Remington Hospitality’s Maritsa Victorian on tech, guest experience & fostering excellence

remington hospitality

Maritsa Victorian of Remington Hospitality talks technology in guest experience & fostering excellence within her team.

Remington Hospitality, established in 1968, is a premier hotel management company renowned for its innovative and owner-centric approach. Managing an extensive portfolio of more than 120 hotels, including 26 major brands and 19 boutique properties, Remington has positioned itself as a leader in the hospitality industry. The company emphasizes collaboration, high-touch service, and entrepreneurial management, ensuring exceptional value for hotel owners and guests alike. Remington Hospitality is distinguished by a commitment to being the best, rather than the biggest, creating value for every owner and customer, every time.

Remington fosters a high-performance culture through authentic leadership motivating  and equipping teams to deliver top-notch hospitality experiences. Remington also places a strong emphasis on innovation and adapting to market trends. Strategic initiatives include enhancing operational efficiency, integrating advanced technologies, and prioritizing sustainability practices. 

Maritsa Victorian is Remington’s Area Director of Spa, overseeing spas at California’s Bardessono Hotel and Spa and Hotel Yountville.  Throughout her hospitality career, Ms. Victorian has worked with an array of different types of spas and properties, honing her leadership skills and indulging her love for the industry. We asked her about her career, the role of technology in wellness, and fostering a culture of excellence within her team. 

Can you please talk about your career trajectory and how you came to be doing what you are today?

I was working in customer service and marketing when I decided to explore my longtime interest in hotel management. My journey into hospitality began as an assistant general manager at a 5-acre mineral springs resort with a 20-treatment-room spa. This experience allowed me to develop a deep appreciation for the spa industry, combining my love for hotels and resorts with my leadership skills and knack for managing people, all while fostering mental and physical wellbeing. I committed to the industry and learned a great deal from leaders such as Peggy Wynne Borgman and Lisa Starr. I am grateful to have had Jenean LaRoche as a business mentor and Michael Stusser as a sustainability mentor. My professional path has taken me through a diverse range of spa settings including resort spas, casino spas, day spas, sustainable spas and luxury hotel spas. I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with private owners, corporations and members, engaging in consultations, task forces and networking initiatives that enriched my professional skills and afforded me the opportunity to travel and successfully manage various businesses and work with diverse groups of people.  

Can you please talk about your role and what it entails? 

My role as spa director encompasses a broad range of responsibilities including business management, marketing, human resources, budgeting, forecasting, accounting, IT, engineering and project-management. I directly oversee operations and drive the vision for two renowned resort spas in Napa Valley, Bardessono Hotel and Spa and Hotel Yountville. Additionally, I serve as a mentor to four Remington Hospitality spa directors. Outside of my role as spa director, I am an active member of a San Francisco Bay Area round table of spa leaders, and a part of the Steering Committee for the Northern California Spa Alliance.

Why do you think wellness has become such an integral part of the travel and hospitality experience?  

There has always been an inherent connection between wellness and hospitality, seen in the thoughtful details of comfortable beds, luxurious showers, ambient lighting, fitness amenities and other offerings that hotels provide to ensure guests experience optimal sleep, relaxation and self-care. However, it was the pandemic that served as an awakening, revealing how precious our lives truly are. It was a time when we faced the unthinkable and yet emerged stronger, with a newfound perspective on the importance of self-care and mindfulness.  This collective pause allowed us to reevaluate our priorities and recognize the need for a more balanced approach to work and life. Many of us discovered that we no longer wished to return to the old ways. By deeply integrating wellness into the fabric of the travel and hospitality industry, we can offer travelers the rejuvenating “break” that they are seeking.

How do you ensure your guests at Remington Hospitality properties receive a unique and memorable experience? 

