Meet Irmgard Kutchernig, spa manager at The Spa at The Chedi Andermatt (Switzerland)
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
The most challenging parts are always recruiting and keeping staff motivated and in place. The most rewarding parts are working with like-minded people who look for a balance between wellness and lifestyle and with guests who are mostly in a very good mood. Naturally, being in the spa generates all kinds of good feelings from a guest, which promotes relaxation and makes them feel better. It’s hard to imagine a better work environment. I love seeing guests pick up on positive life impulses and get their batteries recharged. I also love being in a place where guests feel inspired and experience good emotions all around.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment, at the moment, is to have successfully navigated all the trials of a pre-opening and launching this spa. As a result, I know that I’ve grown and become stronger.
What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?
Working in the spa industry requires a commitment of long hours, and you have to work hard to keep that in balance. But at the same time, with so much of the industry’s focus on wellness, it’s changed my sense and attitude towards life and taking care of myself. I have become a beneficiary of so much of the goodness that this industry promotes. The advances, sophistication, and growth of knowledge in the spa industry surprises me. The roots of the industry still go to the same place they did when I started out 25 years ago, but what’s flowered up is much more stylish.
What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?
A guest booked the whole spa exclusively for a good amount of money and just used it for 15 minutes.
What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?
A body scrub in the oldest Hammam of Paris called Le Hammam de la Mosquée de Paris. It was a unique experience, one that must have taken me deep into the roots of the spa industry.
What spa(s) would you like to visit?
What’s your go-to spa treatment?
Thai style massages with or without warm aroma oil.
What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?
My favorite skincare ingredients are omega-3 fatty acids and rose oil.
Tell us two things about yourself we don’t know.
I love plants and their healthy benefits, and I am very interested in spiritual energy work.
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
Designing jewelry and making art or teaching yoga and Pilates.
How do you like to spend your time away from work?
Going to spas, practicing yoga, traveling, dancing salsa, and spending time with my friends and family.
What are your three greatest priorities in life?
Good values, healthy living, and my partner and family.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Look to achieve balance in giving and receiving. As Gautama Buddha once said, “All things must pass.”