Interview with The Guardian of Sanctuary Resorts, Andrew Jones
1. What inspired you to set up sanctuary resorts?
Guardian: I was working for a regional hotel company and had done nearly every job in a hotel from a Chef to Vice President, but was not feeling fulfilled. I asked myself what do I really want to do with my life. Through a process I went through, Avatar, I developed the concept for Sanctuary Resorts.
2. What range of services does sanctuary resorts offer, and why?
Guardian: There were eight elements that I realized were the things that I wanted to focus my life’s work on and that made up the basis of Sanctuary Resorts:
Working with people (staff and guests)
Keeping physically fit
Keeping mentally stimulated
Helping other people to maximize their potential
Providing Service to the Community
Being Environmentally friendly
Creating a Responsible and Sustainable business
In harmony with these elements, the services provided therefore were created to help people balance their Body, Mind and Spirit in an environmentally friendly space. These would also help people relieve the strain and stresses of modern life, and help them create a better lifestyle. The programs and services we wished to provide seemed to naturally fell into three major categories:
Spa Treatments - To cleanse and stimulate the body
Physical Exercise – To stimulate and strengthen the body
Mind Stimulating Programs – To relieve emotional stress and strains and maintain brain power.
We provide a basic set of programs in each category that are also created using the local, natural ingredients and locations. This provides a unique experience in each location while maintaining a basic consistency of services. The people, our guests, then tell us what they would like us to provide, and if there are enough people to make it viable we will provide it for them. We are driven by the needs of the people. Our Associates (staff members) are also encouraged to participate in the programs.
At one of our resorts we have held several new and alternative programs:
We have initiated a Masters in Residence program, where specialists from various fields share their talent and knowledge with the resorts’ guests and staff. Last December, we had renowned Shiatsu Master Terry Liew, in the resort to train the local staff as well as provide guests the opportunity to learn self-shiatsu, shiatsu on their partner or just have Terry heal certain ailments through his massage skills.
In February, we organized a two week’s session with best-selling health and life-style author Daniel Reid. Daniel has conducted seminars on healthy living for guests, provided consultations on detox and diet and has organized daily chi-gong sessions on the resort’s own private beach. At the same time, his Taiwanese wife, Snow, has been available for special energy massage sessions The sessions with Dan and Snow have proved so successful that we have decided on another series of events in The Bale, our all-pool villa resort in Bali during this coming October.
We are continuously looking for additional programs that bring benefits to our guests.
3. Is the demand for holistic complimentary treatments growing in the region?
Guardian: Most definitely. There is a growing trend towards people seeking alternative opportunities to maximize their potential. They want to go away and refresh and rejuvenate themselves so they can work better, but they don’t want to just lie on a beach, they want to use the time productively. There is also a growing interest in alternative therapies for health and wellbeing to enhance the lifestyle of individuals and a realization that we also need to retain a balance between work and our community interests.
Again the interest in our programs at The Layan in Thailand has greatly increased since we assumed management of the property last year. The spa has progressed away from the cosmetic style of spa found everywhere and has taken up a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing. For example, upon arrival to the resort, guests are stimulated to participate in a short, free of charge consultation; where the Ayurvedic element of the guests will be determined and advise will be given on food, activities and spa treatments to best suit the individual’s element. This personal touch has been positively received by guests and is something we intend to introduce in all our resorts.
4. Are these type of treatments and resorts well suited for releaving the stress and strain of the modern urban lifestyle?
Guardian: They are exactly suited for this purpose and as noted above, one of the reasons we originally created them. In fact although we had not envisaged Urban locations for our resorts, we have now been asked to look at several Urban Resort projects so that people can balance their Body, Mind and Spirit while still staying in their own local community.
5. Can you recommend any self-improvement/holistic treatment/meditations etc books?
Guardian: I can only recommend those things that I have personally tried and I believe would benefit other people. We don’t try to “sell” things to people, we tell people of our experiences, and if they like what they hear, they can try it, as everyone has to find their own path in life. We have a growing body of expertise and knowledge, which we call our “ Collective Wisdom”, and through these people, therapies, readings and channels we hope to pass on the benefit we have experienced to others.
Personally I achieved an amazing discovery through the Avatar process. I found my “Mission in Life” – Sanctuary Resorts. For me this was a very powerful process and I was also happy to learn the techniques to teach and pass it onto others. For some people there may be other paths to take.
Before, I was not a prolific reader, but several books have made a big impression on me since I started my journey and I am happy to share these with other people.
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield was one of the first books I read when I started my “journey”. It was like I was seeing my life in a mirror at that time, and that I could actually realize that was amazing to me.
Many Lives, Many Masters, by Dr. Brian Weiss also had a big impact on me at the start of my journey. Whether you believe in past lives or not, it certainly offers a positive aspect to the moving on process.
Recently Paulo Coelho has come into my life, and on two occasions in the last two years I have been reading one of his books at a time when the insights in these books helped me to address situations that were happening in my life. Particularly helpful to me was The Alchemist, and The Pilgrimage.
We have a Readings section on our website, so perhaps look at our website or send me an e-mail to know more. A new website should be up and running shortly. Our website can be viewed at: www.sanctuaryresorts.com
Also I am in the process of writing my own book about how we need to balance our lifestyle, business and community needs if we are to have a sustainable world.
6. Can you give a brief corporate background and future plans?
Guardian: When I set up the company I said that I didn’t want to do things as other traditional hotel companies. With big hierarchies, offices, or position titles. I said all I wanted to do was “Guard the Integrity of the Concept”. Someone then gave me the title “Guardian of the Sanctuary” and it stayed.
Our organization structure is “work in progress”, but the guiding principles are clear, every one works with us, not for us, every manager has the opportunity to become a partner in the company, the company always gives back and participates in the communities in which we operate.
We do not put pins on maps to show our development, we put the development of our people first. In order to create a true Sanctuary Resort, I need to walk the land for new projects or sleep in the property if we are looking to rejuvenate an existing property.
Our Associates and Owners need to share the same Vision and Mission as Sanctuary Resorts. I have been very fortunate to work with and find some wonderful people that share these philosophies. Michel van der Hoeven my partner in Thailand, Jose Calle, General Manager of The Bale in Bali and Joe Cauchi who represents us, as our sales office based in Hong Kong. We anticipate announcing some additional partners joining us on our journey shortly. There are no limits to the number of partners we will have, as we believe that would only limit our opportunities to be successful.
We have four properties in the Sanctuary Resorts family at the moment, two in operation, The Bale, Bali, The Layan, Phuket and two under development, The Racha, Koh Racha, Thailand, and The Hotel de la Paix, Siem Reap, Cambodia
7. Any advice on boosting the immune system to help prevent SARS?
Guardian: We like to promote wellbeing as part of a holistic lifestyle, and believe that with general good health and the right balance in ones life many of these “Dis-eases” will not affect an individual.
We are looking into some alternative approaches to boosting ones immune system, such as natural vitamin supplements, organic products and the introduction of traditional herbs and healing practices, but again believe that a continuing regimen of attention to balancing the Body, Mind and Spirit has a better and more long term effect on an individuals wellbeing.
8. Any other comments.
Guardian: If I can be of any assistance or provide more information for your readers on what we are doing, our resorts, readings or therapies, I am happy to do so and they can contact me personally at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively for Thai readers my partner in Thailand can be reached through: email@example.com
We wish all your readers a happy and healthy lifestyle.