Drawing upon the warm, welcoming culture of the island of St. Lucia, The Spa at Windjammer Landing provides a haven for spa-goers to refocus on health and wellbeing in an idyllic seaside setting. A recent renovation has made even more space for relaxation. Within the six-treatment-room spa, massages are proving to be especially popular and profitable. The spa has nearly doubled the number of massage treatments booked in 2016 compared with the previous year. The rest of the treatments are on the rise too, up 30 percent, and in turn has turned into twice the profits for the property. According to spa manager Ann Austin, much of that growth is thanks to more hotel guests frequenting the spa more often during their stays.
To what do you attribute the spa’s success over the years?
The Spa at Windjammer Landing has been successful due to many different factors. One is the team of dedicated and passionate spa and wellness professionals. In addition, the spa practices customized care, making sure each guest is greeted and cared for as an individual. The whole body, mind, and spirit of each of the spa’s guests and their current state of being inspire the service provided.
Ongoing training for the team continually advances the knowledge and quality of care offered. Another reason for our success is because of the infusion of the spirit of the local people, culture, and traditions of the island, along with the fresh, local ingredients that are incorporated into all services and spa and wellness experiences. The experience is unique and cannot be replicated elsewhere.
What are some of the biggest challenges in operating the spa?
Because guest experience and quality of service is the spa’s number one priority, the spa needs to intimately know and understand the ever-evolving needs and wishes of their guests. Just like any other business, the spa is keenly focused on managing their costs and productivity levels while continuing to drive sales and revenue.
Often some of the greatest challenges in operating spas come from knowing and understanding demand periods and thus how to fill the off-peak times. In a resort setting especially, the mornings and late afternoons tend to be peak traffic times, whereas mid-day is typically quieter as guests are enjoying the variety of resort and island-wide activities available. Coming up with offerings and catering to other markets during these times really helps The Spa at Windjammer Landing’s occupancy levels and ensures that they meet their targets.
How did the renovation impact the spa?
Due to the recent renovation, an entire new space has been created. The spa has become a physical representation of the spa’s brand and commitment to guests, truly acting as an invitation to retreat, relax and restore. The spa is now a holistic facility located seaside with a sun-filled, bright, airy feel inviting guests to linger. It now includes ample space in treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge and garden, juice bar, private showers, soaker tub, outdoor rain shower, steam chambers, fitness center, and fitness studio. Guests now come to the spa and spend the day versus receiving their treatments and leaving.
Another change the spa incorporated is the new partnerships with leading skincare specialists. The retail boutique is an extension of the spa experiences, featuring a mindful selection of skincare and lifestyle products which allows the spa’s guests to extend their experience long after they depart.
How do you attract new and repeat clients and encourage them to visit?
One key way is with the quality of service given and the guest’s experience. Employees provide guests with personalized attention and commitment to details. In addition, the spa provides guests with mindful rituals and rhythms to all treatment experiences. The spa’s treatments and results are progressive in nature, consistently meeting the ever-evolving needs of a discerning spa-goer. Our wellness programming creates an ideal destination for a guest traveling for an all-inclusive wellness vacation. The spa offers an array of innovative wellness programming, including aqua parkour, floating meditation classes, and full moon yoga, for all ages.
How do you keep the menu fresh and enticing?
The menu is built upon theSignature Services. In addition to these exceptional experiences, the spa offers a selection of enhancements and upgrades within each treatment category that allow for guests to further customize their very own spa experience. From bamboo rolling, to 16-point facial acupressure, to custom-blended aromatherapy infusions, the experience is always dynamic.
Depending on the time of year and seasonal growth patterns, The Spa releases specialty offerings that feature the abundant riches of the island. One of the spa’s most popular treatments includes a juice pairing that contains soursop, a local fruit that has been widely promoted for its health benefits and as an alternative cancer treatment.
What are some of the most exciting new offerings that you’ve introduced at the spa?
Some of the most exciting new offerings include the spa’s Signature Services, designed to restore energy, equilibrium and vitality. Each service begins with the spa’s hand wash and foot bathing ritual incorporates rain droplets of the spa’s custom all natural essential oil blend of bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, and West Indian sandalwood. In addition, warmed bamboo, polished stones, and a 16-point facial acupressure ritual are woven into the signature experiences.
The Healthy Living Experiences for Family features workshops that encourage self-confidence and self-care at all ages. The spa’s partnership with a phenomenal local naturopathic doctor has led to a co-created custom line of signature products that are all locally harvested and hand-blended. The spa has also partnered with International Skincare Line Kerstin Florian, leading skincare specialists with a dedication to holistic health and wellbeing.
How do you keep your staff motivated?
The team is a passionate and dedicated group that thrives on the opportunity to further develop their own skill sets and areas of expertise. The Spa at Windjammer Landing brings in both local and international professionals to lead seminars and workshops on a regular basis.
Another way to keep staff motivated is by guest satisfaction scores and feedback, which are collected and shared in detail with the team. Team members have the opportunity to learn and be recognized for the positive impact they have had on their guest. In addition, every Tuesday team members attend the Weekly Managers Cocktail Event, which provides them with the opportunity to meet resort guests as well as mingle with the resort management team. These weekly events unite the resort team as a whole and facilitate a strong, empowered, and engaged team.
Within The Spa at Windjammer Landing, there are various incentive competition challenges that reward the front-runners for their excellent service, sales, and achievements with both guests and other team members. A little prize and their name in lights go a long way.
How do you make retail sales a priority among your staff?
The Spa at Windjammer Landing’s retail program is a natural extension of the spa experience. The team at Windjammer Landing undergoes a significant amount of product knowledge training. Therapists know and understand the ingredients within the products and the corresponding benefits associated. They have the chance to work with all the products and sample them personally so they can speak honestly to the results.
What ongoing challenges are you facing, and how are you overcoming them?
Given the spa’s island location, we face some of the usual challenges associated with being in a somewhat remote location. The spa is getting better at purchasing effectively and efficiently so that we don’t have to order with the same frequency, reducing lag time on arrivals and expensive shipping fees. The team also receives a tremendous amount of training virtually. This allows for the exposure to a variety of learning techniques that otherwise would not be available on the island alone.
What plans do you have for the future?
The Spa at Windjammer Landing has a few secrets up its sleeve. However, for now the immediate focus is on the expansion of the wellness programming and wellness retreat offerings, along with the introduction of a few new advanced spa service offerings.