Hotelier Awards 2018 Shortlist: Spa/Fitness Person of the Year

Seven talented spa and fitness hoteliers made it into the shortlist this year.

Reports, Dubai, Hotelier middle east awards, Hotelier news, Middle east hotels, Spa fitness person of the year, Spa news
Aleksander Curcic, personal trainer, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai: 

Aleksander Curcic is always looking for ways to extend his fitness expertise, knowledge and coaching skills to resort guests and members. Curcic invests time in designing and implementing comprehensive and integrated personalised health and fitness programmes and activities that assist hotel guests with leading the healthiest lifestyle possible. Curcic’s spectrum of qualifications, skills and areas of expertise encompass physiotherapy, swimming and water polo coaching and principles of nutrition in fitness. Besides his duties, Curcic also spends time continuously expanding his knowledge and expertise by enrolling himself in specialised training courses to further his education at his own expense and time.
Aleksander Curcic, personal trainer, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai: Aleksander Curcic is always looking for ways to extend his fitness expertise, knowledge and coaching skills to resort guests and members. Curcic invests time in designing and implementing comprehensive and integrated personalised health and fitness programmes and activities that assist hotel guests with leading the healthiest lifestyle possible. Curcic’s spectrum of qualifications, skills and areas of expertise encompass physiotherapy, swimming and water polo coaching and principles of nutrition in fitness. Besides his duties, Curcic also spends time continuously expanding his knowledge and expertise by enrolling himself in specialised training courses to further his education at his own expense and time.
Bharti Lama, spa & recreation manager, Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel Abu Dhabi: 

Bharti Lama joined the pre-opening team at Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi as spa & recreation manager and now manages one of the largest spa and health clubs in Abu Dhabi at Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel. In collaboration with the hotel’s learning & developing team Lama initiated the ‘Beat My Weight’ challenge which involved all employees. The three-month programme as made in effort to boost the staff morale. Lama took this on as her own initiative to get the team fit and keep them motivated.
Bharti Lama, spa & recreation manager, Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel Abu Dhabi: Bharti Lama joined the pre-opening team at Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi as spa & recreation manager and now manages one of the largest spa and health clubs in Abu Dhabi at Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel. In collaboration with the hotel’s learning & developing team Lama initiated the ‘Beat My Weight’ challenge which involved all employees. The three-month programme as made in effort to boost the staff morale. Lama took this on as her own initiative to get the team fit and keep them motivated.
Hany Darwish, health club manager, Holiday Inn Kuwait: 

Hany Darwish started with IHG as fitness trainer in 2002 in Crowne Plaza Kuwait, and was later promoted to supervisor, sales manager, recreation manager, then to health club manager in Holiday Inn Kuwait in 2013. Darwish has achieved a profit of 77% - highest profit in the recorded history of the property with over a budget of KD 1,30,000 (US$429,195). He also created a new HC procedure, worked on ‘Reshape Your Life’ programmes, and put together a personal training book. Darwish also took on the rebranding of the Holiday health club to 24Hr Edge Fitness Centre. His hard work gave way to an increase in the gross revenue by 320% which amounted to almost half a million dollars. Moreover, his leadership skills resulted in 20% of his team enrolling and graduating into ‘Leading Others’ Programme. Darwish has also developed different activities like: 13 different kind of programmes for clients, kids activities like ballet class, karate, group swimming, salsa classes, zumba jr. and in the future, will launch a new offer for gymnastics classed, taekwondo and mixed martial arts for kids.
Hany Darwish, health club manager, Holiday Inn Kuwait: Hany Darwish started with IHG as fitness trainer in 2002 in Crowne Plaza Kuwait, and was later promoted to supervisor, sales manager, recreation manager, then to health club manager in Holiday Inn Kuwait in 2013. Darwish has achieved a profit of 77% - highest profit in the recorded history of the property with over a budget of KD 1,30,000 (US$429,195). He also created a new HC procedure, worked on ‘Reshape Your Life’ programmes, and put together a personal training book. Darwish also took on the rebranding of the Holiday health club to 24Hr Edge Fitness Centre. His hard work gave way to an increase in the gross revenue by 320% which amounted to almost half a million dollars. Moreover, his leadership skills resulted in 20% of his team enrolling and graduating into ‘Leading Others’ Programme. Darwish has also developed different activities like: 13 different kind of programmes for clients, kids activities like ballet class, karate, group swimming, salsa classes, zumba jr. and in the future, will launch a new offer for gymnastics classed, taekwondo and mixed martial arts for kids.
Kamal Khalil, spa & recreation director, Phoenicia InterContinental Beirut: 

Under Kamal Khalil, the year to date revenue increase by 20% from last year and the year to date gross operating profit increased by 78% from last year. Additionally, the spa and fitness and pool guest experience average score increased from 85% to 90%. the colleague engagement score increased from 78% to 95% year-on-year. He also introduced Core by Premier, a new Spa management system software with full implementation. Khalil drove the revenue of the spa by introducing several generating initiatives such as introducing Valmont, a bespoke Swiss luxury skincare product and thereby repositioning the spa within the local market as a luxury destination. Under his supervision, the spa also registered retail enhancement for better visibility and sales, with a retail sales increase by 50% year-on-year.
Kamal Khalil, spa & recreation director, Phoenicia InterContinental Beirut: Under Kamal Khalil, the year to date revenue increase by 20% from last year and the year to date gross operating profit increased by 78% from last year. Additionally, the spa and fitness and pool guest experience average score increased from 85% to 90%. the colleague engagement score increased from 78% to 95% year-on-year. He also introduced Core by Premier, a new Spa management system software with full implementation. Khalil drove the revenue of the spa by introducing several generating initiatives such as introducing Valmont, a bespoke Swiss luxury skincare product and thereby repositioning the spa within the local market as a luxury destination. Under his supervision, the spa also registered retail enhancement for better visibility and sales, with a retail sales increase by 50% year-on-year.
Laura Brown, spa manager, Fairmont The Palm: 

