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WTS International Designs Ocean Spa for Marriott Autograph Playa Largo

Washington, DC—WTS International (WTS), the spa, fitness and lifestyle consulting and management firm, has designed the 6,000sq ft (557sq m) Ocean Spa at the Marriott Autograph Playa Largo Resort and Spa, which is set to open later this year.

The stars have aligned perfectly for the new property, which hits key milestones for the companies involved.

The first new-build in the Upper Keys in over 20 years, the Key Largo property – which is co-owned by Shaner Hotel Group and Prime Hospitality Group – is also the Marriott Autograph Collection’s 100th property.

The Ocean Spa, designed by WTS, will be the first full-service spa in the Upper Keys and includes a couples treatment room and five further treatment rooms, a co-ed lounge, hair and nail salon and a 1,500sq ft (139sq m) fitness center. It will be operated in-house by Spa and Wellness Director Caroline Wilmot, under the guidance of WTS.

Wilmot will oversee the development of all Ocean Spa’s wellness programs, as well as creating spa treatments, managing the salon, the fitness facilities, kids club and spa personnel, as well as running the day-to-day operations.

Commenting on the visitor experience at Ocean Spa, Wilmot said, “From the warm welcome and customized experiences, to enjoying refreshing Mango or Hibiscus Tea, to the tropical, ocean-inspired services, our guests will enjoy an island spa experience like no other.”

Ocean Spa’s treatments are inspired by Playa Largo’s seaside location. They incorporate high-end, marine-based products and indigenous flora to create four signature services, including the Tropical Body Glow, a 90-minute scrub and massage that immerses guests in aromatic coconut and pineapple shea butters that exfoliate the skin.

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Other inspired treatments include the Mojito Salt Scrub, the Awaken Coffee Scrub, the Coconut Sugar Scrub and the Ocean Dew and Bamboo Scrub.

All are created using locally-sourced fresh, organic ingredients.

Susie Hammer, WTS’ Vice President of Spa Operations, said, “We’re proud to be associated with the first new-build in the Florida Keys in more than 20 years.”

“With Playa Largo we have the opportunity to bring a new level of beauty and wellness to the island and its visitors. It’s a unique spa which provides guests with authentic, local spa experiences,” she concluded.

Designed and conceptualized by architects Prime Design Associates, with The Gettys Group responsible for the interior design, the US$100m Playa Largo Resort features 144 bedrooms and suites, 10 private bungalows, a beach house for small group and corporate events, a waterfront pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, and 745 ft. of white sand beach.

The resort features a private marina, three signature restaurants, Sandbar, a ballroom with private courtyards, a formal lawn for banquets and weddings, kids’ activity and nature learning center, and sports courts.

Editors’ notes:

As the first new-build in the Florida Keys for some time, the Marriott Autograph Playa Largo aims to offer a new level of luxury accommodations and service from the outset, to create an unparalleled resort destination in the Florida Keys.

As a result, it has more modern features, interior design and technology. For example, every room will be equipped with an iPad, giving guests one-touch control of their experience.

Playa Largo is aiming to be one of the most eco-friendly hotels in Key Largo. It will be the first commercial venture of any kind in the Florida Keys to invest in a Power Knot liquid food composter, decreasing the resort’s carbon footprint by a massive 147 tons annually.

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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Hotel Saranac Introduces Ampersand, a Luxury Spa, Salon and Fitness Center

WTS International (WTS) is thrilled to announce its newest client, the renovated Hotel Saranac on Saranac Lake, New York.

The renovated Hotel Saranac will be a social hub for the residents of Saranac Lake and an elegant base for visitors exploring the Adirondacks. That’s what makes Ampersand, the hotel’s newly introduced spa, so fitting.

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Hotel Saranac

Roedel Companies have partnered with WTS International to create a full service spa, salon and fitness center that will pamper guests staying at the Hotel Saranac as well as residents of the village. Whether it is getting a pedicure/manicure, a full body massage or a haircut in the barber’s chair, Ampersand’s amenities are just right for everything from a special occasion to the daily lifestyles of people in the region.

Ampersand takes its name from the nearby mountain popular with hikers, and its décor reflects that spirit of exploring the Adirondacks. The signature scents and treatments will include indigenous ingredients – pine, birch, maple – and reflect the true outdoor flavor of the region.

Mary Pilch Simpkins, Marketing and Communications Manager for WTS International, explained that Ampersand will be located within the historic retail arcade that makes up the hotel’s ground floor. “Upon completion, there will be a rustic elegance to the spa,” says Simpkins. “It’s very much about the outdoor enthusiast. Ampersand is meant to be a place to recharge and renew for the next day’s adventure.”

WTS International has over four decades of experience providing consulting and management services for over 300 spas, fitness/wellness centers, and leisure and lifestyle facilities worldwide.

From aroma therapy to skin treatments to full hair and makeup, Ampersand will be a place for people to come and feel revitalized. There’s a steam bath, experience shower and a series of massage rooms, including one for couples treatments. There will be a private room for group events that connects to the spa and has a food and beverage option for those special days shared by family and friends.

“The whole idea of this project is to restore the Hotel Saranac as the grand hotel of Saranac Lake. Ampersand is one more way we are doing that,” says Fred B. Roedel III, managing member of the Roedel Companies. “The spa will provide a place for hotel guests and the local community to relax and celebrate all that the Adirondacks have to offer.”

About Roedel Companies:
The Roedel Companies have 45 years of experience developing, constructing, managing and designing hotels. They own and operate nationally branded hotels throughout the eastern United States, including a growing portfolio of nationally branded and independent hotels such as Hilton Garden Inns, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, Holiday Inns, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, La Quinta Inns & Suites and Courtyard by Marriott.

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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