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latest spa news

09 Jun 2014

Aqua Sana spa at Center Parcs Woburn Forest has opened its doors

BY Helen Andrews

A new steam bath cabin with a mineral infusion system is one of the spa's many offerings
photo: Center Parcs Woburn Forest

The 22-treatment room and 25-experience room Aqua Sana spa has now launched at Center Parcs Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, UK.


The giant 7,000sq m (75,347sq ft) wellness facility occupies three floors, costing £17.5m. The entire village cost £255m.

Woburn Construction director, Don Camilleri, explained that the concept for this spa was established in 1999, by Schletterer Wellness & Spa Design and Sparc Studio. After many planning application stops and starts, the financial crisis meant construction was put on hold.

“During this period of time I was able to do far more research, for example I had time to source and sample ceramics from Spain,” Camilleri told Spa Business.

In 2011, the design was ready and developers broke ground in May 2012.

While Camilleri hinted at the possibility of a future Center Parcs project in Ireland, the villages’ group spa manager, Kerry Fenton-Kent, discussed the unlikelihood of any future Center Parcs in the UK.

“We need to watch, wait and listen to feedback from our guests for proof of concept at this Aqua Sana – to see if we should adopt this new approach in our existing spas at Sherwood Forest, Whinfell, Elveden and Longleat,” Fenton-Kent said.

“This is a social spa, rather than a holistic results-driven facility. We want people to come and enjoy group experiences here, for example during celebrations. This Aqua Sana spa is dissimilar any of our others because it takes advantage of specific zones where guests can spend time together – our other spas are all more open-plan.”

Although the three-storey spa can serve up to 150 people at any one time, much smaller numbers will be tested first to decide the correct number of guests to prevent overcrowding.

While Camilleri was focusing on the construction of the facility, spa manager Donna McKea had the difficult task of recruiting and training 44 therapists and 16 operational staff members.

“We are so pleased with our girls,” said Fenton-Kent. “They came for training before the spa’s construction was complete. We had no training room at that time so we trained them in three of the village’s vacated lodges.”

Fenton-Kent went on to reveal that this Center Parcs, which is easily accessible from London, has seen a spike in external bookings, overtaking demand at Longleat village already.



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