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“Great Break” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Obsidian Retreat

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Obsidian Retreat
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Partida Paratella, 44, Benissa, Spain   |  
Hotel amenities
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great Break”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

I have been here twice for weight loss and both times didn't disappoint. My first visit in march was educational and rewarding - it pretty much changed my lifestyle a I lost 12kg in 2 weeks. Since then I have lost another 18kg and am pretty much down to my ideal weight. The staff are excellent and knowledgeable and you can do anything you like when you stay there. It is not a boot camp. However the more you participate the more weight you will loose. A lot of people turned up for detox, weight loss or controlling their diabetes and obsidian have had great success achieving this with people. It's well worth a visit and, unlike other fitness places, you can choose your own dates to stay.

Room Tip: Rooms are pretty basic and if you don't mind sharing it'll be cheaper
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, General Manager at Obsidian Retreat, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
Thank you very much for your review! We love to hear positive comments from guests as it helps us to know exactly why we are doing what we are doing.

You deserve a big congratulations for all the weight you lost with us and continued on at home, so WELL DONE! Do not forget we have a full coaching team here ready to talk to you should you ever feel you are going in the wrong direction.

Thank you again.
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128 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

I booked Obsidian wanting a healthy break in the sun. My overall aim was to return home with a determination to exercise more, increase my energy levels and reflect on managing the increased stress levels in my job.

If you go with the expectation of staying in a converted Spanish farmhouse which is basic and clean and an objective to get fit, healthy and some brilliant advice then this is a great experience.

The owners and staff alike are committed to sharing their knowledge and skills whilst being passionate about what they do - the staff are incredible. You simply decide how much you want to participate.

I returned home having attended regular yoga, meditation and exercise classes whilst enjoying the sunshine! Whilst I found the vegan diet challenging - as a non vegetarian the food was nutritious and appreciated it forms an important part in challenging your mind set to eating and weight loss.

Keep up the great work - I would definitely recommend Obsidian as I left feeling energised and having met some inspirational people I can now call friends.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, General Manager at Obsidian Retreat, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind review of Obsidian. We do love to hear back from our many satisfied guests. Did you know that 62% of guests return to Obsidian within one year?!

You have summed us up perfectly in your review, thank you. Well done for keeping up with the classes, keep it up and never hesitate to drop us a line to let us know how you're doing! We look forward to seeing you soon!
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

I travelled alone for the first time ever, i stayed 12 days and was amazed and delighted to lose a massive 18lbs !! during my short stay! over the moon infact!! and it was so easy really! ;-)
I was warmly welcomed at the airport by Obsidian staff who kindly took my luggage here and returned it to my room! Was a nice 1hr transfer to resort.
The location is breathtaking, set in Benissa countryside outside Alicante. Lovely grounds with beautiful pool, outdoor hot-tub and extensive loungers and chairs and shaded seating areas. No need to pack towels either! They are replenished daily in rooms as are sheets, Large towels available around pool area. A lovely indoor jacuzzi and brand new sauna which i took full advantage of also.
My room was most comfortable and clean where i enjoyed fabulous night's sleeps.
Views of the hills mountains and the sea in the distance were unbelievable. The full extensive programme available was brilliant i wanted to do everything and was never bored the days went so fast! Starting with an early morning 5k walk (never done b4 in my life!) then on to the excellent taught yoga, and many other enjoyable activities.
Juicing was a whole new experience for me which i was surprised i absolutely loved. Made fresh at breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snack juices. They were filling and tasty and i felt so good after every meal. Vegan food available at lunch and dinner as well as an extensive fresh salad bar. I prefered to juice most days to get the most out of my detox! with exception of Gala night where i endure a feast of fab vegan fayre ;-)
The staff here are so helpful, professional and welcoming, you only had to ask and they would kindly cater to every need. for example, did my laundry within an hour! Provided an early morning juice to take on my departure! Always there to listen to your needs i felt very safe and comfortable i didn't actually want to leave.
The coaching team, Gareth, Jereon, Verrity and Elaine are exceptional people. They were always about to talk to, ask advice and get so many helpful tips and daily encouragement from. They accompanied every morning walk, provided high calibre fitness classes like yoga, rebounding and boxercise. Personal individual coaching session were readily available at your request and everything was so easy to understand. I was greatly impressed with Gareth an Jereon's mindset classes which always helped with positive thinking and gratitude towards one's situation.
I am simply in awe of this place. It was fantastic. i had a great time, met so many special people who i hope to continue to know for time. I learned so much about food, fitness and well being. I can highly recommend Obsidian. I have worked in the travel industry for over 15 years and been to many places worldwide, I can honestly say I have never been to such a special place where I have returned home feeling so wonderful like a new person. I wish to return! Needs to be seen to believe! Truly awesome! :-) Thankyou Obsidian :D

