Spa Director at the Lakeway Resort and Spa, Austin, Texas A native of Cape Town, South Africa, who moved to the United States in 1999, Tania McCorkle became director of the San Saba Spa at the 174-room Lakeway Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas, in August, following a stint as fitness director at the Lakeway's sister resort, The Houstonian Club. She recently chatted with M&C about enhancing the spa experience for attendees; for more on this topic, read "The 20-Minute Spa Break."
What can planners do to help attendees get the most out of a hotel spa? The most important thing they can do is ask for what they need. If attendees have a packed schedule, ask if the spa can provide treatments at unorthodox hours. I have taught yoga classes at the break of dawn, if that worked best for guests. A spa can provide chair massages right in the meeting room or in breakout areas, at any suitable time. Here at the Lakeway Resort, we're developing a program we call Small Indulgences, which is a series of 25-minute treatments that can fit into the busiest schedules.
How should planners evaluate a spa during site inspections? To begin with, make sure the spa and the staff are properly licensed. Other than that, think about common-sense things like: How clean is the facility? How friendly is the spa staff to guests? Are staff members on time for meetings and treatments? Does the equipment seem reasonably up-to-date and in working order?
How do you spend your spare time? I love everything to do with fitness, so I work out every day. I love to swim, cycle, keep busy with my son and two dogs. I really love exploring the surrounding Texas Hill Country, and the people here are very friendly and hospitable. It all reminds me a lot of South Africa. But one thing we can use desperately here is some rain.