Global leader in transformative wellness for over 28 years, Chiva-Som, is spotlighting its belief in holistic sustainability through a brand-new ‘Friends of Chiva-Som’ ambassador campaign. The campaign is dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural environment surrounding its two resorts in Hua Hin, Thailand and Al Ruwais, Qatar, as well as promoting sustainable tourism and wellness practices within the industry globally.
Chiva-Som continues to take firm steps to minimise its impact on the planet with a renewed commitment to sustainability that goes beyond its operations and into community outreach initiatives by bringing together a raft of regional and global-renowned icons in the fields of sport, food, entertainment and wellness for the ‘Friends of Chiva-Som’ campaign in 2023.
Some of the esteemed ‘Friends of Chiva-Som’ include Belgin Aksoy – founder of Global Wellness Day; Sufiya Sufi – ultra-long-distance runner; Michelin star Chef Dan Bark; Susie Ellis – Chairman and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI); renowned Thai actress, Suquan Bulakul; amateur triathlete Tulyatep Uawithya and renowned chef Maximilian Müller, currently Chef de Cuisine at the two-Michelin star restaurant Pavillon at Baur au Lac in Switzerland. They will participate in activities such as mangrove plantations to restore endangered ecosystems, delivering food aid projects to local communities and much more, focusing on several key areas, including waste reduction, healthy lifestyle promotion and sustainable practices.
Commenting on the wellness brand's sustainability efforts, Krip Rojanastien, Chairman and CEO of Chiva-Som, said, “We are thrilled to launch the 'Friends of Chiva-Som’ initiative, which is an important step in our ongoing commitment to sustainable practices and environmental conservation. To us at Chiva-Som, a thriving, healthy natural environment, and strong community are fundamental to living well.”
He added, “As a leader in the wellness industry, it is our responsibility to promote sustainable practices that benefit not only our guests but also the environment and the local community. We hope this will inspire our guests, employees, and communities to take action to protect our planet for future generations."
Ultra long distance runner and world record holder, Sufiya Sufi commented, “Sustainable wellness, in my opinion, is when we work to improve everyone's quality of life, whether they be people, pets, marine life, forest life and our natural environment. We are all interconnected and rely on each other to survive in this world. So, we have to be more responsible and ethical towards our environment and Mother Nature. I really appreciate Chiva-Som for taking such thoughtful initiatives towards a better tomorrow while also providing the best hospitality experience in a sustainable manner.”
Global Wellness Day founder, Belgin Aksoy, said, “Sustainable wellness is finding our balance mentally and physically by adding good habits to our lives and doing good things for the planet. To me, wellness is not a luxury. It is a necessity. It is an honour to be chosen as a ‘Friend of Chiva-Som’. I am looking forward to being at Chiva-Som Hua Hin this year and join the team on their annual medical mission to visit remote hillside villages in Thailand to provide complimentary health checkups, medical and food facilities to the locals.”
In 2022, Chiva-Som Hua Hin was able to reduce its electricity consumption by 2% and water consumption by 38%. In addition, 73% of the waste generated was recovered from landfill as a result of conducting theory and practical training for staff to improve waste separation; introducing a woodchipper to handle 100% of landscape waste; and by composting food waste. These positive environmental outcomes also had an auxiliary financial benefit, reducing the resort’s energy costs by US$15,000 last year despite electricity tariffs going up almost 40% by the end of 2022.
Chiva-Som Hua Hin also uses filtered water bottled locally in glass containers and has completed the installation of an onsite water bottling facility, launching later this year, that will produce all mineralised water in reusable glass water bottles for guest and staff consumption. This has significant health benefits whilst reducing plastic pollution and carbon footprint.
Two Michelin star Chef Maximilian Müller will collaborate with Chiva-Som’s Executive Chef, Sinchai Srivipa, to promote World Food Day among the local Hua Hin community. Their aim is to inspire healthy eating habits and wellness cuisine for all, encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles and educating them on the positive impact this will have on the local community.
Chiva-Som also launched its second wellness resort in Qatar in 2022, Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, to introduce its concept of sustainable wellness to a whole new community. The first resort to offer dedicated family wellness programmes, Zulal is located on a beautiful stretch of beach, with an expanse of shoreline inhabited by many species of wetland birds.
