Q&A with Kathleen Hahn, spa director at Seawater Spa at Gurney’s Montauk Resort

Kathleen Hahn, Gurney's Montauk ResortHow many years have you been involved in the spa/hospitality industry?

I have been in the spa industry for going on 20 years this December.


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

My first spa experience was working in La Jolla, California where I was introduced to a new world in spa treatments that were designed in aiding in benefiting people with real health challenges. The education I was trained in directly affected many spa guests with health issues related to MS, Chromes Disease and Limes Disease.  Helping people in this way drove my passion for the benefits of spa in a completely different direction.


What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?

The most rewarding part is giving guests a break from their everyday life and stresses related to work overload, family and a disconnect from their own healthy balance. 


What is your proudest accomplishment?

Most of my career, with the exception of 2 LHW properties, the spa's I have been associated with all received the AAA 5 Diamond award. Most recently a former spa project received the CNN's top Ten Spa's of the World award while I was there.


What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?

I’m surprised by how innovative the industry has gotten with wellness as a staple to most spa experiences.


What qualities do you look for in your spa staff?

I look for their passion for why they chose bodywork, finding where their hidden talents are and perfecting this gift.


Where do you think the industry is heading?

I have a former colleague who for the past two years has been working with medical doctors and psychologist s and service providers in Portland, OR, to open a hospital and wellness center that incorporates the wellness of spa treatments along with metal health and treatment for Patients living with much more fulfillment in their lives under such challenging circumstances. This project is launching in 2017. It really sends a message to this industry how it all works together. 


What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?

Nothing surprises me when it comes to clients. Nor am I here to judge. Sometimes I go to bed saying, "did that really happen," with a smile on my face.


What new spa treatment would you like to try?

I’d like to try anything that improves anti-aging


What’s your go-to spa treatment?

My go-to spa treatment is a seasonal scrub done in a Vichy shower.


What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?



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

I love learning slide guitar and I once was a massage therapist on tour for a very famous rock band.


What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career?

My current position as spa director at Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa. This will be going on 19 years as a Director.


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

Executive leadership coaching and a children's life coach.


How would you sum up your personal philosophy?

Care for yourself enough to create an environment in your life that is conductive to the nourishment of your personal growth


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would stop juggling so many balls in the air. I align myself very well on a day-to-day basis. It will all get done if I just allow things to flow with my intention.


How do you like to spend your time away from work?

I like connecting with friends, learning Spanish, and traveling.


What are your three greatest priorities in life?

Personal growth, having compassion for all human beings and living with joy


What’s the best advice you’ve received?

When someone tells you who they are, believe them!