#1 Wellness Tips and Bucket List Destinations Recommended by our Judges

Wellness Tips Travel Judges - Destination Deluxe
Our Destination Deluxe Awards are evaluated by a group of well-respected industry experts. We caught up with them to get their take on wellness and their must-visit destinations

Our wonderful panel of industry judges make up a big part of the Destination Deluxe Awards as they evaluate the entries and select the winners each year. Here, our 18 judges shed some light on their #1 wellness tips and the destinations we should place on our bucket lists now.

Check out all the 2021 Finalists here

 

Belgin Aksoy - Destination Deluxe

Belgin Askoy
Founder of Global Wellness Day 

Belgin Aksoy received her degree from Institute Hotelier Cesar Ritz in Switzerland and has been in the tourism and hotel industry for 25 years. With 16 years in the wellness industry, her mission is to create a physically, mentally and spiritually better world for years to come. Aksoy is the founder of Global Wellness Day. With the slogan “One day can change your whole life!”, GWD is celebrated across the globe in thousands of locations with complimentary activities on the second Saturday of June every year. In 2016, the Global Wellness Summit honored her with the “Leading Woman in Wellness” award. In 2019, Belgin Aksoy was selected as the first non-French person to receive the “Personality of the Year” award by La Fédération des Professionnels du Bienêtre.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness for me has always not been a luxury but the inherent right of every individual.

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Jordan, Japan, Iceland.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Live every single day to the fullest.

4. What’s your mission?
My mission is to enhance wellness across the globe for generations to come.

 

See also: 17 Wellness Trends for 2022

 

Gerry Bodeker - Destination Deluxe

Gerry Bodeker
Chair of Mental Wellness Initiative of Global Wellness Institute

A Harvard-trained public health academic, Professor Gerry Bodeker researches and advises on integrative medicine and wellness. He has researched and taught in medical sciences at Oxford University for two decades, is adjunct professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, and works with the private sector, governments and the UN advising on culturally-themed wellness strategies. He has specialized in Asian traditions of medicine and healthy lifestyles, including the study of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. He has published widely, including the following books: The World Health Organization Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Public Health and Policy Perspectives on Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Understanding the Global Spa Industry; and Mental Wellness: Pathways, Evidence and Horizons. He is a co-editor and co-author of two books currently in press on healthy aging and wellness in Asia, one with the Asian Development Bank and the other to be published by Taylor & Francis in the US. Gerry currently serves as chair of the Mental Wellness Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute and is chairman of the Oxford-based Global Initiative For Traditional Systems of Health (GIFTS of Health).” 

 1. What does wellness mean to you? 
Living a fulfilled life, working on my own health and growth every day, being connected with a wider purpose, and helping others find meaningful paths to living a long and fulfilling life. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list? 
Joali Being, Maldives; Ayus Wellness, Mulu, Malaysian Borneo; Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand; Bawah Reserve, Indonesia.   

3. Your #1 wellness tip
Meditate. I learned Transcendental Meditation in 1974 and have been doing it twice daily since then. It is the foundation of everything I do and, in addition to enhancing brain capacity and creativity, aligns one with the flow and positive direction of life so that much is achieved with least effort.   

4. What’s your mission? 
Through generating and sharing knowledge about natural approaches to healthcare and healing, do something good for humanity and leave something behind when I go.

 

Johnny Chang Spa - Destination DeluxeJohnny Chang
Founder & CEO of Spa Solutions Shanghai

Founder and CEO of Spa Solutions Shanghai, Johnny Chang is a popular strategist and has more than 25 years of experience in international hotel spas and imported spa product brands, successful branding and development experience in China. His company acts as a bridge between East and West, a development and success consultancy, offering all-round business strategy plans for spas and brands, and in-need training services to turn his clients’ passion into reality.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Understanding yourself. Everybody’s needs are unique. You will have to understand your needs before being able to make any physical and emotional change. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Australia, Greece and some other destinations in Asia. Somewhere peaceful and not too crowded. 

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Learning when to stop and smell the roses. Manage to reduce your stress levels all the time.

4. What is your mission?
To help our clients improve their sales results by teaching them how to reduce stress at work. Make them see that the performance level has so much to do with stress. 

