Q & A – Stella Photi, Founder & Managing Director, Wellbeing Escapes
Wellbeing Escapes was founded by Stella Photi 10 years ago and is the UK’s leading spa and wellness specialist. It recently won ‘Best Specialist Tour Operator’ in The Telegraph Travel Awards 2015/16.
The company was created out of a desire to make wellbeing more accessible to as many people as possible. It specialises in creating and arranging a wide range of results-driven, health-boosting holidays worldwide.
For more information visit www.wellbeingescapes.com
We caught up with Stella to find out more about her loves and likes…
Stella is wearing our Be Grace Batwing and Heavenly Harem Pants.
Yoga or Pilates?
Favourite yoga pose / Pilates move?
Trikonasana (triangle pose) – stretches every part of you, perfect in the morning.
Flat white or green tea?
Green juice or cocktail?
Summer or winter?
Most definitely summer.
City or countryside?
Hmmm difficult – can I have both?
Dancing or DVD?
Fresh Oysters followed by a very good paella, and a fresh organic green salad (washed down with a glass of champagne!)
Da Vinci or Di Caprio?
Charlotte Bronte or Caitlin Moran?
Caitlin – she’s so witty and funny.
Vogue or National Geographic?
Angela Merkel or Hilary Clinton?
A year ago I would have said Hilary but I like Angela’s stance on taking the refugees in from Syria.
What never fails to make you smile?
My Springer spaniel, Louis.
What character trait do you love in others?
Generosity of spirit, time & knowledge.
What character trait do you loathe in others?
What are you most curious about in 2016?
The new scientific research on how your thoughts affect your brain, body and health. There is so much more we need to understand on the power of our minds – it is fascinating!
What has been your favourite year so far and why?
2015 I am at that point in my life that I can reap the benefits of all the years of hard work. I can enjoy travelling and be more in control of my time now that my son is at university and the business doesn’t need me there 24/7.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Box sets that include Dominic West – have just got through Series 4 of The Wire and am currently watching Series 2 of The Affair.
Your favourite retreat to date?
This is a difficult one for me. I have been lucky enough to experience many fantastic retreats but the one that I visit frequently and keep going back to is SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. It is such a great combination of holistic practices and also cutting edge medical advancement delivered by the best in the business. I go there for a health reboot to eat the tasty macrobiotic food, shift a few pounds and have the most fabulous holistic treatments such as shiatsu and acupuncture. I also love going to the daily activities such as the yoga and fitness classes and the great morning walks in the Sierra Helada Natural Park. A visit to SHA is a convenient opportunity to have some blood tests and check my state of health and hormone levels. Last time I was there I found out about their Cognitive Development Programme which focuses on how to keep your brain healthy and avoid diseases such as Alzheimers and Dementia. It’s really impressive stuff! The place itself is very cool with great views and so easy to get to. The price tag is quite steep but I see it as a definite investment in my health and I know I am getting the best in the industry!
The retreat you wish you were going on?
I’m really liking the look of our new hidden gem overlooking Lake Maggiore in Italy Novessentia. This small and personal retreat is run by Dr Carmen Salvatore who travels the word and has a following for her anti ageing and rejuvenation philosophy and treatments. The approach is very personalised with individual treatments being prescribed after the consultation with the Doctor and daily yoga or Nordic Walking (my two favourite past times). The views look fabulous and rumour has it that the Clooneys visit from time to time…
If you were Prime Minister what would be top of your agenda?
Introducing meditation as a mandatory subject in the educational curriculum. We would give our next generation a valuable tool for life.
A single piece of advice to the next generation of women?
Always listen to your inner voice. We are barraged by a constant stream of opinions and advice through our devices and from our friends & families and it’s easy to get confused and unsure, but deep down you know more than anyone what is right for you.
Favourite piece of Asquith clothing?
My yoga wrap. It’s a really versatile piece that I wear during yoga but also at weekends.
What is it about Asquith that you love?
The timeless styles and the fabric. The bamboo fabric in particular which is so luxuriously soft and comfortable and also great to travel in.
Who would you most like to see wearing Asquith?
Arianna Huffington who is authentic and pushing forward the wellbeing agenda. She would look great in an Asquith outfit.
Who is Your Wow Woman?
Oprah Winfrey. She came from difficult and humble beginnings to become the world’s “Media Queen” with unrivalled influence. I love her ability to tackle difficult subjects openly and most importantly her empathy and philanthropy. She has demystified and push forward practices such as meditation and spiritual practice to the masses and equality for the LBGT community and for women. In fact she has championed women being strong but at the same time retaining their feminine and nurturing side rather than taking on male traits to succeed. When I think of Oprah I definitely say WOW!
Photography by Christian Banfield
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