Interview with Jamie Waring

Get to know our new Group Director of Operations, Jamie Waring, in a personal interview on his past experience in the wellness industry, his perspectives on future developments and the role of wellness in his personal life. 

Tell us a little bit about your past in the wellness hospitality industry. 

I have really been privileged to have enjoyed my whole career in hospitality and wellness. I started working with Holmes Place in London where we grew from a small family business to becoming publicly listed with over one hundred operations. I also worked within Whitbread PLC’s David Lloyd brand, which at the time was the largest Leisure and Lifestyle Group in Europe, operating fifteen of their large scale wellness clubs in the South of England. I then moved to Asia to work with Six Senses where I was Managing Director of their spa division and helped to develop their brand into a global player. After a couple of years in that role, my remit expanded into the Group COO role, overseeing resorts and spas as well as supporting the development of wellness destination resorts. After leaving Six Senses I took on several consulting roles in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, before returning to the Holmes Place Group where I initially worked as Group Director of Development in Lisbon before taking on the role of CEO for Eastern Europe. My initial main focus for Holmes Place was to develop a large mixed use wellness development outside Warsaw with a 300 room hotel, large wellness and activity spaces and over 1000 apartments, in addition to developing an aggressive rollout of a new wellness and fitness brand.

How do you see the global wellness hospitality industry develop over the next 5-10 years? 

The industry has developed very strongly over the last ten years, both from a revenue standing point as well as from a creditability perspective. It will continue to grow and develop and increasingly go into various specialisms and niche products. The continued raising of awareness through social media platforms and sheer accessibility of education and real life examples means that more and more people are taking back the responsibility of “being well” onto themselves. The health and wellness model is changing from dependency, in which people generally abdicate from owning their own health and over reliance on traditional health systems and doctors who will "fix me”, to consumers being more proactive, well informed and educated and taking responsibility for the quality of their lives, understanding that prevention through "living well" in its various forms is the key to a long and happy life.                                                                           

What was your main motivation for joining GOCO Hospitality? 

Ingo and I are colleagues and friends from a long time back and over the years have discussed working together on several occasions. Everything in life is about “timing” and GOCO is now at a stage with so many wonderful prestigious and ground-breaking projects that we felt that this is the right time to join forces. My experience in development, innovation, and running luxury businesses round off the impressive skills already present in the team and help galvanise progression of the company. What the GOCO Hospitality team has achieved over the past ten years is impressive and I am looking forward to complementing the work in the years to come.

What role does health and wellness play in your personal life? 

I live the life of wellness. I am a fitness fanatic, spa-going, non-drinking, meditating, polo-playing vegetarian. What more can I say...

What are the best things about living in Asia/Thailand? 

I love living in Bangkok and having the sheer choice. It is totally unique and like nowhere else in the world. I really enjoy the seeming contradictions, for example the fact that while all the world’s top brands are present to satisfy the most wealthy and discerning luxury consumer, at the same time you can eat delicious healthy Thai food in a nice environment for 1$. I love the vibrancy and energy of Bangkok and the fact that you can go from walking the streets, having a complete sensory overload, to being in a resort-like apartment far away from the hustle and bustle, in a very short amount of time. And of course the warmth of the Thai people, which makes living here very enjoyable and comfortable. 

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