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“Birchcreek Retreat Costa Rica is amazing!”

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Jump Start New York
Reviewed October 17, 2011

I came to Birchcreek Retreat in Costa Rica to loose weight, but not only did I loose 17 pounds (8kilo) in the first week and 30 in 3 weeks.. :-) :-) I also changed all my knowledge about nutrition and got into a much much better shape.. my life is changed and it is all because of the wonderfull programme and great staff.. I enjoyed every minute of it..!!!
By the way.. the detox and juicing makes a big difference in only a few days and it happens without any hunger..

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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6  Thank Nikolaj74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 5, 2011

Brichcreek is just amazing. Julie and Ron have really developed an effective program that allows you to juice fast comfortably while achieving amazing weight loss results. I personally lost almost 10 lbs in 6 days. I did the boot camp program and didn't really know how I would do exercising 5 hours a day while juice fasting. I was surprised that I wasn't hungry considering how much I was working out. I did sneak some coconut water here and there in town but it’s just juice right :)

Anke was our personal trainer and she was so good I want to move her to Houston to live with me! I just ended up getting smaller all around and I know it was from losing weight but also because of all the different exercises that Anke had me doing. It's hard to change up 5 hours everyday but she managed to do it. We worked out on the beach, in the group area, in the weight room.... She was just a pleasure to be around and such an expert in fitness.

I have juice fasted before with another company and this program is quite unique. Ron and Julie make it unique. They are real juicing gurus. You don't always find people that have such an extensive knowledge about the juices and what they are doing once they are ingested and Ron KNOWS! It’s hard to believe that he's not a doctor. He sure knows more than my general practitioner and if I have any health issues I will be sure to check in with him to see what he recommends (seriously). One of our co-fasters was there working on Diabetes reversal. I can't wait for his book to come out. This program is so well thought out and organized and I really felt like I was in good hands; you could tell that they have been refining their program for 10 years. It was so nice to have spent this kind of money and feel that it was worth every penny. I would have paid more but ended up catching one of their specials. Julie is equally as awesome as Ron. I got the impression that she is the one behind the scenes making everything happen and I coordinated everything with her. They are a great team. They both are making this program awesome and Julie is the one who make us sorbet!

I saved the best for last.... BARBARA! I can not count how many times I have had a massage and been so disappointed that the person didn't know what they were doing. Barbara is literally and angel sent down to heal people. She aligned one of our co-fasters jaws that would of cost him almost $5K to fix. She massaged out another one of our co-fasters' hips and now she can walk without limping. She fixed my girlfriend’s hamstring that had been giving her problems since May in one session. After my first deep tissue massage with Barbara I told everyone that it was "Hands down absolutely the best massage I have ever had in my life!" I am a real spa junkie and have had a ton of massages but I would fly to NY just to see Barbara. I actually want to fly her into Houston to work on my husband. She is just a true healer. She is a REAL doctor and so knowledgeable about the body and how food can be used as medicine. She is just an absolute gem in this world and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with her. She is amazing; you just have to experience to truly understand how gifted and talented she is. (She has been doing this for over 25 years!)

I was looking for a juice fasting program and when I saw this one in Costa Rica organized by an American company I jumped on it. I was completely satisfied and have recommended Birchcreek already to my friends and family and would recommend it whether in Costa Rica or in NY to anyone that asked me about juice fasting. I would definitely work with Birchcreek again.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank meganaschlain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

I had two objectives for my time spent at Birch Creek. Lose weight and be more active. I accomplished both. I lost 17.2 pounds in 12 days and walked everyday for at least 90 minutes. My biggest accomplishment was walking 5 miles. I am very happy with that result. What I liked about my experience at Birch Creek is that I could be on vacation and working on my health all at once. After extensive discussions with my nutritionist, I chose to have meals rather than utilize their juice plan. What was most beneficial for me having meals is that I could immediately start getting used to fresh raw vegetables in addition to portions more suited to weight loss. While initially my brain told me the portions were small, my body slowly got used to having less food to be satisfied. Initially I was given raw food which consisted of a wonderful variety of fresh vegetables. Breakfast was always different types of fresh fruit cut up and mixed together. Lunch was, again, fresh vegetables over mixed greens with a different dressing every day. For dinner I could expect some raw vegetables along with some cooked items. One evening I was served a whole grain pasta with sautéed plumb tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions.

The schedule is loose, but organized. I enjoyed having long breaks in the day. A break could be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. In some cases I chose to rest rather than attend a scheduled event with complete encouragement from the staff to do so. Each morning was a 90 minute walk in one of the most beautiful parts of the country I have ever seen. I am a big fan of natural running waters, so the creek running throughout the walk was a joy to hear and see. Each day would have an additional activity that I could participate. Cardio-boxing, Tai Chi, water aerobics, and stretch classes were some of the other activities.

Seminars and workshops were provided on a variety of topics. Some of the topics were reflexology, what is in the juice and how it can benefit you, juicing demonstrations, why chose a plant based diet, and a cooking demonstration with a meal at the end.