 

Susie Ellis Destination Deluxe Awards Judge

Susie Ellis
Chair & CEO of Global Wellness Summit and Global Wellness Institute

Susie Ellis is the chair and CEO of the non-profit Global Wellness Institute, considered the industry’s leading global research and educational resource. She is also co-founder, chair and CEO of the Global Wellness Summit, an organization at the heart of the multitrillion-dollar global wellness economy focused on facilitating collaboration amongst industry thought leaders. Recognized as a leading authority on wellness trends, Ellis is a popular speaker at industry events. She sits on numerous academic and industry boards, including, the EHL – Swiss Hospitality Management School in Lausanne, the Aspen Brain Institute, the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics and was also a member of the World Economic Forum’s “Accelerating Health and Well-being Initiative.” She holds an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
At the Global Wellness Institute, we define wellness as “the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.” To me, there are two critical and unique aspects of this definition. First, wellness is not a passive or static state (it’s not reactive like traditional medicine focused on curing illness) – but is rather an always-evolving and active pursuit: a proactive and preventive approach to health driven by self-responsibility – so, all the choices and behaviors we can make to work toward better health and wellbeing. The second crucial aspect of wellness is that it’s a holistic concept: it’s far more than just physical health, and includes mental, emotional, spiritual/life meaning, social and environmental dimensions. The wellness concept is about acknowledging that all of these aspects are critical to human wellbeing and they need to work in harmony as much as possible. Wellness is a modern word and concept but its roots are ancient, and while it has recently come to be equated narrowly with a commercial market, it’s soul is that it’s a proactive, prevention-focused and holistic philosophy of health. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
I would like to experience one of the new Lanserhof’s in Germany and I look forward to the Chiva-Som in the Middle East. Also Euphoria in Greece. 

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Make healthy sleep a priority. 

4. What’s your mission? 
My mission is the same as the missions of the two organizations I founded, the non-profit, research-focused Global Wellness Institute (GWI) and the Global Wellness Summit (GWS). Both in different ways are all about empowering wellness worldwide by educating the public and private sectors about the dire need for more preventative approaches in health – and also to bring together leaders from around the world in the ever-widening wellness industry to connect, collaborate, shape and grow the wellness concept. We bring together industry leaders in many ways, from our major annual conference the Global Wellness Summit to the 25 industry initiatives on so many wellness topics/markets we have at the GWI. 

My mission through GWI is to provide the best possible research on wellness approaches and markets for free to all, so that the people can learn and the industry can grow. And a personal mission is to keep the wellness industry as “honest” and evidence-based as possible, which is why GWI created wellnessevidence.com, the only website that provides direct access to the world of medical studies for 25+ wellness approaches (from acupuncture to yoga)–whether the evidence is positive or negative. Chronic disease and poor mental health are soaring around the world, and the vast majority of these issues are preventable by adopting the core pillars of wellness: exercise, healthy food, sleep, stress-reduction, human connection and a healthy environment. My mission in a nutshell is the same as the GWI’s campaign “The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease” – to do everything I can to bring knowledge about preventative approaches to as many people as I can. 

 

Nigel Franklyn The Spa Whisperer - Destination Deluxe Awards

Nigel Franklyn
The Spa Whisperer – Co-Founder of Moss Wellness Consultancy

Known as The Spa Whisperer, Nigel Franklyn is a unique visionary and veteran of the global luxury spa industry, renowned for his innovative approach to both concept development and wellness design. Franklyn is also the co-founder of MOSS Wellness Consultancy and MOSS of the ISLES and has spent 20 years working extensively around the world with some of the most iconic luxury properties in the industry, including Four Seasons, George V, Paris, The Siam, Bangkok and Aman Resorts. Recently, he headed the re-development of the Medical Wellness and Medical Aesthetics Centres at Clinique La Prairie, Switzerland. His most recent project is as the lead development consultant for King’s Mansion: A luxury Ayurvedic retreat in India where he and his team have created an innovative collaboration of heritage, modern architecture and interior design, Ayurvedic traditions, state-of-the-art medical aesthetics and holistic wellbeing.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is amorphous; it means a million different things to a million different people. But for me, wellness is a commitment to do and be better – not just for myself, but in support of the people and the environment around me. I follow a path of conscious wellness, and to me, conscious wellness means understanding how my own wellbeing is woven into the fabric and balance of my physical, emotional, spiritual and literal landscapes. My career is built from a need to create access to wellness options and solutions for everyone and everything, and that need comes from my own connection to – and belief of – inclusive, conscious wellness. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Tromsø in Norway to see the Northern Lights. I have never seen them, and it has always been on my bucket list. I would also like to go back to Nepal and hike to Everest base camp. I’ve become increasingly interested in hiking since C19 – I’ve been hiking a lot through the Bavarian Alps during lockdown, and it’s something I want to continue to do, so my bucket list has changed to more challenging activities and destinations. 

