Bathing facilities located within the couples' treatment room Bathing facilities located within the couples' treatment room

Numbers game
It’s not only the spa clients who appear to be becoming more results driven, so are the managers.

With its flash fit-out flaunting slate walls, quality marble, glass and wood finishings — no expense has been spared on the Atarmia Spa at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, but with higher investments come greater expectations of returns — inevitably the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the spa manager.

“That’s just the way the industry is moving forward with more emphasis on investment in the spa,” says Roche.

Story continues below

“But I take great sense of pride in the fact that spas raise the room rate within the hotel whether or not the guest walks into the spa and has a treatment or not, but of course I have targets and expectations.

“If you concentrate on guest experience the profit will come, that’s where my focus is and where I find my job satisfaction,” she adds.

Seeing the calm and elegant Atarmia Spa today, it’s hard to believe the concept was dreamt up by one woman stationed in a noisy construction area. “Looking back at those first few weeks in the site office, I can laugh at the challenges faced. Looking to the future, you realise it’s those challenges that make you grow,” Roche concludes.

Inside Atarmia
Location: Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, Saadiyat Island
Inspiration: Local, indigenous culture and heritage
Manager: Nichola Roche
Treatment rooms: Nine, including one VIP couples’ room
Floors: Two
Staff: 27 and growing
Bespoke treatments: La Alternativa and Quiro Golf Massage, among others
Other features:
- Outdoor 25-metre lap pool
- Hydrotherapy facilities
- Manicure and pedicure salon
- Fitness room
- Stretching studio
- Sauna
- Steamroom
- Whirlpool
- Tennis court