Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Mearns

Kate Mearns

Spa Director, The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg

Kate Mearns has spent the past 16 years sharing her beliefs that the spa experience should be primarily about one's wellness. Ms. Mearns' conviction fits perfectly within the philosophy upon which The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg was created - a continuum of wellness. With spa experiences based on historical wellness practices from the past five centuries and into today, the Spa relates the ongoing process of individual health through time, blending inspiration from colonial, African and American Indian wellness practices, and influencing subsequent generations. Ms. Mearns began her career in the industry more than a decade ago, when it was in its relative infancy, at the Coolfont Resort & Spa in West Virginia and later moved to Williamsburg, Virginia to open The Spa at the Kingsmill Resort. In her early days, she worked closely with one of the founding members of the International Spa Association (ISPA) and became involved with the distinguished organization. Ms. Mearns would ultimately serve on the Board of Directors, from 2001 - 2006, spending the last two years as Chairman. From her involvement with ISPA, Ms. Mearns has had various opportunities to represent the spa industry. She's been featured on the Travel Channel, spoken on spa trends and research in international locales such as Bangkok and Singapore, and has written numerous articles for spa and fitness industry publications. Working with and learning from others, especially on an international level, has been what inspires her to grow in her profession. Ms. Mearns believes that indigenous treatments will continue to grow in popularity in the future; something The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg has already incorporated into its menu.

Ms. Mearns can be contacted at 757-220-7720 or kmearns@cwf.org

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.