First Look: Drift Float & Spa opens Oct. 15

Drift Float & Spa is located between Two Chefs and Jī-rōz in the Main + Stone development | photography by Will Crooks

Greenville’s first float spa, Drift Float & Spa, is days away from opening at the Main + Stone development at the corner of North Main Street and Stone Avenue, and chances are, “floating” is a foreign concept to most of the Greenville community. But apparently not to everyone: owner Kelly Caldwell says her three float suites are completely booked for opening day, Oct. 15.

But if you’re not quite studied up on the latest health and wellness trend here’s what you need to know: flotation therapy is a sensory deprivation treatment that allows the user to float in warm salt water in a float tank. Professional athletes, such as basketball star Stephen Curry, are known to promote the benefits flotation therapy, which is also used in treatment for anxiety and PTSD, among other mental and emotional disorders.

The 2,441-square-foot space between Two Chefs and Jī-rōz features three private float pods for floatation therapy, along with an infrared sauna, a multi-purpose area to be used for massage and other spa treatments, and a lounge with oxygen therapy.

So what’s a float tank and how does it work? Also called a float cabin or pod, the tanks are eight feet long by five feet wide and look like a large bathtub with a hinged, domed lid that is designed to be closed by the user once inside.

The pod fills with a few inches of a mixture of water and 850-plus pounds of food-grade epson salt that is kept at skin temperature. Users lie on their backs and the salty solution supports their weight completely, allowing them to float with their faces above water. Lights and music in the pod dim after 10 minutes. Most floats last 60 or 90 minutes, and floaters say the duration seems much shorter. In fact, many will fall asleep.

In 2012, while in Atlanta, Caldwell started floating as a tool for treating her PTSD symptoms. She immediately noticed an improvement and decided she wanted to bring flotation therapy to Greenville. The other services she offering at the spa complement the floatation therapy.

Caldwell chose the colors and design of the space based on the teal geode-like wallpaper she hung in the lounge area facing North Main Street. From there she chose teals, neutrals, gold finishes, and crisp white accents for the walls and floors with mid-century modern furniture throughout. More than a dozen paintings by local artists decorate the entire hallway from front to back.

“I wanted to keep everything as local as possible,” Caldwell says.

And while some of the services and their promoted benefits may draw from ancient alternative medicine, the equipment used is the latest technology. For instance, in the infrared sauna, you can watch Netflix or listen to your favorite Pandora station via a touch screen while sweating out toxins at 136 degrees.


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