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
MEDITATION! MEDITATION! MEDITATION! I have practiced Transcendental Meditation for 10 years, and it anchors me to my own foundational wellbeing. My #2 wellness tip is to shower in the dark once or twice a week. I’m a big fan of isolation tanks, and showering in the dark has been my isolation since lockdown.

4. What’s your mission?
I am a Co-founder of MOSS of the ISLES: a cruelty- and chemical-free line of therapeutic spa wellness products and treatments that support local Irish and British small-batch harvesters and promotes inclusive, conscious wellness. This is an important and passionate project for me because my mission is to find or create avenues of wellness that are accessible to everyone, and MOSS of the ISLES is a great vehicle for that.

 

Melisse Gelula Co-Founder Well+Good - Destination Deluxe

Melisse Gelula
Co-Founder of Well+Good

Melisse Gelula is an award-winning journalist and co-founder of Well+Good, a pioneering media company. She is one of the undisputed experts on wellness media and trends and has shared her expertise with Good Morning AmericaThe New York TimesForbes, and more. Melisse also has an extensive background in travel media, being the former editor-in-chief of SpaFinderLifestyle.com, beauty director at Luxury SpaFinder Magazine, and travel editor at Fodor’s Travel Publications. She is now advising wellness start-ups in tech, beauty, and mental health. Melisse currently also serves as a board advisor to the Global Wellness Institute.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Now, more than ever, it means making sure people have access to vaccination globally and that we support vaccination and protecting the health of each other as the foundation of wellness. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
I am always looking for places with strong outdoor fitness offerings. In the US, I’m currently doing a cycling (and spa) trip in the Oregon mountains and wine region and enjoying the Atticus Hotel in the Willamette Valley. I hope to be able to visit the Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa in Switzerland for the hiking and more hiking at Rosa Alpina, Italy (with a stop at the new Aman Venice). Aro Ha in New Zealand, has also been on my bucket list for a long time. 

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Make sure you’re giving your emotional and mental life as much support as your physical health. Most of us are nowhere in balance on this front. There are so many practices that support your mental wellness, things like walking in nature and meditation, that are free AND science-backed. (Check out the Mental Wellness Initiative for more info.) Therapy is also a form of wellness!

4. What’s your mission?
These days it’s focused on keeping misinformation out of wellness, helping democratize mental health access, and supporting wellness startups, particularly those founded by women of color.

 

Sue Harmsworth - Destination Deluxe

Susan Harmsworth
Founder of ESPA

Susan Harmsworth is an inspirational and visionary leader who, over the past 50 years, has shaped the spa industry as we know it today. She founded the global brand ESPA in 1993 and sold it in 2017. Harmsworth is responsible for the design of over 500 award-winning spas in 65 countries and for creating groundbreaking products, treatments and wellbeing programs globally. She has an MBE from the Queen for services to the spa and beauty industry, is a recipient of the ISPA Visionary Award, American Spa Industry Icon, and CEW’s achiever award. Harmsworth sits on the following Advisory Boards: Global Wellness Institute, AMAALA and Trivananda and the Forbes Standards Committee. She is currently advising owners and private equity on innovative new skincare concepts, aesthetics, wellness and medical destinations. She has set up the SATCC (Standards Authority for Touch in Cancer Care) to influence the spa and wellness industry’s training standards, so that those touched by cancer are able to source a qualified therapist for treatment.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me is holistically feeling mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually, happy, healthy and vital!

