Scarsdale’s Tranquility Spa has been relaxing and restoring Westchesterites for more than two decades.
Equally impressive to winning 14 Best Of awards in the 20 years this magazine has been handing them out is the fact Tranquility Spa is among but a few Westchester businesses that won both this year and in 2001, the inaugural year of the publication (for Best Day Spa in both instances). To glean more about a business that has consistently operated at the highest level for such a long time, we spoke with Stephanie Hershkowitz (her mother, Billie Adelson, and uncle Andrew Schwartz launched Tranquility in 1991), general manager of Tranquility Spa.
What is a key element to succeeding for as long as Tranquility has?
We’ve always stressed and practiced innovation, to offer clients whatever the latest technologies and services are, such as Hydra- Facials, laser technology for skincare and hair removal, and, most recently, CBD massages. Also, the deep experience of our staff makes clients feel comfortable, assured by the knowledge and trust that they will be there when needed and know exactly what to do.
Since 2001, was there any period that was especially challenging?
Being part of the community for as long as we have, we’ve been through it all. We were here during 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, and the H1N1 flu epidemic. Our philosophy of treating each client like you would a family member enabled people to trust they would leave feeling safe and better than when they came in. This philosophy starts with who I hire. When potential new staffers are performing during the interview process, I look not just for technical skill but also for a sense of energy, a natural feel they have, or don’t, for the business. Those intangibles are hard to teach but are important to imparting that familymember feel.
Are there many long-term employees?
We have been at our current Scarsdale location for almost 16 years. Much of our staff remained with us from our earlier location, in Hartsdale. It is these friendly faces at the front desk, of the massage therapists, aestheticians, and cleaning staff, that keep clients coming back. We have 12 employees who have been with us for at least 17 years, including massage therapists Dawn Freal [since 1995] and Natasha Vaz [since 2003].
What is the biggest change in your industry since 2001?
The amount of men who have become comfortable with self-care. We currently serve almost as many men as women. Men used to be ambivalent about visiting a spa but now see the benefits. Another principal change is the prevalence of computers and how their use in society affects the body. There is no “off button” to escape this.
Any special reopening plans when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?
We are planning to conduct curbside check-ins, and, when the treatment time is ready, clients will be called in their cars to enter and proceed directly to a treatment room. Hand sanitizing will be required for all clients upon entering the spa, and all staff will wear masks and gloves at the front desk. A clean apron and a new mask will be worn by the staff member for each new client. Turnaround time for a room is going to significantly increase (from 5 minutes to 25 minutes, as clients will change in the room, plus the boosted sanitation efforts). My overhead hasn’t changed, of course, so operating at reduced capacity will be a challenge. What does winning 14 Best Of awards mean to the business? It is a confirmation that our hard work and care are recognized. Tranquility Spa has grown and expanded over the years [from four treatment rooms in 1991 to 21 rooms today] because our clients wanted more from us. Winning year after year tells us we are doing.