Originally a student of sport science, Benjamin Donat fell into the spa industry by accident. What started as an exploration of a potential career choice has blossomed into a successful career in beauty and wellness. Currently the Spa Director for the St. Regis Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, Donat is passionate about wellness and seeks to create a memorable experience for every guest.
In addition to acting as Spa Director, Donat is a strong leader and dedicated member of the wellness industry community. Read on to learn more about Benjamin’s background in the spa industry and to hear pro tips for skincare professionals.
Meet Benjamin Donat
Benjamin Donat began his journey in the spa and wellness industry. After studying sport science, Donat took his first role as Spa Manager in Germany but eventually made his way to the United States. Though his entry into the industry happened by accident, he is thrilled to still be working in the spa and wellness industry over a decade later.
Currently serving as Spa Director at the St. Regis Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, Donat oversees a large staff and 11 treatment rooms where guests enjoy seasonal spa treatments. Donat is open-minded and always ready to learn, approaching each steppingstone in his career as an opportunity to grow and try new things. He believes every opportunity is a potential lesson to be learned.
Donat’s proudest accomplishment throughout his career is seeing his staff grow and succeed. He makes it his mission to change every spa he works at for the better, providing an unforgettable experience for guests and a stable, fulfilling career for staff.
Self-Care and the Meaning of Wellness
As a spa professional himself, Donat understands the importance of self-care. In addition to working out every day, he makes time for a massage or facial at least once a month. He brings the spa into his own home with luxury skincare products and a special shower spray.
In his spa, Donat aims to make each guest’s visit a whole wellness journey, starting with a Wellness Shot of coconut water and ending with a beauty shot of hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. Every guest is invited to rest and relax, forgetting their worries for a few hours during their stay.
Donat loves networking with other spa industry professionals, whether Spa Directors or Vendors. He sees it as an opportunity to build a stronger community where every member wants to see other members succeed. He takes special enjoyment in hiring and training new spa professionals – he even enjoys the retail side of his job.
The Future of the Spa Industry
Over the course of his career, Donat has seen many trends come and go. Most recently, he notes the emergence of touchless services as a means of increasing spa revenue in a time when finding qualified staff is difficult. He’s also seen massage furniture vendors releasing new and innovative products that enhance the wellness experience above and beyond the “normal” massage table used in spas.
In his own spa, Donat tries to create a comprehensive wellness journey with each and every treatment, starting from the moment the guest enters the locker room. He looks to the saunas in Europe for inspiration and knows that success stories there could improve the guest experience at his own spas.
Pro Tips from Benjamin Donat
Not only is Donat a successful Spa Director himself, but he seems himself as a mentor to other professionals in the industry. The best piece of advice he ever heard was that every angry guest is a valuable lesson waiting to be learned. Even a bad boss can be a learning experience for new industry professionals. Donat encourages industry professionals to find a leader they can trust and learn from.
Regarding post-quarantine spa practice, Donat recommends making cleaning processes visible to the guest – let them see that the spa takes safety and cleanliness seriously. Rather than hiding and cleaning when guests are not around, make it obvious to create a stronger sense of comfort and safety.
With over a decade of success under his belt, Benjamin Donat is an experienced spa professional committed to lifelong learning. He aims to create a unique and unforgettable experience for his guests and aims to improve the lives and careers of other professionals he comes into contact with.