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MEET THE WBH FAMILY

Alchemist Spa Manager

ANGE BLACK

Alchemist Spa Manager

Ange started at the hotel over 12 years ago and, aside from a brief break, has been part of the WBH Family ever since. The Alchemist Spa and SALT Gymnasia have changed radically throughout that time, and Ange has been an integral part of the spa journey!

Ange was promoted to Alchemist Spa Manager in 2021.

Tell us your WBH story…

I started at the hotel around twelve years ago as a Spa Therapist. That was when we had ‘The Haven Spa’, which was so different to the spa we have today! The facilities were different, the treatments were different, and it wasn’t as peaceful as it is today!

I left briefly, staying in the spa industry, but I’ve always loved the WBH Family and was pleased to come back. Around 18 months ago I was promoted to Alchemist Spa Manager.

What does your role – Alchemist Spa Manager – involve?

The Alchemist Spa has four treatment rooms, Thermal Spa facilities, rasul, giant copper tub, and relaxation room. I oversee all the spa facilites, and also those in SALT Gymnasia. I help to ensure that we have a fabulous team of therapists, trainers and spa receptionists, and that we have systems in place to manage our facilities.

From a spa perspective, I help to develop new treatments, spa days, spa experiences, as well as selecting the products we use and the partners we work with. For example, I work closely with Natural Spa Factory, and I have recently introduced a local brand – Dolly Lemon – to the spa.

In terms of SALT, I help to manage member relations, organise new classes and plan events. At the heart of the hotel, The Alchemist and SALT are busy departments! We are a great team and we all work together to offer the best experience. Every day is different!

Do you have any new plans for your role?

I am designing new seasonal spa experiences and spa breaks. We’ve all been through a difficult couple of years, and I’m pleased that we can now make plans again! I am looking forward to winter, when we will be introducing some festive spa experiences.

I am reviewing our spa systems and have just launched a spa loyalty card for our regular guests. Futhermore, you can now book treatments on our website! Guests can now choose treatments and manage their bookings more easily.

Which is your favourite treatment?

I love our Body Therapy Collection. Traditionally called ‘body wraps’, these experiences are a bit mystifying and often overlooked. I like the full body nature of these – they offer top to toe relaxation. I also love the limited edition ‘Queen of Hearts’ spa treatment; the rose scent is really lovely.

Alchemist Spa Woolacombe

 

What is the biggest challenge in your role?

We have faced many of the same difficulties as other colleagues in the hospitality industry – recruitment being one of them. Woolacombe is in a beautiful corner of Devon, but it’s remote. We are a small, tight-knit team. It’s a challenge to ensure that we can offer a wide range of treatments, at times that most suit our guests – but we manage it!

What do you look for when you hire new people?

When I hire a new member for spa team, I am looking for a calming approach, teamwork, flexibility and reliability.

 

Why do you like working here at the hotel?

My WBH Family are lovely. We are all very supportive and it’s a lovely place to work.

I also love the level of responsibility entrusted to me. This is part of the ethos at the hotel – we are trusted to make decisions. I can be creative in my role and try new things.

Would you recommend WBH as a place to work?

Absolutely. The spa has been on such a journey, it’s changed so much since I first started! We’re always changing and doing new things. We’re a lovely team, and the location is second-to-none.

 

What do you love about working in Woolacombe?

I love the buzz of summer when the sun’s out, but I also think it’s one of the most beautiful places during winter.

Woolacombe Beach Image

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