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“Very enjoyable stay with only tiny hiccup” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

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Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
192 Syndicate Road, Tallebudgera, Queensland 4228, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tallebudgera
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Alexandra, New Zealand
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
86 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Very enjoyable stay with only tiny hiccup”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

I loved my week Detox retreat at Gwinganna. While reading some of the other reviews I felt many of the complaints stemmed from lack of planning on the part of the guest. Perhaps the message that if you want certain treatments it is a good idea to book in advance does not come through strongly enough.

My booking was easy, and I booked all treatments I wanted in advance and got all of them. I also booked an extra couple while I was there and had no problem getting what I wanted. I found the treatments excellent and the environment of the spa facility gorgeous and relaxing.

I took the shuttle from the airport after having to overnight at a motel in Coolangatta, no drama as the shuttle system for Golden Door Elysia works the same way. On arrival I was shown to my room promptly and it was very nice and spacious. I loved my personal balcony, looking out into the bush. The bed was huge and comfortable, and a cosy sitting area was a great place to dream. The bathroom could use an upgrade as I found the layout of the counter space in the Mudbrick very inconvenient. One issue I did have is that with the rain the main door to the Mudbrick house swelled shut so we were not woken in the morning, and it took hours for anyone to do anything about it. As a result we missed an entire morning of activities and were not offered anything as compensation. Better coordination between "casual" workers and front desk/maintenance staff would help.

The facilities at the retreat were excellent, great pools, gym, yoga and exercise rooms. There was plenty of equipment and plenty of space for all activities. I did not mind the group thing as I have found most health retreats to be the same. This should not be mistaken for a spa resort, it has a different purpose.

The lectures were very interesting and informative. I came home with some great information to help me on my journey to a healthier lifestyle.

The Detox programme helped me identify a couple of issues that were robbing me of my energy. I lost 2.5kg during the week without really exercising very much and felt much more energetic.

The food was very good and there seemed to be plenty left in the bowls when we got up from the table. While the size of the mains was controlled, there were heaps of salad and veggies to beef up the size of the meal. There were also bowls of fruit around for snacking as well as morning and afternoon tea. I never felt hungry.

On check out my bill was correct and I had no hassles.

I agree the power lines marching through the property detract a bit from it's beauty but what can be done about it? Governments seem to put those things up wherever they want.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, July 15, 2014
Dear bluegoldhighlander

Thank you so much for taking time to review your stay with us. The information you have given will be very helpful to future guests.

We are so sorry to hear of your experience with the door and will be following up with our team. As you may know, the delightful heritage buildings are sometimes weather affected however we have never had this situation before.

You are right in that we inherited the power lines and have looked into any alternatives possible to relocate these. We also reassure guests regarding the effect of where these lines are located and the impact of them during a short stay with us compared to some common household appliances.

Many thanks again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

I arrived on the Sunday very apprehensive but desperate for some tlc .Mother of 3 extremely hectic lifestyle and was losing myself , hence everyone felt it as of course lets admit the mother is the pillar of the home !!
First few days l struggled coffee withdrawals ! however found it most difficult as there was no schedule given first thing in the morning , this agitated me but learnt to go with the flow .
The staff were incredibly nurturing and amazingly experienced sharing so many real stories .
I cried and cried so many times as they just did that to you because they were all so calm and peaceful Food was unreal !!!! Plenty .....

LEarnt to chew slower and drink no liquid through meal times wow this was hard.
We live such a hectic life with all the social media and expectations no wander half of society is on antidepressants or alcoholics !!

SLOW DOWN SLOW DOWN is what l learnt , say no and yes to your needs.

Treatments were unbelievable especially the Equine treatment everyone should try this, you will only understand once you have done it.Stayed in heritage house , cosy and lovely harfdly spent any time in there as the grounds are too beautiful !!

I will be back and thankyou for looking after me and showing me that its so important to look after yourself today and everyday as this will make a difference in your old age ..
To all the staff thankyou xxxx

KAthy

Room Tip: Heritage is good if on your own .
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2014

This is more than just a fantastic 5 star spa retreat on top of a lush green subtropical hill with beautiful views of the Gold Coast. It's a place of serenity and healing where the staff live and breath the life that we all aspire to.
I took my weary little body and heart to the 5 day Optimal Wellness retreat and came away totally refreshed - both mind and body.
The accommodation was great, but you don't spend much time in your room. Altho.... if you love stunningly gorgeous views, don't mind being a little away from the centre, and have someone to go with, see if you can stretch your budget for a villa. It would be awesome, the little heated infinity pool on the deck would be an amazing place to sit each night.
The gourmet meals were plentiful and delicious and made with a passion and enthusiasm for food that nourishes the body.
The choices each day to explore the property or try different forms of exercise were great. I was amazed that I actually liked things that I thought I wouldn't.
The seminars were inspiring.
The shared experience was wonderful for creating new friendships.
Go with no expectations, an open heart, and just go with the flow....and take away a little of the magic that is Gwinganna in your soul....

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

My daughter & I selected the program STRESS, SUGARS & SLEEP because it suited us both in the time of year available to us & also in its focus on issues we needed to address.

I highly recommend this wonderful Health & Lifestyle retreat. I feel nurtured, nourished & enlightened. I have come away from the STRESS, SUGARS & SLEEP program inspired & armed with life skills I can use from now on. I know my daughter feels the same. This is the best holiday I have ever had for MYSELF. Thank you to all the wonderful people at Gwinganna whose knowledge & professionalism is to be applauded.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014 via mobile

I visited Gwinganna twice for a 7-day detox and absolutely loved it both times. Stunning setting, beautiful people and just the most serene environment one could ask for. And definitely the best spa I've ever visited!

Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

Just knowing that there is a place such as this that exists in the world makes me happy.