Room Tip: All great rooms in my opinion! Suites are huge and fab but this is effected in the price! I was happ...
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  • Stayed June 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, General Manager at Obsidian Retreat, responded to this review, September 28, 2013
Thank you so much for your review, it's lovely to hear from guests that have taken it upon themselves to let us know how much they enjoyed staying with us!

Thank you for complementing our facilities and our staff, I will pass on all of these messages. We would welcome you back with open arms.
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

We are two returning guests from July and October 2012, returned in June 2013. We sadly feel compelled to write a review of our visit.

Let's start with the good points.
The coaches Gareth and Jereon, who started in 2012 were one of the reasons we returned. They are the life blood of Obsidian and we would follow them if they went to another retreat. The new coach Verity is also fantastic, as well as Elaine, Sarah and Dawn, and the amazing Dawn in reception. Without these personalities, our second return to Obsidian would have been a complete wash out.

The exercise programmes are great, including beautiful morning walks in the hills of Spain, yoga, meditation, rebounding, and Elaine's tough but fun circuits. The mindset classes given by Gareth and Jereon are thought provoking and inspirational. Verity's introduction of outside yoga and sunset meditation classes were truly wonderful. We could listen to her voice for hours.

So why the bad points.

Upon arrival to reception, there was no welcome or introduction, only a curt "Can I see your passports". This was surprising, as even though we had been there before, we would have expected some introduction to Obsidian. When checking into our rooms, one of us was extremely disappointed in Room 3, which was dark, dingy, overlooking the carpark, and very little wardrobe space. There was no intro pack as in all other rooms, there were cleaning products left on the bed, and the bathroom had two packs of shoe polish ??, but no other types of amenities. As the room was so dark you could hardly see to get dressed, the lamp on the main table was not working so removing the bulb and leaving it on the side one would have hoped that the cleaning staff would have replaced it. The bulb sat there for a week. I had looked forward to a similar room with views of the hills as I had last visit and I immediately asked at reception if I could be moved. This was not possible I was told right away as the place was fully booked. As the week progressed, there were people who left but I was still advised that I could not change rooms. While I was there, I was referred to as an original returning guest, therefore, I was disappointed they could not be bothered or flexible enough to meet my request.

Just for the record, none of the rooms are high standard (maybe two star) and the rooms we had last year had such uncomfortable mattresses that we both had requested mattress toppers. The topper supplied was not a topper, but a hard foam mattress, which was removed as it was more uncomfortable. Some investment in insuring guest comfort by purchasing new comfortable mattresses would go a long way.

We arrived on a Saturday, and were left to our own devices without any introductions or classes. The coaches had this weekend off but while the owner was on site, there was no active participation with guests, which left people feeling neglected and in a void. This only changed when Gareth and Jereon arrived back on Monday.

Food: Very very disappointing. The juices were fine but we were looking forward to the evening vegan meal as the food was so delicious on our 2012 visit. The first night was the worst, and it didn't improve very much over the week. Also, last visit was buffet style, but that had been changed to plated meals served to you, with no further options and the food itself unsatisfying. It seemed that a lot of corners were being cut, and the guests suffered and we also heard many complaints from others in this regard.

Life coaching: This was only available on request, whereas last vist this was actively pursued by the Obsidian coaches. it only became clear after a few days that you had to request coaching. The Obsidian programme book was only given to us on our last day, and should have been available on the first day to track progress and do exercises.

Maintenance: Throughout our stay, there seemed to be nobody in charge of cleaning up glasses, cups, etc from the pool and juice bar area. On several occasions, we had to request clean cups for the tea/juice bar, water bottles for the water coolers, and towels for the pool area. The upkeep of the place was poor, for example: outside lunch tables falling apart, broken lounges, unkept gardening, generally unclean and uncared for facilities. The kitchen facilities also needed a jolly good clean.

