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WTS International Builds on Success of 2016 for an Exceptional 2017

WTS International (WTS), the spa, fitness and lifestyle consultancy and management firm, is reporting a strong forecast for 2017, following a record year in 2016.

Last year was an exceptionally busy one for WTS and saw the firm expand its position as a global leader in the industry, with the delivery of 80 design projects and 22 new spa, wellness, fitness and corporate fitness openings around the world.

Commenting, WTS COO Frank Guengerich said: “Last year we exceeded all our own expectations in terms of design, performance and operations, and the 2017 project pipeline is looking even more robust.”

With some 2,500 members of staff worldwide, a corporate team of 65 employees and an executive committee of 20 people, WTS operates in over 30 countries and currently manages over 100 sites worldwide. It’s currently overseeing design projects in locations as diverse as Dubai, Switzerland, America and India.

With every project, WTS spends time consulting with clients to fully evaluate their needs, ensuring plans are firmly based on the company’s principles of excellence in both service and performance standards. Innovation is a key priority, as Guengerich says: “We approach every project with the aim of being relevant and cutting edge.”

Of the many projects in the pipeline for 2017, Oceana Bal Harbour, Florida, a condominium paradise with unobstructed views of the South Florida beaches, is significant for being the first building in the area to be LEED certified. WTS will manage the on-site spa and fitness facility, ensuring a five-star service to residents and guests.

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The spa and fitness facility at the brand new MGM National Harbor luxury resort on the banks of the Potomac River in Maryland features a full-service spa and salon with men’s Barber Lounge and fitness centre. WTS designed the spa concept and handled all the pre-opening and ongoing management.

WTS will also provide ongoing consulting services for the destination and day spa within Trump International Hotel Washington, DC and the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, where guests can benefit from signature treatments, as well as full lifestyle programmes. WTS has been involved in the development of the new spa concept for Trump Hotels, and has provided design consulting services throughout the development of both properties.

Other new openings for 2017 include VERDURE, a luxury wellness facility in Amarillo, Texas, for which WTS provided design review services, including operational feasibility, interior design review, equipment sourcing and layout, together with pre-opening services such as finance reviews, staffing, organisation and training, and program development, plus on-going management.

All aspects of the facility’s operations, from its luxurious amenities, exercise equipment and resort-style pools, to its personal training services and world-class spa treatments, are designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing with an uncompromising commitment to service.

The development is also intended to serve as a selling point for prospective residents and a value enhancement for current residents.

Building on over 40 years of spa, leisure and lifestyle consulting and management experience, WTS’s mission is to provide exceptional services to clients, and 2017 will be no exception.

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Simpkins at msimpkins@wtsinternational.com.

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Hotel Business Design: WTS International’s Concepts are Based on Meaningful Experiences

We’re thrilled to share a feature in Hotel Business Design that showcases WTS International’s spa branding and design work for Cachet Hotels.

“After WTS International delivered a completed concept presentation, the Hong Kong-based hospitality company approved the spa brand, called cSPA. It will be developed at Cachet Deluxe’s properties throughout Greater China, Southeast Asia and the Americas. The first cSPAs will debut in Bangkok and Hangzhou, China. Designed for the affluent spa connoisseur, the cSPA concept will be rolled out worldwide following openings in Asia.”

“As WTS sought to find the right notes to hit to make this brand sing and stand out from the others, we knew it was important to truly look at Cachet Hotel Group’s target market and make it our goal to craft the experience around their expectations of luxury,” said Dubois. “In the end, it became clear that, for these guests, thoughtful luxury wasn’t about opulence, but about rich and meaningful experiences.”

Environmentally friendly features are being integrated, based on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. “Cachet Hotel Group has made it clear that each project will be planned with the conscious selection of locally-produced materials, energy-saving lighting methods and more easily maintainable finishings as the means by which each will contribute to the well-being of the environment,” said Dubois.”

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WTS International Names Penny Kriel Corporate Operations Director for Spa

WTS International is thrilled to announce the appointment of Penny Kriel as Corporate Operations Director for Spa.

