How long have you been involved with the spa industry?
I started working in the spa and wellness industry eight years ago and have loved it ever since. I really enjoy working so closely with other wellness enthusiasts and being able to offer guests a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
In 2008, I was the personal assistant to the general manager at Hilton Molino Stucky Venice. As I had a keen interest in the spa and always helped out when I could, I was quickly given the opportunity to become the spa manager there and never looked back. I learned a lot from this first job as a spa manager and am still continuing to learn every day.
What are the most challenging and rewarding parts of working in the spa industry?
The biggest reward is the smile on the face of a guest who really enjoyed his or her treatment at our spa. The spa industry is great in that way, as you receive feedback right away. I feel that continuously meeting and exceeding guests’ expectations remains a challenge as their expectations rise and service remains a very personal experience. I also find it challenging to distinguish fads from actual industry trends and choose what services or facilities really need to be implemented.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I am very proud of the work that my team and I have accomplished during the opening and first year of operation of our Goco Spa Venice at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, the largest spa in Venice and the first Goco Spa in Europe. The first year has been incredibly successful. Our spa has been recognized by industry experts with the award for ‘Best for Beauty’ and ‘Best for Wow Factor’ at the 2015 Wellness Travel Awards, but most importantly, by our guests who leave happy and return again and again.
What qualities do you look for in your spa staff?
When hiring new employees, I look for their passion for the wellness industry, honesty, positivity, and reliability, but most importantly, a genuine concern for guests. I like to hire positive people, because they do positive things.
Where do you think the industry is heading?
A growing segment is integrated health, with a focus on wellness and lifestyle, including preventative medical screening, along with body therapies, fitness, yoga, meditation, nutrition, and spirituality. To date, these programs have been found only in destination spas. As the spa industry grows as a whole, we are beginning to see these programs available in mixed-use communities that combine hotel, residential, and commercial services. We have picked up on this trend already and will offer wellness weeks at Goco Spa Venice this year, combining spa treatments with daily yoga and mindfulness sessions by internationally recognized visiting practitioners.
What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?
While maybe not strange, we did have an over-the-top experience for a guest. We had a guest that was planning a romantic day for his soon-to-be-wife and himself and requested our spa suite where both enjoyed a sequence of our spa rituals followed by a private lunch on the terrace overlooking the Venetian lagoon and the world-famous St. Marks Square while enjoying the music of a private violinist.
What new spa treatment would you like to try?
I would like to try KORE therapy; it is a fully clothed treatment that focuses on finding and treating the root causes of one’s condition and through muscle and functional testing and palpation. The KORE therapists can find exactly where the issue is coming from and treat it. Our sister spa, The Spa at Steigenberger Frankfurter Hof, is offering it, but I have not had the chance to try it.
What’s your go-to spa treatment?
Deep-tissue massage is my favorite massage, as it is an intense, restorative treatment specifically designed for tight, stressed, and aching muscles. Deep-tissue and cross-muscle fiber techniques are combined with stretching and drainage movements, actively engaging the deeper layers of the muscular tissue. You really feel revitalized after only 80 minutes of treatment.
What’s your favorite skincare ingredient?
I’m 35 years old ,and vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are now essential ingredients of my skincare routine. In addition to my daily routine, I treat myself to the Activator Mask by !QMS Medicosmetics once a week.
What two things about you don't we don’t know?
I am a very passionate dancer and try to dance as much as I can in my free time. When I was younger, I trained to be a professional ballet dancer.
What positions have you worked in that you feel have been most influential to your career?
I would say the two positions that have shaped my career the most are the Spa Manager position at Molino Stucky Hilton in Venice, without which I might have never entered the industry, and now my position as Spa Director at Goco Spa Venice. I really feel that our spa offers a very unique experience for guests in Venice and working with the teams from Goco Hospitality and JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa continues to challenge me to be my best every day.
If you could work in any other profession in the world, what would it be?
When I was a child my dream was to become a professional dancer, a classical one.
How would you sum up your personal philosophy?
I live by the philosophy, “You attract what you are not what you want. If you want great, then be great.” This means to me that I need to continuously learn and improve myself.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Always keep learning.