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“Simply the best yogaretreat I ever could have hoped for!”

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Sunflower Retreats Holidays
Sweden
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Simply the best yogaretreat I ever could have hoped for!”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

My stay at Sunflower retreats was just extraordinary. I could never have imagined it would be so healing for me in all those levels. Lovely & healing environment, the yoga teacher we had during our stay was amazing and the best one I've had, everything was so perfectly arranged including activities. I was so taken care of and didn't have to worry about anything. And something I really recommend is the treatments they offer, Hannah who does the treatments is just wonderful - I've never experienced such good treatments! I really recommend the reflexology and the aroma therapi la stone massage! And oh, not to forget - the food! To die for. I liked the yoga studios, especially the one in the palace garden. And Casperia in itself is just unbeliveble, I will definately come back!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carina80Sweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

This is my third time in Casperia with Sunflower Retreats, first staying as a guest at the Casa Latini (we loved it) and then returning last year with my own Pilates group and then more recently last weekend. The group I took both times could not have been treated better, the accommodation was within the Forani Palace, this thousand year old village by nature means if your looking for straight lines and guaranteed hot water immediately your in the wrong place. But the magical location, outstanding views more than compensate for these occasional impositions.
As for the extra costs that some reviewers have mentioned these are clearly explained on the Sunflower website, you can organize your own travel from/to the station/ restaurants. The travel to the pool (when open) is complimentary. Excursions and treatments are well worth the prices charged. Alesandro who does most of the driving is professional, courteous and always on time. Hannah the therapist is truly gifted at what she does (whichever treatment you take) the quality itself means these are in no way inflated prices. You get what you pay for. As for the Church bells, they ring at 7am and 6pm, hardly excessive. Our group was catered for both the evening meal and breakfast, both were always delicious and filling, you could not have left hungry!
I cannot recommend Sunflower enough, from the owners Alan and Lucy through the rest of the team they could not have done more to ensure we all had a wonderful time, you are given contacts on day one and encouraged to report any issues- hence not just writing them in the book, better to resolve them instead, I for one and several of my group who came last year are already booked to return in September. I for one cannot wait to be back in the very magical moonlight of Casperia in the company of some amazing people.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank SuzyPilates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 6, 2013

I am a great fan of Sunflower Yoga Retreats, which leads to my being a repeat guest. And I have every intention of making it as frequent an event as I can!

Casperia is an undiscovered gem of a walled medieval village in the Sabina region, about an hour north of Rome. To me, its main characteristics -- no cars, cobbled walks, beautiful old houses, many steps, quiet, quiet, quiet -- are charms. If you are looking for some evening dancing, this probably isn't the village for you. If you are looking for an authentic Italian experience peppered with a mix of surprisingly international guests, a village with a sense of its history and great pride in its beauty, then look no further.

The yoga: This time, Lise was our teacher. She is a wonderful instructor, sensitive, flexible, responsive to students' needs, and with a sweet and quirky sense of humor. She is a serious student and practitioner of yoga, and she is generous with her knowledge. When students had particular needs or questions, she did research for us and brought us handy little information sheets relevant to our various issues. Each day's class is different, but there is a logical progression from the beginning to the end of the week. The additional classes and the workshop were well worth the (nominal) price of admission!

The treatments: I can't say enough about Hanna's gifts as a healer. She is gentle (though she can get in there to the cricks and tightnesses as well!), intuitive, sensitive, and very kind. I have had a couple of "stressful" years (to put it mildly), and they have taken a bit of a toll. If you want to explain to her exactly what is going on, she will have words of deep wisdom for you; if you don't want to talk, she intuits the the general outlines, anyway, and knows just what to do to help with the healing. The repertoire of treatments is impressive, and though I only had a couple myself, my fellow guests just couldn't stop raving about their own experiences.

The hospitality: Cristian is congenial, helpful, professional, and quite witty, to boot. If you need something, he will do his level best to see that you get it. Some of the group wanted to go out for dinner on a night on which an outing was not scheduled; they got their wish. Keeping in mind that this is a small village out in the countryside, and not all things are possible, it's quite obvious that the Sunflower staff will do all in their capabilities to facilitate the best possible experience for their guests.

The villagers are friendly and open, and are pleased when a "buongiorno" or "buona sera" is offered their way.

A new tradition that we quite appreciated this year was a welcome-night buffet of authentic, local Italian food: bruschette, pastas, salads, local cheeses and salami. It was such a great way for us to get to know each other that we asked if we could have a farewell buffet to celebrate our week together, and to say good-bye. Cristian and the wonderful kitchen staff complied, and gave us a dinner that even outshone the fabulousness of the first night.

Altogether, Sunflower offers a unique experience: the best of yoga and healing in a beautifully preserved, authentic Italian village.

Room Tip: If you're traveling alone, one of the Casa Latini lofts would be ideal, but do watch the ceiling...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Botanica1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Out-of this word experience in a quiet medieval town. The organisation is great, very frinedly, helpful, great services, amazing treatments, quality Italian food. We've had the most awful weather, but still enjoyed it a lot and returned home recharged. I can't even imagine what it can be like with the sun!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Orsoly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2012

After a week’s yoga retreat in Casperia returned home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Quite literally just what the Dr ordered. A ‘Name of the rose’(esque) Italian town, with enough holistic treats and trips to transport you a little closer to heaven on earth.

