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Sensei Appoints New General Manager and Retreat Directors to Highly-Anticipated Rancho Mirage and Lāna’i Properties

20 June 2022
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Annika Jackson, Michael Conte and Catherine Phillips Bring Years of Wellness and Luxury Hospitality Experience to Both Sensei Properties

Annika Jackson
Michael Conte
Catherine Phillips

Sensei, the leading wellness brand, has announced the appointment of Annika Jackson as General Manager and Michael Conte as Retreat Director of the highly anticipated Sensei Porcupine Creek, opening this fall. The brand has also appointed Catherine Phillips as Retreat Director at Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, the brand’s first retreat location. Each of these three leaders bring extensive experience in the world of health, wellness and hospitality to the rapidly-growing wellbeing brand, founded by tech pioneer Larry Ellison and world-leading physician and scientist Dr. David Agus.

“As Sensei expands with the upcoming opening of Sensei Porcupine Creek later this year, it was crucial to us to find talent that complements our property leadership teams,” said Kevin Kelly, CEO of Sensei. “Annika’s international spa and wellness experience, as well as Michael, and Catherine as Retreat Directors provide a fresh perspective, numerous years of relevant professional experience, knowledge and passion for health and wellness that align with the ethos of the Sensei brand.”

Sensei Porcupine Creek – Palm Springs Hotel – Tanveer Badal Photography

Annika Jackson

Annika Jackson recently joined Sensei as General Manager of Sensei Porcupine Creek, currently heading up the pre-opening efforts and once the resort is open, will lead the management team at the property. Jackson brings both domestic and international luxury hospitality experience. She has previously served as General Manager at the renowned L’Auberge de Sedona and served as Vice President & Managing Director at Enchantment Group. Annika first became seriously involved with spa development in 2000 when joining the Enchantment Group in Arizona to develop the Mii amo, an award winning destination spa resort at Enchantment in Sedona, Arizona. In more recent years, Jackson has been based in her native country, Sweden, where she was the Managing Director at Raison d’Etre based in Stockholm. Raison d’Etre is a leader in creating some of the most well-known Spa & Wellness Brands around the world with a client list such as Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and its sister company Six Senses Resorts & Spas. Annika is looking forward to becoming an active and contributing member of the Rancho Mirage community and engaging with destination marketing organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Visit Greater Palm Springs, as well as local philanthropic organizations. 

Michael Conte

With more than 15 years of experience in the wellness industry, Michael Conte joins the highly-anticipated Sensei Porcupine Creek as Retreat Director where he will manage a team of highly specialized Sensei Guides and wellness practitioners. Prior to joining the executive team at Sensei, Conte’s long-standing career in the California hospitality industry includes serving as the Director of Spa and Wellness for Meadowood Napa Valley, Director of Spa at Montage Resort in Laguna Beach and also opened the Spa at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, all of which achieved consistent five-star ratings by Forbes Travel Guide under his leadership. In his early career, Conte followed his passion for wellness to Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego where he graduated as a Holistic Health Practitioner before going on to become one of the top massage therapists in Orange County. In addition to his professional work, Conte partners with the non-profit organization Greet the Day that provides free spa treatments to individuals fighting cancer as well as other organizations including the ISPA association, Global Mentorship Organization and has served on the Forbes Travel Guide Standards Advisory Board.

Catherine Phillips

At Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort, Catherine Phillips is the new Retreat Director bringing more than 25 years of luxury and wellness experience to the property. Phillips has managed luxury operations for large-scale hotel groups including Marriott International and its Ritz-Carlton brand, as well as various independent hoteliers in California, England and the Caribbean. Phillips holds qualifications in hospitality management, holistic health, meditation, massage therapy, cosmetology and aesthetics, including luxury skincare training in Switzerland. Having grown up visiting family on Moloka’i, Phillips has a strong tie to the Hawaiian islands offering a unique perspective that is pertinent to leading the retreat on Lāna’i. In her free time, Phillips regularly volunteers for community outreach programs, wellness initiatives and animal welfare.

Sensei Porcupine Creek – Tanveer Badal Photography

For more information or to book your stay, visit sensei.com.