Introducing Lina Lotto
Lina is a spa expert with 18 years in the industry working in Asia, Australia and the UK. In Thailand Lina was spa consultant to the Dusit Group which launched the premier Thai spa brand Devarana.
As Area Manager, she developed and oversaw the implementation of all the operational aspects of Devarana’s first 3 spas and was elected to the board of the Thai Spa Association in 2003 as Programmes Director.
Now in her 12th year as Spa Director, we take a look back with Lina at how the award winning spa, SenSpa, came to be.
Lina joined SenSpa in January 2004 when building work had already begun on the 24,000 sq ft spa. She was a part of an executive team that included the owner, directors, interior designer, marketing executive, financial manager and commercial manager. The spa was 8 months off opening when Lina joined so there was a lot work to do and many decisions to be made ready for an August opening.
Lina's role was to develop the brand identity and values, direct the marketing strategy, organise the recruitment and training programme, set standards and procedures, specify inventory and liaise with the architect and interior designer for functionality. It was hard work but there was a lot of fun had too.
Lina explains why a Thai theme was chosen for the new £6 million spa.
"Thailand is called the ‘land of smiles’ and for good reason. This gentle mark of friendliness and respect is embedded throughout the culture. Thai excellence in service is recognised worldwide and we wanted to work to that standard. My experience of working and living in Thailand showed me that service is more than being professional, efficient and adopting best practice. It is about making people feel special and cared for. Service delivered with warmth, care and grace is what characterises Thai hospitality. Anyone who has been to Thailand immediately feels that quality and that is what we endeavour to do at SenSpa. Oh, and we must not forget the most important word in the Thai language ‘sanook’ which means ‘fun’; there has to be an element of fun in the mix!"
In February 2004 SenSpa's name was chosen from the many excellent submissions from members of staff at Careys Manor Hotel. The Wedding Coordinator, Francoise Gysemans discovered that ‘sen’ is used not only to describe the body’s energy lines in Thai traditional medicine, but also means ‘forest’ in Chinese. There are a large number of Chinese Thais in Thailand and SenSpa is in the heart of the New Forest so Lina and the executive team were unanimous in agreeing that there could not be a name more suited.
SenSpa has won multiple awards during the last 10 years putting it on the map as one of the best spas in the UK. Awards include 'Best Therapist 2006' (British Beauty & Spa Awards), 'Best Day Spa 2011' (Natural Health Spa Awards) and ‘Best Spa in the South East 2013’ (The Good Spa Guide Awards) to name just a few.
Prior to the spa being designed and built, much of this success comes from the extensive research that was undertaken, visiting spas in Europe and Asia. SenSpa brings together the best of the West and the East, namely Western hydrotherapy, Thai inspired treatments and service ethic and with a £6 million investment in the project these facilities are world class.
Beyond this, Lina also attributes most of SenSpa’s success to its people.
"Their individual and collective efforts have been the chief reason for our achievements. Each individual who works at SenSpa and Careys Manor brings their own special quality which forms our unique character. Working with people such as these is what I have enjoyed the most whilst at SenSpa.
SenSpa offers an extensive treatment menu performed by award winning Thai and western therapists but Lina's favourite of all is the 'Traditional Thai Massage'.
"It is one of the most comprehensive massages I have ever experienced. It not only re-balances the body’s energy system by working along the ‘sen’ lines, but also addresses muscular imbalance by thoroughly massaging and stretching muscles and tendons for greater mobility."
“The only thing missing from this otherwise authentic experience, is the jet lag”.
Sunday Times Travel
The SenSpa Health Club has become a second home to me! The staff are really friendly and I particularly enjoy the PT sessions - the social activities make it feel more like a club than a gym!"
"Greeted with a friendly 'sawadeeka', snug white robe, slippers and a cup of hot Thai green tea, SenSpa guests are treated to an impressive two-floor hydrotherapy haven."
"Why fly to Thailand? Lose the spa miles and go to the New Forest instead. The authentic Thai influence sets SenSpa apart from other spas."
The Good Spa Guide
"We are B-I-G fans of SenSpa‘s bodycare and haircare: unbelievably good value, and performance that rivals products 5, 6, sometimes 10 times the price.".
The Beauty Bible
“The spa seems to have done wonders for my skin, which now feels fresh and super soft”.
National Geographic Traveller
“The award-winning Thai spa is the highlight, featuring what I've found to be the widest range of spa experiences in Hampshire”.