St. John residents can treat themselves to less stress this holiday season. The Westin Resort's Spa and Fitness Club, under new management, is offering a variety of exercise and relaxation options.
With the recent takeover of the spa management by WTS International, Garth Hudson joined the staff this week as interim manager. He is already managing a similar facility for WTS at Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort on St. Thomas.
"We have 40 to 50 health club and spa accounts in the U.S. and about four in London," he said, "and now we're trying to go into the Caribbean market."
The Westin spa is situated on the ground floor of the management pavilion, across the walkway from Bougainvillea Boutique. Floor-to-ceiling picture windows let the light shine in on state-of-the-art aerobic and weight-resistance machines set on cushioned carpeting in a climate- controlled setting. Behind the doors of the exercise room is a suite of three treatment rooms where clients can indulge in massage, aromatherapy, full-body sea mud wraps, aloe wraps or sea salt scrubs. Down the hall are separate men's and women's locker facilities, showers, saunas and whirlpool baths.
Hudson says part of his job is to actively manage the spa's fitness facilities. "The fitness center has never been run by anyone," he said. "Someone was in to operate the spa."
Spas and fitness centers are still relatively few at Virgin Islands resorts. Frenchman's Reef added its facilities as part of an extensive renovation after Hurricane Marilyn in 1995.
"It's an excellent amenity for hotel guests," Hudson said. Many Westin guests visit the spa early in the morning to use the fitness equipment, then take a dip in the hotel pool before starting the day's other activities, he said. On the other hand, island residents tend to come by in the late afternoon and evening, after work.
As the spa adds services and augments its staff of massage therapists, attendants and personal trainers, he said, WTS will make greater efforts to market its offerings within the local community.
Services start at $45. And what makes that an especially nice deal for island residents, Hudson said, is that non-hotel guests booking spa treatments get full use of the gym, lockers, sauna and whirlpool for the day. To learn more, call 693-8000, ext. 1903.


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