Spa Talk with Alena Stavnjak

Meet 16-year hospitality veteran Alena Stavnjak, who has opened spas around the globe and now makes her home in Miami.


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

I started with a hospitality degree.


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

It is constantly changing and improving. I love to be in the industry that incorporates wellness and body and allows me to grow, be creative, and think like an entrepreneur.


What is your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishments are two spa openings: ESPA at The Istanbul EDITION, Turkey and Bamford Haybarn Spa at 1 Hotel South Beach.


Where do you think the industry is heading?

I think it is heading towards integrated wellness—roots and nature, yoga/meditation, and going back to the old principals of taking care of relaxation and disconnecting from the busy world.


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

My most influential positions were ten years of spa leadership roles with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.


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

I would be a humanitarian. I love assisting people in need, especially kids.


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

I spend my time away from work with my 20-month-old son teaching him something new every day.


What are your three greatest priorities in life?

Family and friends, wellbeing, and finding a balance between work and my personal life.