We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Find you again.... The real you!!”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Tallebudgera
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Have you ever felt like where do me go? Life just took over with all the needs of family, friends, work. Now you love all those things but some where YOU got lost. You became tired, oh so tired!!

I went away with a open mind and ....

Well I can honestly say the Staff, the program and the location of Gwinganna is truly magical. I can say honestly it was overwhelming, adventurous, relaxing, exciting, fun, rejuvenating and so much more. I went for well I thought time out to be honest but came away with so much more....

I went on my own. Many people recommend that they have found from past experience this is better but it would be great with a close friend or partner too. Depends on your needs.

I came away with Tools for me to be me, ways to have fun with health and wellness ( not fitness). Reeducated. Fantastic daily seminars. The staff met me where I was at. Always the one in control didn't think I would need help in that area.

So go with an open mind. Listen to you heart or maybe it is closed at the moment but after a week at Gwinganna lots of possibilities are there for you. Recommend the Equine Experience with Sue ( A highlight). Also Drums Alive and tribal dancing fun!!

Their Day spa is out of this world too! 5 Star. Always book in more than you think you need. By the end of the week not much left. Pays to speak to a Duty Manager ie Donna on arrival and discuss what you are after then ask what they recommend for you. Or go with the flow.

Food nutritiousness and wholesome. Delicious. Accommodation lots of choices. I stayed in the orchard suites. Modern but homely too!

Congratulations to Sharon and her team for a winning formula and an awesome program. My girlfriend who recommended Gwinganna said this "It's certainly not a resort..... But .... a place where you can hear your spirits soft secrets as it whispers across the hilltop and into your heart...."

It certainly does that. Enjoy!

Room Tip: When booking a room I would tell them you needs while looking the website. My first room was way to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Kristine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (220)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

162 - 168 of 220 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2013

What an experience - 5 days of healthy organic food " to die for" , exercise classes and alternatives for every fitness level. Choose a hike in the gorgeous hills on the property, water aerobics, dance or yoga - whatever your fitness level and interest. The seminars on lifestyle, health and fitness were excellent and interesting and an unexpected bonus.

Come the afternoon at Gwinganna its relaxing time - choose a treatment from a myriad of choices at the day spa , have a swim , go for a walk.

I came home relaxed, fitter, healthier and with a lot more knowledge about my health choices.

Room Tip: I chose the Heritage Suites - good views , king size beds, very quiet
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank LouieJ50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

I've had the pleasure of going for the 7 night detox over New Years and still cant believe how much this has changed me and my outlook on healthy food.
After arrival and introduction we quickly settled in to our beautiful surroundings. I stayed at one of the villas and the views were amazing. You have you own little plunge pool on your balcony and you also get to drive around in your little golf buggy, which is lots of fun.
The first 3 days were not easy, I'll admit. On the Detox retreat you don't get coffee, alcohol, sugar, bread etc. I had withdrawal symptoms like headaches and nausea. I wanted to sleep lots and was craving coffee like I had never before! That was when the Gwinganna team was fantastic. They are always on hand if you feel just the slightest bit out of sorts and help you with natural remedies. I can't praise them enough!
The food is another thing that will let you forget that you are detoxing. It's simply amazing, delicious organic food.
The Spa has to be seen to be believed. Everyone is extremely friendly and they know what they are doing. I've had some fabulous treatments and there really is something on the spa menu for everyone. Yes, it's pricey, but well worth it in my humble opinion. The steam room is another thing that you'll want to take home! After all these heavenly treatments you will be very happy to rush back to bed after dinner, even if its only 8:30pm...
Then you'll have the seminars and they just opened my eyes. Every day I was looking forward to the new one and every time i was amazed by how simple you can change lots of aspects of your life.
After about 3 days my withdrawal symptoms went away and I started feeling different. After missing the first few mornings (you get woken up at 5:30am for a 6am activities start - optional!) because I just wanted to sleep, suddenly I couldn't wait to get out if bed and be active - wow. It's really just how they say it is! I still cant get over the change in me. Even now, after about 4 weeks, I still don't touch coffee or bread and sugar and it does make a difference. My anxiety has gone and I'm happy and energetic again. I will definitely keep recommending this amazing program to whomever wants to listen. And of course I will go back! One thing is important to mention. Go alone, most guests do and you will meet some great people.

Room Tip: If you can spare the money, definitely book a villa!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Dani3322
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Gwinganna is good for the body, soul and mind. I haven't stopped boring people about my wonderful Gwinganna experience since I returned home from the seven day detox last Thursday. I can't say enough about its delights, from qigong first thing in the morning till bed immediately after dinner - in the most amazing accommodation. The level of knowledge of the staff and their commitment to our well being was beyond expectation - in fact way beyond expectation is my overall rating of this health gift you should offer yourself.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
7  Thank Jennifer W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I'm just back from the 7 day detox program at Gwinganna. It was my 4th visit (over the course of about 6 years) and I will be back. The food is great, the people are great, the program is great, the facilities are great, the location is beautiful and somehow it all combines to create the most amazing environment for my mind and body. Highly highly recommended if you need some time to focus on your physical and mental well being.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank jj1837
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

I hope to write the review I needed about three months ago when I booked my Gwinganna retreat.