Qatar is an emerging destination for tourism, for wellness and for sustainability, presenting an opportunity for Chiva-Som to lead the movement for sustainable operations in the destination and establish best practices, such as more sustainable supply chains, benchmarking and managing water and energy consumption, and lobbying for better nationwide waste management systems.
Chiva-Som has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, and the "Friends of Chiva-Som" initiative is the latest example of its dedication to promoting environmental conservation. Guests can enjoy a rejuvenating stay at Chiva-Som, knowing that their experience is also eco-friendly and sustainable.
Belgin Aksoy, Founder of Global Wellness Day
Belgin Aksoy is a prominent figure in the world of wellness, known for her passion for creating a better world both physically and mentally. With a background of 27 years in the tourism and hotel industry, Belgin has dedicated her life to the pursuit of a more balanced and healthier lifestyle. In 2012, she founded the globally successful "Global Wellness Day," a social project aimed at raising awareness about healthy living, with millions of people from over 170 countries participating annually. Belgin will be joining us in Hua Hin for the second consecutive year to launch this year's Global Wellness Day celebrations and provide healthcare services to those in need, and we are excited to welcome her once again.
Chef Dan Bark, Chef/ Owner of Cadence by Dan Bark
On the occasion of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove, we are committed to preserving the Krailart Niwate Mangrove Ecosystem through a fundraising gala dinner. Our event will be a collaborative effort between our Friend of Chiva-Som, Chef Dan Bark, and our own Executive Chef, Chef Sinchai. Chef Dan Bark is a world-renowned chef with experience working in 2-and 3-Michelin Starred restaurants in Chicago for over 15 years, before returning to Bangkok to launch his own Michelin-star restaurant, Cadence. Together, we hope to raise funds for the preservation of the area's only mangroves through the Krailart Niwate Mangrove Ecosystem Preservation Project.
Susie Ellis, Chair & CEO of Global Wellness Institute
Susie Ellis is a prominent figure in the wellness industry and serves as the Chair & CEO of the Global Wellness Institute. With her expertise in the multi-sector wellness industry, she is frequently cited in major global publications, including the New York Times and Financial Times. She is joining Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som to mark World Mental Health Day this October. As a respected authority in the field, we look forward to her insights and contributions towards promoting wellness and mental health awareness.
Tulyatep Uawithya, Triathlete
Tulyatep Uawithya or Tul is an amateur athlete, well-known for his achievements as a triathlete and former competitive swimmer. He is also the captain of the Adidas Runners Bangkok Club. With experience in at least three Ironman events and three other half-Ironman events across Asia, Tul brings an impressive athletic background to the table. He recently participated in the Tokyo Marathon and will be taking part in the Hua Hin Marathon, in support of the Preserve Hua Hin Group's efforts to protect the Hua Hin mangrove project.
Sufiya Sufi, Ultra Runner
Sufiya Sufi is a long-distance runner, widely recognised for her remarkable achievements in the field. As a holder of three world records, Sufiya has established herself as a formidable presence in the running world. Recently, she accomplished the impressive feat of completing the fastest run across Qatar, covering the distance from south to north of the country in a time of 30 hours and 34 minutes, with her finish line at the Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som. Sufiya is scheduled to participate in the Preserve Hua Hin Marathon in June, where she will bring her impressive talents to the competition.
Maximilian Müller, Chef de Cuisine of Pavillon
Chef Maximilian Müller is a renowned chef and currently serves as Chef de Cuisine at Pavillon, a restaurant located at the Baur au Lac in Switzerland. With his expertise in culinary arts, the restaurant has been awarded two Michelin stars. We are pleased to announce that Chef Müller will be collaborating with Chiva-Som’s Executive Chef, Chef Sinchai, to promote World Food Day among the local Hua Hin community. Their aim is to inspire healthy eating habits and wellness cuisine for all, with the hope of encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles. We look forward to this collaboration and the positive impact it will have on the local community.
Suquan Bulakul, Public Figure
Suquan Bulakul is a well-known Thai actress and TV anchor who has visited Chiva-Som on multiple occasions. We are thrilled to announce that she will be joining us for our upcoming mangrove planting and fundraising gala dinner. With her dedication to supporting environmental causes, we are honoured to have her as a guest and look forward to her participation in the preservation of the Krailart Niwate Mangrove Ecosystem.