Turkish Transformation

Situated on the shores of Lake Sapanca, Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa is the first and only destination spa in Turkey. It is one of several Richmond properties owned by the Aksoy Group, which was founded by the Aksoy family in 1982. Spreading the idea of healthy living, the spa recently hosted Wellness Day, an annual event conceived by owner Belgin Aksoy. “Wellness Day was launched in 2012 with the goal of drawing attention to and encouraging people to live well, and it is now celebrated every year on the second Saturday of June, as we try to increase people’s consciousness of living well,” says Aksoy. The idea of introducing people to the benefits of wellbeing is a goal the event shares with Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa. While Turkey is known for its hammams, the spa goes beyond the traditional Turkish bath to provide guests with a truly memorable and all-encompassing spa experience.

The five-star property features a six-storey hotel with 131 rooms, including 20 suites; three restaurants in which guests can enjoy the spa’s Beautyfood menu; and a full-service spa facility, complete with a hammam, a water therapy circuit, a fitness center, and more. Bringing various water therapies from around the world together under one roof, the spa sends guests on a unique journey as they experience the Aqua Cave with its lights, scents, and sound effects; the two Jacuzzis; the Laconium with a refreshing citrus scent; the Herbal Steam Bath, which features the scent of chamomile, lavender, or linden; the Osman Steam Bath, also known as a Turkish bath; the Salt Inhalation Steam Bath, which features a fusion of salt and menthol to help clear the respiratory system; the Loft Sauna, a two-tiered traditional Finnish sauna; the Ice Grotto with a special lighting system; and the Tepidarium with heated stone chairs. For spa-goers who want yet more places to unwind, there is a relaxation room with water beds and Day Dream, an inviting area with wicker loungers and illuminated stars.

In addition to the topnotch amenities, the spa also offers a variety of programs to help guests detox and lose weight. Especially popular is the Hypoxi program, a revolutionary fitness and vacuum therapy that helps guests burn stubborn fat deposits. The five-night Hypoxi Marathon Program (starting at $1,812) involves two body analyses, a special Hypoxi meal plan, activities, spa treatments, and workouts relying on specialized devices and clothes that target specific areas with varying forms of pressure. The spa also offers the Nua Slim and Nua Fit programs, which are personalized weight-loss and firming plans developed and directed by the spa’s medical, nutrition, and fitness professionals. The staff creates a user-friendly lifestyle change regimen that can be continued once guests return home. “As a spa and wellness destination, Nua aims to create a wellbeing philosophy in Turkey both for the body and the mind,” says Aksoy. “We bring together various wellness methods, such as detox programs, Quantum Emotional and Physical Therapy with Paul Emery, and Motion Restoration Therapy with Chet Collins, D.C.”

With more than 100 treatments on the menu, spa-goers may find it difficult choosing among them. “There are only a few destination spas in the world with such a wide-ranging menu,” says Aksoy. The goal was to give spa-goers a chance to experience treatments from around the globe. Some services, such as the Shirodhara Therapy ($98, 65 minutes), have proven a bit of a harder sale. “At first, some of our guests found the Shirodhara Therapy to be a bit odd and the massage too oily,” says Aksoy. “However, the warm sesame oil flowing from the copper pot down onto the third eye serves to restore health and provides stress relief and deep relaxation. Those who do decide to be adventurous and try it tend to be very pleased with the results.” One treatment that takes very little convincing to get guests to try is the Nua Spirit (starting at $174, 1 hour 45 minutes), the spa’s most popular offering. Taking place in the spa’s luxury wellness suite, it features a footbath with rose petals, a Rasul Steam Bath, the Cleopatra Bath, and the Chi-Yang Massage, which involves an exfoliation and a massage. Other interesting options include the DNA Vital Facial ($184, 65 minutes), which uses cryo bacterium extracted from Antarctic ice to improve skin elasticity, and the Magnesium Massage ($92, 50 minutes), a nourishing treatment that delivers the power of magnesium with warm mineral compressions.

Relying on products from Ericson Laboratoire, Ligne St. Barth, and Kerstin Florian, the spa is well-equipped to treat most skincare concerns. “We conducted extensive research to choose our spa products,” says Aksoy. “We wanted the highest quality spa products used by the best spas globally.” Finding talented estheticians and therapists was also equally important to ensure guests are not only happy with their results but also enjoy the experience.

According to general manager Hakan Balcan, finding qualified staff members can be a challenge. “We always try to find the best staff,” says Balcan. “We work with a spa academy in Bali, and when we need to hire therapists, we travel to the academy to choose the right experts by experiencing their treatments firsthand. Creating a successful team is very important to us for living up to our brand reputation with our current guests and for promoting the spa around the world.” As Richmond Nua Wellness-Spa continues to help spa-goers embark on healthier lives, it’s also adding a new and promising chapter to Turkey’s rich spa history.

Owner: Aksoy Group

Spa Director:

Birol Pasalıoglu

Opened: 2005



60% female

40% male








29,100 square feet;

21 treatment rooms



Ericson Laboratoire, Kerstin Florian, Ligne St. Barth



Depileve, Ergoline, Finex, Life Fitness, Nilo, Nuvola, Spa Edition, TAC, Thermarium,
Vital O2



Ali Cicek (Istanbul)



Murat Kader (Istanbul)