The recently acquired Amatista Spa at The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa opens its doors for the first time facing challenges brought on by COVID-19 head-on.
As the province’s reopening plan continues, spas and other grooming services have been given the green light to operate again, giving Amatista Spa a chance to to show the community its new space and services.
“Luckily we were already planning on opening with the highest hospital grade cleaning procedures,” said Jennifer Burgin, operations manager for the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa. “We had a voluntary health inspection with Island Health and they said it’s the best they’ve seen.”
In February, the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa announced Amatista would be opening after complete renovations to what used to be Sante Spa. The resort said the name of the spa comes from the Spanish word for amethyst to represent the new spa’s connection to the gemstones of B.C. and the healing properties of amethyst.
The nearly $2 million renovation has brought in new technologies and equipment to the spa, many of which are a first for the city, according to a statement from the resort. Amatista will also have its own line of body products and personalized aromatherapy blends.
On June 16, the spa opens with a limited menu that includes facials, massages, pedicures and body experiences with the safety of guests in mind. Burgin said in two days, the spa received 75 bookings online.
Plexiglas screens have been put up in between pedicure chairs and only every second chair is being used unless guests are part of the same group. All staff will be wearing face shields and masks and guests are required to wear masks as well.
Guests also have to answer a series of COVID-19 related questions before going to the spa and markings in the spa and retail area must be followed to ensure physical distancing guidelines are being followed.
The locker room, lounge and mineral pool is closed until further notice.
“It’s unfortunate that we can’t open as we had planned months ago but we want everyone to be safe,” Burgin said. “We’re trying to be cautious and make sure we have the best interest of our guests in mind.”
Spa Treatment Manager at Amatista Spa Sherrie Barns said she is proud the spa is prepared for COVID-19 with sterilization and sanitation that goes “above and beyond.”
“Having worked for 20 years in a care home I have experienced many flu seasons that could be deadly to our residents if sanitation and cleaning wasn’t at it’s highest standards,” Barns said. “Our commitment to safety of our clients and our staff is the number one priority for me and my staff.”
Spa guests may see some familiar faces as well, as many of the staff have been at Bear Mountain for many years. Burgin said it’s the staff that make the spa so successful.