DIRECTOR OF WELL-BEING, WESTIN BEAR MOUNTAIN GOLF RESORT & SPA ROXANA SANCHEZ
After moving to Canada from her home in Mexico, Roxana embarked on a journey to devote herself to true spiritual and physical well-being. Throughout her career she has been a part of developing countless spectacular wellness experiences all around the globe.
Beginning in 2003 at the Fairmont Empress, she engaged in an understanding of how wellness is both an individual and social experience, first as the Spa Experience Coordinator, then as Group Coordinator. As a rising star in the industry, Roxana was offered amazing opportunities – first to return to Mexico as the assistant spa director at the Fairmont’s sister property in the Riviera Maya, Mayakoba, and then as a part of opening the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Nile City in Egypt. It was in Cairo that Roxana’s connection with wellness blossomed and she learned how combinations of specific manual treatments could be combined with aligned ingredients in skin care products to enhance and improve her clients’ lives not just in the spa environment, but in every day life as well.
After reconnecting with her roots in Canada and Mexico, Roxana was presented with the opportunity to oversee a lavish, three-story spa and fitness centre at the Fairmont Beijing as the Spa Director – this appointment soon turned in to a complete renovation project! The transformation was challenging and rewarding and the completion of the renovation was the start of a new chapter in her career. Upon completion of her time in China, Roxana moved back to Canada to cultivate her own knowledge and learning. After gaining her diploma from one of the most recognized esthetics schools in Canada, the Blanche MacDonald Centre, Roxana moved on to her next challenge: overseeing 11 private villas and the meditation pavilions, retail, golf course, kids club and recreation facilities of the Shangri-la Villingili Resort and Spa in the Maldives. The crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean were a true awakening and the influence of holistic wellness encouraged her to take the next step when she travelled to the south of India to study at the Kerala Academy to become an Auyurvedic Wellness Healer. Following her time in India, the cycle of learning and self-improvement brought her back to China where she studied traditional Chinese medicine from a master doctor in the Hunan province and found herself in the right place at the right time to be able to put all the pieces of her remarkable journey together when she accepted the huge task of opening the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Chengdu. Roxana took the reins on this ambitious project and was instrumental in developing more than just the experience, but a culture of wellness.
It was the opening in Chengdu was that brought together all of Roxana’s passions and experiences; so after making her way back home to Canada to oversee Spa operations at the Shangri-La Vancouver, Roxana now finds herself in the right place at the right time again to tap in to her true passion to help bring a truly special and unique experience to life here at Bear Mountain. Bringing insights and techniques together from all around the world will be what makes the Spa at Bear Mountain an experience like no other.
Studying esthetics, facials, nail care, skin care, make-up, various massage therapies and aromatherapy has allowed Roxana to chart a unique path and to define a broad strategy for facilitating a healthy lifestyle. Understanding how wellness is embraced in a variety of cultures was a fascinating learning experience for Roxana; however, the path to wellness is one of continual improvement and is unique to each person. For Roxana, the balance between her experiences in China, India, Egypt, Canada and Mexico play a significant part in how she adapts treatments to each individual.
Roxana is the new Director of Well-Being at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa and she has been tasked with overseeing a complete renovation and revitalization of the spa at the resort. This new challenge will see Roxana return home to Victoria after nearly two decades of discovery around the world and she is looking forward to sharing her amazing experiences with a goal of creating a culture of wellness for all spa guests.
“I am fortunate to have had a life filled with amazing discoveries and experiences and I am excited to see what I can do to develop a healthful and positive environment for all of our guests. I look forward to honouring all of the beautiful and important lessons we can learn from cultures, new and old, and to combining it all in to brand-new experience unlike any other.”
KAREN VERMAAK, SPA OPERATIONS MANAGER
Born in Zimbabwe, Africa, Karen’s special family connection has moulded her into the person she is today by instilling in her a compassion and respect to care for others. She began her spa and wellness journey at the International Academy of Health, Body & Skin Care in Cape Town, South Africa. Her adventurous soul launched her from her African roots in to positions all across the world, working aboard cruise ships and with large destination spas and resorts. Her next adventure brought Karen to Canada where she embraced a new home and a tremendous career opportunity in the form of a nursing position. When the opportunity to combine her passions for nurturing and caring for others’ well-being came forward at Bear Mountain, Karen found the perfect fit. She is honoured to bring what she has learned from her 28 years in the spa and medical professions to this exciting new atmosphere at the Westin Bear Mountain. Away from work Karen loves to travel, and has a passion for animals, the outdoors, and extreme sports.
– Steiner Trans Ocean International
– Crystal Cruises M/S Cruise lines
– P & O Cruises M/S Cruise lines
– Fairmont International, Train the Trainer
– Aesthetics Team Lead, Fairmont Empress
– Assistant Spa Director , Pacific Shores Resort
– Operation Manager/Spa Director, Tigh-na-Mara Resort
– Spa at Westin Bear Mountain
– Sommolier level 1 with international guilt
SHERRIE BARNES, SPA TREATMENT MANAGER
Being Vancouver Island born, Sherrie loves camping and exploring our beautiful island paradise. She’s fortunate to have her entire family here; spending time with them and her pets is what grounds her and helps her carry a sense of community wherever she goes.
Sherrie has always enjoyed working with people in a nurturing manner. She began her career working in healthcare for 20 years, so the transition into aesthetics and spa therapy, another holistic modality, was a natural fit. For the last 16 years Sherrie has embodied the spirit of giving and has been rewarded with just as much love and enjoyment in return. Sherrie genuinely enjoys what she does and finds her spa and aesthetics career very fulfilling, especially during her last position at the previous spa at Bear Mountain. She also enjoys all the ongoing advanced training and continuing education opportunities this career has to offer – she has definitely taken full advantage of the opportunities to advance her breadth of service knowledge; she has been progressing with great techniques such as reflexology, nail/footcare, Thai stem massage, face and body therapies integrating Jade, Basalt, Arizona stone massage and various other wellness courses. She is also very proficient at laser technologies, microdermabrasion and advanced skin care analysis.
Sherrie is looking forward to helping lead what is shaping up to be an amazing team and is hoping to share her knowledge and skills with them. More than anything, she will be here for all guests and is excited to embody a true passion for aesthetics, health, wellness and balance in life.
BONNIE SHORTREID, SPA CHIEF CONCIERGE
Bonnie brings a diverse skill set to the spa at Bear Mountain, something she has developed in a variety of roles throughout her career. Her path has included professional cooking, childcare, taxi dispatch & roles in the automotive industry, so she feels at home in nearly any situation and is quick to develop a real connection with every person she meets. As a result, Bonnie was able to find her niche when she embarked on her journey in the salon/spa industry. Born in Clearwater, BC, she spent 16 years in Calgary with the last 7 years managing an award-winning salon & day spa before moving to Shawnigan Lake to be closer to family. Since moving to the island, she worked for 2.5 years as Lead Concierge at Bear Mountain. Bonnie has a passion for cooking, a great love for animals, and carries a travel bug. She is very excited about the changes coming and what the future holds for clients and staff at this great new facility.