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“A great kick-start/booster to healthy living!”

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The Slimmeria Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A great kick-start/booster to healthy living!”
Reviewed July 27, 2011

I went to Slimmeria in the early part of July with two other friends - the setting is a gorgeous Georgian manor house renovated beautifully - the grounds were idyllic (vineyards, outdoor pool, swings and orchards)

I had lost weight through healthy eating and exercise prior to going to the retreat, but my friends wanted to use this as a kick start to healthy living. I had plateaued in weight and was struggling to lose the last few pounds; my goal was to lose 7 lbs...at the end of the week my total weight loss was 9 lbs which I was over the moon with. My friends have completely changed their lifestyles - they're eating the right foods and getting fitter and fitter through regular exercise.

I was concerned that I would put weight back on after the week's retreat, however, 2-3 weeks on and I'm back at the gym, eating sensibly (and that includes eating out and giving myself treats!) and I'm still losing weight - I've lost a further 2 lbs which is great as my goal was more to maintain my weight loss and I wasn't really pushing to lose the extra pounds - clearly the week at Slimmeria gave my body the boost it needed!

Galia was amazing - she assailed my concerns about the raw food diet - you're chewing food, which means your body isn't starving itself. Galia is also very clear that the detox is not how you should live in the long-term - it's literally a week to get all the bad stuff out of your system and give your immune system a boost and cleanse! Galia practices what she preaches: she gave us lots of examples from her own experience and those of former clients who have continued with losing weight through sensible eating and exercise. She freely offered to give us healthier alternative recipes for our favourite dishes and encouraged us to include foods we weren't eating during our detox.

The fitness instructors and staff are amazing - they know what you're going through and offer lots of support (it's a commitment from both Slimmeria and the individual to make the most out of the week) We had beautiful country and seaside walks around Hastings, Battle and Crowhurst. I loved the boxing classes!

We also met some lovely people, the group we had during our week's stay were all very diverse (different nationalities, social backgrounds and ages) but we really supported each other as a group and we're all still in touch now encouraging each other to continue with a healthier lifestyle.

My friends and I booked this trip as part of a birthday treat to ourselves and therefore we indulged in lots of treatments - I had facials, body scrubs and a relaxation and sports massage - great prices and I loved each treatment. The therapists are lovely and each time I came back to the rest of my group, people commented on how well I looked - since I've been back home, literally all my friends and family have commented on how good my skin looks. I came back from my week zinging!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
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2 Thank Rouji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2011

On the spur of the moment I decided to give Slimmeria a try. I knew of someone who had lost 11lbs in a week and although I didn't believe I could achieve that much weight loss, with my son's wedding coming up I thought that I would go for it.. What did I have to loose? Well quite a lot actually!
I arrived in the beautiful countryside of Crowhurst, near Battle on a Sunday afternoon in July. I was welcomed by Galia, the owner, weighed and medically checked out and quickly settled in to a fairly nice but basic room. "Dinner is at 6.30 and you will be ab;e to meet everyone then." I was informed. "Dinner, did someone say dinner....more like a watery soup with a few bits of cauliflower floating in it! What had I let myself in for?
After an early night we, the other 11 of us set off at 8.00,having been given a mug of lemon water for a very brisk walk. It was quite difficult to keep up for around 2 hours but somehow I managed it! When we returned we had breakfast! No not a fry up but a glass of celery and carrot juice! We then had a hour in the gym with a trainer, also quite strenuous and then an hour of yoga. Most days had the same routine but we varied our walks to take in forest, beach at Hastings, hills around the area and a nine mile walk on the last day to Battle and back. Lunch was grated raw carrots and cabbage, or similar and tea was half a strawberry, five blueberries and a raspberry!
In the afternoon there was the choice of different treatments. I had a very good facial and pedicure. There were lots of massages to treat the aching bones!
After dinner, a similarly frugal affair there were classes in Swing, Zumba and Bellydance.
In my group everyone got on well, I suppose a common sense of sharing an ordeal, and we all encouraged one another.
I had to leave the day before everyone else but I lost 8lbs, toned up considerably and had my wedding outfit taken in.
Would I go back? Definitely!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
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4 Thank Mirahny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2011

It's hard to review this place because it depends so much on what you want to get out of it. I will describe how we found it though. For me, I wanted to lose some weight (I had already lost over a stone eating healthily but I thought this would be a good boost) and get back into doing more exercise. For my husband he really just wanted to relax and exercise - he didn't really need to lose weight. However, we both wanted to achieve all of this healthily.

