Home Mental Wellness Corinna Yap, Director of Wellness at Asaya Rosewood

Corinna Yap, Director of Wellness at Asaya Rosewood


In this edition of ‘How to Succeed’, we speak to Corinna Yap — Asaya Rosewood Hong Kong’s brand new Director of Wellness — on her journey to wellness as a career, to wellness programming at Asaya and to wellness as it relates to her, personally. That may or may not include jumping out of aeroplanes as a stress-relieving activity.

Wellness. It’s the kind of word that’s almost undefinable, not because it touches on esotericism or because it’s a word that particularly difficult to summarise, but because it, for all intents and purposes, delves into a state of being that’s entirely subjective. What makes someone happy, another may find only indifference. Where yoga, meditation brings contentment to some; others, only boredom.

Which makes Corinna Yap’s job especially hard. Or especially fun! Either way, it’s a role with breadth; with no Groundhog Days.

“Director of Wellness” — like “Social Media Manager” a decade ago, or “NFT Specialist” a mere month ago — is not the kind of role one studies into becoming. It’s not, even, the kind of role that would have existed prior to the wellness industry ballooning to a value of US$1.5 trillion dollars. For Yap, though, finally landing on wellness and hospitality is a path that made perfect sense, from a travelling childhood to a Hotel Management degree to an unfortunate breast cancer diagnosis to, finally, Asaya’s call earlier this year.

At the end of the day, Yap’s job — be it in the service of Asaya’s clientele or her A-Team associates and practitioners — is simple, albeit formidable. To make people feel good. Feel well. Feel grounded; rested. Purposeful, even. Better than before, wherever that barometer ends. And begin again, bettered.

Asaya Rosewood’s Corinna Yap on wellness and success:

Tell us a little bit about your background — how did you enter the hospitality industry? And more specifically, how did you make the jump from sales and marketing to wellness? Was there a moment or event that really influenced you to become involved in the wellness sphere?

Dad and Mum were in the travel industry — I was lucky to go on some of Dad’s business trips as a child and always loved exploring different destinations, and discovering different hotels always fascinated me. I studied Hotel Management at Cardiff Business School and then introduced myself to a hotel company at the World Travel Market in London and got my first job that way. As much as I enjoyed working in Sales, Marketing and Event Management I always had an interest in sports, massage and wellbeing; I almost chose Sports Management as my degree but my parents steered me into Hotel Management as a safer and more steady career choice.

I had been thinking about how to make the move from Event Sales to Spa and Wellness when I was approached about the Global Director of Sales role for COMO Shambhala, the wellbeing and lifestyle brand of COMO, so I knew it was destined to be. My 13 years with COMO and Mrs Ong taught me so much and very much influences my approach to health and wellbeing.

In your expert opinion, what does it mean to “be well”?

To me, being well is about finding your balance. It is something you do rather than something you are. Our actions and the way we think have a big impact on what we experience and everyone’s balance is different. Balancing thoughts, emotions, actions and experiences will bring us a sense of health and vitality where we feel happy, healthy, socially connected and purposeful.

Who is one person who has been instrumental in your success? If there isn’t a person, an experience or an insight?

The only person that can truly be instrumental in one’s own success is oneself. That said, there have been guiding lights along my journey who taught me to believe in myself as well as the importance of integrity and authenticity. My parents and sister have been my most important sounding boards and mentors throughout my life. I have also watched and learned from the many leaders I have worked with; how to and not to be. I have come to realise that rather than try to emulate someone, success comes from not seeking success but being completely true to yourself and allow the person you are to be seen and shine through.

“Director of Wellness” is the kind of role that would not exist, say, 10, or even five years ago. Can you describe the scope of your role, what you’re responsible for — and what you hope to achieve?

The most exciting thing about being Director of Wellness at Asaya Hong Kong with Rosewood is that the scope of my role is almost limitless — there is just so much that it can encompass. Vision and creativity on how we evolve brand Asaya to spark imagination in the consumer to embrace wellbeing as not only fundamental but also enjoyable. People sometimes make wellbeing seem all serious and unobtainable but actually there is so much that can be fun and playful.

The scope of the role spans the financial success of Asaya Hong Kong, all aspects of strategy, programming, marketing and partnerships, the smooth operating of the two-floor wellness centre, leading and caring for a team of 50 amazing individuals and, very importantly, the building of the Asaya community and care and attention we give all of our guests.

Also in my scope is how we build the Asaya wellbeing journey into the whole Rosewood experience, giving all our guests the choice to choose wellbeing options from the moment they walk into the Rosewood Hong Kong and finally, but very importantly, building a strong wellbeing culture for all of the Rosewood and Asaya Associates to allow them to have access to the experts and tools to also build their own wellbeing journey.

In your opinion, what makes Asaya’s wellness programming different from others on the market?

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