12 Questions with NYC Spa Director Tara Cruz

The Spa at the Four Seasons New York Downtown

Meet Tara Cruz, spa director at The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, and a thrillseeker at heart. In our latest Spa Talk, find out how she got her start in the industry, where she thinks the industry is heading, what she would be doing if she wasn't a spa director, and more.

How many years have you been involved in the spa and hospitality industry?
I’ve worked a total of 15 years in a spa and five years in a luxury hotel environment. Wow, that looks very long after writing it. I feel like I’m just opening the door!
 
What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
My mother owned a salon, so beauty, wellness, and business management became a natural calling.

Tara Cruz // Photo by Andrew Werner

What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
A lot of people are depending on you for exceptional service and experience. You cannot afford to have an “off” day. Being continuously creative and innovative, you must be able to grow though not stray too far from your original vision. The field can be competitive, but it’s fun to think outside of the box and create something special for our guests.

What has surprised you most about the spa world?
I’m surprised by the loyalty. This industry is based around trust and relationships, especially in New York City.
 
Where do you think the industry is heading?

It’s about partnerships that matter. We have chosen to only partner with responsible companies who remain respectful to the environment, encourage growth in the community in some way, all while being results driven and luxurious. It’s a tall glass to fill, which is why we take our time developing these relationships.

What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?
It was for Equine Massage Therapy in the Hamptons.  
 
What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?

Raindrop therapy was interesting. I felt the sense I was floating over my body, which was actually pretty bizarre.
 
What new spa treatment would you like to try?
I’d like to try salt-stone meditation and therapy.
 
What’s your go-to spa treatment?
Anything that involves wrapping. I love detox treatments. There are usually so many different components. It feels like a full wellness journey. Omorvicza Mud Purifying is one of my favorites.
 
What two things about you don’t we know?

I'm a thrillseeker! I love riding horses, snowboarding, and skydiving. I went to school for massage therapy to honestly achieve credibility in the industry. I actually fell in love with the art, so I became certified in advanced modalities, such as lymphatic drainage, cranial sacral, and oncology.  
 
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
Hotel management, or I might be a pilot.
 
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Be bold, be fearless, and take chances.

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