In the future, when I am stressed I'll imagine myself at Gwinganna, doing Qi Gong while watching the sunrise. That experience itself was so overwhelmingly restorative that I just need to conjure up the image in my memory to feel better. I really didn't want to leave, but knew that when returning to my life, I would be a truer version of myself.

Gwinganna is amazing. It has the attention to detail of a top hotel, with none of the formality. Requests are taken care of with a relaxed but efficient attitude by the staff. The location is stunning, the food delicious, the activities fun/challenging/educational and the Spa is second to none.

I attended the "Chill Out" program which was 3 nights. Generally it is more relaxed than other programs as they served coffee, wine (on the last night) and had more unstructured relaxation time than other programs.

Things I'd recommend:
Bosu class with Karl (who knew exercise could be fun!)
Nature Walk with Johnny (you'll laugh, taste and learn the whole way around)
Challenging walk before breakfast (try the driveway - just take it at your own pace)
Foam Roller class with Karl (ouch, but i've gone and bought my own for home)
Doing at least one yoga/pilates class in the beautiful Pavilion. Stunning.

At the Spa I had the Classic massage (great for relaxing on the first day) and the Hawaiian Bodywork (lovely, but maybe not really value for the extra $$). I also had a session with the Naturopath which included Live Blood Analysis and Iridology which was excellent and informative. If I did it again, I would probably find a local naturopath (who can help in future) and spend the money on something unexpected like a Soul Path Reading. They were very popular and by all accounts very relevant from those who had them during our stay.

I travelled alone and that's what I was there for - time to recharge and relax. So the mealtimes were always social, and it wasn't too hard to sit with people you didn't know. It was nice to just know that you could take a seat anywhere and you'd be welcomed. The restaurant staff were just excellent, as was the food. Lots of options of nutritious food. I'm not sure I practised too much portion control, but it was great to try out new options such as sheep's yoghurt and almond milk.

Tip: take a watch instead of relying on your phone for the time. You have spa or activity appointments which you'll still need to know the time for. Also take some balm for sore muscles incase you get a twinge, you don't want to be hampered from experiencing all the activities on offer.

Room Tip: Room #1 in Mudhouse has a sofa in a separate alcove, a large bathroom with clawfoot bath, and a balc...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

My husband and I came back last week from the 4 night Nourishing You program and wow, what a game changer.

Firstly - for those interested in sipping cocktails or even mocktails by the pool and switching off by doing nothing....Gwinganna is not for you and is not at all what this place is about. It is a place to yes switch off...but is a place to learn, grow, nourish, push & challenge yourself all in the name of nurturing your mind body and spirit. So if that sounds like a better holiday than sleeping the days away doing nothing that you can't do by yourself at home...book NOW :) I know it is exactly what I needed and was so much more nurturing than a holiday in a fancy resort with nothing to do but lie around (although these types of holidays have their place!)

The first thing I loved about this place was its location and set up - as soon as you drive in you feel separated from the real world and join this 'gwinganna bubble' that is so far removed from your day to day life (well mine at least!) The accommodation was brilliant - if you have a bit of extra $$ splurge on the villa's....with a private plunge pool on your balcony and the only sound being that of the wildlife around, it was divine.

That being said, you actually spend very little time in your room (if you choose to really get involved in the program) so any of the accomm choices I'm sure are just as wonderful.

The first thing I noticed in myself was literally the morning after we arrived - my mind was quiet. Now I typically can't switch my brain off and live on my phone and worry and plan everything all the time....and within 12 hours I was switched OFF. No phones outside the room played a huge part in this, and by the time I got back to my room at night, after enjoying the entire day without speaking or checking in with my world back home, it ended up being the last thing I wanted to do anyway.

Yes, you wear name tags and participate in group activities and eat in a group setting, and while I originally thought this would bother me, I found it refreshing to sit at a table with like minded people all interested in bettering their health, their stress levels, their diets etc. We met some really wonderful people through these breakfasts and dinners and when we did want to get up and leave early to head off or back to the room after dinner, you can!

None of the events they hold are compulsory so you choose your level of involvement. We got involved in most as we were really keen to learn things that we normally wouldn't seek out in 'the real world' such as meditation practices, Qi Gong (each morning started with this at 6am looking over the horizon....just breathtaking), breathing classes, yoga etc. Each class we attended was fantastic, with wonderful instructors who pushed you enough but were considerate of everyone's limitations. The amount of 'lightbulb' moments when they explained how your breathing, posture, attitude etc affects your health was amazing!!

The seminars held daily were phenomenal (although hard to stay awake in as a result of early mornings and just overall relaxation!!) Each speaker was informative, engaging and had usually experienced something personally that they could tie in to their seminar...making it that much more personal and more powerful knowing that not only did they study this, but they have gone through it and KNOW how these changes can affect your life for the better.

All in all, we had the most relaxing time, all the while learning SO much and taking so many fantastic tidbits of information home to start implementing in our life to help us cope with the day to day stresses, manage our health before it manages us, and to work on our relationships, patience, gratitude and acceptance of oneself. I for one have come home a new person, with a newfound respect for myself and for my body and mind. I cannot wait to return and learn more from the wonderful people who make this retreat what it is....magic.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, April 15, 2014
Dear Samantha M

Thank you so much for your review. We are thrilled that your stay was such a great experience for you both. Guests constantly tell us the opportunity to switch off and immerse themselves in this secluded and spacious environment is a big part of helping them to slow down for a few days. By stepping away from mobile devices, this also helps enhance the results of any stay

Thank you again for your wonderful feedback. We look forward to taking care of you again..
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Additional Information about Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Address: 192 Syndicate Road, Tallebudgera, Queensland 4228, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Gold Coast > Tallebudgera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tallebudgera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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, Queensland

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