Banyan Tree Opens Spa Academy

Banyan Tree Spa

Banyan Tree Spa has extended its reach into China and opened its first training facility for Chinese spa therapists, the Banyan Tree Lijiang Spa Academy.

The facility aims to secure a dedicated supply of talented candidates well-versed to deliver the high service standards of the Banyan Tree experience.

This ground breaking development is a necessary move as Banyan Tree embarks on an aggressive expansion plan within China, as well as globally in the next five years. Banyan Tree Spa Sanya, China is slated to open in the fourth quarter of this year. Angsana Spa is in the process of opening Angsana Spa Hong Qiao, Shanghai in China in the third quarter of 2007.

Banyan Tree Lijiang Spa Academy

Soft opened in May 2007, Banyan Tree Lijiang Spa Academy is a unique facility to coach candidates in all areas of Banyan Tree Spa service delivery. The Academy is located in a custom-built compound located in Lijiang, Yunnan, where students undergo a rigorous training curriculum adapted to Chinese spa requirements.

Mr. Ravi Chandran, Managing Director of Spa Operations, Banyan Tree Spas and Angsana Spas, says, é?­s one of the worldç—´ leading spa operators, Banyan Tree can attribute its success to the continued management, training and quality of our therapists. The Banyan Tree Spa Academy in Phuket was a world-first for a resort, in achieving a fully trained, talented therapist base and establishing a world-class industry benchmark. This has helped us to enter new markets and grow from one Banyan Tree Spa in 1994 to over 50 Banyan Tree and Angsana Spas today. The Banyan Tree Lijiang Spa Academy is vital in our drive to identify and engage new candidates for the Chinese market and beyond.

Fresh trainees are recruited from within China to undergo a pre-training 48-hour curriculum. Once the recruits are familiar with grooming standards, basic anatomy and physiology, and product knowledge they are committed to undergo about 480 hours of training over three months. Key elements that are essential in identifying recruits include enthusiasm, nurturing qualities, empathetic and keen interest to develop their potential with the company. Banyan Tree Spa rewards and retains its most promising recruits by offering extensive opportunities to further their career to the highest levels.

Banyan Tree Spa Academy, Phuket

The pioneering Banyan Tree Spa Academy in Phuket was set up in 2001. The Banyan Tree Spa Academy Phuket trains a dedicated group of therapists for both Banyan Tree and Angsana Spas.

The training programme encompasses all areas of spa therapy, including knowledge of the human anatomy and important pressure points, modern and traditional massage techniques, variation of body weight for different techniques, knowledge of skin epidermis and facial applications, properties of different herbs and spices, preparation of spa ingredients, setting up of treatment rooms and spa pavilions, and standard greeting procedures. The academy is accredited by Thailandç—´ Ministry of Education.

In November 2006, a new urban training centre, the Banyan Tree Thai Massage School in Bangkok, Thailand, was established to further identify recruits and train students in the art of Thai Massage.

Banyan Tree Spa has been honoured by awards including the recent Baccarat AsiaSpa Awards 2005 for Best In-Spa Training of the Year, and Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) Travel Awards 2005 for Best Spa Operator. In addition, Banyan Tree Spa Phuket has been awarded the distinction of Best Benefits Company by the Labour Relations Department of Thailand, which recognises the companyç—´ practice to provide welfare and benefits beyond labour law requirements.