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“The head chef has left”

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Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tallebudgera
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“The head chef has left”
Reviewed 21 January 2017 via mobile

Since this was my third stay in three years I've overcome the shock of the "school camp" nature of this luxury eco retreat. What I love about this place is that it reminds you of all the good behaviours you've eroded since your last stay and all the unhealthy behaviours you've adopted and convinced yourself don't really impact your health when they really do. It's a great reset. Bathing in rain water and eating freshly picked organic food with loads of herbs has such a dramatic effect on my health.

The downside:
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the facials are ok but not outstanding. They're always a bit disjointed ie lack that rhythm that experienced facialists have, so I never fall asleep.
I did the Journey and when the guided vision part wasn't working for me, as in nothing was come ng to my mind when the therapist kept asking me who was in my stomach, the therapist switched to giving me a mini 101 on somatic therapy. So basically half an hour of talking at me.
On NYE there was a ceremony where we walked around the labyrinth ( don't get excited, it's just rocks on the ground ) and put something that we'd picked up along the way that represented what we wanted to leave behind in an urn. Then we wrote it down on paper and burned it in a fire and sent what we want for the new year to our home address. It was well thought out but not for me.
Lastly they organised an amazing sound performance but we were lying down the whole time which was really uncomfortable for me and I put my back out.
Most importantly - the food! This has always been a highlight for me but I really noticed a change this time. There were a couple of highlights like all the breakfasts and the fish but generally speaking it had lost its gourmet edge. One night we ate the kind of hippy stuff that would scare a lot of people from going to a retreat - lentils and grated beetroot or something. Other dishes were boring or lacked oomph. The mushrooms and snow peas coated in brown stuff that had no taste were awful.

Stayed January 2017
4 Thank Claire C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwinganna, Manager at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, responded to this review, 27 January 2017
Dear Claire C

Thank you for your review and for returning to us again. So many guests say that each time they return its more valuable than the last. We are sorry to hear there were elements that you did not enjoy though and will be reviewing these with the relevant teams.We usually receive wonderful feedback from the facials so we will be addressing this.

We actually have the same head chef as on your last visit, however we note that you had not joined us for the Detox program previously. A weekend stay does have a different menu as detox is not possible in such a short time. The Detox menu is vegetarian for the first few days to help enhance this program's outcomes. Next visit, you may wish to choose a program that you have done before, where we serve seafood, red meat and chicken.

The New Years Eve ritual received excellent feedback from other guests. We are sorry to hear that our sound performance was uncomfortable for you, even with bolsters and blankets to help ensure everyone's comfort.

The Labyrinth is one of the only ones in Australia and was created by our team when the retreat opened. The ritual then was to write a positive intention for guests and place these under the many stones.
Thank you again, we wish you wellness until next time.
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209 reviews from our community

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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2016

I did the 5 day retreat and got way more out of this experience than I ever imagined or anticipated having! A life changing experience that I would recommend to anybody. Whether it is fitness, health or mental.

  • Stayed October 2016, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank Sam E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lugarno, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2016

I have just returned from the 7 day Detox. My recommendation would be to stay in the Heritage Cottage as the location is close enough for the activities and meals, but far enough away not to hear any noise. The food was bountiful, healthy and delicious. The weather was overcast for most of the time we were there but it didn't stop us doing some fabulous activities including bush walks, yoga, boxing, meditation, pilates and a whole lot of other activities to suit all people. My only negative was the price of the spa treatments. The treatments I had were good but nothing special. Having said that, I would recommend a break at Gwinganna to unwind, slow down and nourish yourself.

Stayed October 2016
1 Thank Irnbru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2016

I did the 7 day detox last month. It was my second visit having first visited 16 months prior. I cannot recommend Gwinganna more highly. Once again I was able to rejuvenate and renourish my body and soul. The food is fantastic and plentiful, the accomodation more than adequate, and the staff are amazing. Everyone will connect with different people but for me, Donna and Ally are very special individuals.
It is so far removed from my corporate world and provides an environment and an opportunity to remember what's really important in life.

Gwinganna is my happy place and I'll be back next year !

PS: If I could offer one bit of advise - don't charge for the takeaway lunch. It's provides an unnecessary negative talking point in our final hours.

Stayed September 2016, travelled solo
2 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwinganna, Manager at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, responded to this review, 18 October 2016
Dear Mark H

Thank you so much for your wonderful review on your Gwinganna stay. We are so pleased your second visit was a positive experience and the staff will be thrilled to read your review. Our aim is to create a dedicated wellness environment on the beautiful property we have to help people switch off and slow down and come back to base, focusing on their health and wellness.

For lunch on the final day, we provide this complimentary as with all meals at the retreat unless guests wish to order an extra lunch pack for the flight home.
Thanks for the feedback and we look forward to seeing you next year.
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Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2016 via mobile

I've just returned from a 4 night stay at Gwinganna. As always, I read the negative reviews on TripAdvisor to help me with my stay. I noted people complained about the establishment being money hungry, going downhill in their offer, the expense etc. I can be quite critical and was really concerned I'd quickly find things not to like about a place like Gwinganna however on arrival was pretty quickly swung in to a peaceful sense of calm that not much was going to phase me either way! I could not fault the food, the service but most of all the purpose. Yes it is a business, but their passion for the greater good shines beyond all. Gwinganna really is a little slice of heaven on earth & for those open minded enough to give anything a go, there is so much benefit up for grabs. Gwinganna educated me about health, wellbeing and my mind, nourished me with hands down the most beautiful food on the planet, and nurtured me with their most amazing caring and generous staff. I've travelled the world and paid a lot more than Gwinganna rates for just a room. Bare in mind if you're thinking it's a lot of money, where else can you pay one rate and receive total care (all food included, daily seminars, activities, plus some gorgeous Spa treatments). If you're reading this and thinking about going; my advice is that you truly deserve it and lock that thing in & never look back!!
Note: don't be apprehensive about a solo trip. People are understanding if you don't want to be social & there are also plenty of other people up for being social if that's your thing too. I made some gorgeous friends and hope to keep in touch after expecting I'd go and keep to myself!

Stayed October 2016, travelled solo
3 Thank Carlita29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwinganna, Manager at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, responded to this review, 11 October 2016
Dear Carlita29

Thank you for your wonderful review of Gwinganna. We are truly grateful and the entire team will be thrilled to read about your experience. Every week we strive to inspire guests towards wellness and living a healthier life.
Its very true that so many guests choose to come and visit on their own. This can allow them to embrace the environment and recharge with us and still make lasting connections with other guests at the retreat.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts.
We wish you wellness.

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Additional Information about Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Property: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Address: 192 Syndicate Rd, Tallebudgera, Gold Coast, Queensland 4228, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Gold Coast > Tallebudgera
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tallebudgera
Price range (per night): $1,238
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In a world of busy, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat stands apart as the destination to help you rest and revive and inspires you to live a healthier life. Whether you stay for a spa weekend over two nights or the popular detox program over seven days, you will connect with supportive professionals who will teach you resilience in the modern world.Australia's award winning lifestyle retreat is surrounded by ocean and valley views in the Gold Coast hinterland, with exceptional facilities including the stunning Spa Sanctuary, one of the largest spas in the Southern Hemisphere. Enjoy delicious organic cuisine, an extensive range of activities and stylish accommodation including luxury villas. Gwinganna.....for the rest of your life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Hotel Tallebudgera
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Australia/Gold Coast - Tallebudgera

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