Insider's Guide to Spas
Belgin Aksoy of Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa


Belgin Aksoy: On a mission to promote wellness

Kitty Bean Yancey

Belgin Aksoy, who is from one of Turkey’s most prominent families, could spend her days and nights shopping, enjoying five-hour dinners at Istanbul’s jet-set restaurants or lounging till sunrise at clubs overlooking the Bosphorus where revelers arrive by boat.

Instead, the model-gorgeous brunette, 39 this month, gets up before dawn to work out and to oversee her family’s Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa, the country’s first destination spa. The modern six-story stucco resort on tranquil Lake Sapanca is about a 90-minute drive from Istanbul.

Aksoy, a mother of one who is dubbed “Miss Spa” by local media, is also on a mission to promote wellness and fitness. In June, she hosted a second Global Wellness Day at Richmond Nua, offering panels, talks, and demonstrations of yoga and healthy cooking.

“For us Turks, a vacation is more sea and sand, with lots of food possibilities and not moving at all,” she says, taking a break poolside while tents and chairs are set up for the big day. “A vacation for your body and your soul” is not a widespread concept, Aksoy adds…

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Kitty Bean Yancey

Kitty Bean Yancey

Kitty Bean Yancey is a former USA TODAY travel writer specializing in spas and exotic destinations.