So we’ve told you a little about the history of Key Largo and about the careful land surveys our expert environmentalists conducted before breaking ground. And while we believe our property is on track to be one of the most beautiful new resorts in the Florida Keys, let’s not forget what will make your Key Largo vacation one of the most memorable – our amazing staff.
We thought it’d be fun to showcase some of our team in a little column we’re calling the “Playa Profile.” This week we’re kicking things off with Caroline Wilmot, the Spa & Wellness Director. Our favorite bubbly Brit flew across the pond in 2001 to start a new life in the Windy City. A seasoned pro in building spa and wellness programs from the ground up, Caroline led the helm at a Forbes five-star hotel & spa in Chi-town before working and traveling through the Caribbean for three years aboard an international cruise line.
But now, she’s ours and we couldn’t be more excited! Wondering what she’s been up to? Let’s dive in!
Q: We took a peek into Ocean Spa yesterday, and it’s coming along quite nicely. As the first full-service spa in Key Largo, how would you describe Ocean Spa in three words?
Caroline: Tropical. Indigenous. Luxury. We’re trying to embrace our phenomenal location and indigenous local ingredients – from pineapples to coconuts. We’re also going to utilize every available space at the resort to create unique experiences for our guests – from sunrise and sunset yoga classes held by the waterfront to offering handmade body scrubs.
Q: How did you go about creating the spa menu?
Caroline: I’m always inspired by the local environment. For example, we’re drawing on Playa Largo’s seaside location and incorporating marine algae into the treatments and hydrofacials, which are designed to moisturize and nourish the skin.
Similarly, we try to incorporate super foods that are high in antioxidants and amino acids to complement skin health. We’re also sourcing fruits and ingredients from small farms in Homestead. My favorite is the locally grown honey we’ve incorporated into the spa treatments and soothing tea guests can enjoy in the relaxation lounge.
The Body Bar, one of my other favorite features of Ocean Spa, is going to include things like a Mojito Salt Scrub, an Awaken Coffee Scrub, a Coconut Sugar Scrub and an Ocean Dew and Bamboo Scrub – again, all sourced using local, organic ingredients.
Lastly, we also create relationships and partner with the best spa vendors in the industry so we can offer the most advanced treatments for our guests.
Q: Is there one treatment you’re most excited about?
Caroline: There is! We actually have four signature services that will be unique to Ocean Spa, but I can’t wait for guests to try our Tropical Body Glow. It’s a 90-minute body scrub and massage and it really just immerses you in a tropical environment with aromatic coconut and pineapple shea butters that also exfoliate the skin.
Q: OK, so you’ve created the spa menu and it’s time to relax. What is your favorite thing to do in Key Largo?
Caroline: Fishing with the husband! We live in Homestead, but we love to make a picnic and just drive down to the Keys for the day. We like to find a little fishing spot around Mile Marker 60 and hope to catch a red snapper or two. We also like hogfish and ballyhoo.
Q: Do you eat what you catch?
Caroline: Of course. My husband, who’s originally from Jamaica, is a phenomenal chef. He’ll season it with jerk seasoning, stuff it with okra or onion, wrap it in foil, and steam it. Sometimes he’ll also fry it or soak it in white vinegar and stuff it with celery – escovitch style.
Q: What are you looking forward to most in the next few months?
Caroline: You mean besides the property opening? I just had family visiting from Chicago and England. I’m quite burned out from those visits, so I’m excited to just relax and enjoy the gorgeous South Florida weather. We’ve only been here for 9 months, so we’ll go out on the motorbike and drive up to Miami or Key Biscayne and explore the different areas. There are so many things to do that we don’t need a vacation – every day is a vacation!
Q: A motorbike?!
Caroline: Yes. It’s a passion of ours. My husband drives while I’m the passenger. We have a Yamaha Road Star Warrior touring bike. Last Sunday we actually rode to Coconut Grove and Pinecrest, but we also like to adventure up to Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach.
One day our dream is to head out to California and ride up the coast from LA or San Francisco and then ride up to Vancouver to see the Redwood Forest. That may not happen for a while, but one day!