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Reviewed 17 September 2018

Gwinganna is a holistic approach with exceptional people and programs. It provides a wide range of activities from challenging walks (eg the driveway Wolverine trained on) to gentle yoga and meditation. You get out of it what you put into it.
It is focused on the guest and their needs to get the most out of themselves and Gwinganna. The detox and organic meals help rejuvenate and restore your body (and mind).
I wish I had been twenty years ago as the knowledge about my body (how the mind and gut interact), how stress, food and other factors affect it, and how quickly you can change the dynamics. It really does start with you.
Apart from the insightful aspect, the actual spa facilities are amazing.
It is a marvelous experience with fantastic people and interesting diverse guests.

Room Tip: Villas for couples and families, Orchard suite to share with friends, Queenslanders for the economical stays
  • Stayed: September 2018, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Thank danimck99face
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2018 via mobile

I had planned this weekend with my friend in January as I had read so many great reviews about Gwinganna and have always wanted to try a health retreat.
It is pricey but I thought it was worth the try.
The communication prior to arrival was poor. I had emailed the retreat early August to book our massage times of 4.30pm. The response I received from the Spa was that they would do their best to confirm our request. My friend called to clarify what this meant. The staff member explained that bookings cannot be confirmed until 24 hours prior due to availability of therapist. Why she didn’t explain this on the email in the first place puzzled me. Would have saved a frustrating phone call. The day before arrival, I received an email advising that our massages were confirmed. I assumed the time of 4.30 was fine.. until I received a text to state our massages were confirmed for 4pm and to sms back to confirm. Again I emailed the spa to clarify the time. They confirmed 5pm as 4.30 was not available. Communication breakdown there..
The massage was good but not great. A small thing that concerns me is the signing procedure after the massage. I was required to sign to state I had my massage. There were 4 other names of other guests on the list. I feel that this is a privacy issue-leaving exposed full names of guests for other guests to see. I think the first name and last name initial is sufficient.
At about 6pm there is an orientation meeting. They advise you that there is no caffeine served after breakfast (so caffeine addicts, be aware). There is to be no water to be consumed during meal times as apparently it helps with digestion. Something I couldn’t really handle, so I had to go outside to consume water from the water filter if needed. We were also told that a verbal wake up call by a volunteer would be made at 5.30am every morning. I think this is very “school camp”. I understand that they are trying to strongly encourage you to participate in Qi Gong and the walk, however, we all have mobile phones for an alarm if we wish to participate. ( no mobile phones allowed in public ) A verbal wake up call is not necessary. Having said that, we had the option of opting out of this which we did.
The food was absolutely amazing. Breakfast was a cold dish, then they served a hot dish. Lunch was a protein and 2 types of salad or vegetables. Dinner was a choice of 2 dishes with sides of vegetables. All the vegetables are grown on site. On our last night there was dessert. You will never ever go hungry here. They also had morning and afternoon tea. The tahini balls were amazing! Bought a box!
The times for meals are quite late. Breakfast is 8am, lunch 1pm and dinner 7pm. Considering it’s a health retreat, it’s known to most that prior to exercise, you should not have a full stomach. The morning activities started at 9am. I would have thought having an early dinner (perhaps 6pm) would be more logical as going to bed on full stomach is not ideal.
On the second day, I was disappointed to find that I couldn’t book another treatment in as the spa was full. From what I read in the reviews I got the impression you could book on the day as there is a spa staff member present at morning tea and lunch. So if you do decide to come to Gwinganna make sure you book spa treatments for both days weeks before your arrival.
The accommodation was excellent. We stayed in the Peel House which is located right at the end of the resort. Very peaceful and the best view.
We were presented with a talk by Carl which was very useful and informative. He was a great presenter.
Upon check out when they printed my invoice I was surprised to see an additional $50 added to my bill as I requested a remedial massage. I was not made aware of this charge either prior to my arrival or by the spa on the day. This is unacceptable and needless to say, I was quite annoyed. I understand that part of the package was a classic massage and I don’t have a problem paying for it, however I was not informed of this charge.
Overall it was a pleasant stay and recommend you go for a few days to take in the routine, and take the time to relax. If anything I took away, it was some good health tips.

