Our Story

The Original Idea

Urban Sanctuary was started by two friends with a vision of a place where people could be renewed and restored without having to leave town or go on vacation. A boutique day spa with the elaborate service menu and beauty of a resort spa and the comfort and ease of home.

The perfect place to Unwind.


Candice Courcy and Alan McArthur co-founded Urban Sanctuary together in 2004. They worked and studied in Tucson, Arizona. For over a decade, they each trained spa staff and massage therapists, while exploring life enhancing disciplines such as Ayurveda, Mindfulness, Aromatherapy, Chi Nei Tsang, Ontolgy, meditation, Reiki and various healing arts.

They brought their vision of a beauty, joy and kindness to Athens, Georgia, where Alan was born and launched Urban Sanctuary. Shortly there after came Sarah.

Sarah Gschwind became an integral part of Urban Sanctuary while the business was in it’s infancy. As spa director, front desk manager and house mother, she shaped Urban Sanctuary’s brand and customer services practices.Under her watchful eye and extraordinary leadership, the spa grew in leaps and bounds for 10 years.

Today, Candice is Urban Sanctuary’s sole owner. Alan sold his half of the business in 2016 and went on to start new adventures in entrepreneurship for himself. Sarah provides training and consulting for Urban Sanctuary to this day.


13 years later, Urban Sanctuary has won many awards:

  • Athens’ Favorite Day Spa
  • Athens’ Best Day Spa
  • Best Massage
  • A Historic Preservation Award in 2010 for restoring and renovating the old church school house building where the spa now lives
  • Several community service rewards
  • A Beautiful Business award.

Be Kind. Unwind.

Be Kind to Yourself. Be Kind To Others. Unwind At Urban Sanctuary…

That is Urban Sanctuary’s motto. It’s the joy of creating joy, beauty and kindness in a world that loves to reciprocate that is propelling Urban Sanctuary’s continued growth and success.

Please enjoy your Urban Sanctuary.

Man-Friendly, Eco-Friendly, Organic, Natural