PB Regional Awards 2017
The second annual Professional Beauty Regional Awards saw some 22 winning salons and spas take home trophies on October 22, cementing their position as the best in their area. This year, in each region of the UK, a spa and two salons were awarded. Salons were divided into Boutique (three treatment rooms or fewer) and Large (four rooms or more). Winners were announced during a glittering champagne afternoon tea awards ceremony in Manchester, hosted by comedian Ian Moore and Professional Beauty editor Eve Oxberry, who commented on the night, “We have among us the absolute best in the beauty and spa business. Judging these awards really is an intensive process so to win is a huge achievement.”
NORTH WEST SPA OF THE YEAR
The Woodland Spa, Burnley, Lancashire
Sponsored by: ELEMIS
The world-class thermal suite at The Woodland Spa boasts one of Europe’s largest hydrotherapy pools, as well as a unique serenity pool located within its deep relaxation room. Other facilities include 11 treatment rooms, a double infinity hot tub, outdoor fire pit and glass-fronted sauna. Judges praised the spa for its spacious, spotless facilities, exceptionally high standard of furnishings and extremely helpful staff.
SOUTH WEST AND WALES SPA OF THE YEAR
Gaia Spa, Plymouth
Sponsored by: THALGO
Part of ex-National Trust Boringdon Hall and open for just one year, Gaia Spa has already created a name for itself as a haven in the Devon countryside. Owner Diane Nettleton focuses on creating a nurturing and supportive environment, bringing the outside in through light and natural materials. The spa regularly hosts events linked with local groups, such as Inspiring Women and cancer centre Mustard Tree.
LONDON SPA OF THE YEAR
Como Shambhala Urban Escape at Como Metropolitan Hotel
Sponsored by: Murad
Como Shambhala’s focus on holistic wellbeing, with on-site acupuncturists, reflexologists and yoga teachers, and its own brand of aromatherapy oils, impressed judges. Spa director Corinna Yap’s ability to build profitable relationships with corporate clients, such as Google, which hosted a spa takeover day, was also applauded, with judges noting that these “wellness days” are beneficial for both parties.
SOUTH EAST SPA OF THE YEAR
The Spa at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey
Sponsored by: CODAGE
The stunning 21-treatment-room Pennyhill Park covers 45,000sq ft and is one of the largest spas in the UK. Its facilities include alfresco decking, sauna, steam room, laconium, ice cave, three hydrotherapy pools, sensory room and a spa resturant.
However, it was Pennyhill’s team of therapists that really impressed the judges, who described them as “very professional, welcoming and completely on brand.”
NORTH EAST SPA OF THE YEAR
Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall, Durham
Asian-themed Serenity Spa, which has been trading for 15 years, boasts 17 rooms, a rasul, ice fountains and a hammam. The judges rated the smooth operation of the business by spa director Davina Hassell, with quality control, staff development and investment high on the agenda.
Hassell and her team continually improve the client journey by collecting feedback, hosting masterclasses with product brands, and updating the facilities – the sauna, sanarium and steam room are set to be upgraded at an £100,000 expenditure.
MIDLANDS SPA OF THE YEAR
Dormy House Hotel and Spa, Worcestershire
Dormy House received top marks for its five-star experience, offering everything from treatments using bespoke techniques developed by massage specialist Beata Alexandrowicz to touch therapies that “bring mind, body and soul together”. As a result, the spa has a 200-strong membership and growing waiting list.
The judges were also impressed with spa manager Zoe Douglas’s commission scheme for therapists. Bi-monthly, the spa’s top seller is rewarded with a gift – for example, an overnight spa break anywhere in the UK.
SCOTLAND SPA OF THE YEAR
The Spa at Cameron House, Loch Lomond
The three-floor thermal and hydro spa experience creates a wow factor at Cameron House. Featuring saunas, steam rooms, stone relaxation beds, and tropical showers, it finishes with a stunning rooftop pool. The spa recently opened two additional treatment rooms, bringing its total to 17.
It offers a wide selection of facilities with views across Loch Lomond. Judges described the spa’s location as “exquisite” and its facilities “fantastic”.
NORTHERN IRELAND LARGE SALON OF THE YEAR
Silhouette Beauty Salon, Tyrone
This year, Silhouette added relaxation rooms to its salon to enable more clients to be on the premises at any one time; part of a long-term objective to grow the business while continuing to provide exceptional customer service. The salon recently developed its own branded client-facing app, complete with booking capability and personalised rewards. Judges said these elements came together to provide a “very good customer service experience”.
NORTHERN IRELAND SPA OF THE YEAR
The Spa at Galgorm, Ballymena
Situated on the River Maine in Ballymena, Galgorm competes on a global scale with an authentic Irish spa experience, combining its impressive facilities with customer service and luxury product offer.
The customer journey is an important element for spa manager Tara Moore. Since opening the resort’s thermal village in 2015, the spa has implemented a guest journey map to create key action plans for each department.
NORTHERN IRELAND BOUTIQUE SALON OF THE YEAR
Willow Beauty, Ballymena
One of the most important things for salon owner Gillian Matthews is providing a relaxing experience for clients where they feel their custom is valued. This is reflected in the salon’s loyalty scheme, where the seventh treatment is free, and its exclusivity in the area with skincare brands Cowshed and Domina.
Judges awarded high marks for the salon’s team, who are “skilled, professional and welcoming”. Matthews intends to take on students from local colleges in the future to help develop their skills.
