One Month at Ti Kaye Resort and Spa
It was mid-November in downtown Toronto when I was invited to spend a month at the breathtaking Ti Kaye Resort and Spa in St. Lucia to develop their yoga and wellness programming. Absolutely, I would retreat to the forest, laptop, bikini and yoga pants in tow, to share my wellness insights with the staff, guests and local yoga instructor at Ti Kaye Village.
Ti Kaye Resort & Spa is located on the secluded Anse Cochon cove on the legendary island of Saint Lucia – perfectly nestled along the cliff side overlooking the serene waters, which hungrily lap the silver sand on the secluded beach below. The resort is often described as inspired by nature; each cottage purposely built into the landscape, drawing from the beauty of its lush natural surroundings.
Five weeks and five hours later I had landed at the island airport. A bumpy and potentially nauseating drive through St. Lucia’s awe-inspiring lush green vegetation and bright blue seas took me to an equally jaw-dropping ocean-side resort and spa literally perched on the cliff of the sea where I would spend three weeks serenaded by friendly birds and squealing at daily rainbow sightings. Not too bad at all I thought to myself.
Despite my deep yearning to order a rum punch and sunbathe all afternoon, I had arrived to work, and work I did. With the dream of elevating a 4-star resort and spa to one of the world’s most sought-after go-to spa destinations, complete with wellness and yoga programming, I got to work.
Read on below for a quick snapshot of my top 3 #dreamjob priorities at Ti Kaye Resort and Spa!
Priority #1: Rebrand the Kai Koko Spa Team, Menu and Treatment Protocols
- First Steps: Meet the Spa team, read the spa menu and test out the spa treatments (#dreamjob)
- Insights: The Kai Koko Spa is unlike anything I have ever seen. It is an open-air concept overlooking the stunning Caribbean sea. The team of therapists are kind, welcoming and highly trained. All that said, a change in staffing meant that over the past few years, the spa offerings have fallen into a mishmash of Bali-inspired treatments, trending treatments and innovative locally designed treatments.
- Solutions Offered: Rebrand entirely. Create a locally inspired, designed treatment menu, complete with on-site photos, local on-island design, and of course, all locally inspired treatments and products. Staff were engaged in developing a new and inspiring concept menu that took the beauty of St. Lucia right onto the massage table.
Priority #2: Establish On-Site Wellness Programming
- First Steps: Meet the Yoga Teacher, develop yoga programming and give feedback on classes (#dreamjob)
- Insights: Ti Kaye is blessed with St. Lucia’s (and maybe the entire Caribbean’s) top yoga teacher and entrepreneur. Mo is well-educated, compassionate, fun and business-savvy. That said, she was a lone-warrior in the yoga game on resort, and needed support.
- Solutions Offered: A result of many one-on-one calls and meetings with Mo led to the development of a series of yoga-related blog posts, designing of a dedicated yoga space on site, a yoga photoshoot, the development of yoga workshops, a rejigging of the yoga schedule and the planning and development of future yoga retreats.
Priority #3: Assess and Expand the Food and Beverage Offerings
- First Steps: Meet the chef, taste the menu offerings, head to the local market (#dreamjob)
- Insights: The food at Ti Kaye is delicious, mostly locally sourced, and with a new vegetarian menu, the wellness theme is alive and well. That said, the property is ripe with fresh herbs, veggies and fruits (from Noni to Mango and more) that would be excellent as elixirs or add-ons to spa treatments.
- Solutions Offered: I met with the incredible team from the kitchen to brainstorm on-site food and herb production, drafted potential elixirs and juices that could be provided with the continental breakfast and suggested including elixirs in particular spa rituals and treatments. The organizational aspects of joining forces between wellness folks, yoga teachers, spa and the kitchen team to build an overarching wellness plan remains a constant task but soon sweet detoxifying juices and foods will prevail!