Professional Beauty Awards 2019
The winners of the Professional Beauty and World Spa & Wellness Awards 2019 were crowned during a glittering black-tie event at Grade II-listed venue The Brewery in London on February 24. All 22 winners on the night were recognised for exceeding client expectations and championing high standards in the industry.
The evening began with a champagne reception, where the world-leading international spa and UK salon and practitioner finalists networked with sponsors. This was followed by a three-course meal then entertainment from TV comedian Tom Allen before the awards were presented.
Introducing the ceremony on stage on the night, Professional Beauty editor Eve Oxberry said, “There’s never been a greater need for healing touch and a sense of community, and that’s what everyone in this room delivers expertly. We have here tonight the absolute best in the business, from the biggest international spa groups to the most impressive individual practitioners working across our diverse spa, wellness, beauty and aesthetics market. Whether or not you win tonight, it’s an incredible achievement to reach the finals in these awards.”
Both sets of awards are judged by the industry, for the industry, meaning the winners excel in business innovation as well as customer journey. Over the next few pages, we’ve profiled every winner, to explore the secrets of their success…
LARGE BEAUTY SALON OF THE YEAR
WINNER The Potting Shed Spa, Yorkshire
This is not the first time The Potting Shed Spa has won at the Professional Beauty Awards. The quirky garden-themed salon has been open since 2011 and continues to impress clients and awards judges alike with its distinctive branding and inventive treatment names such as the Lady Garden, Borders Only wax.
But it’s not a case of style over substance at The Potting Shed as the experienced therapist team also receive regular praise. All have a minimum of five years in the industry and new starters undergo a three-month probationary period to ensure they meet the salon’s exacting standards.
Judges described the salon as having a definite “wow factor”, aesthetically, environmentally and also in terms of the skill level of therapists, who are truly able to tailor treatments to clients’ individual needs. This year, the salon has continued to evolve, opening an e-commerce lifestyle store in March.
“ What an honour to win at this national competition. We’re so chuffed. These awards have a massive effect on the business. It’s recognition and a stamp of approval that shows people like what we’re doing. For us it’s absolutely everything – it’s great for the team and also for the clients who support us; so thank you so much” Sam Pearce, founder
MEDICAL AESTHETIC CLINIC OF THE YEAR
WINNER Radiance MediSpa, Exeter
Radiance’s treatment and staff videos scored the clinic points for giving engaging and informative introductions to the business and the procedures it offers. Judges said the clinic’s interior has a “real wow factor” and the best reception area and welcome process of all the finalists, while staff were called “polite, friendly, professional and polished”. Radiance offers a wide range of carefully chosen treatments, from non-invasive procedures such as injectables and medical PDO threads, to more mainstream services like laser treatments, advanced facials and spray tans. To accommodate this, therapist training is extensive and wide reaching, and the team were described as “great advocates for the business”. The clinic was awarded top marks for evidence of its clear vision for the future of the business, with director Ros Debenham working to continually evolve the treatment menu and perfect the patient journey.
“ I’d like to thank the whole team behind us and also the judges, because with lots of awards it’s about how much you spend on advertising, but this is about actually coming and having the experience with us. It means a huge amount more” Ros Debenham, medical director
THERAPIST OF THE YEAR
WINNER Danielle Woods, The Woodland Spa, Burnley
Woods scored top marks in every category during the practical judging day, including the interview with judges following the treatment assessment. Citing massage as her specialism, Woods received glowing feedback on her ability to tailor the treatment and the attention paid to the model’s concerns.
She was selected by her manager to develop two new treatments that have since become the salon’s bestsellers, having devised protocols for body rituals that put less strain on therapists’ joints – further evidence of Woods’ listening skills and attentiveness.
She was also chosen by skincare brand Decélor to be a therapist ambassador, a role that includes twice-yearly meetings on business strategy, treatment skills and product knowledge. This has resulted in increased sales for the salon’s other therapists, following feedback in meetings she organises to pass on the information.
