Nigel Franklyn: Creating Mindful Luxury
Trusting his instincts, he’s reenergized the world’s finest spas and hotels into “result retreats.”
Life events often create life missions for creative people; their work becoming a process of discovery and purpose. Such is the case for internationally renowned “Spa Whisperer” Nigel Franklyn. A particularly soulful treatment session at an Atlanta spa awakened in him the desire to share just how emotionally powerful and healing the spa journey can be. He set off to change the way they operate, one luxurious location at a time.
Life Event #1 – Emotional Chaos
The youngest of six children, Franklyn began British life surrounded by siblings and enjoying his creative talents. At 14, his beloved mother passed away and his world was thrown into emotional chaos. The sensitive child felt lost for many years, struggling to heal. When he finally came through to the other side he felt grateful for having lived it. It gifted him with a unique spiritual empathy that would ultimately revolutionize an industry.
The Road to Spa-dom
Franklyn originally wanted a career as an actor, and his good looks would be no hindrance to that. After studying English and journalism at the university he set off for America working as a sought-after model before switching back to journalism, writing travel articles for various publications. He was on assignment just outside Atlanta, Georgia when his life took another dramatic turn.
Life Event #2 – Emotional Surrender
Tasked with writing about a luxury spa, he decided to indulge in a treatment there. During this treatment, he made a real connection with the therapist whose name he will never forget. Margaret, through her care and warmth, provided the most amazing emotional transformation of his life. He felt safe and wanted; completely surrendering to the healing power of the spa experience Margaret provided. He knew immediately his career was about to change. He surrendered to that as well.
Sharing the Experience
His mission was now to share the power of that emotional experience and teach spas how to recreate it. It was a completely new idea. Spas at that time were basically run like corporations; franchises offering massages and makeup sessions. Many were built into the basements of hotels as an afterthought and a perk to appease angry guests. Franklyn began his career at the smaller spas whose managers had no idea of their healing potential.
“People have very specific visions and concepts, but often they don’t lend themselves to a purposeful experience, just a well-designed building,” says Franklyn in an interview with asiaSpa, “But clarity and knowledge are what create movement. Spas, more than most spaces, need soul, energy, and purpose.”
A Vision Manifested
The goal for Franklyn was lifting the guest experience to a level of mindfulness and healing relaxation they’ve never known before. Massages are great but they are one-dimensional. The spa experience should be the multi-dimensional experience of a lifetime enveloping all the senses. He argued it was possible and showed them how to do it.
He transformed corporate spa service menus into luxurious, sensual experiences filled with tranquility and empathy. He reminded spa therapists why they chose their careers: to help people. He showed them the path back to their original intent and made thousands of spa workers love their jobs again. By transforming office-like spas into luscious, restorative retreats, Franklyn became a rock star in the spa industry.
The Spa Whisperer
Developing his vision organically, Franklyn created a unique style to his spa reorganizing. He doesn’t walk in with a business plan all laid out in advance. He enters the spa like a guest and feels his way through the needed changes. Within a few weeks Franklyn is able to envision the necessary changes. His successful transformations became legendary and requests for his services came from all over the world.
To solidify his place as the man who taught the spa how to spa, he chose the moniker “The Spa Whisperer.” No one in the industry could argue. They were too busy enjoying the wild success his changes brought.
Merging Mindfulness with Profit
Standing in the middle between the soulfulness of a spa retreat and the profit that must be made as a business, Franklyn is tasked by his clients to make these things symbiotic. His success and client list indicates he can. By providing guests with empathetic, safe spaces to recover from the pressures and dramas of life he helps spas embody what they before only implied. Retail products are offered as a plus-service instead of a sales quota that must be met. Doing this cultivates a mindful atmosphere for the client, stripping away the corporate pitch in favor of genuine care. The mind-blowing luxe surroundings don’t hurt, either.
Life Event #3 – Whirlwind Success
As a result of his unique conceptual take on what a spa should be, Franklyn spends his days traveling the world, “whispering” in exotic locales like the Philippines, Venice, and Dubai. He is part of an amazing development team at the Georges V Hotel Spa in Paris and the famously luxe Amon Spas located all over the world. When he does take a vacation it’s to his own home in San Francisco. About a month later he can be seen running through the airport on his next whispering adventure.
“I am living my dream, not because of the places I see, but because this is my absolute, genuine passion,” Franklyn tells Business Insider. “The spa industry and well-being and healing are things that fill my soul — the level of luxury and beauty I am blessed to spend my life in is a byproduct of something that is much, much more grounded and rooted at my core.”
Some of his latest endeavors include a new line of wellness products Moss of the Isles created by him and three friends and wellness experts. They are currently at The Floating Spa in Monkey Island estates and also at Douro41 in Portugal where he is also doing development consulting.
He has also been working on a consulting project in India – a first-of-its-kind luxury Ayurvedic medical retreat in Goa called King’s Mansion that is a truly innovative approach to Ayurvedic philosophies and is currently receiving a lot of press. It is a balance of innovative science and historical practices and philosophies and is due to open late 2020.
Nigel’s approach to discovering new treatments around the world, and his adventures to find them is incredibly inspiring. He actually had a tv show called “Nigel’s Last Resort” and is currently in discussion to create something similar. Click here to check it out. Nigel truly infuses his life with his spa design and development and is a true wellness warrior.
By single-handedly refitting an entire industry with spirituality, Franklyn has revolutionized the spa forever. Never again will you be regulated to the basement masseuse for a cookie-cutter massage. So, the next time you have a mind-blowing, multi-sensory, emotionally healing time at your spa, remember to whisper a heartfelt thank you to Nigel Franklyn, the man who made it all possible. Learn more at thespawhisperer.com.