Industry veteran Jamie Waring has been appointed managing director of Sangha Retreat – one of China’s first wellness communities.
Located west of Shanghai in Suzhou, a water town known as the Venice of the East, everything about the 47-acre retreat is geared towards transformative and holistic health from its At One Clinic medical facility to the 65,000sq ft At One Healing Spa with a 12-stage hydrotherapy circuit.
It was launched by Octave Living, the real-estate division of Asian shipping conglomerate IMC, in 2016 and has been favoured by local and regional markets who stay in one of two hotels or residents of its 100-plus houses. Greeted by a wellness coach, given a medical exam on check in and with access to a whole roster of assessments, nutrition, exercise, mind-body practice, traditional Chinese medicine and healing treatments, guests come in search of self-improvement rather than a holiday.
The retreat is heavily influenced by Confucian thought, including ideas of relationships with the self, community, society, nature which are incorporated in its design.
In a newly created role Waring, who’s been working in spa, wellness and hospitality for 30 years, will oversee the medical clinic, spa and a family learning centre. He’s also been brought in to help raise it’s profile internationally ahead of the retreat’s official ‘launch to the west’ in September. “We are ready to go,” he says.
“Sangha Retreat is completely unique,” he adds. “It delivers a new path to awakening a new consciousness of becoming one with ourselves, each other and our environment. We aim for transformative change by addressing the cause, not the symptom… Guests learn new habits to sustain improved health for the long term.”
Waring spent five years at the helm of Six Senses in Bangkok, overseeing operations of 40-plus resorts and spas. He’s also been a director at GOCO and ran his own consultancy IS Wellness working with clients such as Bali’s Karma Group.
Prior to joining Octave, Waring was COO of Apex Management in Saudi Arabia where he developed, consulted and managed wellness, hospitality and real estate projects in the Middle East.
His business career started in London’s financial district where he was a money broker trading currencies on the international markets.
Octave COO Sook-Yee Tai says: “Jamie’s global experience and proven track record in wellness and hospitality is a strategic addition to our senior management team as we further enhance Octave Institute’s programming and anticipated expansion.”
In a previous interview, upstate New York has been touted as an area for future development.