Cyprus has commanded much industry attention with the arrival of Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, in the characterful city of Limassol. Launched in March, the property sees Marriott venturing into new territory and it’s one of the first international branded luxury hotels in the country. It’s perhaps most well known in the spa arena, however, as the previous home to Le Méridien Limassol (see p88).
A hallmark experience of the resort, both in size and significance, is its Kalloni Spa. Named after the muse of beauty in Greek mythology, Kalloni was created by Harrods Interiors – the design studio of the world-famous department store. It occupies a 3000sq m (32,292sq ft) duplex, making it one of the largest spas in Cyprus, complete with 12 treatment rooms, three suites – including two with Russian banyas – and five thalassotherapy pools. Seawater therapies, inspired by the Mediterranean shore setting, form the basis of the treatment menu and complement personalised therapies developed in partnership with international brands.
Paris Kounoudis, Parklane’s director of lifestyle, knows the local spa market well having overseen facilities in Greece and Cyprus for more than 12 years and once served as president of the Cyprus Spa Association. He talks to Lauren Heath-Jones about what makes the new spa so special.
What’s the philosophy behind Kalloni? To offer bespoke, luxury experiences – giving our customers something truly personalised while staying true to the roots of the spa. That’s why thalassotherapy is such an integral part of our offering. We’re a Luxury Collection resort. Luxury Collection is all about getting the local feeling, the local elements and incorporating them into the services and culture of the resort and spa.
What makes the offering so personalised? Everything, absolutely everything, can be tailored. We can play with the lighting, the music and adjust them accordingly. We specifically chose Biologique Recherche as a new product brand because it’s very, very effective and customisable – guests can tailor these luxury treatments, practically creating their own experience. We’ve added an operational concept too where guests in our three treatment suites can pick and choose their own á la carte packages. Similarly, the banya can be rented by the hour for individualised treatment bundles.
What’s your favourite part of the new spa? I like the decor, it’s serene and beautiful and our treatment rooms are very spacious, much more calming.
What impact did you have on the project? I wasn’t involved in the design stage as I was living and working in Abu Dhabi. I came on board as a finisher, so my input was to recruit the staff and choose the treatment beds [by Gharieni], the products, the linen by RKF, things like that.
What are you most proud of? My team! We’re a small team – only 13 therapists – but I’m really happy with what we’ve created so far, and how well they’ve coped with the transition from pre-opening to the stage we’re at now, 10 days in. I’m really happy with the level of service that is being provided, hearing guests come out of treatments saying things like ‘that was amazing!’ makes me very proud.
Why did you introduce a totally new treatment menu? We chose Voya to complement our thalassotherapy ritual as it’s seaweed based and Biologique Recherche for customisation and effectiveness. Carol Joy offer amazing hair treatments and products and Gentleman’s Tonic is our men’s range.
We picked brands that would complement each other, and give this luxurious, rich offering. Obviously, every year we’ll add new things and change and grow step by step.
Who is your target market? We’re targeting luxury travellers, people who like to travel and spend a little more on their experiences. Our largest market is the UK, we have a lot of expats and a lot of visitors from the UK. Russia is our second largest, hence the Russian banya – we wanted to create an experience that was traditional and appealing to them, while also offering something completely unique to our guests. The banya is the only one in Cyprus so it’s something of a USP for us.
What are your plans for the spa? The target is pretty straightforward. First of all it’s to continue operating at the level we’re operating at now, with all the treatments and staff we need, and then go through to our next step, which is finalising all the small details so we have the standard exactly where we want it to be across all aspects of the spa. Then, obviously, I want to grow the business, year by year, and hopefully win some awards too.