Lara Davidson is the spa director at The Spa at Pebble Beach, a five-star spa nestled in the heart of Pebble Beach Resorts that boasts once-in-a-lifetime experiences for guests. Learn about Lara Davidson…
Hometown: Austin, TX
First job: The restaurant in a bowling alley across the street from my high school. I learned to cook and the diverse cast of characters who bowled every week provided me with a crash course in psychology.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Hiking, baking bread and playing Rummikub with my family.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Achieving five stars with Forbes Travel Guide for eight years in a row. Most of our team has worked together for 10 to 20 years. I am proud of our team for consistently finding ways to maintain and improve our service.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: I opened the first Golden Door Resort Spa in Puerto Rico in 1998. A month after I moved there, Hurricane Georges decimated the island. We had no power for a month and no water for a week. I had a one-year-old baby and a spa to open. We mobilized our team to create treatment rooms out of hotel rooms so that we could keep our team working while we finished rebuilding the Spa.
Someone who inspires you and why: Tara Grodjesk, founder of Tara Spa Therapy. Tara is one of the visionaries in the industry. She works tirelessly to improve the spa industry through Green Spa Network, the Northern California Spa Association and the International Spa Association. She created many of the products now considered standard for spa treatment rooms and continues to evolve her products to improve spas everywhere.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: It is important to really understand what your team does every day, whether it is working in the locker room or at the front desk. Being a massage therapist, esthetician or other service provider is not a requirement, but it certainly helps when working with your team and with guests.
Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I have a degree in English and African American Studies from Columbia University
What makes someone fabulous: A positive attitude and a warm smile.