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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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How to Spot and Hire Top Talent: WTS Featured in Pulse

WTS International is thrilled to share a recent article in Pulse, a magazine focused on business issues and trends in the spa industry. The feature, “Wanted: Rockstar, How to Spot and Hire Top Talent,” quotes Henry Gudelsky, WTS’ Director of Training and Development. Henry comments, “It does not matter if the person is a director, attendant, service provider, or host, everyone contributes to the guest experience and performance of the spa. Having rock star performers within our team enables us to consistently deliver the level of service that keeps customers coming back.”

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To read the entire article, download it here.

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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 Launches Corporate Charity Initiative, WELLness Begins with Water

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WTS International has launched its 2016 corporate initiative, WELLness Begins with Water. The initiative will include a number of charitable components in support of charity: water and also in partnership with the Green Spa Network and Global Wellness Day.

The initiative’s mission: to deliver clean, safe drinking water to developing nations. It costs the organization approximately US$10k to install a community well and WTS is aiming to raise this amount in partnership with its managed facilities, as well as corporately and through partnerships with selected preferred vendors.

Gary Henkin, president and CEO of WTS said: “We take our plentiful supplies of clean water for granted and our spa industry is founded on it, yet many people in the developing world do not even have access to clean drinking water.

We believe this is a basic human right and here at WTS we’re committed to working with charity: water and also our partners and clients, to raise funds to improve the lives of people who are without safe water, by empowering them to take charge of their own water supply.”

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In a related initiative, WTS will also work with the Green Spa Network on the development of protocols and recommendations aimed at significantly reducing the number of plastic water bottles and cups used at WTS-managed spa, fitness and lifestyle facilities.

The Green Spa Network will track and compare usage in WTS-managed facilities to show the improvements made, while an implementation guide will be created by WTS and distributed among both its own managed properties and those associated within the Green Spa Network.

The guide will provide solutions for reducing the carbon footprint created by plastic, as well as providing affiliated spas with suggestions on how to run their Global Wellness Day fundraising events. WTS has also made a policy decision to select vendors who can show they’ve reduced water consumption during the production process.

Global Wellness Day has been successfully incorporated into all WTS facility marketing plans, and an implementation kit and accompanying flyers have been developed to make the launch straightforward. All proceeds raised from attendances at GWD events will be donated to charity: water in the name of WTS International.

“I highly commend WTS for raising money for this worthwhile cause,” said Paul Schmidt, Green Spa Network executive director. “The Green Spa Network is proud to partner with progressive companies like WTS and collaborate to cause positive change.”

To learn more about the WTS corporate charity initiative, please email: initiative@wtsinternational.com.

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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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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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WTS Recreation Director Named VP of Florida Recreation and Park Association

WTS International, the global fitness, recreation and spa consulting and management firm, is pleased to announce that Mathew Eberius, Recreation Director for the new master-planned community Starkey Ranch, has recently been sworn in as Vice President of the Florida Recreation & Park Association (US).

The Florida Recreation & Park Association is one of the country’s largest in terms of membership of active recreation professionals. In Eberius’ position, he will assist the Association in delivering education, advocacy and outreach to the membership and growing partnerships with other state and federal agencies.

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Elected by the membership of the Association, Eberius credits his dedication to the parks and recreation field to his local hometown of Dunedin, FL where he grew up: “I was the ‘kid that never left’ and worked from a little kid in a recreation program to a supervisor and now I’m overseeing my own department.”

Eberius joined WTS International as the Recreation Director for the community of Starkey Ranch, located in Pasco County.

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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