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 January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.