From his early days in the hospitality industry, Vice President of Operations and General Manager of Burke Williams Santa Monica, Mike Essa, shares his inside scoop on maintaining self-care, inside and outside the body. Living by the Burke Williams mission statement, “We exist to transform your day,” Essa strives to create a tranquil and transformative environment for all guests to nourish, pamper, and indulge in self-care with every visit.
As VP of Operations and General Manager of the Santa Monica location, what does a typical day in the office look like for you?
For me, my day typically starts the night before. I like to strategize (3) aspects to focus on the following day in the office. My first priority is providing the best possible customer service experience for each and every one of our guests. Next, I prioritize the business-side of the spa, what we as a brand can do to increase profit and how we can maximize our opportunities. Lastly, I like to focus on our staff appreciation and wellness. We strive to provide wellness, general health, chiropractic care, massages and more to ensure each of our staff members are well cared for, happy, comfortable, and supported each and every day.
Relaxation is more than a luxury, it’s a vital part of health and wellness. Is there a massage enhancement you would recommend for those looking for a little extra self-care?
I love the combination of the hot stones & the aromatherapy enhancement. In a typical massage, adding those two really goes a long way. Adding aromatherapy purifies your body with the natural fragrances in the oils and the hot stones really allow massage therapists to ease tense muscles. They are both extremely relaxing.
For even more relaxation and self-care, the Spa Baths are another great service to experience before your massage. Our Spa Baths promote resting and relaxation, the soothing water enhances your body’s relaxation before a massage treatment. They are also perfect for pregnancy. In fact, each pregnant guest receives a complimentary spa bath. Because there are limitations to use our heated amenities while pregnant, we strive to make each experience the absolute best with our complimentary milk bath.
How do you try to motivate your staff to do their best each day?
We really try to live by Burke Williams’ mission statement, “We exist to transform your day.” We bring in people that will exemplify the company’s values and mission statement and hope they grow within Burke Williams’ family environment. I think a great way to motivate the staff is to show appreciation and gratitude with face to face communication. Having an open dialog about the work environment is key to creating a happy work place.
Do you see a physical difference from guests who are checking-in to guests who are checking-out?
Absolutely. Part of the check-in process is getting to know the guest, we want to know why are they are coming in - did they have a hectic day, a major life event? We want to know how we can transform their day from start to finish. As each guest checks out, there is a noticeable difference, not only physically but mentally. Sometimes they even have trouble navigating the check-out process because they are so relaxed. That’s when we truly know we have transformed their day.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
I feel I’m very privileged because every day I have the opportunity to positively affect someone’s day. I relish in being able to provide a place for both the employees and guests where they feel welcome and happy.
What does your daily self-care routine look like?
For me, self-care is focused on creating a positive state of mind. I like to start each day with prayers, stretching and getting into a positive mindset to motivate not only myself, but my staff and each of our guests each day at Burke Williams.
Essa’s love of hospitality and passion for growth eventually led him to work his way up the Burke Williams team from Front Desk Attendant to Vice President of Operations and General Manager of the Santa Monica location.
To learn more about Burke Williams Day Spa’s world class amenities and signature services visit www.BurkeWilliamsSpa.comor stop by your local Burke Williams today for a luxurious visit of pampering and self-care.