Pevonia enters Europe

The Retreat Spa & Tennis Aphrodite Hill in Cyprus became Pevonia Botanica's first flagship European spa when it opened this summer. Part of the mixed use Aphrodite Hills development, The Retreat offers a wide range of Pevonia Botanica-based treatments, as well as a thermae treatment area modelled on ancient Greco-Roman bathing rituals, and a tennis academy.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  October 31, 2005

The Retreat Spa & Tennis Aphrodite Hill in Cyprus became Pevonia Botanica's first flagship European spa when it opened this summer. Part of the mixed use Aphrodite Hills development, The Retreat offers a wide range of Pevonia Botanica-based treatments, as well as a thermae treatment area modelled on ancient Greco-Roman bathing rituals, and a tennis academy. According to treatments manager, Lisa McConnell, she chose Pevonia because it was able to offer products for a range of treatments, from facials to hydro baths and showers. “We wanted a range that was adaptable and results driven,” she explained to Leisure Manager Middle East. “Some skin care companies play safe, using less active ingredients. But customers want to see the results,” she stressed. Another factor in choosing Pevonia was that the company provides staff training 3-4 times a year. “This is something you need when you have a spa abroad. Training is very important. In fact, even all our cleaners are trained in Pevonia. This is because we need to all fit in as a team,” McConnell said. At present, The Retreat has 25 staff, including nine fully trained therapists capable to carrying out all of the treatments on the spa menu. This, as McConnell pointed out, is for the comfort of the guests, who prefer to have one therapist for all treatments. “We are currently recruitment at the moment, and need 13-14 more staff. I try to recruit from Cyprus as much as possible, and eight of our nine therapists are Cypriot,” McConnell said. The Retreat is a new concept for Cyprus, which has not seen a stand alone spa facility of this calibre before. Prior to opening, the marketing team distributed 6,000 flyers around the local area, as well as carrying advertising campaigns in local print media and radio. “At first, the local market was unsure if they were allowed to come here. Was it just for members? However, the 6,000 flyers helped spread the word, and now our repeat clientele is tremendous. We have been very well received,” said McConnell. A tennis academy also forms part of The Retreat, and includes four floodlit hard courts, coaching services from an onsite tennis professional, and a tennis pavilion with changing rooms and lounge facilities. “This is doing really well and we are getting a lot of repeat customers. European children train a lot, it is quite intense, with some taking lessons every day,” says McConnell. Already, the tennis academy has plans to expand, with a further four clay courts and a stadium shot court set to open by 2006. The Aphrodite Hills development is Cyprus’ first integrated resort with a five-star InterContinental hotel, championship standard golf course, real estate, village square and a timeshare resort under development. The Retreat is located close to the hotel, but remains a separate entity. “Our location is our USP. We are not connected to the hotel and now we really are finding people like that. They feel like they are going out for the day. We are quite self contained,” McConnell remarked.

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