Interview with Erin MacNeil, Director of Spa at Sense, A Rosewood Spa
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Erin MacNeil began her spa career at the age of 16. She holds a Diploma in Esthetics from Sheridan College in Mississauga, Ontario. Her personal interests include maintaining a healthy lifestyle, wellness and personal development. In 2013, Erin joined Rosewood Tucker’s Point in Bermuda as Spa Manager and she built the successful Sense, A Rosewood Spa, which won the Best Spa accolade in the Best of Bermuda Awards 2016. In December 2016, Erin MacNeil took up the role as Director of Spa, bringing a wealth of wellness and lifestyle experience to Rosewood Beijing. She oversees the spa operations and marketing in order to deliver unparalleled luxury spa experiences to hotel guests. SpaChina interviewed her.
What is Sense, A Rosewood Spa at Rosewood Beijing’s unique selling proposition?
The wellness concept at Sense, a Rosewood Spa is to experience a journey of self-care. We would like to inspire our guests to think beyond beauty and discover a sense of peace and calm from within that reflects to the outside world. The unique aspect of Sense is that we base our guest experience around a sense of place. With elements of Chinese culture and paying tribute to the rich history of Beijing, we design our visitor’s experience as a private and personalized journey in the center of modern Beijing.
Please share with us Sense’s most popular treatment?
Our most popular treatment is Sense Signature massage. It allows the guest to experience many expert techniques within one massage. Our therapists are guided not only by recipient’s body but his or her energy, choosing different massage modalities to truly release and reset the body.
What are some of the new trends you see in China’s wellness sector?
The ethos of young Chinese millennials is not only to look good but to live healthy in all areas of life – in their hobbies, careers, fashion and food. Most importantly, I see the biggest increase in wellness through social platforms, for example with apps that do everything from finding fitness classes, outdoor activities and creative workshops to guiding healthy eating habits.
A major spa trend is boutique brands that offer a wellness lifestyle rather than just a studio full of fitness equipment. People are looking to be engaged, to learn and to grow; they are looking to improve overall quality of life.
In China, attention and resources are being provided for the development and distribution of over-the-counter alternatives to supplements and vitamins. This effort receives support from insurance companies with an eye to a large and growing aging population. We also see greater funding and attention being paid to food standards, combating air pollution and the care and consumption of water. A major government initiative involves the launch of a five-year plan to support national sports and encourage fitness which is centered on Chinese youth so they establish a healthier lifestyle as they age. These are all pathways to a higher standard of living to support improved wellness.
How do these new concepts trends influence hotels and spas’ operations?
Consumers now want to know where their products are coming from, how they are made, which means that hotels and spas need to be responsible to answer for the integrity of their products. As consumers educate themselves on healthy living habits and alternative options for sustainable living, naturally they are looking for entities that can meet their conscience living requirements. This has forced many hotels and spas to re-evaluate their practices and put in place more eco-friendly, organic and local options in running their facilities.
How do you comment on Chinese people’s attitude towards wellness?
The feeling of Chinese people toward wellness is growing more open and mainstream year by year. Many people are taking on this new approach to living. We have seen this especially with the opening of many gyms and companies such as Space Cycle, and the boom of fitness apps. This boom has attracted many overseas companies to come to China to help jumpstart the wellness industry.
What kind of spa experiences are preferred by China’s young generation?
Our younger guests are more interested in long-term results and are committed to a regime of treatments rather than a single visit. The experienced, 40+ spa-goers views facials and body treatments more as a luxurious, pampering experience rather than an integral part of a wellness lifestyle. At Sense, we employed advanced facial and body equipment such as the Venus Concept line of technology that allows us to give optimal results to our younger guests.