Kriel is a fifteen-year veteran of the spa industry, having worked most recently as Spa Director for the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia, a luxury historic destination that features integrative, regional treatments that focus on holistic, results-driven therapies.

In her new position, Kriel will be responsible for overseeing a set portfolio of accounts within the northeast region of the United States. She will work directly with WTS International’s clients and on-site directors to ensure successful operations, marketing, and financial performance.

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Gary Henkin, President of WTS International, said, “The power of WTS to successfully advise clients is directly related to the caliber of the WTS team. With her global perspective, high level management experience, and outstanding track record, Penny Kriel is a huge asset for both our company and our clients.”

Originally from South Africa, Kriel gained a CIDESCO diploma in advanced skincare and cosmetology, aromatherapy, reflexology and massage therapy from the Tina Scholtz Health and Skincare Academy in Potchefstroom.

She began her career as a therapist on board Crystal and Princess Cruises, which led her to be appointed lead therapist and later business development manager for The Image Institute in Rosebank, South Africa.

Kriel’s career led her to Mandarin Oriental, where she ran spa operations in Hyde Park, London, and was Spa Director in Washington, DC for seven years, before joining the Salamander Resort & Spa. During her time with Salamander, Kriel assisted in creating the company’s spa standard operating procedures, spa service standards and signature treatments.

“I’m delighted to join WTS,” said Kriel. “As one of the most-respected spa, fitness and lifestyle consultants in the world, WTS works on some of the biggest, most innovative, and most exciting spa projects out there and I’m thrilled to be on the team.”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch Simpkins at msimpkins@wtsinternational.com.

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Spa Trends for 2016

WTS is thrilled to have contributed to Travelmarket’s “Six Spa Trends to Watch in 2016.”

Kim Matheson, WTS Senior Vice President contributed #3 on the list—innovative tech treatments, “We’ll see technology not only in the guest journey itself, but also the use of innovative technology in treatments and to offer such alternative modalities as chromotherapy.”

Read the full piece here.

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Natural Resources Spa Consulting Merges with WTS International

NRi (Natural Resources Spa Consulting), has announced it has merged with WTS International (WTS), the global spa consultancy and management firm.

The move expands the WTS global business base and enhances the diversity and range of services the firm has to offer.

Specializing in consulting and operational services for wellness, spa, fitness and leisure facilities worldwide, WTS’ services include feasibility studies, concept and brand development, design consulting, pre-opening and daily management.

For over twenty years, NRi founder and president, Kim Matheson, has undertaken spa consultancy work, including design and pre-opening support, for a diverse range of clients; including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Marriott International, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, as well as many other notable hospitality firms.

This business will now become part of WTS International, with Matheson appointed Senior Vice President of WTS.

Matheson said, “We have merged NRi into WTS, to create a global, cutting-edge consultancy and management firm. Our team is prepared to craft the ultimate in authentic and luxurious experiences, with a sense of place and dramatic experiential components.”

Gary Henkin, CEO of WTS International added, “Kim Matheson is a world class spa and leisure consultant, and her involvement with WTS will allow us to further expand the breadth and diversity of our services, field, both in the US and on a global basis.”

Both organizations continue to be recognized as industry leaders for their creative and innovative approach to spa / wellness facility design and operations, with recent awards to their name. The Pearl Spa at Four Seasons, Dubai, a client of NRi Consulting, recently won Best Spa Design at the Middle East Pool & Spa Awards.

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Matheson spoke about the project and the work NRi carried out for developer H-H, saying: “We were commissioned by H-H to create a unique spa. I was inspired to consider how we could make this space innovative, while upholding Four Seasons’ standards and also delivering an experiential sense of place to reflect the diversity and vibrancy of Dubai.”

WTS International was recently awarded the ISPA Innovate Award for the Herb Wall experience the firm created for Spa Evangeline at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Florida. The Herb Wall has proven popular among spa guests who want aromatic herbs which are grown just a few feet away from the treatment tables and then incorporated into treatments.

“It’s a new way of customizing a guest’s treatment beyond simply choosing an aromatherapy add-on,” said Susie Hammer, WTS International vice president of spa operations, who collaborated with the WTS design team.

