Q&A With Caline Assilian
Caline joins the TLEE Spas + Wellness team as our Project Manager + Wellness Director. She’s dived straight into several projects and has just taken part in a wellness panel at this year’s ULI Spring Meeting.
What drew you to wellness? Did you always know you wanted to pursue a career in it?
I fell into wellness quite accidentally. I had studied Business and was working in Advertising when I decided to randomly take Tai Chi classes just to try out a new hobby. I didn’t even know what Tai Chi was when I showed up for the first class. When I started learning about Eastern medicine and philosophy through Tai Chi, I found myself fascinated with the concept of wellness and being that it portrays. The next thing I knew I was enrolled in a masters and doctorate program to study TCM and my journey with wellness took off from there.
Can you tell us about your career journey?
While I was studying TCM I started working in a med spa and I that’s when I first realized my love for spas. After I graduated, I went to practice TCM wellness in spas onboard luxury cruise ships. This allowed me to travel the planet bringing health and wellness to people from around the world. I then transitioned back onto land settling in Miami and I brought my passion for wellness with my business background together by working with spas on the management side. I worked with the company mind + body brand Exhale as their Regional Director for Florida while at the same time working as the Executive Director for Intentional Health & Wellness, implementing, and managing healing programs into spas nationwide. An opportunity then came about to join Aman hotels as their pre-opening Wellness Director for their new flagship NYC location. During all these years I was involved in numerous openings and renovations among various hotel brands which created a love for spa and wellness development bringing me to my current role as a consultant with TLEE.
How do you unwind?
Enjoying restaurants with great food and delicious wine, poring over my puzzles which are a form of meditation for me, playing with my beloved 18-year-old dog Hailey, and lazing in the sun on the beach.
What is your bucket list destination?
Bora Bora and the Maldives. Although I have traveled to over 40 countries thus far, I have not yet made it to these beautiful islands. I am an avid beach goer and sunbather and dream of sitting on the sparkling blue waters of these tropical locations.
Can you tell us a fun fact, or something we might not know about you?
I am a citizen of 3 countries. I was born in England, naturalized in the US, and granted citizenship in Cyprus where my father was born and raised. I have also sailed on a ship from the north pole to the south, from Alaska to Antarctica.
It’s hard to choose one because I really have a passion for food and love so many types of cuisines and specifically seek to eat a wide variety of cooking. I can say that one of my favorites is definitely pasta, sometimes there is nothing better than a big bowl of pasta with tomato sauce. In that vein, anything from the Mediterranean region is at the top of the list.
It’s a bit nostalgic but one everlasting movie that I re-watch over and over is Home Alone. I’ve been watching it since I was a kid and something about it just makes me so happy. It does not need to be holiday time to enjoy, it’s great for me any time of year.
The Alchemist. Paulo Coelho is one of my all-time favorite authors and this book opened me up to a whole new world that I never knew existed. It’s a classic and its wisdom is incredible.