Stephanie Shepherd has been a beloved fixture on the south-east Queensland spa scene for 22 years, amassing five exquisite locations ranging from inner city sanctuaries to secluded slices of heaven; all of them gathering a cult-like following.
Her success has now been recognised on an international scale with Stephanie taking out three coveted awards in the recent World Luxury Spa Awards, held in Switzerland.
Stephanies Urban Spa in Bulimba was awarded Luxury Urban Escape and Stephanies Mountain Spa at Clear Mountain Lodge named Luxury Hideaway Spa. Her overall brand, Stephanies Luxury Spas, has taken out an award of its own: Luxury Spa Group. All of these awards were won in the category of Continent, covering Australia and Oceania.
Her company’s philosophy of embracing new technologies, respecting ancient rituals, stepping away from the ordinary and creating breathtaking treatments has proven a winning formula, with her spas in Noosa, Clear Mountain, Brisbane’s Sofitel Hotel and suburbs of Bulimba and Cleveland all achieving strong commercial success.
For Stephanie herself it has been a long but rewarding journey since her first spa opened in 1994 to reaching this career milestone.
“To receive these incredible industry accolades in response to our client’s support has been overwhelming and humbling” she says, “To have built such an incredible community of clients and therapists is a very proud achievement for me”.
Her spas’ unique blend of high-performance treatments – using French skincare brands Payot and Thalgo, and her newly released body product range la Vie elixir, paired with traditional and unique experiences celebrating aromatherapy and massage – make for a service menu that’s tough to choose from.
However, one treatment that features proudly on all five spa menus is the Sacred Queen Journey.
This ancient treatment combines Ayurvedic-inspired practices and modern spa techniques beginning with a rose petal foot immersion followed by a heated herbal poultice back massage, finishing on the front of body from head to toe. This deeply relaxing sacred ritual is said to leave clients “floating on air”.
Stephanie’s accolades join those of Victoria’s Peninsula Hot Springs, which won the World Luxury Spa Awards Mineral Springs Spa category at the gala event on Switzerland on June 18.
And nominated as finalists in the prestigious World Spa Awards (a division of the World Luxury Spa Awards) for World’s Best Eco Spa Award 2016 – to be announced in Italy in September – are Queensland’s Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat and The Spa at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, NSW.
Big congrats, all!