It was in 2015 that Brown moved to join the Fairmont The Palm, where she now manages a team of over 22 spa colleagues as spa manager for the Willow Stream Spa. Brown has conceptualised and launched two major new projects: State of One Meditation sessions and a dedicated wellbeing treatment menu, in addition to launching a host of non-invasive anti-ageing products and treatments at Willow Stream Spa. Brown is also responsible for increasing the spa’s repeat guests by 25% in 2017 and ultimately increasing spa revenue by over AED 500,000 in 2017. Aside from her duty tasks and responsibilities, Brown finds time to ensure her spa team is engaged and motivated at all times. The 2017 CES score for Willow Stream Spa was 93% – by far the highest score to have been achieved by any department in the resort. Additionally, the colleague turnover has significantly dropped from 30% in 2017 to 5% at the beginning of 2018.
Laura Brown, spa manager, Fairmont The Palm: It was in 2015 that Brown moved to join the Fairmont The Palm, where she now manages a team of over 22 spa colleagues as spa manager for the Willow Stream Spa. Brown has conceptualised and launched two major new projects: State of One Meditation sessions and a dedicated wellbeing treatment menu, in addition to launching a host of non-invasive anti-ageing products and treatments at Willow Stream Spa. Brown is also responsible for increasing the spa’s repeat guests by 25% in 2017 and ultimately increasing spa revenue by over AED 500,000 in 2017. Aside from her duty tasks and responsibilities, Brown finds time to ensure her spa team is engaged and motivated at all times. The 2017 CES score for Willow Stream Spa was 93% – by far the highest score to have been achieved by any department in the resort. Additionally, the colleague turnover has significantly dropped from 30% in 2017 to 5% at the beginning of 2018.
May Bona, spa therapist, Shangri-La Hotel Dubai: 

In 2018, May Bona was promoted to spa departmental trainer along with continuing her therapist duties. In October 2017, the Shangri-La corporate spa team decided to change their product offering at most of the CHI, The Spa locations across the globe. The implementation of these new products took an immense amount of training from the corporate team, product companies and local teams to ensure a seamless guest experience. Bona was selected as the Dubai team member to train the rest of the staff, learning all of the new products and techniques then sharing these new procedures with the rest of the staff. Bona also invests time in going above and beyond for the guests. Following a facial treatment, one of the guests loved one of the products used during the treatment and requested to purchase it for retail. Unfortunately, the spa was out of stock for that product at the time. It would have taken around five to seven days to re-order the product from the supplier, however, as the guest was leaving Dubai in 24 hours, Bona took it upon herself to get in touch with the supplier to request the product and went to their distribution office after her working hours to get this product. She was able to deliver it to the guest.
May Bona, spa therapist, Shangri-La Hotel Dubai: In 2018, May Bona was promoted to spa departmental trainer along with continuing her therapist duties. In October 2017, the Shangri-La corporate spa team decided to change their product offering at most of the CHI, The Spa locations across the globe. The implementation of these new products took an immense amount of training from the corporate team, product companies and local teams to ensure a seamless guest experience. Bona was selected as the Dubai team member to train the rest of the staff, learning all of the new products and techniques then sharing these new procedures with the rest of the staff. Bona also invests time in going above and beyond for the guests. Following a facial treatment, one of the guests loved one of the products used during the treatment and requested to purchase it for retail. Unfortunately, the spa was out of stock for that product at the time. It would have taken around five to seven days to re-order the product from the supplier, however, as the guest was leaving Dubai in 24 hours, Bona took it upon herself to get in touch with the supplier to request the product and went to their distribution office after her working hours to get this product. She was able to deliver it to the guest.
Vyara Tosheva, spa and wellness manager, The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel: 

One of Vyara Tosheva’s biggest achievement at The Retreat is playing an instrumental role in launching the first wellbeing retreat resort in UAE and GCC and ensuring smooth and flawless operations in providing three, five, seven and 14-day days retreat programmes. Tosheva has launched wellness related services and facilities by researching, analysing and sourcing and has done quite a bit of research, NLP and EFT and other courses to help guests achieve their health goals and offer holistic solutions for them. Tosheva was part of the team which worked on all healthy menus, food and beverages at the retreat. Besides this, Tosheva has also played an active part in implementing many programmes including the TV wellness music app, organic bed sheets, aloe vera planters for better sleep, sleep well suites with techno gel mattresses and wellness programmes, DNA fit programmes paired with nutrition consultations as well as oxygen bar relaxation spaces.
Vyara Tosheva, spa and wellness manager, The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel: One of Vyara Tosheva’s biggest achievement at The Retreat is playing an instrumental role in launching the first wellbeing retreat resort in UAE and GCC and ensuring smooth and flawless operations in providing three, five, seven and 14-day days retreat programmes. Tosheva has launched wellness related services and facilities by researching, analysing and sourcing and has done quite a bit of research, NLP and EFT and other courses to help guests achieve their health goals and offer holistic solutions for them. Tosheva was part of the team which worked on all healthy menus, food and beverages at the retreat. Besides this, Tosheva has also played an active part in implementing many programmes including the TV wellness music app, organic bed sheets, aloe vera planters for better sleep, sleep well suites with techno gel mattresses and wellness programmes, DNA fit programmes paired with nutrition consultations as well as oxygen bar relaxation spaces.

A popular category at the Hotelier Middle East Awards: here are the seven finalists for the Spa/Fitness Person of the Year category in 2018.

Click through to find out who has been shortlisted this year... 

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