“ We give so much as therapists to our clients, so to be recognised ourselves is so rewarding. Thank you to Professional Beauty for making this possible, because it makes the job even better” Danielle Woods
RESIDENTIAL SPA OF THE YEAR: 10 ROOMS OR FEWER
WINNER The Spa, Corick House Hotel, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Corick House’s customer service policy offers clients an alternative treatment or full refund for any spa service they aren’t 100% satisfied with, while feedback calls are conducted within 48 hours of every guest leaving the spa. These customer service initiatives feed into therapists’ client care, with judges commenting on the “fantastic” massage skills and therapists’ ability to make clients comfortable and relaxed during treatments.
The spa’s treatments and use of the thermal areas were also noted for being very good value for money, coupled with the posttreatment procedure, where clients receive a refreshing sorbet and drink in the Deep Relaxation room. The senior spa team have focused on new ways to maximise revenue in the past 12 months, working closely with the hotel’s food and beverage operations on a private outdoor hot tub package that includes afternoon tea, for example. Judges picked up on this synergy; noting that the hotel and restaurant “continue the luxurious experience and complement the ambience of the spa”.
“ It feels amazing to be a winner. The whole team has put so much work into this. These awards are a credit to everyone involved” Jenna Chambers, spa manager
NAIL SALON OF THE YEAR
WINNER Niche Nails & Beauty, Oxfordshire
Salon owner Natasha Barker believes the difference is in the detail, striving to go the extra mile for clients and staff alike with special touches. The polish and Lecenté glitter colour choices were one such factor that stood out to judges, with the salon displaying a huge range for clients to choose from. The thoughtful service extends to the aftercare protocol that sees each new client leave with a complimentary bottle of CND Solar Oil, aftercare advice leaflet and their first points on the salon’s loyalty scheme towards money off future treatments. It’s not just clients that are made to feel special at Niche – judges were impressed by the importance placed on staff wellbeing, commenting that the team is “extremely well looked after” and that “any therapist would be lucky to work here”.
Training is paramount, with techs and therapists receiving regular training and personal development, particularly in areas they identify an interest in. As a CND education ambassador, Barker has each of the nail team on track to completing their CND master education status.
“ I’m overwhelmed; this is a huge dream come true. I’ve been following Professional Beauty forever and we’re such a small salon so to win this award is incredible. I want to thank all of my team” Natasha Barker, owner
NAIL PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
WINNER Kayley Cairns, The Nail Boutique, Billericay
With a strong commercial awareness and natural talent for sculpting and creating one-of-a-kind nail art, our judges felt Cairns was the perfect choice for this prestigious title. The successful nail tech, who owns The Nail Boutique in Billericay, is a specialist in liquid and powder nail art, which accounts for 80% of the treatments she carries out, and scored top marks for her impressive skills, treatment approach, and understanding of hygiene and client care.
Her dedication to raising the industry’s reputation also made her a clear winner, working as a teacher at the Hazel Dixon Nail Artist Academy so the next generation of techs can learn top techniques, as well as previously being an educator for CND for five years.
Cairns also participates in knowledgesharing in online forums and takes part in charity days to support her local area, while also raising awareness of the career prospects that come with working in the nail industry.
“ This was really unexpected as the other finalists are amazing. To win an award like this you really need to hone your techniques, so thank you so much to my sister who lets me practise on her all the time” Kayley Cairns
MAKE-UP SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR
WINNER Betsy-Dora Turner, Betsy Makeup Studios, Lancashire
Betsy-Dora Turner works out of her own studio, Betsy Makeup Studios, offering make-up and hair for special occasions, bespoke bridal packages, as well as one-to-one training courses, masterclasses and workshops.
Having learned her craft at The Beauty Academy in Manchester, Turner went on to set up a highly successful mobile business before completing PTTLS training to pass her knowledge on to others.