Investment has been made with a new outdoor jacuzzi and sauna, and new pool umbrellas (only put out the last day we were there), but this place requires more attention to detail and staff to ensure guest comfort.

All in all, while the price is a bit lower than some other retreats, it is not low enough to feel that you are getting value for money. Obsidian has helped many people with their health and weight issues, but as more people come, service and facilities are only getting worse. Unfortunately, while there are many positive aspects to Obsidian with the life coaches, classes, and some staff, the management should address these behind the scenes issues.

We could not recommend this place in the present state to anybody. Management please note. This could be a fantastic place but we, in addition to many other guests who were there during our recent stay, voiced these concerns and also would not return.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view and request a soft mattress topper if you want to be comfortable. Always...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, General Manager at Obsidian Retreat, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are very sorry you felt our establishment deserved a low review. Most of our returning guests notice all of our improvements like the new outdoor jacuzzi, and the new decor throughout but unfortunately this is not for everyone. Please allow me to address your issues.

Thank you very much for your complements for our team, we are blessed to have such fantastic staff and they are perfect as the face of our business.

Reception have noted your comments about the initial welcome and this is something we will try to gauge with each client. Most clients want to come straight in, go to their rooms and get straight on with the program. With regards to your comments about room 3, each room is different in size, style and decor, so we are sorry you were not happy with yours. The problem with the bulb has now been rectified as we were waiting for the new bulbs to arrive but as it had been noticed over the weekend, we had to wait for them to arrive due to the shops being shut. We are very sorry for this. We are consistently running at full capacity so we did not have another room to move you to.

Our beds are all different throughout the hotel, and everyones tastes are different. If you had wanted to change room or have one of our mattress toppers, you only needed to have asked and we would have provided. We are also planning a refurbishment for all of the rooms which includes new beds and furniture, so if you decide to return in the future you will have a much better experience.

We have a four week rota in play so there are classes every day, even if staff have days off. As I'm sure you'll agree, our coaches work very hard over and above the usual standards, so they deserve time off as well, it is unfortunate that it coincided with your arrival day. We have just taken on a new female coach and are developing a new coaching calendar to ensure that you would not be left to your own devices in the future.

We are sorry you did not enjoy the food. As you will see from all our other tripadvisor reviews, this is something we consistently do well at. We have changed it quite a bit since your previous visit, the most obvious thing being that it is no longer buffet style. The reason for this is that we constantly received feedback saying people wanted less food as they wanted to lose weight. It is made quite clear that if at any point you are still hungry, we can provide you with sustenance.

Our outside area has had a lot of work done on it recently, like new parasols, new jacuzzi and new loungers. We have also had the tiles down as the ones the previous owner left us with were cracked and broken. We are sorry this caused a mess during your visit.

Thanks again for your comments. We are very sorry that we did not wow you in the same way as when you visited the first time, we will try to learn from this experience and grow. Please note that if you had brought any of these issues to our attention during your stay, we could have rectified them immediately.
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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Just one horrid experience , I have never been so uncomfortable. Rooms are dirty, beds are cots with cheep mattresses! Place is just to neglected and below basic to be fit for a retreat! I went to detox & lose a bit of weight - intending to try the place out and then to return for a month - trying the place was the best thing that I have done, just the thought that I could have been stuck there for longer ... I have fibromyalgia and could have used jacuzzi if it was clean, when I complained at the reception it needed a clean they called the maintenance guy who responded that they do have a pool guy that comes twice a week and he will ask him to clean it. Well for rest of the week the jacuzzi stayed covered! Pool was to cold to use too and since this was the only exercise that my fibromyalgia would alow I had nothing much left to do apart from despare! But staff were nice.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, General Manager at Obsidian Retreat, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are very sorry you felt our establishment deserved a one star review. We may be a relatively new business but we do feel we have found our footing in the market and are consistently doing well. This is testament by the sheer amount of returning guests we have, however we do accept we cannot please everyone. Please allow me to address your issues.

Our beds are all different throughout the hotel, and everyones tastes are different. If you had wanted to change room or have one of our mattress toppers, you only needed to have asked and we would have provided. We are also planning a refurbishment for all of the rooms which includes new beds and furniture, so if you decide to return in the future you will have a much better experience.

