Jamie Pagan

An interview with Jamie Pagan, Senior Director of Spa & Wellness at the iconic Mandarin Oriental Hotel group 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your professional career?

Initially graduating from University with an Honours Degree in Recreation Management I have worked within the wellness industry for over 30 years both domestically and internationally.

I have worked within different areas of the spa industry as Spa Director learning my craft at Gleneagles but also as an integral part of the international consultancy team at ESPA working in partnership with brands such as Ritz Carlton, Leela Group, Mondrian, Corinthia, Fairmont, and many industry leading independent properties. Working with these hospitality giants allowed me to gain insight into Spa and Wellness cultures worldwide and tailored business support consisting of financial modelling, pre-opening planning and ongoing operational management.

Since joining The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, I supported the relaunch in 2019 developing the product and service offering, building strong business partnerships and positioning within the market. Most recently I have brought this knowledge and experience to support the management team with the pre-opening of The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Mayfair and will further develop responsibilities for the Mandarin Oriental Spa Division in Europe.

What makes the spa experience special at the Mandarin Oriental and what sets it apart from the rest?

The Spas at Mandarin Oriental are born out of a sincere understanding and passion for wellness, which we define as a way of life that focuses on physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. We are committed to delivering all aspects of wellness with integrity and honesty, providing inspiration for lifestyle change, in an environment that delights all the senses and provides a celebration of eastern culture and philosophy. 

While each of our spas within the Group share a common philosophy, each spa has a unique design. London offers an extensive menu with integrated wellness services and industry leading movement health services. To set us apart we are committed to providing our guests and members with the highest quality spa experience through the delivery of our Legendary Quality Experience and brand pillars creating a world of Fans.

What are the deciding factors when selecting spa partners for the Mandarin Oriental?

Providing legendary service is integral to the group’s core values, and the overall treatment experience reflects this, by giving each individual a unique and memorable spa journey. Treatments combine both ancient and contemporary techniques in a natural manner and are designed to bring balance and equilibrium. 

We select spa partners whose strong ethical values mirror our own and provide spa experiences that sit well with our overall spa philosophy.

What is your favourite treatment to perform from the OTO menu? 

My favourite treatment from our current spa menu is OTO Focus the Mind CBD massage which uses a delightful combination of aromatherapy and CBD to refresh and elevate the mind. 

What is the biggest challenge facing the Spa Industry at the moment?

The biggest challenge for the spa industry at the moment similarly to hospitality is recruitment. There is no simple answer to conquering this challenge and requires a collective approach across all stakeholders from employers providing attractive career opportunities, educational institutions setting up future generations for success, and political understanding of the labour market in the UK.

What is trending this year in Spa?

Movement health trends will continue and the fusion of fitness and spa services will continue to develop offering integrated wellness.  The use of tech will continue to develop our approach to advanced facials and bio hacks such as Cryotherapy, PBM therapy and Sound Therapy will become increasingly accessible.

What’s to come for the Mandarin Oriental Group this year?

The Mandarin Oriental Group will continue to develop its global portfolio of spas with new properties opening in 2023 in London, Greece and Abu Dhabi

How do you unwind after a full day's work?

I find exercising relaxing but tend to do that before work. To unwind in the evening, I enjoy walking my little border terrier in the local woodland after my commute.

Whilst commuting I find the App Blinkist a great nonfiction resource for personal development.