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Latest news

Stuart Angus to drive growth at Aqua Sana spa

Stuart Angus has been appointed group director of spa – a newly created role for Center Parcs UK & Ireland
Aqua Sana spas generate £33 million in revenues a year and welcome 37,000 customers a month
Center Parcs has already invested over £15 million (US$18.2 million, €17.3 million) on adding Forest Spas to a selection of its Aqua Sana locations

Spa, leisure and hospitality figure Stuart Angus has been tasked with the strategic growth of spas for Center Parcs UK & Ireland, as the holiday village operator continues the rollout of its Forest Spa concept.

The group’s six sites all have sizeable Aqua Sana spas and Forest Spa, an extensive woodland-themed hydrothermal facility, forms part of that wellness offering. Last Friday (29 September), Center Parcs Elveden Forest in Suffolk, was the latest destination to launch a Forest Spa following a nine-month closure and £6.5 million (US$7.8 million, €7.5 million) overhaul.

The two-storey facility, designed by Sparcstudio and equipped by Barr + Wray, brings together 25 heat, water and relaxation experiences inspired by extraordinary natural environments – from volcanos and hot springs to mineral caves and dappled glades.

Barr + Wray provided the render, waterproofing and tiling to both the Sole Therapy foot bath and central vitality pool including UV filtration water treatment plant.

Five-year plan

“This investment demonstrates how crucial spas are to Center Parcs,” Angus told Spa Business at the reopening, adding that the six Aqua Sanas welcome 37,000 guests a month and deliver 110,000 massages a year.

Between them, they generate £33 million (US$39.8 million, €38 million) annually and account for up to 70 per cent of leisure activity revenues across the group.

Seven months into the newly created role of director of spa UK & Ireland, Angus further revealed that he’s been brought on board to take Aqua Sana spas to new heights. He’ll work closely with group spa manager Kay Pennington, who’s headed up operations for eight years.

“I’m working on a long-term vision for the business,” said Angus. “How do we continue to evolve Aqua Sana? What’s the five-year plan? Are we a luxury spa brand? Or a volume spa?”

Sleeping giantsAqua Sana is the only entity at Center Parcs that has a separate website and one of the only parts of the business that’s open to external customers via day spa packages.

“We’re keen to understand the opportunities for external visitors as our facilities are more than capable of coping with demand. It’s just making sure we do that in the right way so there’s no detriment to onsite guests," Angus said.

The challenge is brand awareness, added Pennington: “While the industry knows we have amazing spas, members of the public are surprised to hear about Aqua Sanas and don’t realise you can have a day spa experience if you’re not onsite".

Angus concurred: “They’re sleeping giants. And this is something we need to get past so it gives us an opportunity to grow.”

Possible seventh site

Center Parcs has already invested over £15 million (US$18.2 million, €17.3 million) on adding Forest Spas to its Aqua Sanas in Sherwood and Longleat in the UK and Longford in Ireland. Whinfell and Woburn are next on the list for an upgrade.

In 2021, the operator announced plans to open a seventh location in the South East of England. But Pennington confirmed that for now, the focus is on the six that are already open.

Earlier this year, Center Parcs UK & Ireland was put up for sale by its Canadian owner, Brookfield.

The private equity group – which specialises in property and renewable power – is believed to be looking for around £5 billion (US$6 billion, €5.8 billion) for the business, which it acquired from US-based private equity group, Blackstone, in 2015 for £2.4 billion (US$2.91 billion, €2.77 billion).

Spa, leisure and hospitality figure Stuart Angus has been tasked with the strategic growth of spas for Center Parcs UK & Ireland, as the holiday village operator continues the rollout of its Forest Spa concept.
SAB,CPW,CAS
2023/THUMB351926_791331_874674.png
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Stuart Angus to drive growth at Aqua Sana spa

Stuart Angus has been appointed group director of spa – a newly created role for Center Parcs UK & Ireland
Aqua Sana spas generate £33 million in revenues a year and welcome 37,000 customers a month
Center Parcs has already invested over £15 million (US$18.2 million, €17.3 million) on adding Forest Spas to a selection of its Aqua Sana locations

Spa, leisure and hospitality figure Stuart Angus has been tasked with the strategic growth of spas for Center Parcs UK & Ireland, as the holiday village operator continues the rollout of its Forest Spa concept.

The group’s six sites all have sizeable Aqua Sana spas and Forest Spa, an extensive woodland-themed hydrothermal facility, forms part of that wellness offering. Last Friday (29 September), Center Parcs Elveden Forest in Suffolk, was the latest destination to launch a Forest Spa following a nine-month closure and £6.5 million (US$7.8 million, €7.5 million) overhaul.

The two-storey facility, designed by Sparcstudio and equipped by Barr + Wray, brings together 25 heat, water and relaxation experiences inspired by extraordinary natural environments – from volcanos and hot springs to mineral caves and dappled glades.

Barr + Wray provided the render, waterproofing and tiling to both the Sole Therapy foot bath and central vitality pool including UV filtration water treatment plant.

Five-year plan

“This investment demonstrates how crucial spas are to Center Parcs,” Angus told Spa Business at the reopening, adding that the six Aqua Sanas welcome 37,000 guests a month and deliver 110,000 massages a year.

Between them, they generate £33 million (US$39.8 million, €38 million) annually and account for up to 70 per cent of leisure activity revenues across the group.

Seven months into the newly created role of director of spa UK & Ireland, Angus further revealed that he’s been brought on board to take Aqua Sana spas to new heights. He’ll work closely with group spa manager Kay Pennington, who’s headed up operations for eight years.

“I’m working on a long-term vision for the business,” said Angus. “How do we continue to evolve Aqua Sana? What’s the five-year plan? Are we a luxury spa brand? Or a volume spa?”

Sleeping giantsAqua Sana is the only entity at Center Parcs that has a separate website and one of the only parts of the business that’s open to external customers via day spa packages.

“We’re keen to understand the opportunities for external visitors as our facilities are more than capable of coping with demand. It’s just making sure we do that in the right way so there’s no detriment to onsite guests," Angus said.

The challenge is brand awareness, added Pennington: “While the industry knows we have amazing spas, members of the public are surprised to hear about Aqua Sanas and don’t realise you can have a day spa experience if you’re not onsite".

Angus concurred: “They’re sleeping giants. And this is something we need to get past so it gives us an opportunity to grow.”

Possible seventh site

Center Parcs has already invested over £15 million (US$18.2 million, €17.3 million) on adding Forest Spas to its Aqua Sanas in Sherwood and Longleat in the UK and Longford in Ireland. Whinfell and Woburn are next on the list for an upgrade.

In 2021, the operator announced plans to open a seventh location in the South East of England. But Pennington confirmed that for now, the focus is on the six that are already open.

Earlier this year, Center Parcs UK & Ireland was put up for sale by its Canadian owner, Brookfield.

The private equity group – which specialises in property and renewable power – is believed to be looking for around £5 billion (US$6 billion, €5.8 billion) for the business, which it acquired from US-based private equity group, Blackstone, in 2015 for £2.4 billion (US$2.91 billion, €2.77 billion).

Spa, leisure and hospitality figure Stuart Angus has been tasked with the strategic growth of spas for Center Parcs UK & Ireland, as the holiday village operator continues the rollout of its Forest Spa concept.
SAB,CPW,CAS
2023/THUMB351926_791331_874674.png

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