The jacuzzi is cleaned twice a week and they also check the chlorine levels, something that for someone with fibromyalgia is very important. The reason the covers stayed on both our indoor and new outdoor jacuzzi is (as the signs around the areas state) to keep the warmth in. These lids can be removed at any point so the guest can use them in a warm and clean condition. We have also just commissioned a new 'arm' for the outdoor jacuzzi which makes it easier to open.

The pool is cold but most of our guests are using it daily, it seems like a nice thing to do to cool down after sitting in the lovely Spanish sun for so long. You state that water is the only form of exercise, we have just installed a brand new 'vibro-plate' into our gym, which i'm sure you know is one of the best form of exercise for fibromyalgia sufferers.

Thanks again for your comments. Please note that if you had brought any of these issues to our attention during your stay, we could have rectified them immediately.
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guildford
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

this is my third visit so you can guess I quite like it!! after an amazing weight loss in five days back to gloomy England, the sun makes such a difference, especially in terms of sleep, you can blame the heat for napping in the afternoon
it was just as great as before, special thanks to Wendy, Julia (who was supposed to be coming back with me to cookl for me, what stopped you Julia???) Daniel with Verity's lovely birthday cake and everyone else who made it a great time
pride of place must be Gareth and Jerome's cookery demonstration, I expect their television show soon and Carol, where is that cookery book?
I didn't use the pool so haven't rated it and the gym wasn't used either not really my thing but the walk, zumba, boxing etc were fun, if tiring (that's where the naps come in)
I came home full of vigour and thoroughly rested so here's to the next visit

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andrew W, General Manager at Obsidian Retreat, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Thank you for your review. 62% of our guests now return to Obsidian at least once, and you are one of those people! We are glad you enjoyed our classes, we provide a four week rota so that people who stay for longer can enjoy Obsidian as much as possible without getting bored.

Thank you for your compliments on our coaches, I will pass them on immediately. You unfortunately cannot take Julia home as she is chained to our kitchen! As a new member of staff, it is lovely to receive compliments for her.

Enjoy your vigour and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
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Chelmsford, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Type 2 diabetics - There is another way!

This retreat is excellent!

I decided to go to the Obsidian retreat to try to get my blood sugar levels down as I had read they have had good results with diabetes sufferers. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago and have been resisting taking medication, trying to manage my sugar levels by diet and exercise instead. This worked at first but over the last year the sugar levels were creeping up, sometimes as high as 18 when they should be in the 4 - 7 range.

The day I arrived at the retreat I tested at 13.9. I juiced for 4 days and then had the vegan meals for dinner and I joined in most of the exercise classes and walks. i was surprised to find that I was never hungry during my stay. Within 2 days of arriving my sugar levels had dropped to below 7 and they remained between 4.9 - 5.6 for the rest of my stay. This proved to me that if I do some exercise every day and make juicing and a vegan diet my way of life I can stay medication free. I also lost half a stone in the week that I was there so that was a bonus.

The accommodation tself is simple but clean and comfortable. The exercise can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be depending upon how much effort you put into it.

The staff are brilliant and very supportive. Special thanks to Jeroen, Gareth, Verity and Elaine for their help and guidance but all the staff really work together to create a great experience. It's not just about diet and exercise, they also offer life coaching and help you to consider your mindset and lifestyle which is vital if you want to make positive changes in your life.

Visitors are there for different reasons but everyone supports each other and the follow up programme the team provides when you leave is also excellent.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Andrew W, General Manager at Obsidian Retreat, responded to this review, June 26, 2013
Thank you very much for your review. We get to see results like yours every single week and it's lovely to be complimented on that. Congratulations on working so hard!

Thank you for your kind words about the staff, I will pass them on immediately. Our accommodation is basic, but we strive to be clean and comfortable so we are glad you were ok. We are actually in the process of a room refurbishment for all the rooms, so if you decide to visit again in the future, hopefully your stay will be that little bit better.
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Additional Information about Obsidian Retreat

Address: Partida Paratella, 44, Benissa, Spain
Location: Spain > Valencian Country > Alicante Province > Costa Blanca > Benissa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Benissa

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