At the live judging day for the awards, Turner and her fellow finalists had one hour to create a beauty look based on an iconic singer. Turner recreated Christina Aguilera’s image from the Moulin Rouge video, and wowed the judges with her application technique and choice of colours to perfectly suit her model. She also impressed them during the interview stages with her dedication to developing the next generation of make-up artists entering the industry.
“ I wasn’t expecting to win and it just feels amazing. I’d like to thank the judges for believing in me and also my clients, because I wouldn’t be here without them” Betsy-Dora Turner
RESIDENTIAL SPA OF THE YEAR: 11 ROOMS OR MORE
WINNER Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, Scotland
Kohler Waters Spa in Scotland was awarded high marks across all sectors, with judges commenting on the strong USP of the business – its true commitment to salus per aquum, which means health through water. The spa is centred around the healing properties of water, with guests able to indulge in an extensive wet and thermal area, which features experiences ranging from a hydrotherapy pool to cold plunge and ice fountain.
However, the business’s ability to adapt to clients’ changing needs is what has set it apart from the crowd, with an active approach to menu engineering to ensure it’s based on demand and profit level, as well as using guest feedback to lead internal training for therapists and front-of-house teams. These practices impressed our judges, who said: “the training is exceptional. They are always striving to be better”. The quality of the spa amenities also wowed, with comments made about the luxuriousness of the spa robes and slippers.
“ I’d like to thank the whole team as it wouldn’t be possible without every single member. We’re a tight team and everyone has such an important role in the spa. Entering is so important because clients recognise these awards” Amy Horgan, therapist
DAY SPA OF THE YEAR
WINNER Eden Hall Day Spa, Newark
With 28 treatment rooms, Eden Hall has a substantial offer that also encompasses multiple pools and heat experiences, including a salt inhalation room and rose-infused steam room. Its restaurant comprises six separate dining rooms, and there is also a full gym and exercise studio, slumber lounge, posttreatment conservatory area, spa shop, manicure and pedicure rooms, gardens and small lake, archery and cycling.
The building is grade-II listed and retains many of the original features from when it was a grand family home. The spa accommodates up to 160 guests a day and has a membership of 280 people.
This year, the pool area, reception and retail shop have all been completely refurbished to keep the property fresh. Judges commented the spa provided exceptional value for its guests and delivered a consistently good customer experience.
“It feels amazing to win. It’s a huge team effort; the whole team contributes to this from top to bottom. These awards are so important so we’re delighted” Nerys Chell, managing director
BOUTIQUE BEAUTY SALON OF THE YEAR
WINNER The Secret Spa, Chester
As a previous Professional Beauty Awards winner, taking home the title of Therapist of the Year last year, Rebecca Griffiths has proven once again that she’s got a business formula that works. This time the therapist is being praised for her three-treatment-room salon The Secret Spa, which provides a tailored service with excellent attention to detail.
Griffiths’s team of 10 therapists were awarded top marks for their in-depth product knowledge and ability to tailor treatments to clients’ needs, as well as having a constant air of warmth about them, with judges noting, “they perform at a consistently high level of professionalism”.
The devil really is in the detail at this salon, with flexible opening hours and inroom amenities including hair brushes and deodorants, to small touches such as warming up clients’ socks up on cold days. Best of all, guests are rewarded for repeat custom as part of the salon’s loyalty card scheme – a smart marketing initiative that has taken the business from strength to strength.
“ The winning formula is that there’s no salon like The Secret Spa – that’s all I can say because that’s what people say constantly when they visit us. My team have stuck by me over the past 20 years and they are amazing. I go to work and it’s such an enjoyable experience” Rebecca Griffiths, owner
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR
WINNER Pure Spa & Beauty
Pure Spa & Beauty impressed the awards judges with its clear brand values and structured development programme for staff. The company, which runs seven sites in Scotland and two in London, has more than doubled its team over the past three years, and with the fast growth has come enhanced structure. All new team members have a three-month induction, then regular contact is continued via initiatives such as monthly one-to-ones to reinforce values and engagement and also to find out where staff feel they need to develop.
