Sara Last joins Cornwall’s St Moritz Hotel as director of operations

Formerly of Aromatherapy Associates, Last will be heading up the spa's refurbishment, overseeing the build of a new wellness area, as well as promoting recruitment


By Wendy Golledge

14 November 2023

Sara Last has returned to the St Moritz Hotel and Cowshed Spa, after starting her career at the property when she was 21.

Last worked alongside hotel’s founder, Hugh Ridgway, on the pre-opening for the Cowshed Spa – the UK’s only Cowshed Spa outside of Soho House properties.

Gaining experience that spaned both operations and working with brands, she went on to work for Wardorf Astoria in London and Conrad in Portugal.

Her brand experience includes ESPA, Bamford and Aromatherapy Associates, where she was head of spa, EMEA.

After six years running her own consultancy, Last has returned to operations and will be heading up the build of the spa’s new wellness area, which is set to open next year.

“St Moritz Hotel and Cowshed Spa are ingrained in my DNA; it feels like home. It feels so serendipitous to be back here. I want to lead the hotel to become the best spa hotel south of Bristol.”

Sara Last

Director of operations, St Moritz Hotel

New Wild Spa at St Moritz

The property recently announced the opening of its new outdoor Wild Spa, offering hot and cold contrast therapy and a luxury inside/outside elemental spa.

This will be complimented by new spa experiences in the coming year.

“We are reimagining the spa to create an immersive experience, with an outdoor hydro pool, a new steam room and sauna, ice fountains and sensory showers,” says Last.

“I truly believe five-star facilities is the one thing we’ve been lacking at St Moritz. Once we have the facilities and the globally-renowned Cowshed name there will be nothing stopping us.”

Sara Last with St Moritz founder, Hugh Ridgway

Last will combine her local knowledge, having grown up in the area, with her global spa experience to create a luxe Cornish spa offer, working with designer Steve Coombe from 3idog interior design.

“We are building a new indoor/outdoor swimming pool, sauna and steam, an ice fountain, hydrotherapy pool, crystal steam room and experience showers,” she continues.

“There will also be a drench shower, heated loungers and a studio above the pool.”

Last also has plans to take advantage of the hotel’s coastal surroundings and offer cold water immersions, both in the sea and the hotel’s unheated outdoor pool.

Smiling man in glasses and blue shirt

“I am delighted Sara has re-joined the team as director of operations. Her considerable expertise will be invaluable for opening the new indoor pool and spa facilities next summer. It’s an aligning of the stars to have her return.”

Hugh Ridgway

Founder, St Moritz Hotel

Tackling the spa staffing crisis

“I want St Moritz to not only be the customer’s first choice in Cornwall, but also spa and hospitality staff’s first choice,” says Last.

Passionate about ensuring spa and hotel staff receive the right level of reimbursement for their skills, Last will work with Ridgway to re-evaluate the hotel’s culture and recruitment, aimming for it to become the most desirable Cornish hotel and spa to work in.

“There’s got to be a change in how a career in hospitality is viewed,” says Last. “We want to be that change, rather than talking about it but not acting.

“I’m so passionate about the spa and hospitality industry in Cornwall but if we all keep saying and doing the same things, we’re just going to keep getting the same results.

“I want St Moritz to be the hotel and spa that does pay properly and does look after its team, to help re-establish that passion for the industry.

“For customers to think it’s absolutely worth returning to us they need to have had the best experience and, for that, I need the best staff.”

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