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Up Close With Dervla Louli - Founder of Compare Retreats

Posted on 25 June 2018

dervla louli woman sitting on chair; mischa blog

Dervla Louli is the Founder of wellness travel portal CompareRetreats.com and a Digital Editorial Consultant based in Hong Kong. She was formerly the Digital Editor of Hong Kong Tatler, the Director of Integrated Content at Edipresse Media Asia and the Managing Editor of Sassy Media Group where she oversaw seven websites spanning Asia, the Middle East and Australia. She was also a regular freelancer for the fashion pages of South China Morning Post

She has moderated events at The British Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong University and Swire Hotels, and was the youngest panel member invited to speak at the Goldman Sachs' International Luxury Conference in 2013. Dervla has a Master's in Finance from Trinity College and a Bachelor's Degree in Business and Law. She is a member of the Global Shaper Community, part of the World Economic Forum and a certified yoga teacher. 

dervla louli woman doing a yoga pose; mischa blog

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm a wellness travel tech entrepreneur living in Hong Kong. I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia to Egyptian/Irish parents who loved to travel, I studied business, law and finance in Ireland before working at a venture capital firm and start-up incubator Rocket Internet. After working in luxury print publishing, digital media and content marketing in Hong Kong I made the move to start my own business Compare Retreats, a booking portal for the best luxury wellness retreats in the world. a woman overlooking the stairs, Eiffel Tower, Paris ; mischa blog

What inspired you to start Compare Retreats, coming from a publishing background?

There are more wellness retreats now than ever in the world and I wanted to create an online booking portal for retreats that delivered extraordinary results in stunning locations with excellent service. Publishing is a big part of the business and our online magazine is one of my favourite parts of our overall business strategy. I used to write a lot about luxury and lifestyle, now I focus on wellness travel content within this niche. 

What are some of your challenges as an entrepreneur and what would be your advice for those wanting to start their own?

I like to look at obstacles like opportunities and try to learn from all of the challenges I've faced so far growing Compare Retreats. Finding the right talent is always the highest priority and biggest challenge. Invest in great people who you want to work beside and hire people that want to grow with your business. 

a woman standing in front of a blue door ;mischa blog

Three cities you cannot stop going back to? 

Dublin for friends and family, New York for the best new fitness classes and healthy eats and London for the culture and shopping.

Five things always in your carry-on?

Lastly, where are you travelling to next?

Bali for a wellness retreat.

a woman in a bathrobe, sitting on a bed ; mischa blog

Follow Dervla on Instagram @dervlalouli and find out more about Compare Retreats here.

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