Park House Hotel in West Sussex has reported a 30% rise on spa treatments on the previous year, after new a management structure was introduced by general manager Mark Yates.
The 21-bedroom hotel, which is owned by the fourth generation of the O’Brien family, last year in October appointed new GM Yates to inject more of a ‘business attitude’ to the property, enhance revenue management and bring national acclaim to the hotel.
A major step was overhauling the management in the spa, which is nine years old and wasn’t being run to its optimum level prior to Yates’ arrival.
The spa is home to an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, saunas and steam rooms, plus four treatment rooms and gym. In addition there is also two grass tennis courts, a bowls lawn, croquet lawn, 9-hole putting green and 6-hole golf course.
The operation was being run by spa therapists and as a result Yates brought in a former Park House front-of-house manager to take control and put in place some structure.
Speaking to BH, he says: “By good fortune, I managed to convince a previous Park House front-of-house manager to return and manage it. Arguably my most important and key decision, given where the business was 12 months ago. We now have a very strong and healthy wait list and 200 members, which is our maximum.”
Last year the hotel invested in some new pool lighting in addition to the rolling progressive maintenance programme that is ongoing at the property to keep standards high. This, together with the management shake-up has seen business improve notably.
“It wasn’t performing as well as it should have done last year,” Yates says. Now treatments are up 30% this year, it’s being well maintained and well managed. I wouldn’t have joined if we didn’t have the spa, it’s a huge pull.”
Originally the home of Ione and Michael, the pair began taking in international polo players visiting and playing at the nearby Cowdray Park Polo Club during the summer and the concept for Park House was born.
Now sports entrepreneur and great grandson Seamus O’Brien oversees Park House, after rebuilding the hotel in early 2000s, and rounding off a major investment and refurbishment with the launch of the luxury spa as a final piece of the puzzle in 2009.
Yates joined in October 2017, coming from a solid background with the likes of The Atlantic in Jersey, Careys Manor in Brockenhurst and Harbour Hotels.