Our new Spa Director Arturo Aguilar first applied for the job 20 years ago. “My feet,” he says, “were not big enough for those shoes at the time. It has been my dream job ever since. Now, I’ve grown, gained more experience, and can fill those shoes. It’s no coincidence that I’m here.”
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Arturo’s family has an agave plantation and makes tequila for many artisan brands you may have heard of. Originally he didn’t have tequila making or therapeutic aspirations: “my big is thing playing tennis. I was a tennis player back in the day. I played the second division in the International Tennis Federation. Everybody plays there before you go into the big leagues. I did it for the longest time. Tennis is pretty tough on your body, so I started to study Manual Physical Rehab, a type of kinesiology, on a scholarship in Canada. I thought I’d be a tennis coach and help players with their injuries, but it all went crazy, and I started working in spas. That’s how it all started.”
Throughout his professional journey, Arturo has invested his time in important developmental schools that helped him become the world-class Spa Director he is today. His studies included an eight-month stint at Osho Meditation Resort in India to study and practice active meditation. He also studied at Sowa Rigpa Tibetan Monastery in Nepal, emphasizing acupressure, Buddhism, and moxibustion. In addition, he attended the School of Hospitality at Cornell University and graduated from the Holistic Clinical School from the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Alberta Canada with specialties in injuries and spinal cord treatments.
His professional work experience is a who’s who of premium spas. Arturo was the Opening and Managing Director for the Sheraton Buganvilias, Spa Director at the Esencia Luxury Boutique Resort Xpu-Ha Riviera Maya, and the Spa Director at the Royal Hideaway Playacar Resort. Furthermore, he has taught for Technical Universities in the Federal Educational program, specifically in Spa Rehab.
“A lot of hotels offer spa treatments,” he says, “but nothing compares to The Ranch. The beauty, the mountains, and the fact the wellness trend started here means a lot.”
While wellness focuses on the habits and behaviors that can help you lead a happy and fulfilled life, well-being is the mental, spiritual, financial, and social state the wellness hopefully takes you to.
“What we’re trying to do now with well-being is create protocols or services that can lead you to find happiness while you’re here, or at least ignite things that can really make you happy. When I was in Nepal, one of the things that really changed my thinking was what they practice: we’re always looking for getting spiritual. For them, it’s totally different. They’re like, stop wasting your time trying to get spiritual. It’s the other way around. You are already very spiritual. You have to acknowledge that you have human experiences. Wake up and recognize your spirituality that is already there.”
One area Arturo sees The Ranch’s spa services expanding is in the use of herbal and essential oils, aromatherapy. “If the Spa Therapist is working on a muscle spasm on your rhomboids and they use a little bit of peppermint, that will bring a lot of blood circulation to the area. Then through their work, they can help the spasm to stop. That’s just one example.”
Another area to look for is the beauty and opportunity of Mexican Cacao ceremonies. These ceremonies begin by consuming a dark chocolate drink and are followed by breathwork, meditation, and an opportunity for self-discovery and renewal.
“I believe things happen for a reason,” Arturo says as we walk over to the dining hall for dinner, “and they happen at the right moment. 20 years ago, it’s like my shoes were a size five trying to fit into size ten. Now I can fill the shoes, and that’s why it’s such perfect timing, as you can see.”
He may have traded his tennis shoes and racket for comfortable walking shoes and essential oils, but Arturo’s dedication to his profession and leadership is just as focused and determined.