Meet Our New Spa Director – Hillie Bills!


1. Give us a little history abut yourself. Where are you from?

Im from upstate New York, but spent a lot of my childhood living in Europe where my father worked.

2. Why did you choose a career in the spa industry?

Many years ago when I was living in New York, I began working with nutritionists and body workers in order to seek the best treatment for my own wellbeing. I found myself so interested in information about health and wellness that my focus eventually expanded. What started out as a personal project ultimately turned into a professional career in the spa industry.

Working in this field has led me to believe that an approach based purely on scientific data or acquiring factual information is just one small part of our overall health.  So much of our general well-being is a result of our attitude and behaviors.  Negative self worth leads to stress hormones stress hormones lead to illness. Helping people ease into a positive mind frame is so rewarding to me and is one of my favorite things about working in this business.

3. What brought you out to Marathon?

I drove through West Texas a year and a half ago, and I knew it was the place for me.   My main artistic pursuits outside work are writing songs about cowboys and watching Spaghetti Westerns. Marathon was a perfect fit for my creative life, but what sealed the deal for me was the opportunity to direct the Gage Spa and continue working in the wellness field.

4. How do you like Marathon, TX and the Gage Hotel?

It was love at first sight. Im still in the honeymoon phase and expect that phase to last for a very long time. Im originally from a very small river town on the East Coast.  Subtract the fishing boats and add tumbleweeds, and its pretty much the same place. Needless to say, I feel at home here and the people at the Gage Hotel feel like family to me.

5. How does the Gage Spa compare to other places you have worked?

Ive worked in some very busy places.  In the spa industry we emphasize the cultivation of down-time, balance and stopping to smell the roses.  Following a relaxing treatment at many spas, spa professionals release their clients back into the hectic and frantic grind of every day life.    

At the Gage Spa, I enjoy the experience of providing high-quality services to clients in an exquisitely peaceful environment, and then sending them off into the gorgeous, quiet calm of West Texas.  The combination of such a tranquil spa setting and the natural beauty surrounding us amplifies the benefits of their treatments.  

And the best part for me is that I get to live in this idyllic atmosphere, too! At the Gage Spa, it doesnt feel like a job that I clock in and out of.

6. What services are currently offered at the spa?

Massage, body treatments, skincare treatments and Bridal Hair and Make-up.

I still believe fully in the importance of touch in the spa world, and therefore we dont use any tools or big equipment. Theres a general trend in the spa industry to rely heavily on machinery.  I think we lose something there.  Im happy to be in such a traditional spa where the hands do the work.

7. What changes have you made so far to the spa at the Gage Hotel?

My focus has been on the many little things that add to the greater spa experience, including creating a space and amenity offerings that rival offerings at large destination spas.

Guests now have many more options of treatments including the ability to lounge in your spa robe while drinking our signature organic tea, indulging in a foot soak, having makeup applied after a facial and before dinner, requesting in-room massages and more. Those kind of personalized experiences were important for me to implement at the Gage Spa and guests have loved them.

8. What changes do you see in the future of the spa?

Many!  The Spa is so beautifully designed, all of our guests comment on how much they love the space.  We are looking to take that idea and to expand it so that more time can be spent lounging and soaking in the experience.  

Ultimately Id love for the spa gardens to be somewhat self-sustaining in terms of offering people spa-oriented meals or juices in the midst of a day-long package.  We are becoming more wellness-oriented, which will allow for weekend retreats for folks from the city who are trying to reorient their health on a number of levels.

We are also exploring the idea of incorporating more hydrotherapy elementsbasically adding more water features and activities to the spa, especially since were in an arid climate.  Between the water and plant-based options on the horizon for us, I believe our spa will soon be considered the premiere oasis in West Texas!

9. How do you want customers to feel upon arriving and leaving the Gage Hotel Spa?

Embraced and balanced, respectively.

Gage Spa