MEET THE FOUNDER:
Founder of Compare Retreats
As we head into the new year, wellness is most certainly on the mind. In 2017 Dervla Louli launched Compare Retreats as a solution to the lack of transparent information about wellness retreats online. It is now one of the leading online booking portals and publications for the world's leading luxury wellness retreats that have been tried, tested and reviewed by certified health and fitness professionals. We sat down with Dervla to find out what inspired her to launch the business and to hear a bit more about some of the best eco-wellness retreats.
Tell us a bit about yourself and Compare Retreats, what inspired you to launch the business?
I’m an Irish Egyptian entrepreneur, editor and digital media consultant based in Hong Kong with a wellness travel tech company that’s transforming the way people discover and book wellness retreats. I spotted a gap in the wellness travel market in 2017 and was frustrated by the lack of transparent information about wellness retreats online. I curated a collective of the world’s best retreats tried, tested and vetted by a team of certified wellness professions and made it easy to find and book them. We connect the right retreats to the right people, bring transparency to the market and offer exclusive benefits that our clients won’t find elsewhere.
As a female entrepreneur here in Hong Kong, what advice would you have for someone looking to launch their own business or enterprise?
Surround yourself with a team of people who are experienced, passionate and have different strengths than you. Create annual, quarterly and monthly goals and break them down into manageable tasks and ask for help and advice with things you need guidance on. Create a budget and stick to it.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
My three biggest passions are content creation, wellness and travel and my work and life incorporate all of these. When you do what you love and get real joy from it I don’t think you separate work and life.
Sakti Dining Room at Fivelements Bali. Djuna Ivereigh - Licensed to Fivelements
What are some of your favourite eco-retreats / experiences?
How does sustainability feature in your life?
I’ve always loved old objects and curios with character when it comes to fashion and decor. When I travel you’ll find me in Paris flea markets hunting down old Baccarat crystal and Christian Lacroix. In New York I head straight to Michael’s consignment store for a little hunt, and in Dublin I love JW Weldon and Weir & Sons antique collections of jewellery and silver. I consign my clothing at HULA in Hong Kong and am a big fan of HURR and of Retykle of course for little ones. We use an AMWAY water filter at home and I try to go straight to the source when shopping for items.
Why is it important to incorporate wellness into our everyday lives?
How well I sleep, eat, meditate and exercise has a significant impact on my physical and emotional wellbeing. I want to stay healthy, fit and happy so I can be the best version of myself - and I think most people feel the same.