Every time I visit the spa at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, reveling in the exquisitely luxurious space under the hands of gifted professional therapists, I’m reminded not only of how lucky we all are to have this A-list resort in our midst but how often I should return. And every time I spend any amount of time with spa director Timothy Williams, I’m reminded that all good chi flows from the top. It’s no wonder the spa here is such a class act—the man at the helm is first-rate all the way.
Born in the Steeler country of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—and still a raving fan—Tim grew up the youngest of nine siblings, and says he’s learned most of what he knows from his parents, both of whom were teachers. He graduated with a criminology pre-law bachelor’s degree from Indiana University but decided soon after his internship with the district attorney’s office that he much preferred the hospitality industry. Tim began his career with Marriott at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, but soon determined he’d had his fill of winter and moved to Florida. There he ran the Sawgrass Marriott Cabana Club on Ponte Vedra Beach, until he left a year later to operate the luxury fitness spa—50,000 square feet of oceanfront space; 1200 spa members (including Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Madonna)—at Eden Roc Renaissance in Miami Beach. After more than a dozen years in that spot, he migrated to management at the Williams Island Spa & Club in a luxe homeowners community in Aventura, Florida, before returning to Eden Roc to assist ownership and the Hearst Magazine Company in the creation of the world’s first ELLE spa. This innovative concept was deemed “Best New Spa in the World” by Condé Nast magazine in 2011.
Ultimately, Florida’s loss was California’s gain when Tim went west. “The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Rancho Mirage is probably one of the most beautiful and well-designed spas in our entire Ritz-Carlton portfolio,” says Tim, adding that while he chose to maintain a second home in Florida, he is enjoying spending his free time exploring all the beauty the Golden State has to offer. “I’m an avid hiker, biker, camper, skier, and wilderness explorer. I love the convenience of the airport, and plan to continue to take the opportunity to visit cities and countries on this side of the world as often as possible.”
As for the top five things Tim loves about his job, number one—collectively—are the ladies and gentlemen with whom he works. The ambiance of the spa environment—“the intoxicating aromas, the soft music, the healthy spa unique offerings, all so different from a ‘normal’ work environment”—come in second. Third is creativity. “Who else can say they created a massage in a hammock,” says Tim. Fourth is the opportunity to create guest experiences and events that he hopes will remain in their memory forever. And fifth? Must you ask? “Spa treatments!” he exclaims. Need I say more?” www.ritzcarlton.com/ranchomirage