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Touchless therapies are popular with the over 60s (left); SilvaClean uses silver to disinfect linen (below)

Are you able to quantify the cost of COVID to Carillon? Unfortunately we were closed for eight months and although we could have legally opened sooner we delayed our launch to ensure that, as a wellness resort, we had enhanced safety measures, training and processes in place. In 2020, the company losses amounted to millions of dollars, as did our competitors.


Have you been able to bring everyone back? Considering that a lot of my therapists and wellness concierges were single mothers and/ or taking care of elderly parents, they didn’t want to return right away, but we were able to ramp up staffing each month. We’re currently at about 85 per cent of our employee level from 2019.

Spas in Miami can still only operate at 50 per cent capacity, says Pahel


How did you help staff during the crisis? Communication and support were vital. The management team was constantly providing solutions to create a safe environment for the staff as well as offer support and flexibility for those who were more challenged by the situation. From mid-March until mid-July 2020, everyone in the spa was furloughed. When the spa did reopen it was only initially at weekends as the hotel was still closed. How have you overhauled health and safety procedures? Clients used to focus on luxury and pampering, but now they’re more concerned with safety of the space that they’re spending time in. Our spa employees wear an apron, mask and shield, like all other resort staff, but additionally we’ve been using electrostatic sprayers to disinfect the entire facility – all 6,500sq m of it – each day at 4am. One of the most interesting technologies we’ve employed is SilvaClean© from Applied Silver, which is a US-approved disinfectant. It’s based on silver, a natural anti-microbial and anti-allergenic element which has been used in healthcare settings for years. SilvaClean is added to the laundry process during the final rinse and makes the fabrics residually anti-microbial, without changing their look or feel. We’re using it on all of our towels and linens, keeping them COVID- as well as mould- and mildew-free. We’ve also installed an air purification system from Active Pure which incorporates UV light to deactivate 90 per cent of viruses and pathogens within three minutes. What changes have you made to treatments? We’re still holding 188 fitness classes a week, all with social distancing, but have increased outdoor classes and also offer a daily live stream through the TV community channel. issue 2 2021 75