We have had a Wellness Talk with Stavros Mavridis, who works as Spa Manager in Greece and faces thrilling challenges:
Stavros, can you elaborate on your mission statement “Passion and Evolution is key to success” a little further? or to ask the question differently, why is spa your passion?
Whatever we do in our lives deserves love and 100% dedication. The passion that we have for everything that we love drives us everyday to inspire people around us to move forward. Moving forward is the evolution that all of us are searching for in order to make things better for ourselves and for our guests in the hospitality industry. Spa and Wellness as an industry has changed – and will keep changing – the way we think and act as humankind.
So passion and evolution are two values that I am meeting every day in my job and that is why spa is my passion.
What inspires you?
The challenge of tomorrow to be a better day, in all aspects of our lives.
What is special about the spa industry in Greece?
The excellent spa therapists (their skills and personality) we have, however the most important aspect is the way that our ancestors used local products and food to heal people through a holistic approach. We are the country where the father of medicine – Hippocrates – was born, and we hosted the very first ancient wellness centre, the Askleipia. Today more and more spas (large and small) utilise traditional recipes of holistic wellness because the Greek land has a lot to offer to new wellness concepts.
What are your major external challenges?
The economic and political climate plays a major role in the development of the spa industry and tourism in general. However, the relationship between owners (investors) and the management of spa businesses also plays a significant role. There needs to be balance in these external considerations in order to create an environment where new ideas and creativity can evolve, with a focus on investing in human resources in order to move forward.
What are your prime internal challenges within the spa?
To inspire and lead the spa team to develop and improve in a way that will help guests to have memorable experiences.
Where do you see the spa industry in Greece evolving?
We are at the beginning of further development. Today, hoteliers are starting to understand the importance of a spa as a revenue centre. Additionally, the next big thing in Greece will be the development of thermal springs, where I believe the old will unite with the new, under the right guidance from experts in the market of course. Greece is very rich in thermal springs and the locations are unique, with the owner being the government. The history extends back thousands of years and if the government is going to build modern thermal wellness centres with the help of the private sector, then Greece can evolve into a prime destination for wellness tourists.
Why would you recommend a trip to Greece? What is it that Greece has to offer the visitor? What is not to be missed?
The landscape and the people are one of a kind. Our land offers the best ingredients for healthy diets and Greek people provide the best hospitality, as we are very warm and giving. No one should miss a visit to our museums and ancient locations throughout the year as they provide a journey into the history of our modern civilisation.
Have you worked in different countries before? Which ones, and what learning experiences did you take from there?
I haven’t worked in other countries before, but I studied in the UK and I learned that I have to be open minded. Successfully communicating with people from other cultures is similar to gaining a higher degree from a school.
What is your personal Wellness tip?
As our ancestors said thousands of years ago: “Healthy mind in Physical Health’’.
By Stavros, who currently works as Spa Manager at Aman Resorts:
I have been working in the wellness and spa industry, mainly in hotel spas, for more than 10 years. I have done 4 spa openings and I came across many challenges externally and internally. I have 2 BSc degrees, one in Sports Science through a Greek university, and one in Physiotherapy from the Cardiff University College of Medicine in UK.
I have done seminars and I have followed internal training at the companies that I worked for in the fields of HR, marketing, leadership, financial and strategic management. I have worked as a therapist and that helped me to be a good manager. I trained many of my colleagues to the high standards of services into the hospitality industry and the philosophy of holistic wellness.
I strongly believe in team work and the human approach.
All Photos (c) Stavros Mavridis / Aman Resorts