Spa Talk with Aylin Baturay

Aylin Baturay, spa director at Spa de La Mer at Baccarat Hotel & Residences (New York City)

Meet spa director Aylin Baturay, who was inspired to join the spa industry seven years ago after an enlightening European backpacking trip where she discovered a calling to help people.

How long have you been involved with the spa industry?

I have been in the spa industry for seven years.

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

In 2008, I decided to go backpacking through Europe for about two months. Enlightened by my travels, I felt I needed a more fulfilling job where I could help make people feel good. I started working at a boutique spa in Queens, NY, and fell in love with the industry.

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

Understanding that it’s impossible to please everyone is difficult. However, doing your best to make sure your guests have an incredible experience and receiving the positive feedback afterwards makes it all worthwhile.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Although we are a very new facility, I am so incredibly proud of how far the spa has come in just a year. I have a team of incredibly talented and passionate service providers and receptionists who go above and beyond and treat everyone like a VIP. I am very lucky.

What qualities do you look for in your spa staff?

Positive, great energy, talent, and passion.

Where do you think the industry is heading?

I’m seeing people starting their anti-aging regimens at a much younger age now. Working with La Mer has been a dream come true because their products are phenomenal and results driven. I’m sure we will see more and more Spa de La Mers popping up across the world because of the unique products and incredibly intricate facials that cater to the obsession of staying forever young.

What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?

I’ve had guests request specific information about service providers—looks, nationality, age, etc. We, of course, do not disclose that information. 

What new spa treatment would you like to try?

I haven’t had the opportunity to try a HydraFacial, so that would be great. 

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

Our La Mer Miracle Broth Facial is my absolute favorite service. And I love reflexology.

What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?

It’s not one ingredient but one component—Miracle Broth. Miracle Broth is the main component of all La Mer products and is created with a combination of fermented sea kelp and other natural ingredients, which are then infused with energies of light and sound. Miracle Broth is healing, soothing, reparative, and is truly miraculous.

What two things about you don't we don’t know?

I love traveling and have gone backpacking several times throughout Europe. I love animals and consider my dog Jeffrey as my son.

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

I had the opportunity to work at Yelo Spa several years ago. It was such an amazing work environment with an incredible director and CEO who I learned so much from. Because of the guidance I received, I was able to grow tremendously throughout my time there.

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

I love animals, so in another life I would love to be a zoologist or a wildlife rehabilitator.

How would you sum up your personal philosophy?

My personal philosophy is to live in the moment. How can you enjoy today when you are worried about tomorrow? I do my best to always keep a positive attitude, and it’s much easier when you are focused on making today a better day.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

The best advice I received is to live in the moment—from my mom.