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September 15, 2006

Spa of Colonial Williamsburg names management team

Colonial Williamsburg has assembled an internationally renowned team to operate its new stand-alone luxury spa slated to open later this year. A significant component of Colonial Williamsburg’s growing resort businesses, The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg will offer a treatment menu designed by a world-respected spa developer and will be managed by America’s leading spa operations firm. Day-to-day supervision of the spa will be under the direction of the current chairman of the International SPA Association.

“Nowhere in America is there a spa like we envision this one, and certainly none with such a remarkable assembly of professionals involved in its creation,” said John T. Hallowell, president of Colonial Williamsburg’s Hospitality Group. “The spa will nurture our guests in a refined, luxurious environment, with an expansive menu of services that will include not only traditional massages but a full menu of treatments that address overall well-being.”

Sylvia Sepielli, recognized worldwide as a spa visionary and the principal of SPAd (Sylvia Planning And design), assisted in the facility design concept and has been retained to create signature treatments and amenities for The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. Among her projects are Grand Wailea’s Spa Grande on Maui, Spa Ojai, part of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in California, and Mii amo at Enchantment in Sedona, Ariz.

“Sylvia is known for creating a completely unique look for each spa she designs, making it an expression of its location,” said Hallowell. “She creates a signature for each spa that reflects the personality and culture of the area. She is known for doing extensive research into each location to create treatments that reflect that area. The spas she creates do not have a signature ‘Sylvia’ look; instead, they appear to fit perfectly in their settings.”

WTS International, Inc., a leading spa and leisure consulting and management firm, will provide operations and management services for The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. Founded in 1973, WTS has served clients in hotels and resorts, exclusive golf and country clubs and luxury residential developments. WTS will manage all aspects of spa services execution and day-to-day operations and will spearhead the effort to create a memorable spa experience for resort guests and local day spa visitors.

Kate Mearns has been named director of the spa. Mearns is the current chairman of the International SPA Association. She has appeared on the Travel Channel and has published articles and is frequently quoted in spa and travel industry publications. In her role as Chairman of ISPA, she represents the spa industry in numerous speaking engagements, media events and partnership alliances worldwide.

“Kate became involved in the emerging spa industry more than 13 years ago, and was previously associated with one of the country’s first destination spas, Coolfont Resort & Spa in Berkeley Springs, W. Va.,” said Nicholas DiMeglio, general manager of the Williamsburg Inn and director of food, beverage and recreation for Colonial Williamsburg. “She has experience in all aspects of spa management, fitness, and program development and is fully committed to providing our guests with the highest level of spa service.”

Mearns most recently was director of sports and spa for Anheuser Busch’s Kingsmill Resort & Spa in Williamsburg, where she managed all aspects of sports and spa operations, including spa, fitness and wellness services, member programs, spa merchandise and children’s programs.

“Colonial Williamsburg has invested the resources necessary to make The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg a world-class spa destination. I am enthusiastic about joining Colonial Williamsburg, with its reputation for quality and excellence,” said Mearns. “We are planning some exciting menu offerings that are in keeping with the Foundation’s mission of learning from the past. I am confident that we will make a positive impact throughout the world of spa.”

The spa is located on South England Street in Williamsburg, a short walk past a reflecting pond and through a wisteria-covered arbor from the Williamsburg Inn, the Williamsburg Lodge and the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club. The site is the former location of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Architect for the building’s transformation is Glavé and Holmes Associates of Richmond, the firm responsible for the design of the College Corner building in Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, and with Culpepper, McAuliffe, and Meaders, Inc. of Atlanta, for the Williamsburg Lodge renovation also scheduled for completion later this year. Glavé and Holmes is experienced in the renovation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings or projects in historic settings, linking a building to the long tradition of other buildings and places in proximity.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. The Colonial Williamsburg Company, a subsidiary of the Foundation, operates more than 1,000 guest rooms, ten restaurants, and 66,000 square feet of conference space in properties including the Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg Lodge, Woodlands Hotel & Suites, 26 individual Colonial Houses, four Historic Area dining taverns and the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, site of the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research, and educational programs. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at or

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280