Spafinder Wellness 365 Announces Global Panel of Judges for 2015 Wellness Travel Awards

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Significantly expanded panel of leading editors, journalists and experts to nominate top candidates for annual awards; final winners to be determined by consumer vote. Annual awards honor spas, hotels, resorts and retreats around the world that excel in healthy vacations and experiences

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The Wellness Travel Awards are designed to recognize the properties in wellness travel that inspire both the industry and consumers.

Spafinder Wellness 365® today announced the global panel of judges who will nominate candidates for the 2015 Wellness Travel Awards, the only awards program dedicated to honoring spas, hotels, resorts and retreats that offer stellar experiences and programs to a growing number of consumers seeking healthy vacations and travel. The 2015 panel is significantly expanded and includes 33 spa and wellness travel editors and experts from every corner of the world. Panelists will nominate the top locations on six continents, in scores of countries and regions and 20 categories, such as “Best New Spa & Wellness Travel Property,” “Best for Families” and “Best for Outdoor Adventures & Activities.” The list of panelists appears below.

To ensure the most deserving wellness travel properties are recognized, a detailed three-part approach will be used to select winners. First and second steps involve nominations and voting by the panelists, followed by voting by consumers who will help select the final winners. Nominations begin in early May and consumer voting will start in July.

Winners of the 2015 Wellness Travel Awards will be announced in November at the World Travel Market in London.

“The Wellness Travel Awards are designed to recognize the properties in wellness travel that inspire both the industry and consumers,” said Mia Kyricos, chief brand officer of Spafinder Wellness, Inc.® “We are honored to have this exceptional and discerning panel of editors, journalists and experts committed to identifying the very best wellness experiences around the globe.”

The 2015 Wellness Travel Awards Panel of Judges: Continents noted in parentheses indicate where the headquarters of the publication or business are located.

Kris Abbey, publishing editor, Spa Life Magazine (Australia)

Gustavo Albanesi, president, Brazilian Spa and Clinics Association (South America)

Katie Barnes, managing editor, Spa Business magazine (Europe)

Mary Bemis, founder and editorial director, Insider's Guide to Spas (North America)

Elena Bogacheva, president and founder, Spa & Wellness International Council; CEO, Spa Priori LLC (Europe)

Anitra Brown, spas expert, (North America)

Julie Keller Callaghan, editor-in-chief and publisher, American Spa magazine (North America)

Sarah Camilleri, founding editor and publisher, European Spa magazine (Europe)

Isabelle Charrier, founder and managing editor, Emotion Spa magazine (Europe)

Sandhya Chipalkatti, editor and publisher, Spa Mantra magazine (Asia)

Anne-Marie Cook, magazine writer and editor (Australia)

Susan d'Arcy, luxury travel and spa editor, London Sunday Times (Europe)

Anne Dimon, founder and CEO, Travel to Wellness (North America)

Suzanne Duckett, associate editor, Tatler Spa Guide; founder, The Antidote (Europe)

Nora Elias, editor, Professional Spa & Wellness (Europe)

Catherine Feliciano-Chon, founder and managing director, Catch On (Asia)

Jo Foley, editor, writer, author, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Spears Wealth (Europe)

Gustavo F. Gaffrey, founder and CEO, Spas of Argentina; former president, Argentina Spa Association (South America)

Franka Hänig, editor-in-chief, SPA inside (Europe)

Sara Jones, managing director and editor, Spa Professional México (South America)

Fifi Kao, editor-in-chief, SpaChina magazine (Asia)

Dr. Franz Linser, CEO, Linser Hospitality (Europe)

Maia Medonca, editor-in-chief, Lindenberg, Bazaar Bride, Bem Mais magazines (South America)

Kate Phillips Melaragno, travel editor, Spafinder Wellness 365® (North America)

Catharine Nicol, freelance writer, editor, photographer, blogger,, South China Morning Post, AsiaSpa (Asia)

Elaine Okeke-Martin, founder and editor, Spa and Wellness Africa magazine; founder and president, Wellness Association of Africa (Africa)

Si Si Penaloza, luxury content manager, JETSET magazine (North America)

Sheetal Rastogi, editorial director, World Travel magazine (Asia)

Sarah Joan Ross, editor, Modern Spa Magazine (Europe)    

Chris Ryall, freelance writer and columnist (North America)

Gaurav Sinha, founder and CEO, Insignia Worldwide (Middle East)

Vivienne Tang, editor-in-chief, AsiaSpa magazine (Asia)

Fiona Vlemmiks, editor, Professional Beauty GCC (Middle East)

About Spafinder Wellness, Inc.®: Spafinder Wellness, Inc.® is the world’s largest media and marketing company for the spa and wellness industry and the leading consumer resource for feeling good and living well all year round. With nearly 30 years of experience as a spa and wellness authority, millions of people find inspiration to keep well every day via the Spafinder Wellness 365® brand, also known for its widely distributed gift cards—available at 70,000-plus retailers worldwide—and its global network of 22,000-plus spas, salons, fitness, yoga and Pilates studios and travel destinations. The company’s Corporate Wellness 365® division offers incentive products and partnerships that help to foster wellness in the workplace. Learn more at, and

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Betsy Isroelit
Spafinder Wellness 365
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