Belgin Aksoy has had a healthy career in the tourism and hotel industry for 26 years, working with her family to carry the Richmond Hotels brand into the future. Her mission has always been to create a physically, mentally and spiritually better world for all. To that end, 17 years ago, personal health issues coincided with a career change, and wellness became the core of her life with the opening of Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa. It was Turkey’s first destination spa and continues to be acclaimed as one of Europe’s best-equipped and most award-winning spas. In 2012, Belgin founded Global Wellness Day, bringing her vision to the world. GWD is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of June, and features complimentary activities across the globe, all bearing the slogan “One day can change your whole life”.
To help you get to know Belgin just a little bit better, we asked her these questions:
What is your favorite place to just “BE” and why?
My favorite place to be in the world is nature. Whether it be somewhere by the sea or in the middle of the forest, or even on top of a mountain. I love nature because it brings me peace, balance and perspective.
What’s one thing you do to work wellness into your everyday life?
I actually do a lot more than one – for instance, I love getting up early in the morning and doing 40 minutes of cardio on an empty stomach and then 15 minutes of quiet time for self-reflection, the most precious moments of my day. I have a life, in which there is definitely room for exercise and time for myself, and I don’t consider spending time for myself as a luxury. If I’m not well then I’m of no use to anyone. I love having time with my family and friends. I stay away from sugar-coated fakeness and cherish real, pure hearts and souls. At home instead of watching TV, I prefer to spend most of my time with my son or reading a book.
What’s your best healthy snack?
I’ve been vegan for four years and I prefer dates, prunes or dried figs as healthy snack throughout the day.
What’s one key health/wellness/beauty product or gadget that you could not travel without?
My jade roller, I use it as a part of my skincare routine every morning and every night – especially when I’m travelling. It helps reduce toxins and puffiness, giving the skin its natural glow.
What do you do to keep your sense of balance while traveling?
I always have lavender oil with me – it helps me calm down and sleep after a long day of traveling. I make sure I drink plenty of water and fit in some sort of exercise as soon as I arrive to my destination.
What geographic destination in the world is at the top of your travel “bucket list” and why?
Visiting the unrivaled natural beauty of Fareo Islands was my next destination before the pandemic. Perfect place to go hiking, seeing puffins, the most laughably adorable bird on the planet, and if I’m lucky see the Northern Lights in all their glory.
What hotel/resort/retreat from your past travels would you recommend to wellness-seekers, and why?
In the past I had the privilege of visiting and staying at Kamalaya Koh Samui – an amazing Wellness Resort & Health Retreat on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand. I fell in love with the resort the moment I saw how beautifully its buildings were incorporated into nature – how respectful the property was of its surroundings. Not to mention, its extraordinary scenery, treatments, food and service.
Pay it forward: Who is one person in your industry that inspires you?
My biggest inspiration within the Spa & Wellness industry has always been the “Godmother of Wellness”, Deborah Szekely, who says “Find what you are passionate about in life for a healthy mind”.