Managers also have continued training. Following an organisation development review by Scottish Enterprise, Pure invested in putting all senior salon team and assistant managers on a leadership and management training course.
Pure also hosts strategy retreats two days a year, where the top team, led by chief executive Becky Woodhouse, meet to agree goals for the year.
“We’re so happy to win. It means so much to us. We’ve won before but we keep entering because these awards really set the standard” Becky Woodhouse, owner
RESORT SPA OF THE YEAR: NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA
WINNER SE SPA, Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
Despite its 40 treatment rooms and impressive number of facilities on offer – including a colour therapy room, polar pool, sensory pebble walkway and juice bar – SE Spa still manages to provide a personalised, nurturing experience to each client. Judges noted how every guest is escorted throughout the spa and when handed over to a new colleague, an introduction is given every time. The spa’s “excellent design and impeccable upkeep” were also praised, as was the “beautiful jungle setting”. The cinnamon-scented sauna and eucalyptus steam room were pinpointed as particularly enjoyable features, while the range of product houses the spa works with, including Aromatherapy Associates, Natura Bissé and Salt of the Earth, lends itself well to the diverse mix of guests it accommodates – leisure and corporate travellers as well as families.
“This award inspires us to keep moving forward. We feel honoured to be recognised and the win underscores the passion for work of our staff” Leticia Fernandez, spa manager
RESORT SPA OF THE YEAR: MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
WINNER The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Seychelles
Nestled in the hilltops overlooking Petite Anse Bay, our judges were in awe of the gorgeous tree house living provided by this resort spa, stating it had “some of the best views in the world”. The spa prides itself on providing a haven for worn-out city workers, offering an experience for the senses at every turn, from the locally made Yi-King coconut oils used in treatments to the open-air roof terrace where clients can watch the sun set with a glass of wine. The resort’s tranquil feel is why it has maintained a healthy 71% room occupancy over the past year.
Judges were also impressed with how the Four Seasons team has mastered the art of retail, with product sales now accounting for 29% of the spa’s total revenue. This has been driven by the creation of a personal sales plan for therapists, in-house and external training, and only stocking brands that align with the spa’s ethical values, such as ecofriendly clothing brand Ocean+Main.
“ These awards are so important for giving recognition” Sandie Johannessen, senior spa director
HOTEL SPA OF THE YEAR: NORTH & SOUTH AMERICA
WINNER Remède Spa, The St. Regis Aspen Resort, Aspen, USA
Remède Spa stood out because of its bold treatments, impressive facilities and smooth-running operation. The 15-treatment-room spa combines a luxurious experience with new-to-market trends to provide the ultimate service for mind, body and soul. For example, the property has a menu of popular CBD treatments that’s boosted its profile and helped cement an 89% room occupancy. The spa also offers other alternative therapies such as advanced sports therapy, pre-natal reflexology and reiki.
Judges were particularly impressed with the professional customer service on offer, with the booking process noted as “phenomenal” and staff praised for their “excellent” manner and in-depth knowledge. The spa has worked hard over the past year to ensure its retail area is an engaging space for clients to invest in their wellness, ensuring more post-treatment sales, after working with a speciality retail merchandiser.
“We are honoured to win, and view this award as confirmation of our success in providing guests with cutting-edge treatments. We hope it will further encourage travellers staying in Aspen to experience our hospitality” Heather Steenge-Hart, general manager
HOTEL SPA OF THE YEAR: MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
WINNER Nikki Spa, Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai
Nikki Spa’s design and service aims to neutralise the high-energy atmosphere of its hotel and beach club, helping guests disconnect, recharge and rebalance. Despite this conscious distinction, judges were impressed by how seriously branding and design is taken “at every level”, which they said was “exceptionally tasteful and well thought out”. This carries through to the layout of the spa’s treatment rooms, where judges noted the careful attention to detail of the layout that enables consultations to take place seamlessly before treatment and at eye level.
