We spoke with Dwi Santini, the spa director at Mandapa Spa (Ubud, Balí). Here's what she has to say about her career, her favorite spa treatments, and more.
What was the path that led you into the spa industry? My background was in the rooms department. My former resort manager at another luxury brand trusted my management skills and approached me to lead the spa, which I fell in love with.
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry? Getting spa products into Indonesia has always been a challenge, but it is worth the hurdles with the high quality of product ingredients and the depth of the techniques and philosophy behind the delivery of each treatment. The most rewarding moment is when our offerings are able to shift the clients energetically, making them feel lighter and helping them to find clarity in their life’s fog.
What has surprised you most about the spa world? The spa world has evolved tremendously. There is endless knowledge to learn about the spa, and I’m thrilled to learn that the spa has moved beyond the norm by providing not just physical relaxation but also energy relaxation.
Where do you think the industry is heading? I think the industry has shifted into mental wellness. It is not only to relax on a physical level but also to incorporate staff with a deeper understanding of how to provide guests with deeper energy work. At Mandapa Spa, this is our highlight, providing a unique healing distilled from the depths of ancient cultural practice. We have selected truly remarkable local healers to share their gifted talents that complement the mystical culture of Bali.
What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded? We had some clients who wanted to have a healer who could heal their trauma. At that point in time, we didn’t have a wide variety of traditional healers and energy healers. However, we were able to assist and help ease their pain with the offerings we provided.
What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced? I had a massage with a therapist who had no clue as to how to release the thigh muscle. As a result, I ended up sore and with my body in pain.
What new spa treatment would you like to try? A spa treatment that combines ancient science and result-driven high technology for a facial.
What’s your go-to spa treatment? My uncle, who is blind, specializes in anatomy and physiology. He used to give me a sports massage and knows exactly which part of the body to touch in order to release any tight muscles and provide healing at the same time.
What two things don’t we know about you? I won the 2017 Wellness & Spa Hotelier Asia award from The Hotelier Awards. And I’m a certified coach in neuro linguistic programming, timeline therapy, and hypnotherapy.
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be? I’d be a psychologist or a motivator.
How would you sum up your personal philosophy? I believe that we are not born to know everything. We learn by doing, and along the way, we might stumble. It is how we continue to learn what will give us a strong foundation to face any challenges. Staying true to the root of the culture and allowing others to experience the depths of ancient cultural practices that work from the subtle and emotional level and beyond the physical will stay in their hearts for life and make lasting connections.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? You are what you think with limitless potential. Your energy goes to where you put your focus.
Calling All Spa Professionals: We Want to Hear Your Stories