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’s 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
Author/historian Bernard Burt documented the new wave of spas in the 1980s with his book Fodor”s Healthy Escapes. Founding Director of the International Spa Association
(ISPA), he launched PULSE magazine in 1991, followed by 100 Best Spas of the World. Currently his reviews can be found on websites like Examiner.com and Insider”s Guide to Spas.
Johnny Chang, Founder & CEO, Spa Solutions Training & Management Consultancy
Founder and CEO of Spa Solutions Shanghai, Johnny Chang has more than 20 years of international hotel spa and spa product branding experience. He is one of the few people who act as a bridge of East and West, offering all-round spa and products consulting and training services to spas and product companies to turn their passion into reality.
Catherine Feliciano-Chon, Founder & Managing Director, CatchOn Communications
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.
Caroline Eden, Journalist
As well as being on the judging panel for the annual AsiaSpa Awards, Caroline Eden writes the weekly travel page “How to do” in London”s Metro newspaper and is a contributor to The Guardian, Financial Times, Condé Nast Traveller, BBC and other magazines and newspapers.
Susie Ellis, President, SpaFinder Wellness
As president of Spafinder Wellness and Director of the company’s annual Spa and Wellness Trends Forecast, Susie Ellis is recognised as a leading authority on spa and wellness and is a prominent writer, speaker and industry analyst. Ellis is also chairman and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a world authority and think-tank for wellness-related industries, and guides the GWI’s annual Global Spa & Wellness Summit and Global Wellness Tourism Congress. She is the recipient of the prestigious International Spa Association’s Visionary Award.
Faridah Ahmad Fadzil, President, Malaysian Association of Wellness and Spa
Faridah Binti Ahmad Fadzil co-founded Tanamera, an award-winning range of natural spa and lifestyle products modelled on Malaysian beauty treatments. An Honour Business Management graduate from Northern Illinois University, she is a second-generation herbalist specialising in tropical herbs. Fadzil is the President of the Malaysian Association of Wellness and Spa (MAWSPA), the main liaison between industry and Malaysian
government, and a representative in the Malaysian National Spa Council.
Nealy Fischer, Founder, MAYYA Movement
Nealy Fischer is the Founder of MAYYA Movement, a leading health and wellness platform in Asia that creates comprehensive health and wellness solutions for women everywhere. She leads yoga classes, food and yoga workshops, cooking seminars and luxury retreats across Asia, in order to inspire women globally to lead healthy, balanced and fulfilled lives. Fischer regularly travels the globe seeking out the best spas, yoga teachers, fitness methods and health professionals to inform and improve the care she provides to family and clients.
Samantha Foster, President, International Health & Wellness Alliance
A proven manager, trainer, therapist and experienced spa consultant, Samantha Foster has worked with a number of top brands throughout Asia-Pacific over the last 20 years. Her specialty is setting up and managing destination spas and wellness centres. A published author and popular speaker, Foster also runs international courses in spa development and management. Twice awarded for her leadership in the spa industry, she is the founding President of the newly formed International Health & Wellness Alliance (IHWA), whose mission is ‘to empower humanity to embrace health and wellness’.
Najwa Green, Director, Spa Services & Products International
For Canadian-born and Bali-based Najwa Green, luxury hotels and spas have been the mainstays of her career for over 30 years. Green has honed her considerable customer service know-how through the demanding banking, airline and hospitality sectors, and has worked with brands, such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, InterContinental Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and numerous boutique properties. Passionate about developing the spa industry, she focuses on training therapists, working with clients on inspiring spa concepts and creating innovative treatments and spa menus.
Maggie Gunning, Spa Consultant
Maggie Gunning spent the last 29 years in Europe and Asia, honing her skills in all aspects of spa health and consultancy from concept design to spa set-up, operations and training. Former Founder and Managing Director of spa consulting firm Spa Synergy, Gunning is a fully qualified aesthetician in face and body treatments. She has also coached both the practical and theoretical sides of spa-related treatments and acted as international examiner for the Confederation of International Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, UK.
Andrew Jacka, Director, Spa Origins
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. Passionate about the spa and wellness industry, he was previously the President of the Thai Spa Association and Chairman of the Asia Pacific Spa & Wellness Coalition. Today, Jacka is Chairman of the World Spa & Well-being Convention. His Bangkok-based company, Spa Origins, specialises in the provision of spa consultancy services working from concept to operational opening.
Chami Jotisalikorn, Author, Journalist and Communications Consultant
Chami Jotisalikorn is an internationally known author and journalist who has written over ten coffee table books on Asian spas, interior design and luxury travel, including the bestselling titles The Thai Spa Book and Thailand’s Luxury Spas. She is a correspondent for various international publications, including AsiaSpa, CNN Travel, Condé Nast Traveller (UK), The Bangkok Post and numerous travel and spa guidebooks. She also works as a PR and communications consultant for niche lifestyle clients, such as boutique hotels, spas and design and architectural firms.
Catharine Nicol, Journalist
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, Travel Journalist, Spa Writer
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 since 2006. Her expert opinion is also sought by the prestigious Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards. Her work appears regularly in DestinAsian, Emirates’ Open Skies, TIME, Sun Herald, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and more.
Parineeta Sethi, Chief Editor & Publisher, AsiaSpa India
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 travellers 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.
Chantel Shafie, Founding Editor of Beauty Buzz HK, and Presenter at RTHK Radio 3
As Founding Editor of Beauty Buzz HK – ‘Hong Kong’s Beauty Bible’, a successful online magazine dedicated to beauty, spas and wellness in Hong Kong, and as a travel TV presenter, Chantel Shafie has sampled and enjoyed many of the best spas and treatments around the world, culminating in an in-depth knowledge of the industry in the region. She is also a presenter on RTHK Radio 3, for whom she focuses on wellness and beauty, and giving a voice to the many worthy charities in Hong Kong.
Lisa Starr, Spa and Salon Consultant, Wynne Business
Spa and salon business consultant for Wynne Business, spa management trainer and educator on five continents, highly rated speaker at industry events and regular contributor to global spa trade publications, including Dayspa, Spa China, Spa Business and American Spa, Starr has been helping companies maximise spa operations performance in both front and back of house for 30 years. Her knowledge and experience provide turnkey solutions in areas like spa business operations, finances and compensation, marketing, inventory management, human resource development and business process improvement.
Rebecca Walker, Founder, The Wellness Nomad
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 in 2012.
Pete Wong, Photojournalist and PR & Media Consultant, Awarna Media
Founder of media agency, Awarna Media, Pete Wong counts travel, writing and photography as his life passions. When he has time off from the office, he travels to remote destinations in Asia, at times visiting resorts and spas. His work is regularly featured in publications around the region, including Muhibah (Royal Brunei Airlines), ParGolf and Property Report Asia, among others. Wong has been contributing to AsiaSpa since 2005 and calls Kuala Lumpur home.
Senior Academic Staff, Republic Polytechnic in Singapore
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.