January began on a busy note, following a phone call from the soon to open William Inglis Hotel in Warwick Farm, Sydney. The hotel had been in planning and under construction for some time, however the addition of a day spa and fitness centre was only decided upon in November, so by the time I received a call in December it meant this pre-opening needed to be executed with utmost efficiency.
Fortunately pre-openings are one of my favourite tasks. I actually enjoy rolling up my sleeves and being onsite to bring everything to life. Plus I love visual merchandising and interior styling! However, first things first. I needed to understand the location, guest demographic, hotel concept and owners vision so that I could choose the appropriate spa partner, curate a treatment menu, guide the brand identity and choose styling items for the day spa. Then the phone calls and planning began.
Waterlily Skin Body and Spa was able to deliver an opening order and training within the tight time frame we had. I pulled together a critical path, delegated out various jobs so we could meet the deadline and began purchasing the most urgent of the 600 or so operational supply and equipment items. The Christmas break was the perfect time to go into creative copywriting for the spa menu, which was then immediately handed over to the Accor sales and marketing team for graphic design. I found the stock image below, which is perfect because it speaks to horses, racing tracks and brides... everything the William Inglis Hotel is about.
The design of the day spa was mostly complete so no major changes to layout could be made, but a few tweaks in the selection of furnishings and the addition of more retail shelving was actioned. Arriving into what was still a construction zone on January 11th with 7 days to unpack OSE, set up, train the team, implement systems and processes and be photo shoot ready required great communication and coordination. Fortunately we were working with a great Accor management team so this helped us overcome the usual little disasters and defects that happen when construction is still in play.
Our lovely therapists and spa manager were trained in the treatment protocols and we then ran a soft opening for two days which gave us the opportunity to practice and discover the weak areas we still had time to fix before official opening day. Very important and highly recommended for any new business.
Overall this is a grand hotel and the spa is a beautiful addition, which I expect will become quite the destination for the Liverpool area. I myself look forward to returning for a spa experience when next in Sydney.