Stephen Joynes MBE is the chairman and owner of Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort, which has just won “England’s Leading Resort” at the World Travel Awards. Set in idyllic rural Staffordshire, the luxury spa resort is the favourite hang-out of an array of celebrities including Catherine Zeta Jones, Clive Owen, Robbie Williams and Girls Aloud.Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort has recently undergone a further £15m expansion, propelling it into the spa super-league. New features include a 26-metre salt water pool with four spa pools, a relaxation cave, aqua massage centre, detox steam sauna, saunarium, rest areas, gym extension, new aerobic studio, yoga suite, squash court and softball games area.
The road to the top for Stephen Joynes has been an inspiring one. Born to working class parents in a terraced house in Walsall, his first business was a mobile fish and chip van which he bought as a teenager for £120.
He went into the hotel business with the purchase of a small guest house which he later turned into a 15-bedroom hotel and, later a private school which he turned into a 60-bedroom hotel.
From then on he didn’t look back, buying Baron’s Court hotel in Walsall, converting it into a 100-bedroom hotel with a health hydro and conference rooms which he then sold for £8.5 million.
In 1989 Stephen bought Hoar Cross Hall for nearly £1.5 million and spent three years restoring the Grade II listed red brick mansion to its former glory.
Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort was launched a year later with 120 bedrooms and today, along with its recently launched adjoining £12 million Eden Day Spa, attracts 1,800 guests a week. It combines relaxation with fine dining, sumptuous surrounds, optional exercise, beauty treatments and hydrotherapy pools, and employs 500 people.
Stephens talks to BTN on Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort’s victory at the World Travel Awards European Ceremony in AquaCity, Poprad, Slovakia.
BTN: Congratulations on the winning “England’s Leading Resort”. What makes Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort a cut above the rest?
SJ: It’s the only spa resort in a stately home in England - a paradise setting in beautiful countryside.
BTN: How do you think winning the award will help?
SJ: It gives us even more recognition as a worldwide leading resort and confirms to our guests that they are correct with their constant congratulations. It also encourages new guests to book soon.
BTN: Describe the Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort experience?
SJ: It’s a wonderful escape from normal routine life. Happiness, relaxation and total enjoyment in sumptuous surroundings at fair and reasonable prices.
BTN: What are your ambitions for the resort?
SJ: To continue enhancing its wonderful amenities and to keep our lovely guests and staff happy.
BTN: How do you see the global downturn impacting your business? And how do you propose to meet the challenges?
SJ: Our wonderful guests are reacting to the global down turn by escaping to us more often (our numbers are increasing). It’s much easier and faster to
obtain quick relaxation in the heart of England not far from the M6 motorway
links, than to holiday abroad especially with the pound dropping against the
BTN: What do you see as your biggest areas of growth? And what and where are the new markets for your business?
SJ: Residential stays and day guest visits are our biggest growth. We are
continually adding new exciting treatments, there is always a buzz of
happiness combined with total relaxation here at Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort.
BTN: Hoar Cross Hall Spa Resort is a great favourite with celebs. Can you pick out any favourites and why?
SJ: Our regular celebrity guests include the lovely Claire Sweeney, Jane
MacDonald, Julie Goodyear, Angela Griffiths, Coleen Rooney, Abbey Clancy & handsome Peter Crouch, Simon Gregson (Steve MacDonald in Coronation Street), Andrew Flintoff, Nick Hancock. They are treated as celebrity guests in a celebrity environment, the Stately Home appeals to them and rewards their success.
BTN: What are currently the favourite spa treatments?
SJ: We have many, many favourite spa treatments including; total holistic
body treatments with hot stones, frangipani body nourish wrap, full body
aromatic massages, deluxe anti-aging facials, anti wrinkle and firming
facials, facial lifting treatments, stress easing with an aromatic body