Spa of the month

Willowbrook Spa at The Lake House on Canandaigua


Nestled in the cozy yet breathtaking Finger Lakes region of New York, you will find Willowbrook Spa at The Lake House on Canandaigua, just waiting for those looking for a reset among the restorative power of nature. With stunning lakefront views and lush private gardens, the spa’s setting is evocative of a simpler time when the natural world was a vital part of daily life. 

From creekside saunas to tucked away treatment rooms,  the spa menu is carefully curated (and slightly ambiguous) to extend a palpable memory and potentially life-changing treatment with education to guide the continued steps of wellness.

“Willowbrook Spa offers cutting-edge devices and technologies, treatments and protocols, and products and home care recommendations designed with each guest in mind. No other hotel spa in the area offers Sauna Rituals, Jet Peel facial treatments, or our level of service,” details Spa Director Victoria Lindsey.  “We hope to become a catalyst for the savvy traveler who values experiences and applies knowledge and resources provided to propel them to a full mind, body, and spirit wellness that continues in their daily life.” 

I take the family vision to heart and focus on merchandising and packaging, embodying and supporting the ethos of sustainability and progress, and elevated product lines that are results driven and actually work”

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”2,4,6,7,5″ ihc_mb_template=”3″ ]

For those pressed for time but still in need of some holistic healing, there is an extensive menu of express services, as well as a highly curated selection of personal care products and wellness offerings in Willowbrook’s retail space. Almost every device and product guests experience during treatments are offered in the Spa Boutique to continue the wellness journey. A dedicated team of therapists use their wisdom to help guests achieve their wellness goals.

Here, we reveal how Willowbrook’s healing energy leaves an indelible mark on its guests. 

Signature Treatment

The 60-minute Sauna Ritual takes place in a state-of-the-art cedar sauna barrel that holds up to four people and features contrasting bath circuits. Guests spend 10 to 15 minute increments in the sauna while cooling off with chilled oshibori towels and hydrating with water, then exiting and shocking the system with a cold shower. Guests remain outside or in the changing vestibule for a few moments until they are neither hot nor cold, then return to the sauna chamber to repeat the circuit using the Breathe Deep Myst and Honey Masque during different cycles or stages. A house-made, local, and edible Honey Schizandra Berry and Rose Petal Masque is offered as a take-home treat!


Willowbrook’s client drivers include sales and marketing promotions, hotel packages with spa credit, featured content from social media influencers and editors, and celebrating special occasions for guests with gifts and complimentary enhancements. “We make note of special dates, occasions, and preferences in profiles so we can acknowledge them every time a guest comes back as we get to know them better,” says Lindsey.

The Lake House on Canandaigua’s website is carefully reviewed daily and constantly updated with happenings of the hotel and spa. Featured treatments and events are also cycled regularly on the website, as well as Facebook and Instagram profiles. “Listening to our demographic and target audience is very important. We want to offer them treatments and events that are relevant to them and our ethos. If it doesn’t quite make sense, we never want to force something on our guests or our spa team. We all have to believe in the mission,” Lindsey notes. 


“My mantra in life is ‘be good before you’re fancy’,” shares Lindsey. Employee onboarding is extensive, with a training matrix for each division of the spa from macro and micro information to Standard Operating Procedures. Willowbrook’s Training Binder begins with General Hotel Information for The Lake House on Canandaigua, an Employee Handbook, Preferred and Forbes Standards for Spa, and SOPs for all hotel and spa employees, as well as role-specific protocols. 

There are twice daily 15-minute “Stand Ups,” where the focus is on internal hotelwide communications, guest reviews, the Forbes Spa Standard of the Day, guest engagement and best practices, open communication, and follow-up on action items. Monthly department meetings review successes, opportunities, future projects and policies, feedback, and, of course, food- lunch is provided for each meeting.

Monthly trainings, either in person or virtual, are held with vendors and product lines for product knowledge, new treatments and protocols, refresher training, and quality assurance. 

Revenue and Retail 

“I take the family vision to heart and focus on merchandising and packaging, embodying and supporting the ethos of sustainability and progress, and elevated product lines that are results driven and actually work,” explains Lindsey. “Spa merchandising is very psychological and intentional. It’s important to respect the process of creating a cohesive and collaborative spa retail space. All product lines must serve a purpose and resonate to the guest, who most likely has just received a spa treatment and will be looking for products to enhance desired results and continued wellness.” 

Cultivating the retail space with a focus on the collections of each line by creating vignettes is the process Lindsey follows. This not only offers guests a visual of what they are being recommended but is also space conscious.

Lindsey finds that linking treatments to select, curated products not only provides the best benefits for the guests’ desired results, but also to easily become part of their daily routine until they can return to Willowbrook.

The Summer season is mainly hotel guests, while the “off season” sees more local and day guests, with a 75 percent female to 25 percent male client ratio. The most popular treatments are massages, facials, and the Sauna Ritual.