An aerial view over the Bear Mountain golf course. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sante Spa to close after lease not renewed by Westin Bear Mountain hotel

President of Sante Spa Victoria ‘shocked’ by notice

After 13 years of operation, Sante Spa Victoria closes its doors at the end of the month after receiving a notice from the new owner of the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa that the spa’s lease would not be renewed.

The notice was unexpected according to Kent MacIntyre, president of Sante Spa Victoria, and he says opening in a new location won’t be easy.

“We’re shocked and dumbfounded,” MacIntyre said.

The spa was in the middle of negotiating a new 10-year lease with the hotel, which was bought in July by local entrepreneur and businessman Raoul Malak.

READ ALSO: Westin Bear Mountain hotel sold to local businessman and entrepreneur

MacIntyre said the two parties had agreed on financial terms in September and were just in the process of formalizing legal paperwork for the lease.

Brian Harrington, general manager for the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa, said the spa’s lease had expired and was in a month-to-month stage. Instead of renewing it, the hotel decided it will operate the spa after renovating and rebranding.

“We just looked at it as a great business opportunity to continue to build our brand at the resort,” Harrington said. The hotel plans to keep the spa closure to a minimum and will be hiring for all positions.

After a meeting with the hotel on Sunday, MacIntyre said employees were notified of the closure and handed their notices. Moving to a new location at this point would be problematic, he said, with too many logistics required to be up and running right away.

“We have all the equipment but finding a new place on such short notice requires negotiating a new lease, drawing out plans, getting approvals and building a space for the spa,” MacIntyre said. “It would probably be a year-long project before we’re up and running again.”

READ ALSO: Best of the West Shore Awards winners announced

Sante Spa Victoria is an award-winning spa that has won Top 50 Spas in Canada, Destination Spa of the Year in North America, Top 100 Spas of America, Best of the City and Best of the WestShore. MacIntyre said the team has been proud to be part of a community that is so supportive.

“We regret the impact to our guests and the very loyal clientele we’ve had over the years,” MacIntyre said. “We regret closing but we don’t have any choice in the matter … we really appreciate the support of the community.”

The last day spa services will be provided is Nov. 17. The last day the spa will be open to the public is Nov. 27. Sante Spa gift cards can continue to be used for services until Nov. 17 and retail purchases until Nov. 27. They may also be presented in person at the spa for a refund cheque to be issued.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


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