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
I’m rediscovering Europe and Scotland. I have no desire at the moment to travel long haul unless I have to!

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
One day at a time! We don’t know what is coming round the corner and probably can’t affect it, so worrying about what won’t ever happen is a waste of energy.

4. What is your mission?
To use learned wisdom to influence the young generation to value the simple things that surround us. To be socially responsible and to never stop learning.

 

Amanda Ho Regenerative Travel - Destination Deluxe

Amanda Ho
Co-Founder & Brand Director of Regenerative Travel 

Born and raised in New York, Amanda Ho is the co-founder and brand director of Regenerative Travel. Previously as the founder of a multi-media lifestyle publication, Amanda honed her craft as a storyteller, producer and creative strategist for luxury hospitality and real estate companies, tourism boards and lifestyle brands with a passion for sustainability.

1. What does wellness mean to you? 
Wellness to me is all about reflecting inward and being able to find stillness within and uncover those moments when you are most present and in tune with yourself. We easily get caught up in the business of our everyday lives and forget to make that time on a daily basis to sit with ourselves and sift through all of the thoughts and stories we create in our mind through our ego. There are so many opportunities through travel to have transformative moments that can allow you to connect to yourself in a deeper way through being in nature and disconnected from our phones. My daily practice is to remember to pause.

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
The number one destination on my bucket list right now is Bhutan! I’m excited about the first hotel we have in the country, Gangtey Lodge located in Phobjikha Valley (Gangtey). My personal interest in going there is in both the spiritual and the mystical allure of this kingdom.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
My number one wellness tip is to get enough sleep, take rest when you need it and to learn how to create that space for yourself. 

4. What’s your mission?
My mission is to change the way people travel. Travel used to be a cultural exchange, people to people, we traveled to discover a new place through interacting with people and sharing our cultures. Unfortunately, much of the travel industry has been disconnected to the people and the place. Regenerative Travel is building the framework for travel that brings a regenerative experience to the forefront, one that is non-extractive and inclusive, diverse and equitable. We are starting at the property level by bringing added value to the hoteliers who are dedicated to these values and promoting these types of travel experiences.

 

Juliet Kinsman Sustainability Editor for Condé Nast Traveller - Destination Deluxe

Juliet Kinsman
Sustainability Editor of Condé Nast Traveller and Founder of Bouteco

Sustainability Editor for Condé Nast Traveller, Juliet Kinsman’s recent book ‘The Green Edit: Travel, Easy Tips for the Eco-Friendly Traveller’ (published by Ebury) is the ideal companion for conscious consumers, forward-thinking hoteliers, and eco warriors hoping to make our travels a stronger force for good. Through her consultancy BOUTECO (a portmanteau of boutique and eco), she helps award-winning brands such as stand for something and stand out for it, helping them amplify messages that matter and celebrating the world’s best stylish, sustainable hotels. The founding editor of Mr & Mrs Smith and author of Louis Vuitton City Guides, luxury to her is the purveyors of it having a positive impact.

1. What does wellness mean to you? What’s your #1 wellness tip?
For me, wellness extends to wellbeing in every sense – and I think we’re understanding that good health means a better respect for nature in every regard. Wellness of course extends to the consideration of supporting better mental health in individuals through to elevating the wellness of whole communities and the world around us. I really look forward to observing a spa business that places a greater emphasis on purpose and impact in every way it can above and beyond profit. Those brands that stand for holistic wellness will need to walk this talk in the way they do business too, with a shift behind the scenes from what’s best for shareholders to showing a genuine respect for all stakeholders.

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
I’m currently writing a book on the ultimate eco bucket-list experiences, so I could dazzle you with so many suggestions of extraordinary escapes from Australia to Zambia. Personally, I have long been champing at the bit to get to Bhutan to experience culture and landscapes at their most undeveloped, and it’s giving me goosebumps – or chicken skin as I think it translates into in Spanish! – to picture time in the many eco lodges in Costa Rica’s Unesco-protected rainforest.