Commenting further on the merger with WTS, Matheson said, “Our goal is to create an unforgettable experience for each guest, resident or member. Moreover, our reputation and growth over four decades has been built on bringing together creative and distinctive concepts, unique elements in design, and operational excellence, all within designated project timeframes and budgets.”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch Simpkins at msimpkins@wtsinternational.com.

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WTS Wins 2015 ISPA Innovation Award

WTS International (WTS), the global spa consultancy and contract operator, has recently been named the recipient of a ISPA 2015 Innovative Award for Experience by the International SPA Association (ISPA).

The ISPA Innovative Awards celebrate ISPA members with creative solutions that were implemented in the last year. This year garnered the most submissions since the inception of the award. Voting by the ISPA membership determined the winners.

WTS submitted the creation and implementation of the “living wall” at Spa Evangeline, located at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, FL, Autograph Collection of Marriott International. Susie Hammer, WTS Vice President of Spa, said, “Our goal was to create a unique spa and culinary experience for guests given the theme of the food-focused Epicurean Hotel. A “living wall” of herbs, creating fresh air and fresh treatment ingredients, seemed like the perfect Chef-to-Treatment solution.”

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Spa Evangeline’s “Living Wall”

WTS and Spa Evangeline selected FarmHouse Fresh, a Texan food-based skincare company, whose products are 99.5% natural, to assist in the development of the “living wall” treatment protocols. This allows guests the opportunity to work with a spa sommelier to create custom products picked from fresh herbs for use in their treatment.

“Innovation is the driving force behind growth in the spa industry,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “Recognizing the innovation that is occurring within ISPA’s membership will encourage and inspire future ideas.”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch Simpkins at msimpkins@wtsinternational.com.

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WTS International Commissioned to Create New Luxury Spas for Cachet Hotel Group

WTS International is thrilled to announce its appointment to create a new spa concept for the Cachet Hotel Group in Asia.

The new brand will be called cSPA and developed at Cachet’s properties throughout greater China, Southeast Asia and the Americas. The first cSPAs will debut in Bangkok, Thailand and Hangzhou, China.

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cSPA Concept Images

The exclusive cSPA concept will be designed for the affluent spa connoisseur and will be rolled out worldwide following the openings in Asia.

The spas will be modern, innovative, sophisticated and will also draw on the values of the Cachet Hotel Group brand, which is designed around elegant, chic and exclusive spaces. Each spa will have a unique sense of place. Environmental features are being integrated into the design, based on LEED Standards.

In bidding for the project, WTS utilized its successful concept development process, starting with a research and data-gathering phase, followed by a concept development phase, then finally delivering a completed concept presentation to the client.

Yvonne Choi, Chief Marketing Officer at Cachet Hotel Group, said: “We think WTS’ innovative health, beauty and wellness experience is complementary to Cachet. Both companies are known for their commitment to lifestyle, service, innovation and design. Both of our customers have similar demographic and psychographic profiles. We look forward to partnering with WTS to scale this concept quickly and to establish a global footprint throughout Asia and the Americas.”

Gary Henkin, President and CEO of WTS International, said: “Our robust approach to concept development has led to the creation of a spa design which will exceed the expectations of Cachet’s discerning customers. It also has the flexibility to deliver a sense of place for local markets, while still enabling Cachet to deploy the concept globally to ensure consistency across its portfolio. Finding this balance was one of the aims at the heart of the concept development process.”

The spa design and ethos aim to inspire Cachet’s clientele to live a healthy, vibrant lifestyle by utilizing its bespoke services, tech-driven influence and exquisite service.

Andrea Dubois, Senior Project Designer at WTS, who led the project, said: “We share Cachet’s commitment to delivering an exemplary guest experience in an environment where people feel at ease, while enjoying culturally-inspired, world class treatments. Finding this balance creates an experience that is both engaging and immersive.”

The concept envisages a modern spa palace with intuitive service and captivating luxury expressed in the context of the local culture. Design will be defined by clean lines and well-appointed treatment beds. The color palette of the spas will incorporate deep grey blue, brown and a touch of gold with other accent colors counterpointed with black. The materials and textures within cSPA spaces will include large textured stone panels, with reflective- and matt-finished brass and bronze, combined with wood and glass.

