Chris Hilburn, spa director at MoonAcre Spa at Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa (CA), is a 17-year spa veteran. Discover the most bizarre treatment she has ever experienced and how she came to be in the industry.
What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
My path actually began when I hiked the Colorado Trail by myself. Along the journey, I was injured, which led me to seek out massage therapy. From there, I took the route of becoming a massage therapist, working in different settings—from chiropractor offices to fitness clubs—until I finally found a home in the spa world.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment was being part of the Nob Hill Spa team in San Francisco and helping make it one of the best spas in the country.
What qualities do you look for in your spa staff?
A strong understanding of service and pride in what they do are keys to a successful team.
Where do you think the industry is heading?
I think the industry is moving towards greater integration of international influences with true treatment content. Guests are not just expecting a beautiful place to get away from it all but also treatments that make a difference in how they feel and sometimes even how they think about their bodies.
What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?
Fish tickling me to death during a pedicure.
What’s your go-to spa treatment?
What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would you be?
A professional globetrotter.
How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
Live and let live.