Throughout the region there are numerous health experts, spa gurus, well-being writers and personalities that stand out from the rest. Found in every single corner of Asia, they span the region’s countries and have a circle of expertise that spreads far and wide. Our judges come from more than ten countries, including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Australia and also include some Asia experts living in the UK and US.
We have absolute trust in the expertise of our judges, who are picked for their independent opinions and wide-ranging experience.
Confidentiality is the key in this process, as the awards are a benchmark for the region’s spa industry. From this elite group, in complete confidence, they firstly suggest their nominations for each category and then vote for their single choice.
The voting process is supervised by a law firm in Hong Kong to ensure the authenticity of the votes.
Vivienne Tang, Editor-in-Chief, AsiaSpa
Vivienne Tang is AsiaSpa Editor-in-Chief. She has been expressing her passion for wellness and travel over a number of years, having launched her own holistic lifestyle website, The Source Asia, in 2008. She also spent 12 years in fashion and lifestyle publishing. Today, she fuses the two to bring you the best in luxury lifestyle, travel and wellness.
Foong Seong Khong, Managing Director, Blu Inc Media (Asia)
Foong Seong Khong is the Managing Director of Blu Inc Media (Asia), a subsidiary of publicly-listed media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the publisher of leading luxury lifestyle magazines, including AsiaSpa, Asia-Pacific Boating, China Boating, LP- Luxury Properties, JET Asia-Pacific and Action Asia.
Bernard Burt, Founding Director, International Spa Association
Bernard Burt has written guidebooks, magazines, columns and websites about the spa industry for more than two decades. As Founding Director of the International Spa Association (ISPA) he launched PULSE in 1991, followed by 100 Best Spas of the World. Burt currently reviews for the Examiner.com and tracks trends for Spa Management Journal. His new book, Spectacular Spas, is set for release in 2013.
Johnny Chang, CEO & Founder, Spa Solutions Training & Management Consultancy Ltd
A qualified Australian Beauty Therapist with ITEC accreditation and experienced in a range of luxury health and beauty techniques, Shanghai-born Johnny Chang has more than 20 years of spa experience. He set up Spa Solutions Training & Management Consultancy in Shanghai in 1995 and has worked with many famous spa product companies. He has also been assisting in the development of hotel spas for Marriott International, Shangri- La Hotels and Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Brilliant Resort & Spa.
Caroline Eden, Journalist
London-based lifestyle journalist Caroline Eden writes for many of the world’s top travel magazines, including Condé Nast Traveller (UK), National Geographic Traveller (UK), Elle and AsiaSpa. An expert on the Indian spa scene, she has traveled the length and breadth of the sub-continent in search of the region best spas, as well as further afield into Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Susie Ellis, President, SpaFinder Wellness
Faridah Ahmad Fadzil, President, Malaysian Association of Wellness and Spa
Cathy Chon is the Founder & Managing Director of CatchOn, the leading brand and PR consultancy in Asia for wellness and hospitality. CatchOn has conceptualised and launched over 30 spas worldwide, and over 50 cosmetic brands, while providing Asian market entry advice to international brands. Chon is a sought-after speaker for her keen insights on the Asian consumer market and emerging trends. She has spoken at the Global Spa & Wellness Summit and served as a judge for the World Spa Awards and Spa China Summits.
Samantha Foster, Director, Destination Spa Management
Najwa Green, Director, Spa Services & Products International
Maggie Gunning, Spa Consultant
Andrew Jacka has worked in hospitality since 1977, initially as a chef, but later focusing on the spa sector. In 2002 he joined his former MD in a spa consultancy firm. He was President of the Thai Spa Association (TSPA) from 2007 until March 2013, and Chairman of the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition (APSWC) from 2009 until earlier this year. Today, Jacka is Chairman of the World Spa & Well-being Convention (under TSPA). His company, Spa Origins specialises in the provision of spa consultancy services from concept through to operational opening.
Following four years as Editor-in-Chief and another four as Editor-at-Large of AsiaSpa, Catharine Nicol is now a freelancer, but still passionate about Asia’s incredible spa and wellness industry. Eight years of researching renowned destinations, such as Bangkok and Bali, and exploring emerging countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, ignited a love for discovering innovative treatments and talented therapists who are pushing the boundaries of modern healing.
Rachael Oakes-Ash has always had a strong passion for wellness. As a published author, full-time travel journalist and keynote speaker, Oakes-Ash has been a judge on the AsiaSpa Awards for seven years. Her expert opinion is also often sought by the Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards and the annual HM Awards. Her work appears in Luxe City Guides, DestinAsian, Emirates’ Open Skies, TIME, Sun Herald, Sydney Morning Herald and more.
Through India’s most respected wellness and spa lifestyle magazine, Parineeta Sethi has observed the evolution of the Indian wellness industry from close range and has actively contributed to its growth by providing a platform for spas, Indian spa-goers and global travelers to interact. She is on the advisory panel of the Ministry of Tourism and has been working closely with the ministry to position India as a wellness tourist destination.
Born in Australia and based in Asia for nearly a decade, Rebecca Walker is an avid writer, traveller and certified yoga teacher whose passion for wellness has led her to some of the world’s best resorts and healing sanctuaries. Former Editor-in-Chief of AsiaSpa, Walker founded the wellness retreat consultancy The Wellness Nomad last year.
Founder of PR agency Awarna Media, Pete Wong considers travel, writing and photography his life passions. His focus is mainly travel destinations around Asia, luxury properties, resorts and spas.His work can be seen in publications around the region, including Men’s Health Singapore, Muhibah (Royal Brunei Airlines), ParGolf and Property Report Asia, among others. Wong has been contributingto AsiaSpa since 2005 and calls Kuala Lumpur home when not travelling on assignment.
Melinda Yon has been a spa consultant, spa director, spa business owner, spa educator and spa writer (including several editions as Editor of AsiaSpa Men). Currently, she is training her spa, service and hospitality skills at Republic Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality in Singapore to develop the next generation of spa managers. Previously the Managing Director of Asian-based boutique consulting firm, 360 Spa Solutions, she is a frequent MC and guest speaker at wellness conferences, and she has served on the board of several spa associations.