The spa’s extensive and ongoing staff training includes monthly spa guest role-play training exercises and inter-departmental cross training, reflected in customer service judges called “fantastic; super-attentive, caring and accommodating”. The spa was also noted for both its internal and external revenue-generating efforts, including relationships with relevant press and bloggers, an active annual events calendar, and spa coupons for money off treatments placed in every hotel room key card.
“ I’m beyond ecstatic and extremely grateful to have won. I’d like to thank my team – this is very motivational for them and shows gratitude for all their hard work. Since we are considered new kids on the block, this mean’s we’ve put Nikki Spa on the map in less than a year and a half” Roberta Lindow, director of spa
RESORT SPA OF THE YEAR: EASTERN EUROPE
WINNER Soma Spa, Domes of Elounda
Located on an unoccupied islet in Crete, Domes of Elounda prides itself on its Greek hospitality, drawing on the area’s ancient spa culture with traditional healing techniques. Judges said massage experiences at the spa were inspiring and uplifting, “executed with dedication and true vocational passion”. Staff were praised for their “outstanding customer service”, greeting and remembering every guest by name.
The property’s website and booking process was also noted for being “extremely easy” to navigate and book, for both accommodation and spa experiences. The spa works closely with key product house Elemis to shape its marketing strategy, communicating training, services and product spotlights via social media and marketing collateral in the spa. This was picked up on by judges, who noted the brand’s visible presence throughout.
“I’m so happy – my two spas have won awards. It’s down to the team and their passion and support. Just wow” Eleni Charalambous, director
HOTEL SPA OF THE YEAR: EASTERN EUROPE
WINNER Soma Spa, Domes Noruz, Crete, Greece
Adults-only destination Soma Spa scooped the top spot because of its commitment to an outstanding service using the power of touch from traditional Greek techniques alongside the latest technology. Our judges commended the team for its excellent communication skills, customer service approach and passion for the brand’s USP – Soma means body in Greek which is why the spa focuses on the mind-body connection – and scored its treatments high marks because of their authenticity and results.
The extra service touches provided by staff were also noted as next level, from clients being given a rose posttreatment, scented with their favourite oil, to the skincare and soul session workshops to help guests understand their skin health and mental wellbeing, and mini spa treatments provided in-room for those staying in one of the hotel’s exclusive Wellness Lofts. The spa’s five treatment rooms also reflect its Greek heritage, using traditional embroidery and local fabrics to create a place of relaxation.
HOTEL SPA OF THE YEAR: WESTERN EUROPE & SCANDINAVIA
WINNER Gaia Spa, Boringdon Hall Hotel & Spa, Plymouth, UK
Gaia Spa opened in the UK in 2016 to much fanfare. The major spa development has 12 treatment rooms, five heat experience areas, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, and an impressive fitness offer.
Gaia takes its name from the ancient healing goddess of nature and its inhouse skincare brand is formulated with natural and organic ingredients.
Judges were wowed by the attention to customer service at the spa and the seamless way the journey flows from hotel to treatment room. Guests are welcomed by spa hosts and given a tour and itinerary on arrival, while treatments are all bespoke to the individual client’s needs on the day.
The consistency of the branding throughout the spa also impressed our judges, with high-quality natural materials used throughout, alongside the recognisable Gaia goddess logo design.
“ We’re so thrilled. It’s down to all of our team, our guests and all the support we get from the industry; to go back and tell the team we’re the best hotel spa in Western Europe feels amazing” Diane Nettleton, director
RESORT SPA OF THE YEAR: WESTERN EUROPE & SCANDINAVIA
WINNER Thermal Spa; Tamina Therme, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
As one of the oldest thermal water resort’s in Switzerland, Thermal Spa scored highly for its exclusive water USP and sheer variety of holistic and medical facilities. The impressive 75 roomstrong business has a 70% returning guest rate, which impressed our judges, and this figure is clearly driven by the spa’s bespoke health programmes that merge wellness with tailored medical expertise.
