Heaven Sent

heavenly spas by westin, heavenly spa, westin hotels and resorts, brian povinelli

Thanks to a mission of sensory healing, an assortment of destinations that offer unique indigenous offerings, effective treatments, and enticing extras like signature treatment beds and scents, the Heavenly Spas by Westin are a divine part of the Westin portfolio. Here, Brian Povinelli, senior vice president and global brand leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts, shares his insight on why spa-goers are blissfully blessed when they retreat to one of the company’s 41 fabulous spas.


What is your company’s spa  mission statement?

A: Uplifting, Serenity, and Sensory Experience. We believe that much of the value of the spa experience comes not only from the facilities, treatments, and products, but from having the time and space for silence, separation from technology, and personal reflection and contemplation. Throughout the spa experience, we try to touch people across seven senses: the five physical senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, as well as the psychological senses of emotion and meaning. Heavenly Spa is a place to recover and rejuvenate and come out feeling renewed, and it supports our overall commitment to wellbeing and the brand’s promise: Westin. For a better you. 


What sort of training do you offer spa management to help them achieve your company’s mission for its spas?

A: As new spas prepare to open, our global spa director travels to the various locations to present the concept and immerse the spa team in our core values and philosophy. We also have in-depth documentation and resources for our team to review and share. When possible, we will also leverage the team from another Heavenly Spa in the area to help train staff and ramp up operations.


What sort of training do you offer brand-wide to your therapists, estheticians, and other spa staff?

A: Our product partner, Aromatherapy Associates, provides pre-opening and annual training. We worked with them to develop protocols and rituals that are uplifting, serene, sensory, and personalized. By forming this relationship with Aromatherapy Associates, we feel confident that they can easily convey the philosophy to our spas.


When it comes to your spas, what sort of elements do you maintain brand-wide, and what do you also do for spas to allow them to honor their varied locales?

A: We recognize that our guests have different reasons for going to the spa, whether they want to recover from jet lag, de-stress, or simply be uplifted. We help facilitate that experience through our brand-wide programs. A signature hooded robe is provided for comfort and privacy for a more reflective, meditative spa experience. A SuperFoods elixir and SuperFoods snacks are offered in the relaxation area where guests can also read uplifting messages from our standardized “share inspiration” journals. Treatments are customized using a Wellness Wheel focused on the simple question of “How do you want to feel?” and selecting an aromatherapy oil that will help achieve that. We are also launching a wellness card program where we leverage four of the six Westin pillars of Feel Well, Sleep Well, Eat Well, and Move Well. These cards feature tips for enhancing wellness and are personalized based on staff interactions with guests. Each spa can honor its varied locale by customizing offerings from the region. For example, the Heavenly Spa at The Westin Bahrain City Centre features a hammam, the Heavenly Spa at The Westin Ka’Anapali (Maui, HI) has a tree house suite set in the tropical foliage of Hawaii, the Heavenly Spa at The Westin Mumbai Garden City has an Ayurvedic treatment room, and the Heavenly Spa at The Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun has an authentic temazcal hut, just to name a few.


What do think your clients want in a spa experience, and how, as a company, do you meet those needs?

A: We believe our guests are looking for the full spa experience; to disengage from technology and work and focus on their total wellbeing. We meet those needs by ensuring that our spas have wet amenities (sauna/steam/whirlpool), a spa cuisine menu, and spa packages so guests can spend a full day in the spa if they wish. Some of our Heavenly Spas, such as the one at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, offer wellness activities including yoga, meditation, and Balinese rituals.


When it comes to menu development, do you offer certain treatments and experiences across the brand?

A: We have five signature treatments across the brand. The Heavenly Spa Signature Massage using Westin’s signature White Tea Oil leaves guests feeling physically rested and mentally uplifted as they think about something they are hoping for, something they are grateful for, and someone they love through a distinct stone ritual. The Aspire Massage uses natural plant aromatherapy oils from Aromatherapy Associates and includes diverse massage techniques that are customized based on the answer to one simple question: “How do you want to feel?” A scrub, facial, and scalp/shoulder massage follow the same customization.


Do you work with specific spa product, equipment, and retail brands across your portfolios?

A: We have partnered with Aromatherapy Associates, and we have chosen Aromatherapy Associates for the uplifting essential oils that can be used throughout the spa to enhance our guests’ mental and spiritual wellbeing.—Julie Keller Callaghan

Though it’s impossible to play favorites, Povinelli says there are two Heavenly Spas he finds truly unique. The spa at The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa, Phuket (Thailand) features a unique bird’s nest design. That esthetic starts at the entry and is carried throughout the spa. The spa at The Westin Sohna Resort & Spa (Gurgaon, India) features a meditation pyramid that he says is “not only a beautiful design feature, but more importantly, it’s also a magical space you won’t find elsewhere.”

Heavenly Spas by Westin

Number of spas in portfolio: 41

Number of spas in development: 12

Number of spa employees, brand-wide: 780