3. What is your mission?
My mission is to promote sustainable travel and hospitality and build awareness around it. Luckily, travel has slowed down, and all of us who work in this wonderful industry have been given time to pause and reflect. I don’t just think it will change to be more responsible, our entire sector has to change to be more sustainable and be considerate of what it’s doing to tackle the challenges facing people and planet. Consumers will also make their purchasing decisions based on sustainability credentials, too. Now that we’ve woken up to the climate emergency, following COP26 every single business will need to be more mindful of the carbon footprint of every aspect of their business, and they will be mandated to measure their ESG (environmental, social, governance) to track impact not just provide lofty intentions and well-meaning-yet-meaningless pledges.

 

Beverly Maloney Organic Spa Magazine - Destination Deluxe

Beverly Maloney-Fischback
Founder & CEO of Organic Spa Media

Beverly Maloney-Fischback is the founder and CEO of Organic Spa Media, the founder of Wellness Travel University and principal of Wellness Travel Advisors. A global citizen of the world, with childhood into adulthood experiences in Asia, Africa and Canada. With over 35 years in the media industry, she is recognized as an expert marketer, astute media executive and wellness lifestyle entrepreneur. In 2007, Beverly founded Oceans Publishing and launched Organic Spa Magazine. Savvy and tailored, Beverly is a sought-after expert and influencer in the wellness media space. She is a member of numerous industry associations and organizations (ISPA, Green America, Global Women 4 Wellbeing, Global Wellness Summit, Green Spa Network, Wellness Tourism Association, etc).

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me simply means – balance – respecting the intricate balance in everything we do: work, home, self, fitness, mindfulness, social, nature and parenting, and knowing and accepting that life is fluid and always changing. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Iceland, Tibet, Sarawak, Malaysia – for now! 

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Listen to your body. It knows you best!

4. What’s your mission? 
My mission is to continue to build awareness on all the incredible benefits (emotional, physical, spiritual) to living a life of wellbeing.

 

Kathryn Moore - Destination Deluxe

Kathryn Moore
Founder of Spa Connectors

An industry expert with more than 15 years of extensive knowledge of spa business, Kathryn Moore is extremely successful at negotiating complex commercial arrangements and conception and implementation of operating frameworks, standards and training programs. During her time with MSpa, Kathryn identified gaps in the industry and later formed Spa Connectors to address these, offering exclusive training programs, recruitment and business solutions. Kathryn is also the executive director of GCC’s leading B2B platform, Professional Beauty GCC.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is so subjective! For me it means living a balanced life. I’m pretty healthy. I do yoga or Pilates most days, try to generally eat well, and am quite spiritual but I am also a foodie. I’m not going to deny myself a decadent meal, nor am I going to berate myself if I need a day in bed with Netflix. Whatever I feel I need to do to be my best self, I’m on it!

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
For years, I lived in Asia and never felt like I spent enough time in Europe. I’d like to spend more time wandering down quaint lanes of Italy and France, drinking wine and eating cheese. I have also not spent enough time in South America, and I’ve never heard a bad word said about the region. Next stop Peru!

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Meditation. Whether it’s guided, on your own accord or comes through exercise, it’s a game changer. It clears your mind, resets your body and helps one tackle just about anything.

4. What is your mission?
My mission this year was to get my business back on track. I’m still very passionate about helping the people in our industry and recognizing their work, so making sure I can keep the HOW awards going is definitely up there on the top of my priority list.

 

Catharine Nicol Spas + Beyond - Destination Deluxe

Catharine Nicol
Founder of Spas + Beyond

A journalist specializing in travel and wellness, Catharine Nicol has spent the last 22 years exploring retreats, resorts, hotels, spas and yoga studios in Asia and the world from her base in Hong Kong. She freelances for a regular stable of print and online publications, curates her wellbeing experiences on Spas + Beyond, occasionally speaks at wellness conferences and teaches yoga on the side.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
For me, wellness is all about feeling good in oneself. When I’m eating, exercising and resting well, and, crucially, feeling content with life, my community of family and friends, my environment and my overall direction, I feel well, happy, at peace. It’s crucial to remember, personal wellness takes time and effort, and the more you invest, the more you realize it is time and effort very well spent.

