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“Transformational on every level” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

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Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tallebudgera
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Transformational on every level”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2012

Gwinganna retreat is worth the time and money investment for every reason.
It is an investment in you, your health and well being that sustains your family, friends and work place, but most importantly your self. The service, food, passion, commitment and environment are 6 star for all the best reasons. The journey to Gwinganna was transformational for me. I have never felt more nurtured and spoilt. We had fun, laughter, tears, sweat, dream time, relaxation, education and fab food. We made new friends, let go of unhealthy stuff and found our souls again. Let all the world be like Gwinganna!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Deanne O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

Do yourselves a favour and just before you make any really large decisions in your life, book a week at Gwinganna and go and really explore who you are, what you want, what you need and how to get there on this beautiful mountain-top retreat. I am already well versed in much of what they were advocating in terms of food and health, but the wellbeing aspect as well as the balance of yin and yang in my life was eye-opening, restorative and life changing.

I stayed in the Orchard suites (solo) and would recommend this, but you honestly don't spend much time in your room, so no need to splurge much more than this. Cleaners/housekeeping left a little to be desired (why so stingy with the toiletries?) but the room was well appointed and bed extremely comfortable.

You MUST do the Qi Gong every morning! Yes, it's early, but it's incredibly powerful and something I will now do every morning. Make sure you balance the Yin and Yang activities - I ususally do lots of Yang in my life, so I went heavy on the Yin and it was incredible the power it has in balancing the rest of my Yang tendencies. However, in saying that, you MUST do Tribal with Stephen. It may be "optional" by the program structure, but I believe it should be compulsory for all at some stage - truly amazing.

In terms of treatments - highly recommend Holistic Kinesiology with Celine, Holistic Iridology with Shannon, The Journey (OMG, intense but liberating), and a Soul Path Reading. The practitioners and therapists there are best in class and all independently successful in their own right, so when you book, factor in about another $800-$1,000 for treatments you will want on top of the inclusions.

Most of all, if you are going - mentally prepare yourself for it. The one thing that detracted from my experience was some of the other guests "whinging" about not being able to have coffee or sugar. It's in the brochure, people! Embrace it and move through the cravings, it's all part of the learning.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank inBloome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

After a death in the family, I went to Gwinganna to find some time out, quiet solitude and come to terms with my loss. It was exactly the tonic I needed. I stayed in the Mudbrick House and the room was just fine with a great claw foot bath which I indulged in each night after dinner. I really liked how the staff gently woke us each morning and the Qi Gong on the grassy slope with the sun coming up was glorious. Gwinganna structure the day so that you have your activities in the morning, leaving the afternoon free for Dreamtime which is spa treatments or whatever else you want to do. Nothing is compulsory.

The property has many fantastic walks, the sunset walk is a delight and the walks to the waterfalls were superb. I felt so safe on my own and so nurtured by nature, although ensure you get a map from reception as the signage onb the property is not that good.

I came to Gwinganna for the 5 day Optimal Wellbeing retreat which was wonderful and then I stayed on for the spa weekend. This was a perfect combination, to really feel rejuvenated and refreshed and the extra two days allowed me to wind down a little more from the Optimal Wellbeing program.

The quality of the programs that Gwinganna have are superb from the yoga, drumming, tribal dance, zumba and pilates. The staff second to none.

The spa centre is glorious and even when I did not have a treatment booked it was a great place to hang out in the sound lounge upstairs and just sit with the other girls. Sonja the Spa Manager is a delight. Special mention also to Pai for her amazing Hawaiian Ritual massage.

I found the food delicious and abundant but a bit of stretch between meal times. Often I felt very hungry in the early days but managed to get used to it after that.

Thank you Gwinganna for the opportunity to reconnect with my spirt again.

Room Tip: If staying in the Mudbrick House, see if you can get the rooms at the back as it has a nice private...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hizakite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
australia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2012

Just back from 3 days gwinganna health retreat. Wow. I feel brand new. 3 days of sleeping, sweating, exercising, stretching, boxing, hiking, eating amazing food, steaming, swimming, sunning, ‘sauna-ing’, massaged, pampered, exfoliated, mud wrapped, ‘facial-ed’, pedicured and massaged again. Such a great place and so inspired. I can’t believe how much I learnt from the amazing phenomenon that is Dr Karen Coates, who led seminars in this particular program. It was truly life changing. Also, it’s nothing short of genius that they manage to check you in at 2pm on your first day, AND check you out 2pm on your last day. Where else manages that when fully booked? I can’t wait to return, that was the first of many visits for me.
great environment, in the bush, up high in the hinterland of the gold coast.
I stayed in the orange grove rooms and my room was lovely.
the staff were terrific, the facilities are great. and the spa!!! It's name is Dreamtime spa and it is world class....so beautiful, well designed and the treatments I had were the best I've ever had.
food was really good too.
Loved the fact that there was a full program (all optional) in the morning from quite early, and then from 2pm its dreamtime...you get your treatments, hang out by the pool, or just read a book. dinner at 7pm then bed! its great having some structure, but not too much.
the activities are wonderful, really well run sessions for the very active, or more relaxed such as yoga and pilates. the instructors were wonderful.
they are 30% sustainable, and grow their own vegies and herbs! the gardens are amazing, and they even offer a tour of them and give you cuttings.
the largest steam room in the southern hemisphere and it's beautiful (attached to the spa).
the two pools are heated in winter.
Cant wait to go back.

