Portland Business Spreading their Wings
7:09am 13th February 2013
The Ocean Spa at Southwell Park on Portland has announced expansion plans.
It's taking over the management of The Venue Hotel and the Cliff Panoramic Restaurant.
There'll also be the addition of new spa therapy rooms, a relaxation lounge and a thermal suite.
Verna Herry, Managing Partner, has also recently announced the launch of The Ocean Spa School of Spa Therapy, the only spa industry private training facility in the South West of England to be based within an actual spa business.
The Ocean Spa was established at Portland by Verna Herry in 2009. Verna had previously qualified with a degree in International Spa Management after spending the earlier years of her career working at a number of top spas in the UK and gaining spa management experience working for the largest world-wide operator of spas - Steiner Trans Ocean - aboard luxury cruise liners.
Verna is passionate about spas and, having fallen in love with the island of Portland on her first visit there, she has been working very hard over the last four years to develop her Ocean Spa business and build a reputation for excellence. Her new plans enable Verna to combine her spa with three star hotel facilities and a first class restaurant.
The Venue Hotel and Cliff Panoramic Restaurant were extremely busy during the Olympic Games period last summer and offer some of the best appointed hotel bedrooms in Dorset, many with ocean views. Now the spa will be able to focus on offering overnight and short-break spa packages and luxurious pampering treats to discerning customers, in addition to the day spa visitors it has previously catered for.
Verna explains: "Phase one of the expansion programme - the transfer of the Ocean Spa from its present location at Southwell Park into The Venue Hotel - is being completed seamlessly and almost immediately and it will then share the hotel reception facilities. The newly created treatment rooms are even more stylish and luxurious, with tranquil ambience and all equipped with en-suite bathroom and changing facilities, plus comfortable chairs for private consultations between therapist and customer. Telephone numbers and booking arrangements will remain unchanged. A new relaxation lounge is being created alongside the treatment rooms, themed with luxurious opulence and calming influences."
Verna continues: "Phase two of the programme will see the construction and installation of a new thermal suite over the coming months, alongside the new spa treatment rooms, which will hopefully include a brand new sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi features."
"At around the same time, The Ocean Spa School of Spa Therapy will commence operations, enabling students to gain professional industry qualifications, at a variety of levels, from beginner to advanced courses. This training school has recently gained approval from VTCT, the largest awarding body in the spa and service sectors, and the first ever awarding body to offer beauty and spa qualifications. VTCT is accredited by Ofqual and has been at the forefront of developing vocational systems of qualifications in the UK for over 50 years. The school will offer NVQ and VRQ qualifications to students and will be unique allowing both new entrants to the spa industry and those seeking to gain additional qualifications to train in a 'live' spa environment."
Verna has recently recruited Jayne Connelly to head up the training school. Jayne has been teaching in a variety of subjects for twenty years and is now a fully qualified Assessor. Jayne says: "Anyone interested in finding out more about what the training school has to offer and how to apply should get in touch with me, or a member of the Ocean Spa team, on 01305 842117."
As a result of the planned expansion and changes at The Ocean Spa, the swimming pool area including the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi will be closing at the end of February. Verna is hoping to create a new fitness centre at the re-located spa, but prior to commencing this aspect of the venture she intends to seek detailed feedback from club members regarding their requirements and aspirations for new facilities. To be commercially economic and sustainable the new fitness facilities are likely to be more compact, but equipped with modern state-of-the-art exercise facilities.
Verna continues: "By taking over the management of The Venue Hotel and the Cliff Panoramic Restaurant we have been able to offer employment to 22 of the previously employed staff at the hotel and restaurant. We are transferring 8 spa staff to the new spa location and anticipate continued growth in our professional team as our expansion programme gains pace, plus there will be knock-on benefits to the local economy as a result of us attracting more incoming visitors and business to the local area."