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Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
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Reviews (230)
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All reviewsspa treatmentslife changingorganic foodbody and soulenergy levelssteam roombest experiences of my lifemeal timesamazing spaprivate plunge poolschool campearly daysboot campcome homewonderful weekorchard suitesdetox program
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Reviewed 7 March 2017

When I reflect back on my stay, and look at the week as a whole experience, I would recommend Gwinganna, and will return. That said, there were days and moments when I was uncomfortable or unhappy, and I guess this is part of the journey. This makes this review hard to write, as staying at Gwinganna is not just about the rooms and the food, it's an emotional experience too.

Let's start with the quantative ...

We stayed in the Orchard Suites (Lychee) rooms were clean, adequately equipped, but bathroom had a perpetual bad smell, and room had no view and hence was very dark. Location was convenient though and surrounded by wildlife, which was nice.
Facilities are excellent, enjoyed the gym, the pool, the dinning room, and the food was excellent and plentiful. Checkin and checkout were fine, minor errors on bill, but quickly corrected. Lectures were good, but held after an early start and busy morning of excecise, so I often found myself struggling to stay awake.

Now to the qualitative ...

Staff generally were very good. Donna, Alie and Duncan stand out, but others too whose names I have forgotten. Loved the morning hikes, and especially the bush walks with John, he is a character, a fountain of knowledge and a privilege to spend time in his environment. I found the mid morning classes a bit hit and miss, yang was often too hard and yin (mostly yoga and dance) just not me.

Afternoons, Dreamtime, were relaxing, but like most I signed up for too many spa treatments and regretted not having taking the opportunity for more "me" time. Treatments were okay, not great, and a little expensive. One shinning star was the manicure, which was very relaxing and lasted for almost ten days after!

As an introvert, I did find the "group" dinning and activity a bit much at times. Everyone was friendly and very open, but I needed more time hiding in my cave. I found the constant social interaction quite stressful.

One final point, we did the detox week and while we were advised to expect some reaction, at no time was being violently sick cited as a possible symptom. I woke at midnight on third night to the worst vomiting I have ever experienced, and it lasted for hours. The next day the onsite nurse was available and wonderful, and by mid day I was fighting fit again, but that night was not good. I heard from others that I was not the only person who experienced this.

So, a mixed bag of comments, but I would finish by saying it was worth doing, I felt better, lost weight (despite eating well), reconnected with myself, and enjoyed the experience. Some things I will do differently next time, and I will know what to expect, but I do look forward to returning.

My sincere thanks to the staff, for a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Be sure to do the bush walk with John, and the Sunset Path hike at sunset.
  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank CBHK88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwinganna, Manager at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 21 March 2017

Dear CBHK88

Thank you for your review on your recent stay. We are so pleased that you left feeling better and are planning to return. The seven night detox program is a comprehensive stay that can deliver incredible results as evidenced by new research recently released. For 11 years we have seen these remarkable results after just a few days with us. Each guest who comes to Gwinganna has a different lifestyle and habits so the process of detox can be different for each individual. We usually find that most guests have mild symptoms if any however factors such as alcohol, caffeine and sugar can all impact on our body’s reactions. Should you wish to discuss this further with one of our team, please contact us directly and we can also assist with preparation for your next stay if you wish.

Many thanks again
Wishing you wellness.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2017

Gwinganna has it all. Six days of rising early and deciding which choice to take up - fabulous bushwalks, maybe yoga, maybe a morning with the most fabulous ecologists and miracle gardeners who show you how to improve your lives with a few herbs. A fabulous breakfast (didn't miss the coffee and I LOVE my coffee normally), another choice should i box and then deep water run or maybe stretch to a pilates class. Then a seminar and sounds strange but seriously they were a daily highlight, an amazing lunch followed by dreamtime - where you have treatments or laze by the pool or snooze under a tree - your freetime for whatever. Dinner - again fantastic food, bed, then repeat the next day but with different activities on offer - BLISS.
This is a health retreat that treats the whole person - not just the waistline or the inner exercise junky. There is a lot of highly qualified, passionate and entertaining staff. Its one of the things that set this place apart. The staff are so knowledgable - best in class I think. I am only home four days, so its early days, but I have come away with a whole lot of motivation and information to incorporate into my daily life to live a healthier life and have more energy. I didn't rate every treatment I had, frankly a couple were ordinary, but the Spirit of Sound was brilliant - can't rate it highly enough, the zero balance made me feel like a new woman, and the aquine therapy is unique and just fabulous. A really special week and looking forward to going back maybe in a year or so!

  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank simonegandur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 reviewResponded 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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