On the spot with Amanda Schmiege, director of spa and recreation complex director of Spa and Recreation, St Regis, W, and Westin at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc
What’s the best thing about your job?
I was always told if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. My job is comprised of everything I love – fitness, spa, tennis, children and pools.
What made you choose this role?
I feel that every opportunity I have chosen throughout my career has led me to the next role in a natural progression; roles seem to choose me. I have worked in many different types of spas and hotels and in many different markets. I prefer the roles that present the most challenge at the outset – turnarounds, takeovers, openings – bring them on!
What do you do when you’re not working?
When I am not working, I am working! I love to try out other spas; shake up my fitness routine in a new studio; and test out the latest superfoods – yes I love charcoal lemonade.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever received in the workplace?
I was told early on to “put your heart in it”. I have always treated my spas as my own business and my teams as my own family. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Work is personal and should be personal if you are really going to succeed.
Tell us something that none of your colleagues know about you?
I am a little obsessed with Valentine’s Day and ensuring that my friends and family know how much I love them. Personally I wouldn’t mind if it was Valentine’s every day… the world could do with more love.
6) If you could stay in any hotel in the world right now, where would you go?
The St. Regis, New York. I love spending time in this city and I always dreamed of staying at the original St. Regis Hotel, it is the most iconic address in the world! This is the case even more so now that I was part of the pre-opening team for the first St. Regis Hotel in Dubai. I have seen the hotel open and become one of the most in demand hotels in the city of Dubai.
Can you tell us why you wanted to join this industry?
Wellness and hospitality are able to give back to guests in many more ways than other industries. We have the ability to touch people and impact them differently than most. I feel this comes with a sense of responsibility, a duty, that I train all of my teams with and when you get it right, it’s not just about business or money anymore – it’s about the many guests who leave the comment “You made my day”. We are day-makers – who wouldn’t want to join this industry?
What would you say to anyone who is starting out in your sector?
Working in a spa is not like going to a spa as a guest. It’s all business behind the curtains so be prepared for the other side as well.
What’s the worst thing about your job?
Spa music can become repetitive after hearing it on a loop day in, day out and it now haunts me, even when I’m trying to sleep. Most people would see this as a good complaint!