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 July 2019...

Hotel Spa: Pursuing Distinction

The Wellness Movement continues to evolve and hotel spas continue to innovate in order to keep pace. Fueled by intense competition within the industry, hotel spas are seeking creative ways to differentiate themselves in the market. An increasing number of customers are searching for very specific, niche treatments that address their particular health concerns and, as a result, some leading spas have achieved distinction by offering only one specialized treatment. Meditation and mindfulness practices are becoming increasingly mainstream as are alternative treatments and therapies, such as Ayurvedic therapies, Reiki, energy work and salt therapy. Some spas specialize in stress management and offer lifestyle coaching sessions as part of their program.  Other spas are fully embracing new technologies as a way to differentiate themselves, such as providing wearable devices that track health and fitness biomarkers, or robots programmed with artificial intelligence to control spa environments, or virtual reality add-ons that transport guests to relaxing places around the world. Some spas have chosen to specialize in medical procedures such as liposuction, laser skin therapy, phototherapy facials, Botox and facial fillers, acupuncture and permanent hair removal, in addition to cosmetic body shaping procedures and  teeth whitening treatments. Similarly, other spas are offering comprehensive health check-ups and counseling services for those who are interested in disease prevention treatments. Finally, as hotel spas continue to become more diverse, accessible and specialized, there is a growing demand for health professionals with a specific area of expertise. There is a proliferation of top class, quality wellness practitioners who make a name for themselves by offering their services around the globe, including athletes, chefs, doctors, physical trainers and weight loss specialists. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.