Meet Anna Karen Sigurjónsdóttir, a 17-year veteran of the industry and spa director at Retreat Spa at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland, American Spa's October cover story. Here, discover what lead Sigurjónsdóttir to the industry, her go-to spa treatment, her best advice, and more in an American Spa Spa Talk.
American Spa: What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
Anna Karen Sigurjónsdóttir: Truth be told, the Blue Lagoon inspired me to pursue a career in this field, and it continues to fascinate me more as the years go by.
AS: What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
AKS: I work in one of the most amazing places on Earth, and what we created here is truly unique. The most rewarding part of my job is being able to experience our spa and facilities through the eyes of our guests. It truly fulfills me and gives me energy to see how in awe our guests are of what we’ve built. It really is amazing!
AS: Where do you think the industry is heading?
AKS: As an industry, we’re putting a heavier emphasis on creating unique places that allow guests to experience total relaxation for a little while. It’s common to get stuck in a daily routine, not taking the necessary time to relax, focus, or re-energize. Nature plays a big role here at the Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland. Just by stepping outside into the surrounding lava fields, breathing in the fresh air, and taking in the mesmerizing views is such a unique experience on its own. What we’ve created at the Retreat is the perfect place for our guests to enjoy true serenity deep within Iceland’s lava fields.
AS: What’s your go-to spa treatment?
AKS: Choosing just one treatment is difficult. I love trying out new things, but always feel like a new person after a good facial. You really can’t go wrong there.
AS: What don’t we know about you?
AKS: I always planned on becoming a dentist when I grew up. I made the decision to pursue dentistry when I was very young and even carried that dream through high school. I often think about my career path today and can’t help but laugh —it’s quite far off from being a dentist!
AS: If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
AKS: Wow, this is a hard one...not a dentist!
AS: How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
AKS: There are no problems. With the right perspective, there are only solutions.
AS: What’s the best advice you’ve received?
AKS: The best advice I received was to keep a positive attitude. I’m ultimately the person to decide how things will turn out. With a good attitude and the right decision-making skills, everything becomes much easier and more enjoyable. There are always at least two ways to see things, and it’s up to me to decide how to see them and what to do with the decision I face.