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Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville celebrates 20 years

Today the spa employs 110 people
The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort. (PQB News file photo)

The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville celebrates 20 years in business this year.

The spa won numerous awards over the years, including the 2019 World Luxury Spa Awards’ Best Luxury Mineral Spa in Canada, and has been recognized as one of the top spas in the country by leading travel publications, according to a news release.

The Grotto opened in March 2003, offering treatments such as massages, facials, body treatments, nail care and hair salon services. At its heart is the Grotto Mineral Pool, designed to emulate a natural stone grotto which is infused with natural minerals to detoxify the body and rejuvenate the spirit. The mineral pool includes a whirlpool and cool splash waterfall.

Today the Grotto Spa employs 110 people, but early on the biggest challenge was finding enough trained providers. Operators expressed their concerns to Vancouver Island University (VIU) and volunteered as an industry advisor for the development of a spa therapy curriculum. In 2008, VIU’s Professional Esthetics & Spa Therapy Certificate Program was launched at its Parksville campus. The program is still running strong today, helping fill career vacancies with highly qualified students.

The Grotto Spa sponsors an annual $1,000 bursary, awarded by VIU’s faculty to a student, based on academic achievement and demonstrated leadership.

“When we first opened, we were the largest spa in Canada…by a long shot,” said spa director Paulina Alexander. “And that was thanks to the foresight of our owners, who believed in the growing spa industry and chose to ‘overbuild’, to meet anticipated demand in the years ahead.”

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The spa also specializes in ‘social-spa’ catering to groups and corporate businesses looking to add a self-care component to their program.

“Our success would not be possible without partnerships like the one we have with VIU and our 18-year-long partnership with Eminence Organic Skin Care,” Alexander said. “But most importantly, our success can be attributed to a genuine team of spa professionals who are dedicated to delivering the best treatment experience in the industry.”

In honour of its anniversary, the Grotto Spa will be offering special promotions throughout the year to thank its loyal guests and welcome new ones.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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About the Author: Parksville Qualicum Beach News Staff

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