The 11th annual Forum Hotel & Spa conference took place last week at the Four Seasons George V in Paris, bringing together spa and hospitality executives from France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Morocco, Portugal, Russia, Luxembourg, the UK and the US.
The one-day event is designed as an educational and networking event for those in the hotel, spa, thermal and thalasso industries, and also includes the Black Diamond Award, which recognises outstanding spa directors.
This year’s award was given to Erica B. D’Angelo, spa director at GOCO Spa Venice at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa.
The award is presented by an international jury of experts and journalists in the spa and wellness industry – headed up this year by award-winning spa director and designer Patrizia Bortolin – and recognises professionals who have earned the esteem of their peers for dedication and excellence in their career.
“I am so thrilled to have been selected as this year’s recipient of the Black Diamond Award,” said D’Angelo. “It means so much to be recognised by fellow spa and wellness professionals that I have so much respect and admiration for.
“The spa and wellness industry is at a pivotal time right now where the public is becoming ever more conscious of the need to live healthier and more rewarding lives, and it is imperative that all spa and wellness professionals step up to the responsibility of guiding both our guests and the general public in how they can live the best lives they can possibly can,” she continued.
“Erica is a fantastic member of our team, and we couldn’t be more pleased to see her receive due recognition by being presented with the Black Diamond Award,” said Ingo Schweder, founder and CEO of GOCO Hospitality. “Since she joined GOCO Spa Venice, Erica has really shaken up the organisation of the spa and is achieving dramatic results, especially in terms of staff education and guest satisfaction.”
A Blue Diamond Award, for recognition of thalasso personality of the year, was awarded to Marie-Noelle Berry.
Christiane Drechsel, operation manager of spa service for Sea Chefs Cruise services GmbH, tied for second place with Hans-Peter Veit, spa director of the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, which earned them both a Yellow Diamond Award.
Sophie Demaret, spa director of the newly renovated Hotel Crillon in Paris, won third place and was awarded the White Diamond Award.
The Forum Hotel & Spa is organised by Vladi Kovanic, and this year focused on the theme of ‘A New Era in Wellness’.
The event included presentations from Roger Allen, CEO of Resources for Leisure Assets; Martin Rhomberg, regional vice president and general manager, Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, Switzerland; Thomas Bauer, COO, VAMED Vitality World, Austria; Beata Aleksandrowicz, co-founder, Pure Massage Spa Training Method;
Tracey Woodward, CEO, Aromatherapy Associates; and Aldo Melpignano of Borgo Egnazia.