Emma Barnett: Essential Escapes

Focus: Spa holiday operator

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Emma Barnett
: 31
Company: Essential Escapes

Barnett’s former publishing employers couldn’t have expected to send her exploring the world’s greatest spa hotels and not get a taste for it. That’s what happened and in 2002, along with solicitor sister Deborah, 33, and private equity entrepreneur Jonathan Brod, she started Essential Escapes, the UK’s first dedicated luxury spa operator. Growth has been organic and self-financed, and turnover will break the £1m mark this year, doubling in 2006. With packages averaging £2,500 per person but rising to £15,000, and a database of 3,500 names, Barnett insists the company has plenty of potential left to exploit.

2017 update:

Barnett remains as managing director of Essential Escapes, which continues to update its programme of spa breaks, with a range of fitness, detox, weight and luxury holidays around the world.

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