Stayed: September 2018, travelled with friends
Thank Jo L
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 17 September 2018

Dear Jo L

Thank you for sharing your feedback from your recent stay. We are so pleased to hear you loved the meals, the accommodation and the seminar presenter and took away some good health tips. These are often highlights of a stay with us.

We offer an Orientation on arrival day to give you all the information needed to be able to maximise your stay. Caffeine is available in the mornings on weekends as this program is not a detox. After morning tea, we recommend no caffeine to help the adrenal glands rest and help encourage healthy sleep. We do suggest limiting water at meals for optimal digestion, however the tea bar and filtered water is always available for guests, along with a complimentary water bottle on arrival.

Many people love the gentle knock and cheery wake up in the mornings. We offer this to help limit use of mobile devices on retreat and also because mobile reception is limited in some areas. Many guests opt for a 'no wake up' call, which is always available.

Thank you for your comments regarding other guest names in the spa and we will certainly review this.

We're sorry the communication prior to arrival was a concern and the upgrade cost was not explained clearly enough. The spa operates differently to a day spa and we confirm all treatments on arrival. We did have a range of spa options available to book each day at breakfast though so it is not essential to book everything prior to arrival.

Thank you again for your feedback.

Wishing you wellness.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2018

The weather was atrocious, it rained every day, which was a fate of nature, but hampered my enjoyment. The retreat is expensive, the detox programme did not provide any activities in the afternoons, so all that was left was to spend money in the spa - very expensive, as my treatments were under-whelming.
I thought the seminars were boring and two hours every morning was just too long to be talked at.
I did not feel that my room offered any privacy. I would not stay here again, next time I'd rather have a fun holiday.

  • Stayed: September 2018, travelled solo
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1  Thank Global301734
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 12 September 2018

Dear Global301734

Thank you for your review. The weather was unusually cool for this time of year but did bring us some much needed rain. All our programs are designed around activity in the morning with rest time in the afternoons to help follow the body's natural circadian rhythm. This helps guests to slow down and rest rather than doing activity all day long, though all the facilities and extensive walks available can be used at any time.

We're sorry to hear you did not enjoy the spa treatments you selected or the 90 minute wellness seminars which are optional but provide information, background and the latest research around health issues today.

Wishing you wellness.

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Reviewed 3 September 2018

I went to Gwinganna for some rest, sunshine, and to be inspired to live a healthier lifestyle. It was so much more than I expected!

The seminars were informative and useful without being to heavy to listen to and apply, the food was outstanding, nutritious and tasty, and the program management included staff who took a genuine interest in my well-being. I certainly experienced some quite profound self-discovery as a result of being open-minded during the activities.

Unfortunately due to the time of year it was often windy and cool, but the sun did come out at times. The weather didn't spoil my trip because I found myself so much more refreshed than I'd anticipated I'd be just by getting some sunshine.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled solo
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Thank JamieK2186
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2018

I'd never done a retreat or day spa so arrived at Gwinganna with no idea what to expect. I'd hit the end of a very intense period with work and family and my stress levels were at breaking point. What I found was such a quiet calm environment that my body and mind responded by letting go - it took the full four days of my stay (on the Triple S - Sleep, Sugar, Stress program) but by the time I left I felt my mind was no longer a whirlwind out of my control and my deep exhaustion was no longer such a black hole. The calm of the routine, the emphasis on looking after ourselves both body and mind through exercise, meditation, quality food and enough rest was incredibly refreshing for someone used to constantly looking after everyone else but myself. Of course the spa therapies were indulgent, but a lovely way to deepen the self care factor. The staff are incredible - so gentle and caring constantly. Totally recommend for anyone feeling burned out by life - your health will thank you.

  • Stayed: August 2018, travelled solo
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Thank michellegbrady
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 11 September 2018

Dear michellegbrady

Thank you for your feedback and sharing your review. We are delighted that the retreat was what you needed at this time and that your first experience was so positive. Taking the time to really slow down and reset our body and mind is more vital now than ever and our programs are designed to allow this to happen. Well done on taking that time out. Thank you again.

Wishing you wellness.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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