Guests want more than unique and memorable experiences – they want transformational experiences. We do this by providing therapeutic results with the highest product and service standards and by customizing each experience. At b Spa, Bardessono’s spa therapy center, we select natural ingredients for our treatments, some from our very own certified organic garden, that will best enhance the experience for each individual. As the first Spa Suite concept hotel in the area, all of our guestrooms can transform into a personal spa, giving our guests the option to enjoy treatments in their room or on their private patios. We take pride in our team’s ability to provide kind and genuine personalized service, which has unfortunately become a lost art in many businesses today.

What role does technology play in enhancing guest experiences at your properties?

Technology is vital to a modern successful business. Guests prefer to communicate by text and book online. They like menus at their fingertips via a QR code, and they want visuals of our services prior to booking.  We use the most advanced technology available for our guests when possible, such as our medical grade oxygen machine and our VISIA skin analysis machine as well as our superior infra-red body treatment blankets. b Spa is the only spa in Napa Valley to offer treatments with the VISIA machine, using a skin analysis system to grade our guest’s skin relative to others of the same age and skin type to evaluate what products someone should be using, and to create a personalized treatment experience. Two facials are offered using the machine: the COSMOS Anti-Aging Facial and the Peptide Lifting facial. I feel that offering treatments with advanced technology is key in providing results-oriented products and services. 

What qualities do you think are most important in a leader in the spa & hospitality sector?

Conscious leadership is key, emphasizing transparency, open communication, consistency, equality, active listening, vulnerability, and a willingness to seek help or admit mistakes. As spa leaders, we must also possess strong business acumen and adapt our communication styles to ensure all guests and associates feel comfortable. It’s crucial to hire team members who genuinely enjoy serving others and find fulfillment in making a positive impact on guests’ lives. Ultimately, being thoughtful and kind forms the cornerstone of effective leadership in the spa and hospitality sector.

How do you foster a culture of excellence among your team? 

Through conscious leadership, ongoing training and dedicated team development efforts, I cultivate a positive work environment. I prioritize open communication and actively involve my team in setting goals, tracking progress and soliciting suggestions for enhancing efficiency and service levels, both for our guests and internal team. Providing our team with the necessary tools and resources is fundamental to ensuring they can excel in their roles, fostering a sense of pride and purpose that ultimately drives excellence in everything we do. 

What are the key components of a successful wellness program? 

While being creative and thinking outside of the box is where the real magic happens, for any program, research, purpose and results are also essential. We must ask ourselves: Is the idea promotional? Is it a passing trend or is it sustainable in the long term? Listening to guests is also crucial as we look for what they are missing, what they are asking for, what they want to feel and achieve, and what they enjoy. Structure, organization, protocol and consistency are also key. We must be thoughtful and attentive to detail when carrying out programs operationally, ensuring that we have the necessary tools and resources, and that our team is well-informed and engaged. This extends beyond the spa team to include the beverage and food team, the hotel front desk, valet services and housekeeping. It’s imperative that everyone is aware of our offerings so they can seamlessly promote and enhance the guest experience.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the wellness + hospitality sectors right now?  What are some solutions to these challenges? 

Finding and retaining committed talent. To attract the right candidates, we need flexibility and patience in hiring and scheduling. Another challenge is proving the ROI of wellness programs, especially after pandemic-related revenue losses. We can address this by creatively allocating budgets and showcasing the value of wellness through metrics like employee satisfaction and guest experience improvement.

What are you most excited about for the industry and Remington right now? 

I am most excited about wellness being at the forefront of all properties and experiences. The whole world is now speaking our language! Wellness is everywhere. I love the partnerships with beverage and food that include so many nourishing options. I am also excited about new openings and partnerships. We are eager to expand beyond traditional hotel/resort models, and to combine resources with vendors who share our values. We look forward to continuing to offer select products that represent those values as well. One wellness-oriented package that we are offering at Bardessono right now is the B Well Spa Package which includes a spa welcome amenity, a spa butler to prepare guestrooms for in room treatments, one 50-minute b Massage and a $150 spa credit for additional services. This package seamlessly integrates relaxation and rejuvenation into the guest experience, reflecting our dedication to holistic well-being.


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