Residents of Clayton on the Park enjoy such upscale amenities as a spa, fitness center, art studio and two restaurants. Photograph by Alise O’Brien

One step into the new Clayton on the Park, the independent senior living community created from an apartment building and hotel at the corner of Bonhomme Avenue and Brentwood Boulevard, and the luxury is immediately apparent. To the right is a wide, two-story spiral stairway with gleaming brushed nickel risers and glass stairwell guards, centered beneath a glittering chandelier made of delicate glass balls. Behind the stairway is a sheet of running water, and to the right are seats, tables and glass sculptures on wood shelves that feel more like the furnishings of a well-appointed home than those of a senior living residence. The one-time hotel and apartment building is now home to active seniors who want to combine the excitement of a Clayton location with the convenience of an all-senior residence.

    “When it comes to senior living, aging should also have its benefits,” says executive director Stacy Tew-Lovasz. “Clayton on the Park is the reward for a life well-lived.” Sunrise Senior Living, which manages the property, gutted and remodeled the first three floors of the building. The second floor now features two restaurants, The Signature Room, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a piano, and the more casual Shaw Park Bistro, with a wine bar and private dining space entirely surrounded by glass that overlooks Shaw Park.

    The third floor, which once housed apartments, now has a library, computer center, billiard room, exercise room, art studio and spa. Every space is lush with architectural and artistic details. The library is decorated with colorful glass vases and a globe in a wooden stand. The art studio has comfortable wooden chairs with cushions and shelves lined with yarn, paintbrushes, thread, feathers, ribbons and buttons. The spa has a curving entry wall set with smooth, sand-colored stones.

    “The cultural, artistic and lifestyle opportunities Clayton on the Park offers are second-to-none,” says Tew-Lovasz. A concierge does everything from making dinner reservations to planning private parties onsite for residents, while a health-care concierge with a masters in gerontology is available to guide residents through health issues.  On any given day, programs might include an outing to Plaza Frontenac, a Wii session, a power-walk in Shaw Park, wine and cheese, and a movie screening. Clayton on the Park also works with docents to provide private art museum tours for residents.

    Not only are the on-site amenities extensive, but opportunities within walking distance abound, Tew-Lovasz says. “The location, we think, is so perfect. Downtowns are becoming areas for people to retire to. And downtown Clayton is the epicenter of fine possibilities. You can walk to an art gallery, restaurants, a jazz festival or Shaw Park.” She cites Kyle Ezell, urban planner and author of Retire Downtown, who says,“Downtowns are the new retirement resort.”

    Clayton on the Park offers 17 floor plans in 208 apartments on 23 floors. The 24th floor has an open terrace with views of Shaw Park and the western suburbs, and to the east, the tall buildings of Clayton and the Arch against the downtown skyline.

    “Just like a fine wine, life should get better with age,” says Tew-Lovasz. Clayton on the Park to offers “a lifestyle unlike anything else in St. Louis.”