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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 5 March 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed 7 nights at Gwinganna. I travelled on my own which I recommend. The mix of activities was great and the food was superb. In this regard I'm very fussy.. It was so fresh, healthy and for me there was plenty of it. My room was a Heritage one... Nicely but simply furnished with a big comfy bed and bathroom - they're a little dated but all I really did was sleep there and I was very happy. The work experience 'staff' do make the place feel different to a hotel - its not always slick but they were all very personable and full of smiles and enthusiasm. We had quite a bit of rain which didn't matter at all. The spa is fabulous... I spent more there than I thought I would before I went. The workshops were professional and relevant. All in all I loved it and would love to make it an annual trip. Don't miss John's walks, and tribal dancing if you get the opportunity!

Room Tip: My pick would be the Orchard Suites.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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10  Thank SydTraveller_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

I went to gwinganna to have a break from the stress of everyday life with kids ... and loved it !
Very comfortable accommodation and so many activities - no matter what your intension is you will find something to suit your body and mind needs ...
They are very strong on their belief of changing your life habits and if you are there to relax only you may get overwhelmed with the talks and philosophies but they welcome you to let them know and choose to do as little or as much as you want.
The food is organic and there is not much of it as they propose to detox you from your old habits ... a male would straggle ...
I fully embraced the Spa - its located in this out of this wold tree houses that interconnect and the therapies are amazing and there are sooo many to choose from ...
A must do !!!! Beautiful place !

Room Tip: Choose a room closer to the main house where all the activities are as walking back at night after dinner to the further rooms is a bit challenging even more when the weather is a bit wet
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank Carolina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

I have recently returned from Gwinganna and had a wonderful time. Few places can hold their head high with such an amazing culture, nothing was to much trouble for their very caring and professional staff. We stayed for a weekend and found the accommodation in the Villas to be stunning and the food was not only organic but delicious, with plenty of variety. The treatments in the spa were the best I have had anywhere and I travel a lot! Worth a mention is the commitment Gwinganna makes to mentoring the younger generation about health and wellbeing via their work experience program, I found this particularly inspiring. Make sure you meet John Palmer he is an absolute classic. I will return again and again.

Room Tip: I don't think you can wrong with any of the rooms.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Sueella B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2012

Overall enjoyable, but service not up to par in many areas and questionable value for a high end experience.

For a $3000 weekend it did not start well. My husband and I arrived onsite at 5.04pm on a Friday to find the reception closed. We went to what we thought was the shop (general store written on the window) we had been instructed to find, in the event of reception being closed. We were asked to select preferences for spa treatments. This is difficult to do when you have not yet seen a list of what is on offer. After asking for a spa menu and deciding, our first preference was not available.....sit down and decide again.

We wondered outside thinking that is a very unusual checkin system when a work experience girl found us looking lost and took us to the shop (a different building) where we were left standing with two clipboards to fill in. We then had to carry our own luggage to our room where we were given a very scant, though pleasant introduction to our room. We were told that we had use of an iPod with the room, but we were never issued, or offered, one.

Walking into the clubhouse for our orientation we felt it a little like an Amway convention. I found the orientation session a little too long for the amount of information delivered and it lacked some key information, such as a map of the property (which also was not in our room). There was an introduction to a guest speaker (nutritionist) who, by all reports, delivered some great practical advise in sessions to those who attended.

Dinner initiated us to the communal experience. There is no opportunity for a couple to sit alone as all tables seat eight and for the first night we were told where to sit. So I felt more like I was at boarding school rather than a $1500/night getaway.

I enjoy cooking and have studied post graduate nutrition at university, so put a high priority on food. The food we ate throughout the weekend was healthy, fresh and enjoyable. It was of the quality I produce at home, with a few pleasant new experiences thrown it (notably the hot fresh macaroons). The introduction of some flexibility around meal times would make for an improved guest experience and perhaps allow the staff to be a little less frantic during the set meal times. Because, for example, everybody (approx 60 people) is expected to eat lunch within a one hour time slot, plates were not cleared between courses and there is a bit of get it out and get it over with feel about the experience. Even if they allowed people to have lunch over a two hour period this might create a nicer atmosphere.

We enjoyed all the activities we took part in - stretching, weights, boxing, bush walking, qigong, free dance and spent some nice, relaxed time alone in the pool whilst most other people were attending a workshop.

The star of the show for us was John the botanist - he is just great! A couple of hours with him walking around the property learning about herbs was fabulous.

Much of our contact with 'staff' over the weekend was with work experience personnel rather than paid employees, leaving us a bit perplexed in regard to the cost of the weekend versus the outlay borne by the business in regard to staff. I could go any number of places and spend $3000 on accommodation, food, massages and some activities over a couple of days and be provided with service that is much more professional. I suppose that doesn't go along with the spirit of this retreat though, so to enjoy my time there I just had to go with the flow.

We found it more than a little ironic that there are high tension power lines running through a health retreat (considering their established carcinogenic associations), but beyond that the property feels nice to be in - lots of birds, wallabies, organic gardens and native vegetation.

The condition of the various buildings dotted around does vary quite a bit, but the spa is beautifully planned. It is clearly a cash cow and a great deal of money would have been invested to ensure its presentation. The treatments we received were all very well delivered and the logistics of what happened when was all discretely arranges with little fuss - thankfully.

We had to carry our own luggage out of the room again to a buggy about 100m away.

A few days after we departed the spa menu was emailed to us in an email telling us how much our impending arrival at Gwinganna was welcome...clearly there are a few logistics that this resort could improve on.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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19  Thank Goon72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2012

The men's retreat well and truly exceeded my expectations. I expected 'rabbit food' but was treated to amazing tastes every meal. Gwingana taught me that healthy eating does not have to be bland. The staff were also fantastic. They all seemed to really enjoy their work - no surpirse there! What a beautiful place. To be honest I was not looking forward to exercise - I felt like a total relax. Although no one is pushing you, exercise is very much a part of the program and what amazed me is how good it does make you feel. I havn't slept that well for a long time. I really enjoyed the talks too. What made them so good was that the speakers kept it simple, you came away with tools to continue the healthy lifestyle after you leave. That did impress me. Many of the guys on the retreat were return guests, some return every year or even more often. They were back because they love the place.
Thank you to all the staff who made it such a great experience. Anyone who does not give Gwingana a 5 star review needs some really serious therapy!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank Gromit55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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