Hotelier Award winner to speak at Dubai Spa Summit

Atlantis' Neil Hewerdine to address importance of therapist training

Neil Hewerdine, vice president of spa services at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai.
Neil Hewerdine, vice president of spa services at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai.

Hotelier Award winner Neil Hewerdine, vice president of spa services at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, has joined the stellar line-up of speakers at the Hotelier Middle East Spa & Wellness Summit, being held from February 10-11 at Grosvenor House Dubai.

Hewerdine, named Hotelier Middle East Fitness / Spa Person of the Year Award in 2013, will speak on a panel entitled Spa Success – The Factors Leading The Way, along with Aiobheanna Bonner, director of spa, Fairmont - The Palm Jumeirah; Souhel El-Achbah, spa director, Six Senses Zighy Bay; Salina Handa, founder & managing director, SensAsia Urban Spa; and Lindsay Madden-Nadeau, regional spa director UAE, MSPA International.

The panel, which will be moderated by Ebrahim Malekzadeh, chief executive officer, Esadore International, is designed to dig deep into how exactly to create — and then maintain — a successful spa.

Hewerdine asserted that one of the major factors impacting continued success would be “therapist legislation and training”.

He said investing into the “long-discussed retail and motivational techniques for spa colleagues” would pay dividends.

He explained: “Innovation, education, investment into training, empowerment and development of spa colleagues —this yields confident strong professional spa therapists who will have the ability to promote your business at a high quality level . Quality is a non-negotiable expectation of spa consumers now, and will only become stronger”.

Madden-Nadeau, who oversees multiple Anantara spas in the UAE, said focusing on customer service would be key going forward.

“Spas can actually be very simple — they need to provide a comfortable environment, good service and value for money. For the guest it is about the service provided. We are lucky that the evolution of spas has brought the environment to a whole new level, however if service is not there, guests will not return.”

For more insights and of-the-moment topical chatter, make sure your spa manager attends the summit on February 10-11 — attendance is free for spa professionals.

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