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Right now, as travel gradually opens up in the west, the bucket list is moot; I’m incredibly grateful for travel to any destination. Having moved from Hong Kong to the UK, I have a new backyard, and my first two overseas trips have been France and Italy. Practicalities aside, overeating, drinking and getting hedonistic in New Orleans, hiking, biking and spiritually retreating in Bhutan, and an ayahuasca experience in Costa Rica are three experiences currently on my rather eclectic bucket list. 

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
The people who turn up with energy and curiosity are the ones you want to spend time with and be surrounded by, so my #1 wellness tip is that the minute you feel a bit tired of life, and your energy and curiosity begin to wane, do whatever it takes to fuel them up again. Eat well, move, rest, tweak your purpose, seek out your favorite people and activities, spend time in nature, and do it all mindfully while reminding yourself that life is a rollercoaster not to be taken too seriously.

4. What is your mission?
To be as healthy, happy and purposeful as possible for as long as possible, and encourage others to be the same.

 

Andrea Oschetti Blueflower - Destination Deluxe

Andrea Oschetti
Founder of Blueflower

As the founder of travel company Blueflower, Andrea Oschetti offers life-enriching journeys to the most exciting destinations on Earth. In 2006 he left a successful corporate career to follow his passion and founded Cuore Private Kitchen, consistently reviewed as providing one of the ultimate dining experiences in Hong Kong. He got a second postgraduate degree in Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he became a senior travel journalist and award-winning photographer working with the likes of CNN, South China Morning Post, etc. He is now pursuing his dream of leading a travel company (Blueflower) that redefines holidays by innovating customer travel experiences through knowledge, imagination and care.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
It is a multidimensional practice. It is physical but also mental wellbeing. It is about the quality of my relationships with people and nature. It is living in the present moment. It is the meaningfulness of the activities and the projects I am immersed in. It is the wholesomeness of my habits. It is flourishing as a human being. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
One thing that recently excites me is that the The Kitchen on the Edge of the World above the Arctic Circle in the breathtaking Lofoten Peninsula, Norway, has a series of culinary adventure programs throughout the year, hosted by Valentine Warner in the unique Holmen hotel. This past year of pandemic isolation impacted me emotionally: a sense of languishing and monotony. To deal with it, I left Hong Kong in August to engage on a world tour of meeting the people I love and those that inspire me. It took me to Kenya to see the Great Migrations and engage with people at the forefront of conservation efforts; to hike from hut to hut in one of the last wildernesses of Europe in the Swedish Lapland, to grape harvesting in Tuscany. I am about to fly to Mexico for a shamanic retreat and then to Bosnia Herzegovina to learn, in presence, of the plight of refugees on the Balkan route trying to reach Europe.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
I am in the travel business, and we are blessed by an ample choice of wellness offerings worldwide. Yet, an essential area of wellbeing that gets overlooked is sleep. Ask your hotel to cover all those microlights, like the TV red dot, or the air-conditioning screen, that unconsciously disrupt the quality of your sleep.  

4. What’s your mission?
To offer life-enriching journeys that get my clients under the skin of a place: by breaking down tourist barriers, engaging with local heroes and turning travelers from spectators into active participants.

 

Erina Pindar - Destination Deluxe

Erina Pindar
Managing Director of SmartFlyer

Raised traveling the globe, Erina Pindar approaches travel design with an enthusiasm for discovering the best new places before you’ve even heard of them. Her role as the managing director of SmartFlyer is rooted in a decade of experience encompassing branding, marketing and an innate understanding of luxury. Pindar’s vision for the holistic client experience drives not only her hands-on approach overseeing custom itinerary design for the agency’s top-level clients, but also the growth of SmartFlyer through strategic partnerships.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
To me, wellness is all about personalization; no two bodies are the same, but coming to understand what works for you specifically in order to feel your best makes all the difference. When traveling, this means having access to nutrient-rich foods, modernized fitness offerings and of course, accommodations optimized for rest!

