Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Baxter

Stephanie Baxter

Spa Director, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

With over 15 years of experience in the spa and fitness industry, Stephanie Baxter is an accomplished spa and health club director and currently hold the position of Spa Director of Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa located in the exclusive Rancho Santa Fe community of San Diego. Ms. Baxter has a history of and has specialized in turning around under-performing spas and health clubs into successfully run establishments by using a hands-on approach to management to develop highly effective teams, producing dramatic increases in revenue and profitability. Ms. Baxter's strengths include an intense customer focus, employee development and satisfaction, and training. In 2000, she started her own boutique skin care business in Downtown San Diego after realizing her passion for skin care and a desire to create custom skin care programs for adults dealing with acne. After selling her business in 2003, she moved to South Florida to pursue her other passion for competing in Equestrian competitions. Her hiatus was short lived after she was eager to get back to the spa industry, which led her to take on the exciting opportunity of opening the spa at a renowned Miami establishment, formerly known as the Versace Mansion, on Ocean Drive. After three successful years, Ms. Baxter returned to California after obtaining a new position as Spa Director for Hyatt Hotels, where she remained for six years before she was awarded with what she refers to as an opportunity of a lifetime, becoming the Spa Director at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa.

Ms. Baxter can be contacted at 858-759-6490 or stephanie.baxter@ranchovalencia.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.