Top Spa Awards
by Susie Ellis, SpaFinder Insider
Last night was a big night for us….we hosted our 2008 SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Award event at the new Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf=Astoria. It was thrilling to be able to present our awards to top spas from all over the world in this beautiful setting. It was truly exciting to welcome people who had flown in from Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, the UK, Singapore, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, and Australia to receive the plaques and Crystal Globes we give to the winners. (You can see the names of all winning spas on the Spafinder website.)
A highlight of the evening was recognizing Deborah Szekely as the recipient of our 2008 Visionary Award. (Photo on the right.) A string of “firsts” was read and I think everyone who attended was quite taken by just how many aspects of the spa industry she has pioneered. Deborah is the founder of Rancho La Puerta in Mexico and the Golden Door in California and considered by many to be the “godmother” of the spa industry. She has just published a new cook book titled Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta and is busy working on yet another book, Too Young to Get Old. One thing I regret from last evening – I forgot to mention her age – 86!
Another highlight was giving out awards in a brand new category we added this year – Favorite Spa Therapist and Favorite Spa Manager. It was so moving to see these spa professionals – clearly the best in the business – be recognized. And it is only fitting that we laud these gifted people who are the reason so many people come to our spas and become transformed. I could tell that they were really touched by the recognition.
Later Deborah Szekely told me that several of the therapists had come up to her saying that her earlier remarks, when she referred to them as “healers”, really meant a lot.
Some evenings are magical. This was one of those nights.
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