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
I’m currently exploring Namibia, a destination that’s been so high on my bucket list. A visually stunning place of incredible vistas and wide open spaces, as the second least inhabited place on earth, its remoteness lends to its otherworldly quality.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
While I’m on the road, I certainly indulge in local specialties (what’s going to Paris worth if you don’t have a croissant or two?) but when I’m back home in New York where our SmartFlyer offices are headquartered, I rely heavily on routine. I love keeping things active with Bounce trampoline classes and nourish my body with bone broth and cooked vegetables. So, I guess that tip boils down to balance! Enjoy yourself when traveling but aim to equilibrate at home.

4. What’s your mission?
Our mission at SmartFlyer is rooted in creating exceptional experiences. This begins with the travel advisor community that we continue to cultivate and extends to the customized trips we plan on behalf of clients. Looking ahead to the future, our launch of EQTR was in aim to achieve equity in representation from BIPOC communities within the luxury travel space, ensuring that the future of the industry reflects the culturally-rich and diverse world our industry serves to connect.

 

Mark Smith Kalm Horizons - Destination Deluxe

Mark Smith
The Spa Man – Founder of Kalm Horizons

Mark Smith is The Spa Man. One of the few male spa writers in the world, Mark has been writing about men’s grooming and wellness for over 20 years. Reviewing spas since 2007 he is a contributing editor at European Spa magazine, and has written for Vogue, Tatler, and the Daily Telegraph. Originally from Tasmania and now based in Sussex, UK, he has always found solace and healing by the sea. Practicing mindfulness for over a decade, he has combined the therapeutic benefits of the sea with meditation, aromatherapy, visualization, affirmations, self-massage, sound therapy and simple breathwork techniques in his new venture, Kalm Horizons

1. What does wellness mean to you?
For me, wellness is trying to find balance between physical and mental health. I think the two are intrinsically linked and when one is out of balance, it can have a dramatic impact on the other. Each and every day, I spend some time to ensure my own personal wellness remains intact. This includes good nutrition, home cooked meals, swimming in the sea (all year), walking, meditating and practicing gratitude to close the day.   

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Japan (my first visit was cancelled due to the pandemic) and Costa Rica. I would love to visit Aman Kyoto and Six Senses Shaharut in Israel.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Connect with nature each and every day.

4. What is your mission?
To bring a sense of calm into people’s lives. This can be through meditating, but also through more active things like sea swimming, gratitude and affirmations. I developed the Kalm Horizons concept this year to facilitate this, helping people to connect with nature by the sea using simple techniques like breathwork, aromatherapy, affirmations, wave meditation and sound therapy. It’s magical and can be transformative.

 

Vivienne Tang Founder of Destination Deluxe

Vivienne Tang
Founder & CEO of Destination Deluxe

Founder and CEO of wellness and travel publication Destination Deluxe, which is your go-to wellness and travel platform for the global nomad, Vivienne Tang has been in wellness and lifestyle publishing for the last 22 years. She left a career as a fashion editor behind to dedicate all her time to wellness, which for her goes hand in hand with travel. She was previously editor-in-chief of AsiaSpa and held positions at Prestige Hong Kong and South China Morning Post. She is also a frequent speaker at events and conventions, having held talks and panel discussions at the Global Wellness Summit, World Spa & Wellness Asia, Thailand Spa and Well-Being Summit, PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart, and Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
To me, wellness is an ongoing journey, which happens on multiple levels and includes physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. I’ve learnt so many different healing techniques and tools over the years, which I regularly apply, but the older I get, the more I realize that a lot of it is about accepting and surrendering. The more I can connect with myself, and the more I can accept my own shadows, the more my blockages, physical ailments, and hurdles in my life start to shift too.

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Ha, my bucket list hasn’t changed much since last year. I’m still hoping to visit the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia one day. It’s the only place in the world where tigers, orangutans, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild. It spans 2.6 million hectares. It probably won’t exist in a few years if we don’t do anything about the massive deforestation issue.

I also want to join a wildlife volunteering program by Biosphere Expeditions, which offers snow leopard conservation in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, a holiday to support the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle in Costa Rica, or an expedition to track and study wolf, bear and lynx in the Transylvanian Alps of Romania.

