Originally from Bulgaria, Alex joined the Kokomo Private Island team as Spa and Wellness Manager in December 2022. A practitioner and leader with over 15 years’ experience in the luxury hospitality and wellness industries, Alex has dedicated his career to creating authentic wellness experiences and cultivating environments that encourage holistic wellbeing. His passion at Kokomo Island is building unique guest wellness experiences imbued with a true sense of place; inspired by the island’s traditional healing powers and cultural traditions, and complemented by the world’s best practice treatments and therapies.
From early age, Alex’s passion for travelling and immersing in local cultures introduced him to the great traditions of Asia. His journey into healing and bodywork has taken him to Thailand, Maldives, Laos, Cambodia, Bhutan and Indonesia, where Alex was trained in key healing therapies and modalities. A leader in his field, he was for six years the Spa and Wellness Manager for the Aman group, working across destinations from France, Montenegro and Greece to Indonesia and Cambodia. Prior to this, he worked as a therapist and practitioner for Como Hotels and Six Senses.
At Kokomo Private Island, Alex manages the spa and builds its program of visiting and in-house experts and therapists. One of his key motivations is the sharing of knowledge, and he spends much of his time on island working with the spa team, both training them in the integrated bodywork, osteothai massage, reflexology and balancing therapies for which he has become renowned, and also learning about the plant-based, time-honoured local healing traditions that have flourished in the surrounding Yaukuve Islands.
Alex’s vision for the Kokomo Private Island guest wellness journey is for everyone’s experience to be unique, bespoke, restorative and to ensure they leave the island feeling nourished in mind, body and spirit.
Q&A with our Kokomo Family – Alexander Ivanov, Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary Manager
What does it take to create a world-class spa?
Apart from the obvious - great location, spa facilities, varied treatment offerings and high-quality skincare products, the spa team is integral to bringing everything together in providing world-class service. A highly skilled and knowledgeable team can create a nurturing and relaxing atmosphere that makes our guests feel comfortable and cared for – and that’s exactly what we’ve done at Yaukuave Spa Sancutary.
What is the “new” you have brought to the Yaukuve Spa menu?
Starting at Kokomo in early 2023, Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary was already set up beautifully – but there were some minor changes and updates that I wanted to implement. In April, we updated the spa menu and included several new treatments such as Traditional Thai Massage, Reflexology, and Hot Stone Massage. In the coming months, you will see the spa introduce locally inspired treatments that utilise local herbs and traditional techniques from the Pacific region.
Our visiting practitioners will begin in June and first off the ranks will be Yoga, Naturopath and Nutrition expert Alexandra Owen who will take guests on overall health and wellbeing journey’s. In July we will welcome Dr. Buathon Thienarrom who specialises in Sound and Energy Healing as well as Meditation.
Throughout the year, we will be treating our guests to exclusive collaborations with world-class wellness brands, alongside hosting events and retreats.
Quality products are imperative to creating quality treatments. What’s your philosophy when it comes to selecting products and treatments at Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary?
At Yaukuve spa sanctuary, we focus on offering natural and holistic wellness experiences, which means the products we use and treatments we offer must align with our philosophy – no exceptions! Right from the beginning, we established a strong partnership with Sodashi, a globally renowned luxury skincare brand from Australia that uses only natural ingredients and pure botanical extracts.
Overall health and wellbeing is on the rise as a key driver to a holiday. How do you think a spa treatment can improve someone’s holiday mood?
In recent years, there has been a noticeable positive shift towards prioritising health and wellbeing. Many people have started taking better care of themselves and this has led to an increase in demand for wellness offerings as part of one’s holiday.
Spa treatments, including massages, body treatments and facials, offer a much-needed pause and usually involve touch. When carried out with skill and intention, touch can have a significant impact on mood and wellbeing. It can reduce stress, relieve pain, and improve sleep – ultimately promoting deep relaxation and enhancing overall wellbeing.
At Kokomo, we recognise that wellness is a crucial component of our guests' stay, along with the sun, sea, and beach activities that we offer.