MIDLANDS BOUTIQUE SALON OF THE YEAR
R Retreat, Oadby, Leicestershire
R Retreat Oadby opened its doors in 2002 with the aim of creating a spa-like experience. Owner Dawn Gregory has taken further measures to build on that feeling this year, offering fitness days that include a session with a personal trainer plus coordinating treatments; and yoga days that include meditation and complementary therapies. The PB judges said R Retreat was beautifully designed and noted the owner’s pride in the business.
SOUTH WEST & WALES LARGE SALON OF THE YEAR
The Treatment Loft, Exeter, Devon
Located within Exeter’s Darts Farm Shopping Village, the salon has five treatment rooms, nestled within a space that was previously the farm’s hay loft. The Treatment Loft recently introduced a 15-minute add-on treatment menu, which is offered to clients on arrival and used whenever there is white space in the diary. The salon’s unique environment and its team’s understanding of clients’ needs made it stand out to judges.
MIDLANDS LARGE SALON OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by: SEMILAC
Esqué underwent a major refurbishment earlier this year to make optimum use of its space. A dry flotation suite and Dreamwave massage chairs add an extra level of client comfort, and owners Amy Selby and Gurdip Chatha have introduced marketing initiatives geared towards staff who need more support to gain experience and learn new skills. For example, mini course offers with therapists who have the least service time are texted to less frequent visitors
SOUTH WEST & WALES BOUTIQUE SALON OF THE YEAR
Virgo Beauty, Goring on Thames
Owner Sarah Virgo-Harris has won the salon more than 500 clients in the last year thanks to smart window displays and visible treatment rooms. Therapist development is taken seriously, with big investment in both on and off-site training and development days at luxury beauty and hospitality businesses to encourage therapists to identify excellence. Judges praised therapists’ excellent communication skills, effective treatment techniques and thorough aftercare advice.
SOUTH EAST BOUTIQUE SALON OF THE YEAR
Emma Wilson Urban Spa, London
Although the business only opened last year, owner Emma Wilson has worked hard to make her urban salon stand out. Judges were impressed with her high return booking rates, commenting that “the business has been built on maintaining standards and creating strong relationships with clients”.
Wilson’s dedication to providing a top-notch service also set her apart, staying late to accommodate customer needs and making sure staff always perform services to a high standard.
NORTH EAST BOUTIQUE SALON OF THE YEAR
Hooker & Young Skin, Tyne and Wear
Hooker & Young Skin introduced Delilah Cosmetics last year. Since then, the team has run marketing events that made Delilah the salon’s most popular brand at retail.
In April, the salon helped launch the Hooker & Young annual magazine to attract new clientele from the hair side. Judges said the salon has a clear vision that is implemented well by the small yet experienced team.
SOUTH EAST LARGE SALON OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by: heaven
Tessa Stevens Health and Beauty Clinic, London
In the last year, director Tessa Stevens has employed a company to implement an SEO strategy for the salon’s website, while a closely managed marketing calendar ensures no opportunity is missed in this area. Judges praised the close community relationships the salon has fostered, including active cross-promotion with other local businesses, describing the business as a “very good local salon with a strong community standing”.
NORTH EAST LARGE SALON OF THE YEAR
Simpsons City Centre Champagne Nail & Beauty Salon, Lincoln
Simpsons is Lincoln’s first Champagne nail and beauty salon, having obtained an alcohol licence to offer clients a glass of bubbly while they have their nails done. The salon offers express treatments such as brows and nails on the lower floors, with the more luxurious massages and facials on the first floor.
The salon has an 11-strong team of therapists, many of whom have more than 10 years’ experience. Judges said the salon’s presentation gives it a wow factor.
SCOTLAND BOUTIQUE SALON OF THE YEAR
Zen Lifestyle Bruntsfield, Edinburgh
Zen Lifestyle knows its team is the heart of its service, which is why directors Fiona and Kieran Fowley have invested heavily in the development of their therapists. All staff have a personal development plan and attend six external training events a year, as well as in-house workshops on customer care and leadership – with our judges remarking that the career paths are “outstanding”.
The salon’s biggest initiative this year was its £9,000 rebranding project, updating everything from the business’s logo to uniforms, towels and marketing message.
NORTH WEST BOUTIQUE SALON OF THE YEAR
The House Beauty Spa, Liverpool
Over the past year, The House has employed three extra full-time therapists to cope with demand and trained in Heaven Skincare’s Bee Sting Facial to offer clients something different. The salon also trained in the Jennifer Young – Beauty Despite Cancer technique and added machine-based body treatments to its menu following client demand. Judges praised therapists’ technical expertise and well-executed treatments.
SCOTLAND LARGE SALON OF THE YEAR
Zen Lifestyle Hanover Street, Edinburgh
Scooping both the Scotland salon awards, Zen Lifestyle impressed the judges with its innovative range of treatments and owners Fiona and Kieran Fowley’s quest for perfection. Having recently rebranded, Zen offers clients a welcoming but stylish environment to cater to a clientele that likes a blend of cool and luxurious. Zen’s willingness to invest in its staff also stood out, with therapists each attending four to six training events a year.
NORTH WEST LARGE SALON OF THE YEAR
Concepts Beauty and Wellbeing, Huddersfield
Judges were wowed by the diversity in Concepts Beauty’s approach to wellness. The salon, split across four floors, specialises in advanced treatments such as electrolysis, IPL, tattoo removal and radiofrequency, and has nine onsite wellbeing specialists who offer everything from physiotherapy to yoga.
There’s a VIP scheme for regulars – offering exclusive discounts, priority bookings and £10 birthday gifts. The salon has experienced growth in turnover this year, with 30% of customers purchasing a product after treatment.