Q & A with Derek Hofmann, spa director at Four Seasons Resort Orlando

Derek HofmannHow many years have you been involved in the spa and hospitality industry?

I have been involved in the spa industry for 16 years.

What has surprised you most about the spa world?

Pleasantly so, the sense of brotherhood (and sisterhood) of my industry colleagues from my immediate team, to global co-workers within Four Seasons, to spa industry colleagues at all levels. It’s really incredible.

Where do you think the industry is heading?

Always towards (and from) holistic wellbeing. Trends and flights of fancy, for which there is a place and purpose, aside programs that consider the whole person, even if consumed in part, will lead our industry. Human touch therapies, aesthetics, nutrition, exercise, pain relief, stress reduction, and rituals steeped in tradition as well as new technology all work together. I think in the end we’re all after personal peace and memorable experiences.

What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?

I’ll keep the really fun ones for myself…but not so long ago I had a highly recognizable young celebrity ask me to maintain his anonymity and privacy while visiting the Spa, then proceeded to walk out onto our very public Pool Terrace in his underwear. Helicopters, photographs, security, nightmare. Not what I was expecting on my to do list that day.

What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?

Recently, a sound bath.  A sonic healing session in a resonant tabernacle sited on a geomagnetic vortex in the Mojave Desert.  It was really quite impressive, relaxing, great vibrations, and all around pretty interesting. I experienced a restful time in the bath and a peaceful, euphoric sensation lingering afterward. Far out! I’d go back—it’s well worth the trip.

What new spa treatment would you like to try? 

New to me anyway…I just signed up for a Rolphing 10series.  

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

It’s a deep tissue massage—leg focus.

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

I’d be a professional ice hockey player.