Room Tip: I liked the orange grove rooms in particular.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sharonafraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broulee, Australia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2012

Having read some exuberantly enthustiastic reviews on the Gwinganna website, I was somewhat sceptical about claims of a "life changing experience" attributed to celebrities and mere mortals alike.
Therefore I have to admit to approaching a 5 day stay with some reservations. In the introductory briefing I recall looking around the room and noting there were several very tired & stressed looking people amongst our group.
My wife demanded that I remain open minded and I was delighted to note that by the time our 3rd day [tricky Tuesday] arrived, the withdrawal symptoms from caffeine and alcohol 'deficiency' had affected my 'better half', much more than myself !
As others have noted the facilities, service and optional activities were top class IMHO and we really fault the experience.
I personally learned that after retiring from a very active sporting career, and getting older, I needed to make some serious adjustments to my lifestyle, including reducing portion sizes in meals, chewing my food better, drinking more water [as well as being more selective about the quality & quantity of alcohol] while making an effort to get more exercise and stretching to replace my previous training regime. All in all, a good lesson in how to adapt to and minimise the effects of ageing.
The proof of the pudding was very evident in the final session, our group [which I think I'd described as a 'sorry looking bunch of individuals'] had been transformed into a vastly more energetic, healthy and vital looking group of people, after just 5 days !
I can't say we've been able to religiously stick to every one of the recommendations made to us, but we have certainly changed many aspects of our lifestyle for the better, following our stay at Gwinganna.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank BowerBirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
216 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

Gwinganna is an ideal place to reflect and refocus; most people who spend time there say it has a profound impact on their lives. And it's not just because of the stunning natural surroundings or the nourishment of the mind, body and soul. There is so much inspiration from the people who go there. And you will have plenty of opportunities to meet fellow travellers, as guests are seated at different tables for dinner - although you can choose to suit with your new acquaintances if you wish.
Yes, the food is healthy - but not vegetarian. You'll forgo cigarettes, tea, coffee and alcohol; and if you usually imbibe in any of these, you will suffer accordingly. It's wise to take a your own supply of medicine to help with inevitable headaches. Gwinganna does not condone this (and calls non-prescription medicine 'contraband'), but withdrawal headaches can be rather severe and can interfere with participation in the exercise programs. No matter what Gwinganna staff say, dandelion tea does not help!
From 6am each day, guests are encouraged - if not expected - to participate in various activities which cease in the afternoon. Called 'dreamtime', this downtime enables guests to indulge in many spa treatments on offer. Be mindful that for a minimum of a five day stay, these could easily add another $500 to $1000 to your overall bill.
Gwinganna provides a packing list, suggesting the general attire is casual sportswear. It is, but many people do seem to dress up a little more for dinner.
Yes, there will be people who suggest Gwinganna is more expensive than taking a holiday in Bali or even Port Douglas. But the major difference: time at Gwinganna is an investment in your wholistic health. And who can put a price on that?

Room Tip: The newer Orchard suites are more expensive than the older style Heritage buildings, but it is worth...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Sally D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2012

Gwinganna! Wow! What a magical experience especially for a solo traveller. I would encourage anyone interested to ditch their friends and partners! I have always travelled and holidayed with others but this was such a fabulous opportunity to take time and focus deeply on the inner self. The accommodation, activities, dining and day spa were all set up for the novice solo traveller to feel completely comfortable.

The activities were highly worthwhile and professional. I loved the early morning start and I am no early bird; 5.30am for Qi Gong overlooking the hinterland to the Gold Coast. It was so grounding and peaceful and I really missed it when I returned home. It feels as if Gwinganna has attracted some of the most professional specialists from around Australia. You just have to look at the spa menu to realise the variety of health treatments and alternative practises available. It was an overwhelming list and having never stayed before I decided to choose the ordinary massage and facial. Upon arrival, I made a new friend who advised that I try something more exotic and spiritual; I took her advice and met some amazing local therapists, who were very enlightening. While these treatments are expensive on top of the cost of the accommodation, I am glad I made changes from the ordinary and had wonderful experiences.

The timetable is flexible so those who want to sleep-in or chill out can do so. I found that I was not in need as much sleep as I thought but completely energised and found that I wanted to participate in everything. While the day spa is completely out of this world, I was drawn to and moved by the chapel where Jo ran yoga and meditation and in the evening filled the space with candles. Jo mentioned that she found many of us to be a 'soulful group' and it was wonderful to share the space with so many like minded people.

I attended the 4 day Organic weekend with Shelley who runs the most amazing organic vegie and herb garden to support the kitchen. It was a delight to be out with her in the garden and learn hundreds of tips. Shelley is overflowing with biodynamic information and I would kill for an apprenticeship in her garden and kitchen. The food from the kitchen is so wholesome, by no means bland and extremely pretty! I recommend purchasing the cookbook as it contains many of the meals that were served to us.

The accommodation sits beautifully amongst the towering eucalypts. I stayed in the Orchard Suites which were very peaceful but in the end it was wasted on me. I would recommend the suites to couples or friends, but for me next time, I will stay in the more reasonable Heritage cottages and closer to the activity. On one of my days I was out of the suite at 5.30am and did not return until 8pm!

The environment is the Garden of Eden. The soil is so fertile that as Shelly proclaimed you could eat it! It is a place for people who want rest and recreation and for others to tap into a wonderful spirituality that exists, with aboriginal sacred places found on the property. I have been able to take away some of the 'Gwinganna effect' and make some worthwhile changes to my life. If, for example, you were someone who was committed to eating and living a pure vegetarian lifestyle, you may find that you already know about everything that Gwinganna has to offer. You might feel that you already prepare food that is so beautifully and simply executed by the kitchen. This place really is perfect for the burnt out, time poor corporate or parent!

Room Tip: If you want to relax in your room during Dreamtime in the afternoon go for the west facing Orchard S...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank 5Farfaraway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

Property: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Address: 192 Syndicate Rd, Tallebudgera, Gold Coast, 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 
Also Known As:
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Hotel Tallebudgera
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Australia/Gold Coast, Queensland

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