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Interview with Maria Herrera, Senior Spa Director at Four Seasons Hampshire

PUBLISHED: 11:06 14 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2014

Archant

Maria Herrera talks spa gossip and using up-cycling as her own relaxation method

Managing a spa must not be as relaxing as visiting as a guest, how do you remain calm under pressure?

I’ve been working in the Spa industry for 20 years now, so having patience and always remaining calm in the presence of guests has become second nature to me. Taking a deep breath also helps! It does become stressful at times and it is very easy to become flustered, but I remind myself that the entire team will emulate my behaviour so I focus on solving problems with a clear, calm and focused mind. Taking the Hotel’s black Labrador, Oliver, out for a walk around the Estate helps clear the head.

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If you could recommend one area of the spa to spend your day, what would it be and why?

In our VIP Couples Suite! You and a loved one can spend the entire day in there. With an invigorating steam shower and a huge Jacuzzi bath it is the perfect spot to relax and prepare your body for a series of our signature Spa therapies.

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What treatment has everyone talking at the minute?

Swiss Perfection was introduced a few months ago into The Spa and these luxury Anti-Ageing facials really do produce results. If you are looking for a boost of Energy then our ‘Ample Energy’ 90 minute therapy does just that – combining homemade Kombucha Tea, a foot cleansing ceremony, full body exfoliation and massage using warm crystals. Divine!

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When people are relaxed you must hear some great conversations, what’s the best thing you’ve ever overheard?

Discretion is vital in my role so we keep private matters private. That said, I find it a privilege and a compliment when guests open up to me about why they are in need of recharging and escaping the daily pressures of life.

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How do you like to relax when you have a day off?

At the moment I’m really in to restoring vintage and pre-loved furniture. I recently moved into a new home and I have a passion for interior design and décor. I love mixing and matching to create an eclectic look in the house.

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Are there any exciting plans or developments in the pipeline?

Yes, by late September we will be opening our High Wire Adventure course in the woodland area of the hotel grounds. I’m heading up this project and completely out of my comfort zone – although feel up for the challenge! With two 18 element courses – one dedicated to children – a 200 metre zip wire and power fan parachute fall it is such an exciting addition to our recreational activities. I’ve no doubt our leisure and corporate guests will enjoy this year round.

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If you could book in to any spa hotel in the world all expenses paid, where would it be and why?

I can’t help but be faithful to our brand and for very good reason…Four Seasons Resort Langkawi in Malaysia, is home to one of our most impressive spas. The Geo Spa has six floating treatment pavilions and offers treatments inspired by the core elements; nourishment, water, light and air. They use mud from the mangroves, rocks, crystals and indigenous plants. I love the idea of that raw connection with nature with the added benefit of a magical Four Seasons touch.

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