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Dr. Alison Abiri: Innovating the Essence of Luxury at Essent Spa

Dr. Alison Abiri brings a boutique spa experience to Essent Spa at The Radnor Hotel.

If you were a physician married to a surgeon with a busy practice and your household included five children, a menagerie of indoor pets, and outside, a yardful of rescued barn animals including sheep, ducks, and three pot-bellied pigs, would you be exhausted or an innovator? For Dr. Alison Abiri, a history in emergency medicine, medical administration,  and business, plus an active life as a parent, partner, and caregiver presents no limitation on creativity. A visionary with an MD and an MBA Dr. Abiri meshed her strengths, experience, and observation together four years ago to develop Essent Spa at The Radnor Hotel, a resort-style spa and medi-spa where the focus is on complete and holistic client care. 

Dr. Alison Abiri, owner and creator of Essent Spa.

More than just a spa, with seven treatment rooms and over 350 treatments from massage and facials to medical-grade chemical peels, injectables, and more, Essent provides a range and expertise in services rarely offered together in one place. Using up-to-the-minute dermatological treatments in a welcoming, luxurious spa environment replete with candlelight, cozy robes, and pampering, the goal of Essent Spa is that everybody walking out the door feels more relaxed and confident than they did walking in. For both spa and medi-spa treatments, Essent results are immediate and long-lasting.

To Dr. Alison, as she’s known to her staff and clients, there are two vital aspects of Essent that serve its clientele at an elite level, while strengthening its standing as an award-winning establishment, and they are both rooted in the perspective of care: an educated, highly-trained staff, and an unmatched client experience. 

Staff members of Essent Spa, left to right:  Lindsay Livolsi LME , Naomi Hur RN, Alison Abiri MD MBA, Heather Langstan RN, Jaime Ward LMT

“If you call with a question, it will be answered. Every person on our staff is medically-trained, so you don’t have to wait for a call back from a doctor,” says Dr. Alison, who believes deeply in the value of time. “You don’t have to come in for an initial consultation and then come back. You can call, do a virtual consultation, book your appointment. Your needs are still assessed when you arrive by a level-five esthetician. If you need something different, we’ll adjust. You’ll still get what you need.”

While Essent is not all about indulgence, offering sometimes life-changing treatments like scar remediation, convenience and adaptability is part of the attitude of ease that is felt throughout the Essent experience. Massage therapists are trained in every massage modality, and likewise each esthetician’s extensive training creates a similar flexibility and availability of treatment. If a client decides on something different, even in the moment, truly in the business of wish fulfillment, Essent adapts. 

Therapeutic massage by Juilet Pratt LME, LMT

The openness and accessibility of Essent’s approach comes straight from Dr. Alison. “I give out my card with my cell number,” she says. “Patients call and text me all the time. That gives people confidence and comfort. It’s the reassurance of knowing that if they need me, they can get me.”  

This kind of open communication and concierge level of service is rare in a doctor, and unheard of for a spa. Essent offers a new way to think about the spa and medi-spa experience, asking us to expect more, and welcome an abundance of care. 

Another point of abundance in the Essent mindset shows in the way each guest is treated through his or her stay. 

“When you come in, you’re greeted, offered a beverage, and given a real luxury reception,” says Dr. Alison. “We have warm neck compresses, a tranquility room where you can read, relax, and have a glass of wine after your treatment.”

From facials to dermaplaning, every treatment is elevated with extras that can’t be found elsewhere. For example, folks who come in for photo facials are offered a topical anaesthetic so there’s no discomfort. And during the treatment? They get a hand and arm massage, simply to create an enjoyable experience. Even a medical-grade enzymatic facial peel feels indulgent at Essent, as clients still get robes, heated beds, high quality sheets, and other comforts not to be found in a dermatologist’s office. 

 Heather Langstan RN demonstrating injectables for Sarahh Bond

Also within the niche fulfilled by Essent’s boutique approach to a self-care and maintenance lifestyle is an even more specialized innovation: Spa Script MD, a skin care product line developed by Dr. Alison, specifically for the clientele of Essent. What makes Spa Script MD unique? 

“This line fills an empty hole in skin care,” says Dr. Alison. “There are a lot of chemicals everywhere, I wanted to make this as natural and organic as possible. We source organic ingredients, and I’m very involved in every level of development. If we can get a glycolic from a cherry pit instead of a lab, we’ll do that.” 

Facial application for Pamela Badolato by Lindsay Livolsi LME 

This combination of responsibly-sourced botanicals and natural ingredients, enhanced by medical grade components as needed, result in a higher level of efficacy and safety. As a bonus, almost all Spa Script MD products are vegan and gluten-free.

“It’s all about creating an enjoyable experience,” says Dr. Alison, summing up the essential goal of Essent Spa. In a culture that demands that women work hard and “do it all,” Alison Abiri, physician, innovator, businesswoman, wife, and mother is an example of success. Yet she asks us to put aside that demand now and again, to place ourselves first, to allow ourselves the care and abundance we, after all of our hard work, truly deserve. 

If the mission of Essent Spa is rejuvenative attention with long-lasting results, the message is to help people feel nurtured, which, from the emergency room to the treatment room, has always been at the heart of Dr. Alison’s standard of care. 

Book an appointment, read rave client reviews, purchase an instant or shippable gift card, and learn more about the luxurious experience of Essent Spa at The Radnor Hotel in St. Davids.

Mention Main Line Parent at Essent Spa with your Ultimate Facial Experience and get a complimentary Detox or Collagen Mask ($35 value!)

Main Line Parent’s Pamela Badolato and Sarah Bond, with post-treatment refreshments.

This sponsored story by Karen Barbuscia supports the Main Line Parent community. Photography provided by Carolyn Clement Photography.  

Welcome to Essent Spa, the only five star resort-style spa with a state of the art medical spa serving Philadelphia’s historic Main Line. Award-winning spa and medical spa experiences at this unique facility at The Radnor Hotel.

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