All this was available on vacation? Well, sort of...I was in the Catskill Mountains and enjoyed incredible scenery, charming bed and breakfast type of room, relaxing in the pool, tea on the deck, and playing dominos with other guests. I was free to come and go as I please. I even spent an afternoon at Woodstock, NY and had a lovely vegan lunch at Joshua’s.

My hope for the future of Birch Creek is that they hire as many people as they can who share the attributes of Sofia. She made my stay most enjoyable and comfortable. In addition, I would like to see them have an independent registered dietician available who shares their philosophy. Every now and then when I had questions that would pertain to my particular situation and would have preferred to discuss one on one with an experience licensed professional.

Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
4  Thank Howard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2011

I can not say enough good things about Birchcreek. I can't believe this place is not the weightloss resort for the Stars, because it's just phenomenal here. I am 29 years, 5'3 and I lost 8.5 lbs in 6 days. I stayed for 7 days, but I checked in late on Sunday..so I do not consider it as 7 full days. I would like to thank the program directors Julie and Ron, they were knowledgeable, caring, motivating, and overall like family. The two of them truly know the challenges that are out there and they will guide you and educate you through out the detox/weight loss process. I want to let everyone know, I did not starve myself or feel hungry while I was here. I felt like I was on vacation the whole time I was here. My room was gorgeous, with a fireplace, fresh towels, wi-fi, cable tv and my own spa like bathroom. Birchcreek is very well maintained, and the owners take pride in their business. My fellow guests and I always saw and noticed many housekeepers always cleaning. To my surprise, the personal trainers were the best and most sopisiticated in their expertise I have ever come across at any gyms. I took my first Tai Chi with Steve class and stretch classs with Jeff and learned some great stretching techniques. I loved the cooking class with Ron! The best part out of the whole trip was being with other people staying at Birchcreek who are either trying to detox and OR lose weight. We were all laughing and having a great time. I

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank CAYMAN2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2011

To anyone seeking to revamp his or her way of eating and to truly realize the importance of eating the right foods, Birchcreek is the place. The staff, the quiet, natural environment, and the nutritional knowledge that I received made the cleansing process quite easy; the trip was well worth it.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank SheLaPla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

I read over the reviews before making a decison and i called birchcreek to find out what the real story was. Seems that the reviews are either wow or they are horrible. Maybe they give away a free weekend to get someone to write a good review,because there is just no continunity here. I spoke to the owner julie who made me feel that my questions were just pissing her off and she couldn't be bothered with me. She then put me on with a lovely women named sophia who was a great help. She answered most of my questions and i deciced to spend a week.
The truth here is that it is the place is rustic, and run down. it needs a complete renovation. There is a paint job here and there but otherwise the place is a mess. the gym that is supposed to be open 24 hours in an old barn where they hold the ''boot camp'' classes. if there are classes going on you can't us the gym. with boot camp there are classes throughout the day. bye bye gym use.not very convienet. also the place is dirty. i realize that this is the country, and there are quite a few spas you pass along the way before you get to this one that are spectacular so i know that the ydo keep the dirt away in other spas.
Ron is the director the the place and he gives these lectures on stuff that had no relavence to how to help me keep weight off , what i should do when i leave or the questions i tried to asked were just rebuffed and never answerwed. word here, skip his classes he just likes to here himself talk. When he is done ,hes gone like the wind never to be seen again. His wife julie also not to be seen around the premisies, maybe just to check in and then poof shes gone. Thank god Sophia is around to answer questions and just help out. it seems she's the one who runs the place.
i had a demontration with their daughter loni on juicing, first of all i am wathching a women juice my lunch without gloves on as she is scratching her head (without a hair net)and then she goes back to putting the fruit in the juicer after what ever was in her hair.Gross where is the health department, the kitchen tiles on the counter also look like thet have black mold growing on them , and there are bugs everywhere, not very appitzing.Also i felt that if she is working here she should know something about health and wellness. She could not answer any of the questions that people were asking, what was her backround ?Forget the seminars, execpt for Barbaras , she is the Naturopathic doctor on staff, and she gave a lecture that was informative, useful, and enlighting, She has over 25 years in the field and knows her stuff, what she is doing here in the woods working for birchcreek i dont know, some fabulous spa or retreat should steal her away.
she also did my bodywork treatmeents and i will telll you she alone was worth the trip, i left feel ing my body and soul had beed restored all through her wonderful healing touch, and skilled massage work.
my room was adaquite but nothing to write home about, the fiberglass falling out of the chimmey. the peeling waallpaper, i let it go. i lost weight but was it worht it? i think not, the massages were heaven but this place is just not the real deal.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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23  Thank travelingagaain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birchcreek, Owner at Jump Start New York, responded to this reviewResponded August 6, 2011

Dear Reviewer,
You will be happy to know that you can now experience the outstanding Birchcreek Weight Loss and Wellness program at the 4 star Emerson Resort in Mount Tremper, NY (about 15 minutes from our current location). For our guests, like you, would who prefer a more upscale and luxurious facility, Birchcreek at the Emerson provides the perfect combination of juice fasting, weight loss, fitness and pampering. Hope you can join us there next trip.

