Meet Blanca Albor, a 31-year industry veteran and spa director at Sawgrass Spa at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa (Ponte Verda Beach, FL). We're talking with the wellness-pro about her experience in the industry, where she think's the wellness world is heading, what she does in her free time, and more.
American Spa: How many years have you been involved in the spa and hospitality industry?
Blanca Albor: I’ve been involved in the spa and hospitality industry for 31 years–hard to believe!
AS: What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
BA: I ended up in the spa industry completely by chance. I didn’t even know what a spa was until I turned 16 and got my first job as a locker room attendant.
AS: What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of being in the spa industry?
BA: The most challenging part of being in the spa industry is building a strong team, and the most rewarding part is being able to create such memorable experiences for our guests.
AS: What is your proudest accomplishment?
BA: I’m most proud of my experience leading two Forbes 5 Star Award-winning teams not just once, but twice.
AS: What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?
BA: It’s surprising to me that the spa industry can be stressful yet so gratifying.
AS: Where do you think the industry is heading?
BA: The industry is taking a major turn towards the health and wellness sector. People are realizing that going to a spa is not a luxury anymore, but a necessity due to the stresses of everyday life.
AS: What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?
BA: My favorite skincare ingredient is vitamin C as it nourishes the skin like nothing else I’ve tried before.
AS: If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would you be?
BA: If I had to switch professions, I would either be a pediatric nurse or a veterinary assistant. Still helping people (and animals), but in a different way.
AS: What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?
BA: This is certainly not a strange request but was unique and very sweet. A guest asked me to help coordinate his wedding proposal during an outdoor massage. He hid the ring inside a fortune cookie, which I just loved. So thoughtful and creative!
AS: What new spa treatment would you like to try?
BA: I know it’s not exactly new, but I still would like to try cryotherapy.
AS: What’s your go-to spa treatment?
BA: For me, the most relaxing treatments are a pedicure and a body scrub.
AS: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
BA: My mentor always told me to listen, assimilate, and breathe before I spoke or replied in a situation that had me feeling tense or stressed. Simply great advice for life in general, not just business.
AS: How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
BA: Through the years I have learned that I need to take care of myself first so that I’m in a better position to take care of my loved ones.
AS: How do you like to spend your time away from work?
BA: Outside of work I love the outdoors: hiking, walking on the beach, jogging with my dogs. I also love spending time with my family as it gives me a sense of peace and renewed energy.
AS: What are your three greatest priorities in life?
BA: My three greatest priorities in life are my health, my family, and traveling the world to experience different cultures.
AS: What are two things we don’t know about you?
BA: I was born in the states, then moved to South America where I was raised. I cherish my background because it gave me my strong values, and moving to a new country taught me to be independent.