Spa Talk with Laura Marie L. Mate

 Laura Marie L. Mate

How many years have you been involved in the spa and hospitality industry?

I have been involved in the hospitality industry for 12 years.

What path led you to the spa industry?

I managed an Aveda Salon and Spa about eight years ago. It was great professional experience, but what really sparked my passion for the wellness and spa industry was my love for yoga. I began practicing roughly 10 years ago and developed such a connection with my practice that I decided to enroll in a 200-hour yoga teacher-training program. Over the course of my training, I was inspired to make this passion my career.

What has surprised you most about working in the spa industry?

To be honest, the spa industry is not as carefree and laid back as most people would assume or suspect. Creating a peaceful and serene environment for our guests is undeniably our top priority. However, creating that calming energy in a very busy workspace where new tasks arise just as quickly as they are completed can be a challenge. I am fortunate to have an incredible team that can hustle, clean, and prepare calmly and quietly while always taking extra steps to ensure that our guests are greeted with sincere warmth and kindness and enjoy a seamless, carefree spa experience from start to finish.

Where do you think the industry is heading?

The sky is the limit. I love how eco-conscious the industry has become and can’t wait to see how that progresses over the coming years. I love the idea of collaborations between the spa industry and other industries. Spa treatments are a go-to for special occasions, but I look forward to them becoming a part of everyone’s daily realities. I think this can be accomplished by pairing spa and wellness with things we encounter every day. For example, music and spa, food and spa, yoga and spa, fashion and spa, education and spa, travel and spa, and the list could go on forever.

What is the strangest client request you’ve fielded?

Requests are requests, and when you are in the business of guest services, you honor those requests without question. We have seen an adorable request for more pet-friendly services. They seem to be growing in popularity. We are lucky to be a pet-friendly resort, and many of our guests request that their four-legged companions join them in the treatment room.

What is the most bizarre treatment you’ve experienced?

I’ve kept it pretty classic in my experience thus far.  I would say our Elevation Anti-Aging Facial is the most “active” treatment I’ve ever experienced. A combination of masks creates and instant lifting and tightening that is so powerful that you are unable to move your mouth to speak. The result is an instant facelift with no down time, so it’s well worth the intense few minutes.

What new spa treatment would you like to try?

Although this treatment has been popular in Eastern wellness for some time, I would love to experience cupping therapy. It’s gaining such momentum in the States now, and we’re seeing medical professionals and celebrities standing by its mental, physical, and spiritual benefits.

What’s your go-to spa treatment?

An 80-minute customized facial

What two things about you don’t we know?

One, I have been snowboarding for 15 years; the mountains are my happy place. Two, I have two kids, a pug named Fiona and a pit bull mix named Bixby Charles.

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

I would want to be a standup comedian or a musician. To make thousands of people laugh and sing and just be happy all at once would be the best feeling in the world.

How would you sum up your personal philosophy?

I guess my philosophy would be to always answer the door when opportunity knocks, always try to see the best in people, keep your heart and mind open at all times, trust the universe, and make every day count.

What’s the best advice you’ve received?

The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.