Q & A with Patrick Huey, corporate spa director, Red Lane Spa

Patrick HueyMeet Patrick Huey, corporate spa director, Red Lane Spa (multiple locations Caribbean)

What was the path that led you into the spa industry?

My path to the spa industry is not as common as most. I had worked previously as a restaurant manager, a night auditor, a bellman, and a doorman. When I applied for a job at a hotel in Los Angeles, and they asked me what I wanted to do, and I responded, “Something I haven't done before.” They suggested I work as a receptionist in the spa. With no spa experience, I started at the bottom and worked my way up. If you had told me 15 years ago that I would be in the spa industry at this level, I would have laughed at you. It was one of the best decisions of my life.  

What do you find to be most challenging and rewarding about working in the industry?

I've found that the spa experience can sometimes be undervalued by the hospitality industry in comparison to other vacation experiences, despite the strong guest feedback. What is most rewarding to me about working in the industry is my ability to develop team members. We are still in an industry that allows for great personal growth and to be a part of that for someone is highly gratifying.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment has been the development of our management teams. Seeing employees grow professionally past their own expectations of what they can achieve is fulfilling to me, because it gives me a purpose and a meaning beyond the job itself.

Where do you think the industry is heading?

I think the industry, as a whole, is moving toward the idea of mindfulness and intention. In all services that Sandals offers, our therapists are committed to fulfilling what our guests hope to achieve.

What is the strangest client request you've fielded?

I was once given a request to fly a therapist to a client's home in Los Angeles. It was an expensive request, but we made it happen.

What is the most bizarre treatment you've experienced?

I once had a massage in the jungles of Mexico, and I could hear and see monkeys playing in the trees all around me as they watched the treatment. It was quite interesting, to say the least. I said to my therapist, “Let's do it again, but this time without the monkeys.”

What's your go-to spa treatment?

We offer a treatment at Sandals and Beaches Resorts's Red Lane Spas called the West Indian Massage ($180, 80 minutes), which is based upon elements of the Caribbean including smooth river stones, white sand, and the warmth of the Caribbean people.

What's your favorite skincare ingredient and why?

I love vitamin C. It brightens, firms, lightens, and protects against oxidative stress (sun and pollution). It is also the backbone of collagen and elastin structure. In a fat-soluble format, it is non-irritating. I have sensitive skin, so that is important to me.

Tell us two things about yourself we don't know.

I was a cheerleader in high school and college, and I was in a Broadway show when I was 21 and 22 years old.

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

I would be a news anchor.

What's the best advice you've received?

Champions adjust.—Compiled by Jessica Morrobel