What have been the highs and lows so far?
The resort was already an extremely successful wellness retreat for couples and leisure guests, mainly from German-speaking markets, but owners, Klaus and Monika Ladurner, are very interested in health, medicine and wellness that improves lifestyle and as a result, my brief was to create a meaningful wellness philosophy that could showcase treatments and overall wellness as the main reasons to come to Preidlhof. My aim was to also create a framework for our offering and make it more appealing for international guests.
What’s the starting point for any change?
It depends whether it’s a new-build or an existing location, but generally after staying a couple of days I can sense the main direction that should be taken to express its potential.
How do you know when you’re happy a property is finally where you want it to be?
I’m extremely creative and my life is 24-hour wellness research, always tuned and updated, so once the flow of creativity starts it goes far and fast – I then adapt to the limitations of the project, whether resource, space or budget.
When it comes to creativity and concept development I sometimes dream of working with an unlimited budget, as in my mind, I feel there is always more that can be achieved.
When it comes to execution, I benefit from logistics, management, marketing and people skills. Everything is in a state of continuous change for me – development never stops until I see and feel coherence, flowing operations, strong results from guests and effective sales and marketing actions.
When living and working in the place feels positive, inspiring and seems peaceful for guests and the team, at that point I can call myself happy.
What’s your process for discovering a property’s essence and then building out its spa menu?
This is my favourite part, it’s pure creativity and intuition, combined with experience in travel, hospitality and wellness.
My process is ‘idea-research-study-design-develop-trial-go-live’ and my aim is to use my love for the spa world and my deep trust in holistic therapies to bring everything to life. I once saw a quote I love that captures this. It comes from a dialogue between Socrates, Phaedrus and Eupalinos during which Eupalinos refers to buildings which are ‘mute’, some which ‘speak’ and others which ‘sing’.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Spirituality permeates my life and gives me the capacity to think, be mindful of and receptive to the environment and people, and to develop my social intelligence and get in touch with my talents.
I now live more in the flow, connecting the inside and outside and seeing things in perspective. Living like this has healed my life and helped me unlock my professional potential. When my daily creative flow can’t be expressed in my work, I use it to cook, to play, to draw, to dream and to coach friends and colleagues ... otherwise I get stuck.
I enjoy meeting new people who inspire my mind and fill my soul, as well as observing guests and talking to them, which also gives me precious information. I’m also obsessed with the experiential side of life and never stop studying, so I’m developing a rich background of knowledge that pops up unexpectedly with new connections and ideas. l