The Spa at Norwich Inn is a gorgeous destination spa that is all about the experience. From the relaxing pools to the hands-on treatments, every detail has been thoughtfully created to help guests relax. We sat down with the spa manager and esthetician Lisa Ancona to discuss the past, present and future of this amazing spa.
Where is the spa located?
Number of years since started?
About 35 years
What is the Spa at Norwich’s approach to skincare?
Our approach to skincare tends to be more on the science VS nature side. We did just bring in HydraFacial, so that’s the first time we’ve been machine involved. Our approach is more about touch, caring, and using products that create results.
What is different about Norwich from other spas?
One of the most distinct differences is that we are a destination spa. In addition to the treatments we offer, we are attached to a historic hotel, we are right across the street from one of the worlds best casinos (Mohegan Sun.) As a destination spa, we also have all the amenities, the whirlpool, sauna, steam rooms, indoor pools, outdoor pools, tea and scones, 3 restaurants on the property and a boutique. You can spend the whole week here!
What is your role?
I’m an esthetician and a massage therapist as well as being the spa manager. I oversee the spa operations, but I specifically oversee the training and hiring of all estheticians and massage therapists.
What are the biggest difficulties of running a spa?
The biggest difficulty is I think probably universal, which is staffing. The state of Connecticut is unique in that it doesn’t require an esthetic license, but The Spa at Norwich does require a licensed esthetician, so that sometimes presents challenges in hiring. Many people have gone to school and gotten certifications, but have not become licensed, so that is one of the biggest challenges. We’ve been very lucky though, many of our therapists have been here since the day we opened.
What is the best part of running a spa?
Every hour is different. There’s no day that is the same. The fact that I interact all day with a different person at least every hour, that means guests and staff. It’s all very exciting and it requires empathy and compassion and listening, and those are all the things I personally love.
How do you decide on new treatments?
We send every customer a survey after they come to the spa, so over a period of time, I analyze those to try to determine what our customers are asking for. As it relates to facials in particular, learning about our guests’ lifestyles, whether it’s the need for meditation or a sense of wellbeing, helps me determine what I want to bring in and the protocol for that.
Which is your most popular treatment? Why?
Massage is always a popular, our number one thing is massage. What has become our most popular treatment is called our CBD Massage, we created a very customizable massage in relation to the CBD product. It’s been a big hit!
What’s your philosophy for skin?
My philosophy revolves around not being ashamed of aging. Our average customer is between 35-65 so there is a constant desire to look their best and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines. I never want to use the word anti-aging, because for me it implies there’s something bad about aging. I teach and inspire people to recognize that there are ways to look their best without making them feel inadequate or not good enough.
How do you think Norwich has grown/changed over the years?
We have grown in that we are constantly working with vendors like HydroPeptide that provide us with not only great product, but great learning opportunities. Vendors give us a chance to find out what is going on in the world esthetically.
What keeps clients coming back?
The experience. It’s all about the experience. From the minute that they check in they’re given a tour of the facility so that they understand where to go and what might be available to them outside of their treatments. As they’re checking in we go over their itinerary with them, and all the way through to the locker room experience to the treatment itself and even our checkout experience..