Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2017
- First Four Seasons Assignment: current
- Ritz-Carlton Denver, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, Hyatt Mission Bay
- Murrieta, California, USA
- Paul Mitchell – The Skin Academy, San Diego City College
Spas are known to inspire a state of bliss for many, but for Stacy Gill they represent something even better: finding her bliss.
“I’ve been interested in skin care ever since I can remember,” says Gill, Spa Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. “My mom was a big spa-goer and would let me go with her at a young age, so I’ve had an interest in the industry for nearly all of my life.”
After graduating from school in southern California, she set her dream in motion by studying more than 600 hours for her esthetician license, which she acquired in 2006. For the next two years, she administered treatments at a day spa in her hometown of Murrieta, California, before coming to the realisation she wasn’t being challenged enough sitting in a treatment room.
Her goal was to learn about the entire operation and she loved hotels, so a move to the Hyatt Mission Bay allowed her to combine the two interests. First a spa concierge, she was quickly promoted to operations supervisor at the San Diego hotel’s Blue Marble Spa. Says Gill of the experience, “I learned something new every day and grew exponentially in that role.”
Armed with newfound knowledge and confidence, Gill transferred in 2012 to the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, a much larger operation with 20 rooms, 55+ therapists and 20,000 square feet (1,850 square metres) of spa space. Gill credits the high-volume beach resort with taking her career to the next level, since it was here she started learning about the management side of the spa business – and the professional opportunities that come with it.
In March 2013, she traded the ocean for the trees with a cross-country move to Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, a sprawling resort just outside Austin, Texas. As the assistant spa director for Spa Django, the largest spa in Hyatt’s US portfolio, Gill was responsible for all aspects of its day-to-day operation, ranging from menu creation and strategic direction to the hiring, training and supervision of 70 therapists.
Gill considers the role one of the hardest in her career, both for personal and professional reasons. “This was my first job outside of California and I didn’t know anyone,” she says. “I left everything I knew to pursue this dream of overseeing a spa operation. Luckily, it paid off because I learned so much and loved what I did there.”
Despite this, after two years Gill started thinking about her next move. “I really wanted to take my customer service and spa knowledge a step further,” says Gill, who realised she would need to look outside the company to accomplish that objective.
Interested in gaining experience in the luxury sector, she applied at the Ritz-Carlton in Denver and six weeks later spearheaded the downtown hotel spa’s million-dollar renovation, complete with a new fitness centre, reworked layout and a brand-new menu of services. The redesigned Spa opened in 2015 and was quickly a success, with revenues exceeding pre-renovation levels by 30 percent in the first year under Gill’s leadership. “It was great to be a part of such a record breaking accomplishment,” she says.
In June 2016, though, Gill produced her greatest accomplishment to date with the birth of her son. Besotted with their newest family member, she and her husband made the difficult decision to move closer to his family in Texas. “We realised we wanted to be around our family more, but I loved luxury and didn’t want to leave it.”
Already familiar with the Austin area from her time at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, Gill set her sights on the Texas capital and the position of Spa Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Austin, which ironically was starting its own spa renovation mere weeks after her arrival.
A seasoned pro at running a busy operation during a renovation, Gill successfully guided the downtown Austin Spa through its own transformation and grand re-opening in May 2017. There, her background as an esthetician, for which she is still licensed, provides inspiration for the treatments and services on the menu.
“I get a lot of creative ideas from giving and receiving services,” says Gill. “Being able to jump in a treatment room at a moment’s notice keeps me up-to-date on the trends, which is key since things are always changing in this industry.”
One thing that hasn’t changed for Gill, though, is her innate fondness for spas. “I know I hold on to memories of amazing spa experiences in my life, and I love being a part of creating similar memories for our guests at Four Seasons. I want guests to come to our Spa and be blown away because they can’t get that treatment or experience anywhere else.”