Some new additions on my bucket list are Socotra (an archipelago in Yemen) and Tassili n’Ajjer in Algeria.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Hands down, meditation! I truly believe that the biggest gift you can give yourself is a daily meditation practice. It really strengthens the connection you have with yourself, and it gives you a very good understanding of who you are and the thoughts/patterns that run your life. Everyone should prioritise self-development in some shape or form. If it’s not meditation, then opt for breathwork, sound healing, counselling or some form of introspection, but I think that we owe it to ourselves and the people around us to continuously work on ourselves. Not only will your mental health improve, but the world will become a much better place.

4. What is your mission?
My mission with Destination Deluxe has always been to help people on their wellness journeys, be that through highlighting wellness practices, retreats where people can reboot and rebalance, or introducing specific destinations that will inspire people to live the best version of their life. Destination Deluxe’s goal is to offer people the tools, knowledge, and inspiration to empower people to take charge of their own wellness and ultimately their life. We have some interesting new projects in the pipeline, so stay tuned.

 

Barry White - Destination Deluxe

Barry White
Founder of THIA Wellness, TIME in Wellness, and Co-Founder of RIZE Intel

Barry White has over 30 years of global leadership experience in world-class luxury and lifestyle brands, including Conrad Hotels, The Landmark Group, Langham Hospitality Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, Niccolo Hotels & Resorts, and Galaxy Entertainment Group. His broad industry experience, in-depth hospitality spa and wellness expertise have been combined to amplify the success of the businesses he has led. He is probably best known for creating the globally award-winning Chuan Spa, the proprietary spa and wellness brand for Langham Hospitality Group. Now the founder of THIA Wellness, TIME in Wellness and Co-founder of RIZE Intel. Barry is also Global Wellness Day Ambassador for Hong Kong, and a Board Member of nonprofit APSWC (Asia Pacific Spa Wellness Coalition). He also regularly appears as a speaker and panelist at leading conferences, including Global Wellness Summit, ITB – Asia, IWC – India and WSWC Asia and London

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness is many things, but in essence they are modalities that contribute to elevating your lifestyle and wellbeing. 

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Antarctica, Alaska, non-stop bike tour around Indo-China, Siargao Island, and Patagonia.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Sleep!

4. What’s your mission?
To live a life well lived.

 

Tracey Woodward Portrait - Destination Deluxe

Tracey Woodward
Co-Founder of Modern Botany

Having worked within the beauty industry for over 30 years, Tracey Woodward has a wealth of spa, retail, and beauty experience. She is a highly respected, experienced leader with a demonstrated history of working in the cosmetics and wellbeing industries; skilled in leadership, marketing management, retail, sales, spa and product development – an inspiring and motivational leader. She launched Donna Karan’s beauty division, and worked for reputable companies, such as Aveda, Urban Retreat, and eventually headed up Aromatherapy Associates and Refinery as CEO. Today, she sits on several boards as an advisory director, including the Executive Board of CEW (UK) – leading the conversation in beauty, addressing topics that are shaping the future of the industry and providing leadership and development resources to help move members forward in their careers.

1. What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me is ensuring I endeavor to nurture my body and soul with joy. It’s as much about an evening with my family as it is stepping into nature, or ensuring I always participate in my selfcare routine. Intermittent fasting has been an invaluable lesson to me and traveling to locations that focus on my mind, body and spirit, never losing sight of the fact that I am 100% responsible for my health and happiness.

2. Which destinations are on your bucket list?
Joali Being without a doubt – it’s a new fully comprehensive wellness island retreat in the Maldives, all immersed in nature with the most incredible in-house practitioners, therapists and facilities. It even has its own apothecary! I also want to go to Joali, which launched a couple of years ago. I know the interiors and design will be sensational too.

3. Your #1 wellness tip.
Can I have two? Heading to Buchinger Wilhelmi on Lake Constance in Germany for a complete health reset is something I encourage everyone to do if they have the means to do so. The clinic specializes in fasting and integrated medicine and is incredibly nurturing and cosseting. I glow and have such clarity of mind when I leave. My second tip – get outside and see some nature every day, it doesn’t cost a thing but does wonders for one’s wellbeing.

4. What is your mission?
To continue trying to live a life of joy and wonder for as long as I possibly can! To continue to be to “Love Give and Live” my best life possible.