Choi concluded: “cSPA as a brand will be immersive, bringing unforgettable beauty and wellness experiences to our guests and most of all, our cSPA guests will have fun!”

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch at mpilch@wtsinternational.com.

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WTS Design Team Begins Accreditation with the WELL Building Institute

Mary Lynn Mellinger and Andrea Dubois of WTS International among the first interior designers in the world to begin accreditation with the WELL Building Institute.

WTS International is thrilled to announce that two members of our design team have begun the process of gaining full accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute.

The IWBI is a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and wellbeing through the built environment. Its WELL Building Standard® is a set of 102 performance metrics, design strategies and procedures that can be implemented by owners, designers, engineers, contractors and operators of a property. The Standard is third-party certified by the Green Building Certification Institute, which also administers the respected LEED certification program and the LEED professional credentialing program. During 2015, WTS designers, Andrea Dubois and Mary Lynn Mellinger, will undertake the work required to become fully accredited.

The process started with the awarding of the provisional Well Accredited Professional credential (WELL AP) at the conclusion of the IWBI’s first two-day inaugural WELL AP workshop. During the workshop, held recently at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, Dubois and Mellinger were introduced to the purpose, key components and structure of the WELL Building Standard (WELL). It is the first building standard to focus on the health and wellness of people in buildings.

A WELL AP Exam will launch in November 2015 and will be complemented by a comprehensive educational program. Dubois and Mellinger will be among the first to participate.

Mellinger said: “The exam will test knowledge of the WELL Building Standard. We will be tested on the 102 performance metrics, which involve air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mental wellbeing. In addition to the WELL Building Standard, we also need to be familiar with the body of research that supports the standard. These are contained in what are known as ‘WELLographies’.”

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WTS’ Mary Lynn Mellinger, Director of Planning & Design Services (top) and Andrea Dubois, Senior Design Associate (bottom)

The WELL AP is an advanced credential designed for experienced building professionals and is not an entry-level accreditation. Mellinger says it will take WTS’ work to a higher level: “Not only will we be able to design for our clients with the highest level of attention to their wellbeing, we’ll also be able to provide leadership on projects that are pursuing WELL certification,” she said.

Dubois said: “WTS will continue to be at the front of the worldwide wellness movement, by having designers on staff who are equipped to provide a higher level of expertise when it comes to incorporating wellness into the built environment.”

WTS is currently working with a residential/hotel project with a major developer in Kuala Lumpur, which has already benefited from the new-found expertise of the two designers, as have a number of other properties that are intent on pursuing WELL Certification.

For more information, or to request high resolution images for this piece, please contact Mary Pilch at mpilch@wtsinternational.com.

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WTS International Contributes to Spa China

WTS International contributes to Spa China’s March-April 2015 issue, “The Great Expectations in ‘Spartnership’,” a piece about working with a spa partner, whether it’s hiring a spa consultant, spa operator or leasing a space for a spa.

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Cover of Spa China’s March-April 2015 issue.

“A good spa consultant can advise you with the planning/pre-construction phase, right through to ongoing operational support, and alleviating stress. Select your consultant as you would your partner.”

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“The Great Expectations in ‘Spartnership'”

Download the full article in both English and Chinese.

WTS Contributes to Hotel Management’s “Fitness Centers and the Search for More Space”

WTS International President Gary Henkin and Jon Liles, WTS Vice President, Strategic Planning & Development, contribute to Hotel Management’s recently published article, “Fitness Centers and the Search for More Space.”

“Fitness facilities are purchasing fewer strength machines and creating larger spaces where recreational training can take place,” said Gary Henkin, President, WTS International. “Medicine balls, foam rollers and single machines that can do more than one exercise can open up more space without doing renovations.”

Jon Liles, VP of strategic planning and development for WTS, says consolidation is the name of the game, creating stations for groups to train together in cycles, while also allowing for a more open plan. “By planning a fitness center’s layout to be focused on groups, hotels can better benefit from group exercises like Spartan training, yoga and pilates,” Liles said. “Social fitness is gaining traction and fitness center layout can support this.”

Read the full article here.

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