Spa Talk With Amy Bell of Mokara Spa at Omni PGA Frisco Resort

Meet Amy Bell, spa director at Mokara Spa at Omni PGA Frisco Resort (TX), who has 17 years of experience in the spa and hospitality industry. 

Photo credit: Amy Bell

What was the path that led you into the spa industry?

After college graduation, I realized my major was not exactly for me. I had lived in Texas almost my entire life and wanted to explore other states. I settled on Colorado, as I felt the mountains and outdoors would help find a balance with my mental, physical, and spiritual health, and then learned that the spa industry can help with all of that, too. I made the move and started my career at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch as a spa valet.

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being in the spa industry? 

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in the spa industry is knowing that you are helping others improve and/or maintain their mental health in addition to physical health. Mental health has become so important in the last five years or so, and it is very rewarding knowing that we are helping to nurture a guest’s wellbeing and state of mind. Seeing the joy and relaxation on a guest’s face upon check out is so amazing.

Recently, one of the most challenging things has been selecting and retaining exceptional talent to ensure a fabulous guest experience; creating incentives that differ and are unique from other spas in your local market.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Honesty, I always thought that opening the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas spa and exceeding all success measures was my proudest accomplishment, but nothing compares to the amazing opportunity I’ve received with Omni and Mokara Spa. I am very grateful and proud to lead this incredible spa. Another accomplishment that is continuous no matter what property I am at, is that if the spa is financially successful, it shows that my associates are happy, and in turn, my guests are happy.

What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry? 

The spa industry has the most creative minds. We think differently than most. We create rituals, treatments, warm welcomes, all with the same goal: to pamper and take care of others. It is amazing to me the endless ideas created that are all geared toward a common goal, no matter what part of the world we live in.

Where do you think the industry is heading? 

We’ve seen an increase in demand for services all around. Guests are recognizing the importance of self-care and wellness.  There has been a rise in touchless treatments as technology increases, such as virtual reality mindfulness sessions, and adding meditation as an option or a service as a whole.

What’s your favorite skincare ingredient? 

Hyaluronic acid is one of my favorite skincare ingredients. I tend to have oily skin, but still need hydration. Hyaluronic acid is extremely lightweight while providing the hydration I need. Not to mention, it minimizes fine lines and wrinkles while helping the skin stretch and flex making your skin more flexible. A close second is retinol. I love how it speeds up the turnover process of cell turnover making my skin so much brighter and even toned.

What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career? 

Starting as a spa attendant taught me how important that position is to the overall spa operations and experience. The service itself may be amazing, but the guest spends most of their time in the facilities. The spa attendant truly has an opportunity to create a guest for life, the opportunity to smooth over a guest opportunity, and enhance the overall experience. Spa attendants are the “host of the spa party” and have the opportunity to make a huge difference.

If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would you be? 

Residential interior design. A person’s home is such a special and sacred space where we go to find comfort. To be able to create and have clients trust me to create the interior of their home would be amazing.

How would you sum up your personal philosophy? 

Over the last few years, especially returning and reopening a spa after the pandemic, I learned that everything changes daily.  There is no need to completely stress out with constant change. There isn’t anything that cannot be handled, so I like to say, “I am capable, and everything can be figured out.”

How do you like to spend your time away from work? 

I have recently started cooking more and getting experimental with recipes.  It has become soothing and therapeutic for me to be in the kitchen. It may not always be the best, but I am trying and learning!

What are your three greatest priorities in life?  

Family, self-care, and my dogs

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

Do not let your inner critic be your guide and hold you back from achieving great things.