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by Mary Tjotjos

Chik Lai Ping, Vice President Spa Division for YTL Hotels

Chik Lai Ping is Vice President of Spa Division at YTL Hotels, and oversees operations of the group’s award- winning spas. Her passion for the industry stems from her profound interest in the indigenous beauty rituals long practiced in the multi-racial society of Malaysia. Her ability to revive the dying arts of Southeast Asian and Asian spa therapies has made her a respected figure in the spa industry. While she possessed significant experience in the hospitality industry, Lai Ping only began to focus her attention on the spa industry in 1999. Beginning with a humble fitness centre in the JW Marriott Kuala Lumpur and a team of 15, she was given the opportunity to develop a unique spa brand for the YTL Hotels. Extolling the healing culture of the region each spa resides within, Spa Village made its debut at Pangkor Laut Resort in 2002, and, under Lai Ping’s guidance, expanded and eventually went global with the launch of its first international spa resort, Spa Village Resort Tembok, Bali in 2007. In 2012, Spa Village Hangzhou, China and the Majestic Spa, which draws inspiration from English gardens and tearooms, were also introduced. The Spa Village brand has experienced phenomenal growth over the years with support from the community and guests alike, especially with the opening of Spa Village Bath in The Gainsborough Bath Spa, United Kingdom in 2015 which offers a contemporary perspective of the city’s thermal water heritage.
The next few years brought exciting developments to the Spa Village portfolio with:
• the expansion into Thailand with the opening of Spa Village Koh Samui in October 2017, in The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui - offering a 3,800 square metre sanctuary anchored in the healing culture of the region
• The introduction of La Tente by Spa Village in luxury bespoke retreat MUSE Saint Tropez in July 2018 – where indulgent treatments feature fresh local ingredients whilst taking place in an open-air luxury safari tent amidst lush cypress and olive trees
• The debut of The Floating Spa by Spa Village in February 2019 at the historically famous Monkey Island Estate – an innovative and unique spa concept based completely on the water, where treatments and spa experiences have been choreographed to take place in a custom crafted barge, moored on the banks of the island and paying homage to the monks who once inhabited the island.
Today, with more than 200 associates, 11 luxury spas and a destination spa, Lai Ping is set to take YTL Hotels’ Spa Division to even greater heights. Through her commitment, innovation and enthusiasm, she ensures that every moment at Spa Village is a unique, unforgettable encounter of wellness and rejuvenation.