I stayed in Casa Latini, which offers a magnificent terrace view of the daily differing, dreamy sunset. Comical Cristian, accompanied by energetic Alessandro, patiently attended to the individual and group’s requests and needs. The lovely Vanessa’s daily yoga was a joy to wake up to. Graceful Hannah and Simona’s treatments a glorious, personally tailored indulgence. The wholesome organic fare as healthy as you wished and consistently tasty. All wrapped up in the inspired, and inspiring, company of well travelled crazy fellow guests, (crazy as in the good kind of mad). The local people welcoming and friendly as the valley resounded to the laughter of strangers.

So glad I chose ‘Sunflower’: fabulous relaxing, authentic Italian holiday experience. Don’t hesitate, try it for yourself!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank P C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2012 via mobile

I just returned from two weeks in Casperia. I loved all of it. The old medieval village is charming and inspiring, I like the lack of signs, you can't get lost for long as it's really not that big.

I stayed in the village house and would strongly recommend booking one of the two top floor rooms, the views are beautiful in the morning.

Casa Latini is very close by and has an amazing terrace to watch sunset, the rooms on the mid level and bottom here would be my recommendation.

I can't speak highly enough of our rep Cristian who went out of his way to make sure every request was dealt with, he made the whole experience easy so I could kick back and relax. He also introduced me to some real Italian family life that I am really grateful for.

Alessandro is another top man who was always there with a smile driving us about and helping out. And his wife Giovanna is a great art teacher who helped me out with some lessons whilst I was there.

All in all I was really impressed. You are living in amongst these families in an inspirational place.

Enjoy!

  • Stayed October 2012
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mtlreilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

I facilitated a workshop applying The Feldenkrais Method to the arts at Sunflower, so I am speaking as a renter instead of as a participant in their yoga retreats. My students were housed in the Forani Palace, with classes in the yoga studio.

The restored rooms at Forani were spacious, simple and charming, with a couple of generous downstairs living room/kitchen areas for gathering and cooking meals. The rooms in the “original” Forani Palace were large, a couple opening out to a grand terrace overlooking a spectacular vista. The décor was an opulent 18th to 19th century faded elegance complete with gilded bed posts and art everywhere. The Forani owners graciously hosted a “Happy Hour” one evening where we all got a tour of the amazing building with its frescoes, suits of armor and museum quality furniture.

The yoga studio also had a spectacular view out the large windows, but the jute mat on the floor made doing Awareness Through Movement lessons challenging. I’m sure it’s fine for yoga, and when we return, I’ll make sure we have different blankets.

Breakfasts at Sunflower are generous, with everything one could wish for, although oddly, the staff seemed challenged by our group’s need for good coffee. Hopefully that will be worked out.

The staff was small, but as helpful as possible, trying to accommodate the diverse needs of our group, which ranged from rides to tour guides. They did their utmost to provide everything from last minute copies to taxi service. They also included a vigorous hike to the ruins of an ancient cave/hermitage in nearby Rocca Antic a.

Casperia itself is a beautiful relic of the Middle Ages. Cobblestone streets meander in a labyrinth of tiny dwellings. There was no signage in the village; not for Sunflower’s various buildings and very few street signs. The rooms, yoga studio, breakfast building and office were scattered throughout the village, so that people were often lost. A proper map of the village with the buildings clearly marked would have been helpful, or some kind of code on Sunflower’s buildings would help. The view from the wall of the surrounding hills and valleys is breathtaking. If you are looking for a quiet getaway from the crowds, this serene village is a dream. It’s a place to unplug – almost literally. The wifi only works at the office and many people’s cellphones got no reception.

Sunflower offers many activities and services. Here are some reviews from my students.

The massages and spa treatments: Excellent
The Watercolor painting class: Wonderful
Horseback riding: Fun but a bit challenging as the guide spoke no English
Viterbo Hot Springs: Amazing
The Private Swimming Pool: The pool was much further than implied and difficult to find, although spectacular.
Local hikes: The map implies that the hikes are a short distance from the village, when actually many begin almost a mile away, so that by the time we got to the trail, we had to turn back for class. However, we did drive to the trailhead for the hike to the convent on top of “next hill,” which was awe inspiring – both the grounds and the vistas.

I enjoyed walking up and down the hills to class and the supermarket, but this is not a place for people who have bad knees or trouble walking. The lack of walking distance restaurants was a surprise. The staff did their best to make sure everyone had places to go for dinner, but with a large group, it was occasionally a logistical challenge.

Sunflower Retreats offers a serene respite from the crowded tourist attractions of most Italian cities (indeed, we were practically the only tourists there!). It would be a wonderful place to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the simple amenities.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lavinia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sunflower Retreats Holidays

Property: Sunflower Retreats Holidays
Address: Via Tazio Tito no 11, 02041 Casperia, Italy
Location: Italy > Lazio > Province of Rieti > Casperia
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Casperia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are firstly a Yoga retreat and Holistic centre as well as being a 'low profit sustainable tourism organisation', a large part of the profit on each booking go towards the rental of rooms of the village houses and accommodation options we use and rent from local people this include our treatment rooms and breakfast lounge and other properties and services, this is part of our sustainable tourism policy as our guests live within the village of Casperia ( not in a privately owned retreat ) Sunflower Retreats guests stay in a village along side the local people therefore contributing to the local economy . All activities including the swimming pool are provided by Local people and a lot of what guests pay for these facilities or activities goes direct to the provider of the service or activity booked at Sunflower Retreats, Sunflower Retreats take only a percentage for booking, advertising and promoting the service or activity for local providers such as . Swimming pool entrance fee, horse riding, wine and oil tasting, cooking classes, italian lessons, cycling tours, painting and creative writing classes .For full details on our Retreats and holistic holiday please read our website. ... more   less 

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