I write this as a former Door girl, having visited the Door on the Gold Coast in 2003 and 2007, both times to press the ‘reset’ button: get the toxins out of my skin, eyes, kidneys, blood stream and remember the joy of running up hills. Both visits to the Door sorted out my exercise regime and got me moving regularly for the 3-4 years that followed.

This time I decided to try Gwinganna and I signed up for the Optimum Wellbeing program.

Facilities

First, there's no doubt the facilities are better at Gwinganna - great diversity of accommodation; modern, clean, large gym; two beautiful infinity pools; nice relaxing areas around the property and the 'spa sanctuary' is wonderful.

The view is unmatchable (although slightly tarnished by a massive overhead power line running through the property) and the walks through the bush in the morning are breathtaking, in multiple ways.

The facilities and grounds are shared with nature so you need to be ok with wallabies, kangaroos, bees, frogs, the occasional snake, lots of ticks, mosquitoes, and cockroaches (only the latter of which will join you in your room in significant numbers).

In 2007 the Door felt tired, and by comparison, a bit cramped. It is worth checking whether it has had a refresh since then.

Accommodation

Lots of choices at Gwinganna: fancy villas with plunge pools overlooking the valley, ‘signature suites’ reminiscent of 19th century opium dens, cute heritage rooms and cottages, and the more modern and spacious orchard suites.

The reservations staff will tell you West facing Orchard suites are nicer, but it is hard to agree they are worth the extra $400-500. Best to ask for the details of the precise room you are being offered: does it have a shared lounge, deck furniture/shade etc? Note also that what Gwinganna calls a 'king size' bed is many rooms is in fact two standard singles pushed together, posing a problem for anyone taller than 170cm.

The Heritage rooms are located in old weatherboard homes dotted around the property. They have loads of atmosphere and charming bath tubs. Some are small and pokey but others have lovely lounges, fireplaces and wooden balconies looking out into the wilderness. Again, ask for the precise setup of what you are being offered.

The most delightful is Peel House, a small cottage with two bedrooms and shared lounge looking out over the valley to the Gold Coast.

At the Door I always stayed in a Hillside Cottage which were big and delightful to share and close to all the facilities so you can run back and get changed/have a shower between activities.

But it is worth remembering you don't spend much time in your room and if you do, you are mostly asleep.

Fitness activity

The biggest difference between the Door and Gwinganna seems to be the activity regime. The Door assesses your fitness level when you arrive and suggests activities in accordance with it, such as morning walks/runs. The fitter you are, the tougher the walk/run you are recommended to do. Both places put great emphasis on interval training, so get used to hills.

At Gwinganna, there is no running. Indeed, there's quite a bit of strolling. And on the tougher morning walks, there is often a lot of stopping. That's right, coming to a complete halt, having a yack, before moving on again with another tough interval/hill. If you have an injury, you may suffer pain or jarring on return to movement (or just keep going when everyone else stops).

The Door scheduled activities throughout the day. Fancy Pilates at 4pm? No where to be seen at Gwinganna. In fact, Pilates, when scheduled (only twice over the 7 days) always clashed with the morning walk (the only guaranteed high heart rate activity of the day). Of course, yoga was always scheduled after the morning stretch so yoga-junkies are well catered for...

Both Gwinganna and the Door offer ‘DIY fitness’ at any hour: there are tennis courts, pools and gym access if you want to exercise on your own or with friends.

Ultimately, it depends what you are after. I came out from the Door buzzing to go for a run/ride/swim and a plan to maintain exercise which I kept to for years to come. I was disappointed that Gwinganna did nothing for my fitness level, in fact it may have gone slightly backwards over the week. But to be fair: they don’t market it as a fitness retreat.

Rest

At both places you can do as much, or as little, as you like.

2pm to 7pm is "strategic rest" time at Gwinganna to be spent in the spa or doing your own thing. The occasional meditation class (don't miss the class with Andy) will break up the boredom, but it's a long stretch to dinner time, especially once your energy levels pick up mid week. Take books and magazines to stay sane.

Oddly, the absence of physical activity in the afternoon also means the normal attire is different. Whereas at the Door someone might splash out in a fancy matching track suit at dinner time, at Gwinganna dinner is an almost dressy affair. Linen trousers, colourful kaftans, flowing silk tops, jewelry, spangly shoes and make-up, not a polar fleece or adidas in sight...

