Meet Amy Retay, spa director, The Spa at The Breakers (Palm Beach, FL).
How many years have you been involved in the spa and hospitality industry?
What was the path that led you into the industry?
It was a passion to serve others and a bachelor’s degree in hotel management.
What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?
The industry collaboration—I appreciate my industry peers. Many of them have been wonderful mentors who do not see another spa peer as competition but embrace them as an opportunity for collaboration to share ideas, to grow the industry, to share successes, and to support each other, ultimately all working towards a common purpose. I was surprised by how open and willing my peers are to share. Their warm and welcoming personalities are inspiring.
Where do you think the industry is heading?
It’s heading toward complete wellbeing—mind, body, and soul.
What new spa treatment would you like to try?
On a bucket list is a trip to The Well, a new spa in Kolbotn, Norway. The entire facility is something I would like to experience.
What’s your go-to spa treatment?
While I do not travel often, when at a beautiful location, I am likely to experience an 80-minute massage. I personally believe in the power of human touch. And with a mind that takes a while to slow down, I need the 80 minutes to fully reap the benefits of a full-body massage.
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
With my resort hospitality experience, I think it would be natural to assume I would continue to work in resorts. I truly enjoy working in a multifaceted operation with a large team of people. I am so grateful that my career here at The Breakers led me to the spa profession, and honestly, I wouldn’t want to pursue any other profession outside of spa and wellbeing. I truly love what I do, because I enjoy who I work with every day—my team.
How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
It’s the importance of recognition and appreciation of others. It is also important to surround yourself with people who are more talented than you. I don’t view an individual’s higher talent level as a threat but see it as an opportunity to continue to learn and grow professionally. I believe that individuals should have a high degree of energy dedicated to personal growth, which can be nurtured by great mentors and their own personal drive to demand more of themselves.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
It’s to take care of my team. Be not only a good listener but also take action on staff requests as much as possible, demonstrating the value of their involvement in the company’s success. You want to ensure that as a leader you are continuously striving for employee satisfaction. This philosophy is emphasized at The Breakers directly from our owners and felt throughout the company. It is so simple, so powerful, and so true. It is wonderful to see how the guest, the culture, and the business all benefit when you put your team first.