Had a lovely lunch with Rudy Tauscher, GM of the Mandarin Oriental, NY and Denise Vitiello who is their spa director extraordinaire. What a privilege to sit at one of the best tables in all of New York City overlooking Central Park on a beautiful fall day talking about my favorite topic – what else? The spa industry.
I asked Rudy, as I ask many GMs, when the last time was he enjoyed a spa treatment in the spa of his hotel? Many GM’s either can’t remember or have to admit that they’ve never experienced a spa treatment in their spa. (I always think that’s a bit like never having a meal in the restaurant of your hotel, which seems kind of crazy.) But I was thrilled to hear that Rudy has regular spa treatments and even had one booked for later in the week! Last week he was at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and had a spa treatment there. He said, and this was the voice of experience, not promotion, that it really makes a difference for him when he travels in terms of getting over jet lag.
But there was another part of our conversation that will linger in my memory (oh, maybe in addition to the amount of security officers swarming around the MO and the fact that Rudy’s meeting shortly after ours was with President Obama, who just happened to be arriving for a fundraiser at the hotel). What really made an impression on me was Rudy’s expressed concern for the emotional well-being of spa therapists in general.
It really is an important issue for our entire industry. Our therapists are in many ways caregivers; they give a lot of themselves. They are somewhat like nurses or family members who take care of elderly loved ones. Serious thought needs to be given to taking care of the caregivers and to helping caregivers take care of themselves.
I hear this concern from therapists, aestheticians, and spa directors quite often. How refreshing to hear it initiated from one of the top GMs in the world.
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