Spa

The spa at Gwinganna is an architectural masterpiece, the spa staff are lovely and it’s easy to while away half the afternoon in the steam room or whisper lounge overlooking the bushland.

Gwinganna is bigger than the Door (and therefore feels less intimate), and it can't be an easy task to arrange 60+ people into 240 odd treatments over 4 afternoons.

Nevertheless, there was a significant number of dissatisfied guests – some with days of nothing scheduled only to face a glut of pampering in the last few days, other return guests who had booked their preferred masseurs months in advance, only to be disappointed once they got there. One afternoon the system seemed to break down, with spa staff double booked and terry-toweling grumpiness abounding.

On the whole I would assess the quality of treatments and masseurs as 'average’, with the occasional exception.

Education

The seminars are similar at both places. Interesting presenters, good reliance on evidence and references for further reading. But again, there's a subtle difference here. Gwinganna seems more keen to talk about psychosocial issues, whereas the Door will explain why coffee and alcohol in significant quantities are not good for you. On this front alone I'd say, if you are feeling emotionally vulnerable Gwinganna may be the better place for you. If you want to kick bad habits and get moving, consider the Door.

Food

The food is more or less the same at both places: interesting flavours, fresh organic produce. The Door gave you access to chilli if you needed to enhance the flavour of your food – usually on Miserable Monday and Tantrum Tuesday when the salt and sugar cravings reach their peak. Gwinganna limits your access to fruit at breakfast, whereas the Door had a fruit-free-for-all policy.

On the weekend, Gwinganna welcomes weekend guests who are given wine, bread, tea and coffee and dessert. So, if you were hoping to continue in your blissful detoxed state, you might struggle. Weekend guests also bring in an entirely different vibe.

By Wednesday, all herbal teas, no matter how delicious, will make your stomach turn.

Bedtime

After dinner, there are no events at Gwinganna, whereas I recall painful offerings of bongo drumming and tribal dance among other post-dinner adventures at the Door. At Gwinganna you head to bed on a full stomach. Dinner starts at 7pm (an hour later than at the Door) and they make you wait 20 minutes between entrée and main... 8:45 or so to bed, only to await the 5:30 wake up bash on the door. Qi gong! (optional)

Guests

Both places attract a fascinating collection of driven guests. They are half the fun.

Both places have the usual 90:10 female:male ratio, although Gwinganna seemed to have more couples, mother and daughter packages, and groups of girlfriends. For that reason, and the larger number of guests (particularly short term weekend ones), Gwinganna seemed less friendly. I remember at the Door there was always a contact list circulated among the guests at the end. It's hard to imagine the point at Gwinganna, as a week didn't give you enough time to meet everyone.

Settling up

On a sour note, around half the guests at Gwinganna had an issue with their final account: services charged for but never had, credits not allocated, and the like. I was saddened to see some return guests turn their back on Gwinganna crying, ‘never again’. I’m hoping that was just a spate of bad luck, but I’d recommend you read the bill and carefully note what you were promised.

I hope this helps anyone trying to make a decision between the two. Remember, my recent experience at the Door was 5 years ago - things may have changed and it would be worth checking. That said, based on my feedback my partner has signed up for the Door in January, so hopefully he will write the companion review then!

I am sure you will enjoy yourself, wherever you go.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
34  Thank TravelChoices
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2012

Stayed here for 5 nights in November, doing the Optimal Wellness program. it was brilliant. Set in native bush land, lovely buildings, two infinity pools, fully equipped gym, organic food beautifully prepared by the chef; this is the sort of holiday I have dreamt about. I slept and slept, dozed and swam (well, more sort of floated actually); planned activities in the morning weren't compulsory but they were great to do. Staff couldn't have been more helpful. I learned heaps about health and lifestyle, even though I thought I knew quite a bit beforehand. I stayed in a the cheapest type of accommodation and it was lovely; good sized room with ensuite (bath, separate toilet), comfy QS bed, verandah with table chair and clothes horse. Afternoons were set aside for doing nothing or having treatments in the spa sanctuary. Went by myself, as a lot of people did, not a problem, always good company around if you wanted. Highly recommended. My one regret - not being able to stay longer. Worth every penny I spent to get myself there. GO!

Room Tip: Some rooms are a golf buggy ride away from the main activity areas
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank CandJMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Tallebudgera
14.9 mi away
Palazzo Versace
Palazzo Versace
#3 of 5 in Main Beach
2,048 reviews
12.6 mi away
Peppers Soul
Peppers Soul
#1 of 31 in Surfers Paradise
2,508 reviews
10.5 mi away
Meriton Suites Broadbeach
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
13 mi away
QT Gold Coast
QT Gold Coast
#5 of 31 in Surfers Paradise
2,804 reviews
14.3 mi away
Meriton Suites Southport
14.9 mi away
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about 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: $980 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA so you can book your Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Hotel Tallebudgera
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Australia/Gold Coast, Queensland

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing