Spa Review: The Bermudian Willow Stream Spa

Still, Schmidt was intrigued enough to jet off to Bermuda for an interview. What he discovered there was one of Fairmont’s original Willow Stream spas (branded as such in 2002), perched regally above the resort’s 18-hole golf course, and framed by a pink-sand beach and the dazzling aquamarine-blue sea beyond.

But Schmidt also discovered a major obstacle to making this big move: immigration. Bermuda is a British territory and, as a potential ex-pat, Schmidt found that
securing employment there would present a challenge, as Bermudian applicants would be the first-tier choice for employers. And, as it turned out, the assistant director position in question subsequently became unavailable to him. Thwarted, he returned to the States and took on a long-term consulting contract to rebrand a domestic spa.

Months later, in the fall of 2011, Schmidt received another call from Bermuda: The position of spa director at the Willow Stream would be opening up at the end of the year. This time, Schmidt didn’t hesitate to express his interest and, after a series of interviews with corporate and property leaders, received his highly anticipated offer letter in early December 2011.

But there were more hurdles to clear.

“Accepting the terms of the offer began the immigration process, which involved gathering a litany of documentation for both myself and my wife declaring the states of our health, criminal status, moral fortitude, professional history, training, education, citizenship status, marital commitment and more,” Schmidt recounts. “The process entailed the investment of hundreds and hundreds of dollars in fees, postage, phone bills and notary services, and countless hours per week.”
After nearly three grueling months, Schmidt finally did receive a three-year permit to work as director of the Bermuda spa.