very peaceful little oasis that immediately makes you feel relaxed. Secondly, the staff is top-notch and go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Lastly, the treatments offered are expertly executed and the feedback we have received has been amazing.”
Tehjan’s concept is as unique as the force behind it. Born in the Middle East, she has traveled the world with a special interest in cultural healing. She moved to the United States as a child, growing up in Arizona.
Assuage, which means to soothe, relieve or ease, is the creation of Tehjan Sherif Prendiville, who brings a lifetime of mental health experience to her latest business venture.
While many people may take years to discover their life’s work, Tehjan knew exactly what she wanted to do when she was just 13 years old. While working as a candy-striper in a mental health facility in Arizona, where she played cards and games with the patients, it dawned on her.
“People have a role in life. I believe I was born into the role of service,” says the statuesque Tehjan, who became a registered nurse certified in psychiatric nursing. That knowledge led her to own and operate mental health facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida during her 26-year career in the mental health field.
Tehjan moved to Southwest Florida in 2007 and has since sold all of her mental health facilities to focus on wellness, beauty and healthy aging. She believes in taking a holistic approach to health and wellness. For example, she leads a Monday evening group therapy session for women at Assuage Spa to help them resolve personal issues in their own lives.
The current spa location in Fort Myers soon will be joined by a second location in North Naples on Piper Boulevard. Its opening is planned for later this summer. The new 2,800-square-foot spa will include five treatment rooms, two shower rooms (one each for men and women) and a co-ed sauna.
Assuage offers all the treatments typically expected from a luxury spa and much more. For the skin, special facials and peels are on the menu, along with massages, cellulite reduction wraps and detoxifying body treatments. A full line of injectables, such as Botox, Sculptra, Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane, Restylane Silk and Voluma will be available at both locations and will be administered by Dr. Prendiville.
A membership plan is available at discounted rates for multiple services as well as single treatments and is transferrable to friends and family. It can be used at either spa.
Tehjan believes in practicing what she preaches. Her own exercise regimen includes yoga and dancing—especially Cajun and zydeco, a form of jitterbug that’s as energetic as Tehjan herself. Rather than stress about dieting, Tehjan focuses on eating good food made from natural ingredients and eating in moderation.
When the Prendivilles want to get away from it all, they spend time boating (Dr. Prendiville is an avid fisherman), traveling and visiting with family and friends. Tehjan and her husband are known for hosting parties at their riverfront home in Fort Myers.
“I love fun parties where people can be themselves and feel free. If I had only two words to describe myself, they would be ‘compassionate’ and ‘joyful,’” Tehjan says. And that’s the feeling she brings to Assuage Luxury Spa.
Tehjan Sherif Prendiville Moroccan-inspired decor adds a touch of the exotic to the treatment rooms at the Assuage Luxury Spa in Fort Myers.
The relaxing and inviting ambience of the Assuage Luxury Spa; medical director Dr. Stephen Prendiville and spa owner Tehjan Sherif Prendiville