An interview with Ms. Lisa Lam, Director of Spa & Wellness of naked Retreats
naked Home and naked Stables are known for luring thousands of Chinese to escape from their glamorous yet high-strung city lives to return back to Nature. After ten years, naked enjoys the reputation of being the most sought-after resort in the east China region.
Had he not met his future wife, architect Delphine Yip, in 2007, who later designed naked Stables, entrepreneur Grant Horsfield would have returned to South Africa. Despite the great opportunities in Shanghai, stress is everywhere, and people willingly trade quality of life for success. He was constantly homesick for Nature and an active, healthy lifestyle.
Grant stumbled upon Moganshan after getting lost on his bike in a bamboo forest. It was love at first sight, and thus “naked Home” opened. It was a place to rediscover the pure, playful, and passionate side of your heart, to be immersed in Nature and nurture friendship, love and the simple pleasures of life. Four years later, Grant and Delphine built the much larger naked Stables in a nearby valley. And the rest is history. Now there are 5 naked Retreats in China and the aim is to have 25 naked Retreats open by 2022.
“At naked Leaf Spa – naked Retreats, we rebalance the body and soul to bring out the real you. Through living in the luxurious and comfortable environment, we bare ourselves in the tranquil Nature.” Lisa Lam, Director of Spa & Wellness of naked Retreats said.
Lisa Lam has more than 15 years experience in the spa and wellness business at premium 5-star hotels and resorts. She joined naked in 2012, and is now in charge of the SPA and wellness product and service development, daily operations and training, and customized program planning. Lisa is also responsible for maximizing the financial performance of all Spa areas. Besides Spa and wellness responsibilities, since 2018 Lisa has been in charge of naked Things – naked branded product and service offerings.
“Discover your own path to peace, serenity and complete health at naked Leaf Spa, naked Retreats. A walk through the misty mountains of Moganshan refreshes your senses. The sea of green bamboo waves in the wind and fresh water runs through the streams. The noise of the city drops away. As the clouds lift, the backdrop shifts, and you find yourself renewed.” SpaChina interviewed Lisa.
Why it is important to have the wellness concept and wellness package within the naked Retreats? How does the spa contribute to the resort business as an important facility?
At naked Retreats, we believe that HEALTH is tangible. It is highly personal. The most natural state of the human body is that of wellness. When functioning properly, the body has an impressive ability to heal itself from many ailments. Wellness is not a concept, but an experience!
naked Retreats launches every year a new and unique Wellness program that hasn’t been seen in any other Hotels or Resorts in China.
Besides our spa brand, naked Leaf, naked Retreats aims to launch a new sustainability Wellness program to offer more experiences and services to our guests. Most people fall way short of living healthy, even though health is very high on their scale of importance. Not many people have ever had their health exceed their level of belief on how important health is. And for a continued sustainability image in the leisure industry, naked Retreats experience are high tangible and measurable outcomes with instant and medium-term gratification. We sincerely hope every guest would enjoy staying with naked, and take health home.
Spa contributes to the resort business as an important facility and a unique brand touch. From an operations standpoint, spas can generate significant revenue. A spa is no longer an amenity, it’s a profit sector.
How do you see the use of high-technology in terms of people’s daily wellness?
To me, for some spa treatments, it is great to combine traditional techniques and technology to create an amazing result. Technology has made it possible to maintain and build on results obtained in a professional setting for Spa treatments, special for facial and detox. It was an obvious evolution for me, and the response has been incredible from our guests.
At naked Retreats we update new treatments techniques to provide for the needs of our customers. We use, for example, a very popular facial machine technology brand.
But we never forget the most important thing of all! Keep a warm connection between therapist and customer, and don’t overuse technology.
And we are going to bring Watsu to naked Retreats, it needs a high-tech pool that can maintain a comfort temperature and is better combined with mineral or sea salts for healing results. But, on the other hand, Watsu provides deeply relaxing effects of warm water and nurturing support, combined with unique movements, stretches, massage and point work, to create a bodywork with a range of therapeutic benefits and potential healing on many levels. I also want to call this high-tech, a high level technique from rich experience by human hands and sensitive care.
For anti-aging and longevity subject, do you think spa and spa resorts are playing a good role?
People nowadays care about their health and wellness more, and a lot of new technologies and services can be relevant to achieve, let’s say, the objective of anti-aging. I think spa always plays a good role to guide our customers to relax and enjoy a balanced-healthy life.
As a resort and lifestyle brand leader, naked Retreats plan to build a model on integrating the following six key lifestyle factors to enrich our capabilities to offer more to our guests from a broader view of wellness:
- Exercise and Movement
- Diet and Nutrition
- Health Practices
- Communication and Relationships
- Commitment and Contribution
- Presence and Purpose
Health has both measurable and immeasurable qualities spread out over a time frame of immediate to decades. Most health programs function on either one of the other. Medical-based programs on the measurable and ‘wellness’ styled programs on the other. Both have important values and therefore we wish to build systems that fully integrate both the measurable outcomes with the sense of wellbeing attributed to better health and lifestyle.
What are the top three treatments in your spa and how much per treatment?
The top three treatments at naked Leaf Spa are: naked Leaf Signature massage, naked Bamboo massage and naked Healing Esalen massage. Price: 880rmb for 60 minutes.
The naked Leaf massage techniques developed here is intended to view the body as connected equally to the spirit, mind, emotions, as well as the physical.
The massage treatments that we have created at naked Leaf Spa are escalated to a “healing art” that was first developed back in 1975 in Vietnam. The overall techniques are Vietnamese traditional combine with Swedish massage.
It is much like meditation. It aspires to integrate several forms of healing and wellness to bring profound relaxation and balance to customers.
Therapists must focus on connecting to the client on a deeper, more spiritual level, as they concentrate on “integrating strokes and slow, deep muscle work to release everyday stresses.” The focus remains centered on relaxation, but many forms of massage are integrated into one holistic experience. And as each therapist is trained to view the body as a whole, they attempt to genuinely tune into each person, in efforts to “accommodate specific requests and preferences.”
It is firmly believed that massage aids each person by connecting to their higher, most positive sense of self. Healing the body also heals the mind, creating an infinite circle of health and happiness, where one area constantly nourishes and feeds the other.
When one system is lacking, naked Leaf massages can help to realign it to best serve overall optimal functioning. The goals of the naked Leaf massages are to reintegrate and realign the body and its natural abilities to ward off stress, illness, and life’s myriad challenges.