Victoria Lees is the only UK-based spa manager to have been selected to take part in the Global Mentorship Pilot Program, which is the only formal mentorship program of its kinds serving the global spa and wellness industry with other participating countries including America, the Middle East, Australia, Europe and India.
The Global Mentorship Pilot Program, spearheaded by a team of spa and wellness experts from around the world, pairs seasoned spa directors with spa managers looking for guidance and new ways to progress their roles.
Victoria clinched her place having undergone a thorough application and interview process and is now working with Hans Peter-Veit, spa development director of the Oetker Collection of hotels and resorts in Germany, who is one of the most respected authorities in the spa and wellness sector. During her mentoring programme, Victoria will work on areas such as spa marketing, management, investment and future developments.
Each mentorship pair meets twice a month in video conference or by phone over three months to discuss career challenges identified by the mentee.
Victoria has worked at Rockliffe Hall for four years and manages a team of 40 in the award-winning spa which has picked up accolades such as the Good Spa Guide’s ‘5 Bubbles’ for excellence, the best UK spa for ‘sheer luxury’ and the best UK spa for customer service. She has over 12 years’ experience and, prior to working at Rockliffe Hall, ran her own beauty salons within Toni and Guy and Swinton Park Hotel and Spa. Victoria has trained with some of the biggest names in the industry including make-up artist to the stars, Daniel Sandler, and LA-based international skincare specialist, Dr Murad.
Speaking about the Global Mentorship Pilot Program, Victoria said: “I have been offered an amazing opportunity to develop my career with one of the world’s leading spa professionals on a program which is at the forefront of the wellness sector. I’ll be working on aspects such as enhancing our guests’ experiences, how to remain at the very top of the spa sector and continually develop new elements and also on how to pass on what I learn to motivate and train my team further.”
Rockliffe Hall’s Spa has been named in the Good Spa Guide’s top five of the UK’s most luxurious spas for the last two years, the only spa in the North of England to clinch this position with the other four spas being Lucknam Park in Wiltshire, Pennyhill Park in Surrey, The Vineyard in Berkshire and Dormy House Hotel and Spa, Worcestershire.
Earlier this year, Rockliffe Hall announced plans for a new £1 million ‘Spa Garden’- the first of its kinds in the North East. The new facility will be adjacent to the current spa and will have two outdoor hot pools including an infinity edge hydrotherapy pool with massage features and a warm Jacuzzi, under-floor heated decking and lounging areas, a garden room with a traditional glass-fronted sauna cabin, fire pit, water feature, landscaped gardens with views across Rockliffe Hall’s grounds and heated relaxation loungers. Work started in January and it’s hoped the new facility will open early autumn 2015.
The Global Mentorship Pilot Program is co-chaired by Jean-Guy de Gabriac, CEO of Tip Touch international spa training and consultancy, and Deborah A. Smith, principal of Smith Club and Spa Specialists, a US-based wellness consultancy. The Global Mentorship Pilot Program was created during the 2014 Global Wellness Summit to assist with the development of spa management professionals and organisers hope to grow the program each year, pairing new spa manager mentees with experienced mentors around the world.