Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Mohonk Mountain House Appoints Barbara Stirewalt Spa Director

New, $13 million, 30,000-square-foot Spa

NEW PALTZ, NY, February 28, 2006. Barbara Stirewalt has been named Spa Director of the new, $13 million, 30,000-square-foot Spa at Mohonk Mountain House. Her devotion to indigenous spa programs and earth-friendly spa principles provides a perfect complement to the 137- year-old property, with its rich history of ecology. Located in the Shawangunk Mountains overlooking the Hudson Valley and set on 2,200 spectacular acres, Mohonk Mountain House is only 90 miles north of New York City.

With more than 20 years of experience, Stirewalt has helped open spas and fitness centers, provide concept and design development, and train hospitality staff. She most recently served as Spa Director of the Wintergarden Spa and Fitness Center at the Wintergreen Resort in Virginia.

"Stirewalt's extensive career in spas and hospitality, her love of nature, and her desire to provide guests with an experience that will nurture body, mind, and spirit in our unique setting blends all of the qualities we had hoped for in this position," said Bert Smiley, CEO and fourth generation descendant of the hotel's 19 th century founders.

Stirewalt holds a Masters of Professional Studies from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, along with multiple certifications in group and aquatic fitness instruction.

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Original, Authentic and Localized
Corporate hotel developers once believed that their customers appreciated a homogenous design experience; that regardless of their physical location, they would be reassured and comforted by a similar look, feel and design in all their brand properties. Inevitably this led to a sense of impersonality, predictability and boredom in their guests who ultimately rejected this notion. Today's hotel customer is expecting an experience that is far more original and authentic - an experience that features a design aesthetic that is more location-oriented, inspired by local cultures, attractions, food and art. Architects and designers are investing more time to engage the local culture, and to integrate the unique qualities of each location into their hotel design. Expression of this design principle can take many shapes and forms. One trend is the adaptive reuse of existing facilities - from factories to office buildings - as a strategic way to preserve and affirm local culture. Many of these projects are not necessarily conversions of historic properties into grand, five-star landmark hotels, but rather a complete transformation of historic structures into mixed-use, residential, and hotel projects that take full advantage of their existing location. Another trend is the addition of local art into a hotel's design scheme. From small sculptures and photography to large-scale installations, integrating local art is an effective means to elevate and enhance a guest's perception and experience of the hotel. These are just a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.