A few comments about your review:

To clarify – we are NOT a spa! We ARE a Retreat – tucked in the woods, rustic, country, secluded (and, by the way, very clean). Our facility is in the mountains, surrounded by clear running streams, mature forest – a very natural setting. Our atmosphere is perfect for those desiring the privacy to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. Our outstanding return percentage and referral rate show that most of our guests do take the time to read our very clear website, and deliberately choose our non fluffy, non spa -like atmosphere which offers a very serious and successful approach to alternative health and weight loss. Many of our guests have already tried spa vacations and find Birchcreek to be a breath of fresh air and common sense. Our outstanding weight loss results, and yours, as you mentioned, speak for themselves!

As you and your friend (who wrote the previous less than positive review) know, the gym is only nicknamed the ‘barn’ because of it’s red exterior color. There are no barns on the property and the gym building was built about 12 years ago.

As the Director of the Birchcreek Retreat, Ron Odato is responsible for all of the research and science behind our program. As Program Director, my role is to ensure that our daily program is the best available anywhere for our clients. So, you are right. We are not always visible all day to our clients. That task falls to our long time employee and well appreciated Daily Operations Director, Sophia, whom you rightly identified as being available to help with anything, running the daily operations and doing an outstanding job. I’m not sure why that would be an issue for anyone.

Our program encompasses both weight loss and wellness. We firmly believe that the two go hand in hand. So, it’s true, as you mentioned, that not every lecture is just about how to keep your weight off. We also offer the very relevant intellectual information which is so vital to your success when you are out of our care and back home in your life. I’m sure you can recall that the very individual topics regarding your own weight loss plan were well covered with you in both your one on one consultations and our very popular hands on workshops.

It’s true! Ron does like to hear himself talk! When the topic is getting yourself back on track and reclaiming health, fitness and energy – he could go on all day. Enthusiasm is generally considered a positive trait!

My response to your comments about the very impromptu juicer demo we were able to squeeze in last minute for the two of you, (at your request), is to remind you that our staff was simply accommodating a guest request - at an unscheduled time and in an informal way. Additionally, I’m not sure why one would expect the kitchen help, any more than the housekeepers, to be experts in health and wellness . As you know, this was not a scheduled class with an instructor, just a quick look at the juicer.

The grout in the tile surfaces in the kitchen can discolor easily as a result of constant contact with fresh raw fruit and vegetable juices during the daily juicing process. They are regrouted regularly for aesthetic attractiveness and are always kept scrupulously clean.

Thank you for your comments regarding Barbara, our Naturopathic Doctor. She is truly amazing and has been a valued member of our staff at Birchcreek for almost 10 years. Our staff and management have been consistently praised by our clients for their service, knowledge, dedication and thoughtfulness. Hats off to the team!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2011

I have to say my stay at Birchcreek was a great experience for me. I decided for the first time in my life to do something for me and researched many health, wellness and weight loss spas. If you are looking for a luxury spa this is not the place to go. But if you are looking for comfortable accommodations and a jump start into healthy weight loss then Birchcreek is worth the trip. I have tried to lose weight with every diet that is out there and could not lose a pound (actually gained more). I did a 4 day juice fast and exercise and on departure I lost 6.2 lbs the healthy way. I am home a week now and have not been able to implement a daily exercise routine yet, but I am continuing to lose weight. Another 2.5 lbs.

Julie, Ron and Sophia were great. Within 5 minutes of my arrival it was a totally comfortable and nurturing experience. Julie and Sophia were always available for any needs or requests. They continue to answer any questions that I have had since I am home.

Ron’s seminars have given me a world of information that has encouraged me to change my diet by eating healthy without feeling deprived. I feel more energized and have lost the cravings for junk food. Every exercise instructor was an expert in their field giving one on one attention during every class.

The morning hikes through the beautiful Catskills were invigorating and challenging. I did not have any spa treatments, however those who did say they were wonderful. Since I have been home, people have commented on how great my skin looks. I have not put on any face makeup since Birchcreek. All I can say is I came home lighter, healthier and calmer.
I look forward to returning next year!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank dori_NYC_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jump Start New York

Address: 123 Birch Creek Rd, Pine Hill, NY 12465-2107 (Formerly Birchcreek Retreat)
Location: United States > New York > Catskill Region > Pine Hill
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Pine Hill
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rapid Aggressive Weight Loss, Juice Fasting, High Octane Food Plan, Detox and Cleanse, Fitness Restoration, Stress Relief, Behavior Modification, Highly Individualized with a High staff to client ratio. Experience the Jump Start that comes from success! The Jump Start Weight Loss Program offers: Structured daily schedule, Jump Start's signature 'High Octane' low calorie juices and meals, Health and Weight Loss seminars and workshops and permanent lifestyle changes. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Birchcreek Retreat Hotel Pine Hill

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