Chantal’s in control

by Aug 25, 2022People

A white lab coat, gloves, protective goggles, and a hair net are all part of Chantal Williams’ uniform at work. She’s a product controller at Moon Palace Jamaica’s 35,000-square-feet Awe Spa, the largest in the Caribbean. Safety standards are never compromised and except for her and her co-worker, no one is allowed inside their work space without permission.

Chantal Williams sporting all the protective gear she dons each day as a product controller in Moon Palace’s Jamaica’s Awe Spa.

Williams is integral to ensuring that guests who visit the spa’s 23 luxurious service cabins for pampering have a pleasant and safe experience. In peak season there can be more than 200 services provided each day. Before they begin, she carefully weighs and packages products into colour-coded containers that provide a clear road map for spa therapists as they cater to guests’ every whim. Williams also has to have at her fingertips product ingredients, the pH balance, and potential allergic reactions.

The role is very different from what she initially thought it would be like to be part of the tourism industry.

In 2017 she tried to get a job at the front desk at Moon Palace Jamaica, but there was no vacancy at the Ocho Rios property. Instead she was offered a position as a hydrotherapy valet at the Awe Spa. She had never been to a spa before and had never heard of the role, but she took the job. She was a quick learner and by the second month guests were singing her praises.

That was the beginning of her journey into non-traditional jobs within the tourism sector and she hasn’t looked back.

Before being promoted to product controller, Chantal Williams was a hydrotherapy valet with the Awe Spa.

As a hydrotherapy valet, Williams’ job was to set the stage for what was to come as guests are pampered during sessions that can last up to an hour and 20 minutes. She would welcome them and guide them through the various stages of the procedure, ensuring their safety and comfort at all times. She was, essentially, a private butler to guests on their “water journey” at the Awe Spa.

“Hydrotherapy is a heating, cooling, relaxing, and rehydrating of the body,” Williams explains as the soothing sound of water filled the spa during a recent visit.

As a hydrotherapy valet, she had to learn everything from the correct temperatures for each procedure to how to effectively communicate the technical aspects of the treatment to guests. Training was provided by team members who flew in from the Mexico, where Moon Palace Resort has its headquarters.

“Every six months you would find them coming in to train us… [to let us know] if there are any changes, so we can… tell the guests,” says Williams.

Chantal Williams (right) and Manager of Moon Palace Jamaica’s Awe Spa, Francine Pinnock-Gordon.

She thoroughly enjoyed the role but eventually mastered it and asked her supervisor Francine Pinnock-Gordon for another challenge.

She listened, and in 2021 Williams was promoted to product controller at the spa.

That meant another round of extensive training.

In addition to the two months of training she received to become a product controller, she received on-the-job training from a colleague and there is also a huge manual she may refer to at any time.

“The training is reinforced every four months. So they make sure that we are up to par because I really have to know the ingredient base in the products, just in case a guest is having an issue, and understand the pH and so forth. It’s really like a pharmacy,” she says.

WILLIAMS… the tourism industry has evolved over time

Unlike when she first applied to Moon Palace, Williams now knows that the tourism sector is much more than working at the front desk.

“The tourism industry has evolved over time… Who would have thought that you would have a product controller at a spa!” she says, still in awe after months in the role.

For anyone interested in being a part of the sector, she encourages them to explore all the possibilities. 

“You just need to do your research, and once you have the mindset just go for it,” she says. “Once you crave learning, once you crave success and you want to be a better version of yourself, the tourism industry is the right place for you to spread your wings.”


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