Our judges also noted how fast the operation runs and, amazingly, how smoothly given its size. Therapists work with more than 30 doctors at the Medical Health Centre to provide the best care for clients, with a range of departments including gynaecology and fertility, while the Clinic Bad Ragaz also offers inpatient rehabilitation based on two areas of expertise – musculoskeletal and internal-oncological. The new Family Spa, which opened in May 2018, also wowed our experts, with water-based treatments and exercises to engage every generation.
“ Bad Ragaz has been in the final of these awards almost every year, so we’re really proud to win. We have a big team – therapists and resort staff – and I would like to thank them all. Everything we do is for them” Stephan Wagner, director of spa and wellbeing
HOTEL SPA OF THE YEAR: ASIA & AUSTRALASIA
WINNER The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto offers a mix of modern and Japanese zen-style experiences, pairing high-tech fitness equipment with facilities such as an onsen-style Japanese Ofuro bath. Judges noted the individuality of the spa’s ceremonial Japanese rituals, and said the “impeccable standard of treatment delivery” could not be faulted. Therapists were praised for their attention to detail and “excellent” touches and techniques. The property’s unique aesthetic and heritage adds to the spa’s appeal, with judges commenting on the “beautiful” 800 year-old pond in the property’s shakusuien garden that has been “perfectly preserved”. Once inside, spa staff were said to seamlessly handle guests’ welcome and tour of the facilities.
“As the conductor of the orchestra, it’s a pleasure to be able to help keep that innovation going with the team. I can’t do anything without them” Sandie Johannessen, senior spa director
RESORT SPA OF THE YEAR: ASIA & AUSTRALASIA
WINNER Crown Spa Perth
Located on the banks of the Swan River, overlooking the Perth city skyline, Crown Perth is home to Crown Spa, in addition to three hotels surrounded by a variety of events and conference facilities, retail stores, bars and upscale restaurants.
The 12-treatment-room spa is marketed as “the perfect escape for a moment of pure, unbridled luxury”. It houses separate men’s and women’s Aqua Retreat areas, which each include an aroma steam room, vitality pool and relaxation zones inspired by Roman bathhouses. There are also couples’ suites with white marble bathtubs and steam showers.
Judges said the extensive pool facilities and services are a highlight at Crown Spa, and work to encourage guests to make the most of the outside space. The judges were also impressed with the connection and sense of presence displayed by the therapists in this winning spa.
“ I’m shocked to win. These awards put us on a world stage so it’s amazing. We’re a small company and the nominations for this award were absolutely incredible so for us to get this is just fab” Emma McGrady, director
WORLDWIDE HEALTH & WELLNESS DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
WINNER Fonteverde, Tuscany, Italy
Nestled in the hills of Tuscany, Fonteverde aims to inspire lifestyle changes in its guests via its transformative wellness programmes. The spa’s philosophy is based around its Equilibrium programme, which focuses on PNEI (psycho neuro endocrine immunology). This involves goals around stress reduction, nutrition, physical exercise and thermal therapy.
The resort also offers modern non-invasive aesthetic procedures including botulinum toxin and fillers. Judges described Fonteverde as setting “a new benchmark for health and wellness destinations powered by thermal medicine”.
Facilities at the property include seven thermal pools at a temperature of 38°C and a Kneipp path. There is also a cold water pool and “Bagno Etrusco” path consisting of a sauna, Turkish bath and thermal cave, with hydrotherapy treatments including underwater massage.
“We are immensely proud to have won this award. It is a wonderful reflection of our team’s commitment to providing an exceptional spa experience for guests” Antonello Del Regno, general manager
Thank YOU to all the sponsors of the Professional Beauty and World Spa & Wellness Awards 2019