It seems only yesterday that we first opened our indoor leisure facility in the converted stables building.
In reality the concept of an indoor pool and its associated facilities had been in the planning for many years and the belief that we required to extend our season in order to engage more long term employees and evolve the business and the need for more non weather non light dependent activities was a reality we could ignore no longer. In truth whilst many were willing to sit in front of log fires and drink whisky on cold wet days this number were falling and more had to be done to attract others to Eriska.
No sooner had we opened the stables, a huge investiment to any business of our size but one we believed was necessary, than we were approached to offer massage and whats more aromatherapy massage. At the time we were engulfed with operating the pool and all our funds had been swallowed by the usual overspend and unforseen expenses so when the opportunity of a self employed facility with no investment confronted us we clasped it with both hands- while also in reality saw it as a service we could offer but without real belief or understanding in its potential.
After a couple of years of a part time offering we were then given the oportunity to offer the service on a full time basis and opted to grow our facility and moved the treatment area from an external windowless space to a new beautifully painted room with its own facilities, the down side to this was that it was up an external staircase but it offered peace and quiet and was luxury compared to what had gone before. The service grew and when the provider decided it was time to move on we were faced with a decison- whether to scale back or ramp up.
Fate made the decision easy as we were then apporached by a lady who had moved to the area with her husband -due to his work- and she was fully trained in all the services we provided and so started our history with Espa. Espa was a growing hotel brand of treatments and products whcih had been evolved and developed for hotels exclusively and they were keen to expand their reach. Eriska was a unique opportunity and with no similar facility on the west coast of Scotland it was a match made. We created a link to the main pool building and the service grew first with our one employee and then with one and half offering a full coverage of services.
The offer of therapies was now tried and tested so when we made our next advance in the leisure area creating a restaurant and bar we also included a wing which was to become the centre piece of our spa. We realized it was never going to be a rival to the multi award winning competitors but we also knew we could offer treatments which rivalled them in terms of service and delivery and relaxation and preparation areas which emphasized the beauty of the location and peace and tranquility of the surroundings. Now with three treatment rooms we could both grow the team and the offering and a simple body massage menu expanded into body treatments and beauty therapies.
So the spa at Eriska has grown and we have been lucky over the years to have some wonderful staff both working and in and running the facility. It has allowed us to offer our guests even more opportunities and combined with the right team will continue to evolve. A couple of years ago we added a relaxation area and reception area to help complete the spa experience and then created a space for hairdressing, knowing we were never going to offer it full time but at least we had the space arranged to bring in a hairdresser if required.
Eriska continues to evolve and grow and luckily the team on site are ever keen and eager to accept the challenges. One lesson taught to me by a regular guest when he came in one afternoon was that whilst he would never use the pool and health facilities we had given him a new opportunity and choice- he could choose to use the facilities or he could choose not to but we had given him choice -
Eriska remains all about choice!