Rosewood’s Emmanuel Arroyo on succeeding as an industry leader & supporting our teams

Emmanuel Arroyo

Emmanuel Arroyo was recently promoted to Senior Corporate Director of Wellness at Rosewood after more than 11 years with the brand and several more in the hospitality, spa and wellness sector.

Rosewood Hotels is a global collection of one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences, inspired by the philosophy “A Sense of Place,” to reflect the local culture and spirit of a destination. The brand aspires to create travel experiences that are “authentic, original, and deeply personal.”

Emmanuel Arroyo was recently promoted to Senior Corporate Director of Wellness at Rosewood after more than 11 years with the brand and several more in the hospitality, spa and wellness sector.

His hospitality career began with Fairmont as a spa experience coordinator at one of the Willow Stream locations. A management trainee program led to opening the brand’s location in Mayakoba, after which he went to work for Hilton Worldwide for three years before joining Rosewood where he operated the first branded Sense Spa, also in Mayakoba.

“Sense Mayakoba became the first 5-Star Spa by Forbes Travel Guide in Latin America,” says Mr. Arroyo. “That was exciting. Not just for us as a Spa or Hotel, but also as a recognition for Rosewood as a brand and a statement for Mexico, which is a destination with so many high caliber Spas, enough to be known as worldwide Top Spa & Wellness Destination”.

Later, he was promoted to Regional Director of Wellness, North America, Caribbean, and Europe, before moving into his current role. He now supports 27 spas, with 25 more in the pipeline. “My responsibilities are mainly dedicated to operational excellence, business strategies, maximizing our financial performance, and supporting the pre-opening and opening process of the new projects.”

As Senior Corporate Director of Wellness for a brand so renowned for its singularly authentic and original positioning, Mr. Arroyo is well placed to share some deep and valuable insights about what it takes to succeed as an industry leader and how we can better support our teams and create truly excellent customer experiences. So, we asked him about these things.

What does it take to succeed as a leader in spa and wellness?

There are so many things but if I must choose, I think you must commit to staying ahead of the curve and being an innovator. You have to challenge yourself to not be in the same spot for too long and recognize that this is a very fast changing industry. At Rosewood, not exclusively from a wellness perspective, we really are aiming to be trendsetters rather than trend followers. That’s always a challenge but it’s important to us.

What are the biggest challenges you see facing the industry? And do you have solutions for solving them? Most people say staffing.

Can I say staffing too?


There is a lot of focus on recruiting, but we also must focus on retention. We’ve been speaking about wellness in the workplace for so long, and now we are all surprised by this recession and great resignation that we’re facing. But, for me, it is an example of our lack of proactivity in creating workplaces that are inviting people to stay. Because, at the end, it’s about being fulfilled where you are. People are leaving jobs because they’re not enjoying them. At Rosewood, as a company, we’re challenging ourselves to do this with the programming and the spaces we create in our hotels. We have hotels with full-scale gyms for their associates, and lounge areas where they can relax and really engage. We’re trying to promote a sense of community because that is what is going to turn this from a job to a place where or team belongs. So yes, we are strongly challenged by this crisis, but we are also seeing the silver linings and using it as an opportunity to come out of it as the top hospitality employer.

Do you find yourself relying more on technology lately?

Absolutely. I just came back from London where I was on a speaking panel discussing the importance of integrating technology as a fundamental pillar of being a trendsetter for wellness. With technology applied to wellness we have access to data to create new authentic experiences. For example, last year we launched a wellness campaign called Alchemy of Sleep, a collection of immersive retreats to promote restorative rest. We partnered with a company called Brite, that designs smart mattresses that help the user get better sleep and track data on how productive and effective their sleep is. Guests were thrilled about the concept, eager to try the beds and experience them.

In same line, it’s also important to work with the right software company. The differences we’ve seen by integrating a software platform that offers online booking and shopping, and that is accessible and compatible with the hotels’ property management systems is big. So, yes, I’d say we are relying a lot on technology lately.

What makes an excellent guest experience?

It’s a list of things but it always comes down to the provider and the quality of the treatments. What does a guest want? They want a great massage. Where does a great massage come from? It comes down to recruiting the right talent and making sure you promote and enhance their strengths by providing them with tools and training to do simple things in an extraordinary way.

But it’s also about finding the right product partner and creating experiences that are not only stimulating the senses but are enriching and inspiring people’s lives.

What are you excited about in spa and wellness or hospitality right now?

I am excited about how the industry is evolving and the commitments we’re making to be more authentic. Commitments such as a world free of preventable diseases and discovering the true meaning of longevity and biohacking demonstrate that this industry wants to create real impact.

I’m also excited about Rosewood and our firm vision to be leader as an ultra-luxury lifestyle brand and a  true purpose driven company.

Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at

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