I'll start off with a few positives... The exercise classes with Lisa (and on the last day, her husband in her place) were fantastic. I don't normally do that kind of thing but she was lovely and patient and she kept it interesting. Everyone particularly enjoyed the boxing. My husband goes to the gym quite a lot but said most of the classes were a better workout than he usually managed by himself.

The yoga classes were good too. In the first part of the week in particular there wasn't much strong yoga (which I prefer) but after a long walk and the exercise class it was nice to relax.

And the building is pretty. The white room is particularly nice - gets lots of sun and there are plenty of magazines lying around. We went out to Hastings a couple of times for walks and Hastings is very pretty. My husband and I also went down there in the afternoons a couple of times. It was a little tempting having so many chip shops around (!) but we did resist and had fun.

And I do think Galia means well. I think she has lost weight herself and wants to help other people achieve that. I just don't think the means are very sensible.

So, on to the negatives... My main concern is that I don't think that the approach taken here is sensible or safe. We were told by Galia on the first day that the food amounted to only 400 calories a day. This was not what I was expecting (and I feel the website is very misleading in this way). I had in mind a healthy, nutritious diet (maybe 1,000 calories a day?) combined with plenty of exercise and relaxing. To me, 400 calories a day (in the form of mainly just cabbage with a few other bits and pieces), particularly when doing so much exercise, is bordering on fasting rather than dieting. If I had known I would definitely not have booked to stay - I had already lost weight through sensible eating and I didn't want to undo that good by being too extreme. I saw no evidence that this was based on professional advice but rather that it had been dreamed up by Galia. Some people in our group seemed really quite ill at times and the only concession Galia ever gave was to offer people half a boiled egg!

Also, interestingly she requested medical information from people when they arrived but from what I could see, didn't really tailor the program to people's individual needs. Also worth noting is that when you arrive you are required to sign a form saying you have had medical advice from your doctor that it is ok for you to do such a program. Given that this wasn't suggested on the website or in the joining information (and that I feel the information given about the program itself was misleading), I find it hard to believe many people have actually done this. I'm sure it is not possible to get rid of liability that easily but I do find it a concern what people are asked to sign such a waiver.

In terms of the exercise regime, I did not much enjoy the morning walks. Again, on her website (and when I spoke to her about it over the phone), Galia said that these would be flexible enough to be good for the faster and slower members of our group. I didn't find this at all. On a few days I really couldn't keep up and found the group had just gone on ahead well out of sight. Luckily, my husband kindly hung back with me and we made our way back (no maps are provided so it would be quite easy to get lost). The walks on the beach front were much better as they were just a straight line there and back so you could push yourself but if you got left behind you couldn't get lost.

Some people in our group had opted for daily treatments (massages etc). My impression was that they didn't really consider this to be very good value for money (although obviously we didn't do them so I can only relay what they said). We did have full body massages and were disappointed but I guess it depends on your taste in these things.

In summary, if you think that your body will respond well to eating only 400 calories of food a day (and you're not too fussy about how it tastes) and doing 3-4 hours of exercise each day then go for it - you will lose weight. Everyone in our group did. However, I think there are much better programs out there which are based on the views of nutrition professionals and who have much better monitoring and are more safe and more likely to give you lasting results. They may be a bit more expensive but I think you get what you pay for.

P.S. Apologies for the length of this review - I know shorter ones are easier to read but I just thought I should make it as full as possible so people can really make an informed choice.

Room Tip: Our room was pretty shabby but we did go for the cheapest option. Other rooms were nicer - if you ar...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
50 Thank angelareviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slimmeria, Owner at The Slimmeria Retreat, responded to this review, September 18, 2012
We would like to thank the guest for her comprehensive appraisal of her experience with us. We are glad that she found “the exercise classes were fantastic” and “everyone particularly enjoyed the boxing” . We are also pleased that her husband appreciated the class workouts. They both enjoyed their walks in Hastings. This guest is correct that Slimmeria is about helping people achieve their weight loss goals. Our programme is based on a low calorie healthy and nutritional diet. This guest advised us that she had come to Slimmeria because she wanted to lose a bit more weight and her review confirmed that everyone in her group lost weight. Sadly, this guest refused to be weighed at the beginning and at the end of the retreat so her personal progress could not be recorded.

We offer different programmes with some offering more calories and less weight loss. Details are available on the website, including a sample menu. We always encourage dialogue prior to booking. We were more than happy to provide this guest with porridge in the morning to supplement her diet. We always explain that losing weight might not be easy , whilst putting on weight usually is! We practice conscious eating, portion control and a healthy vegetarian diet with raw vegetables and fruit. We also take pride in the compliments we receive for the professionalism of our staff team and the wonderful massages and treatments that are available.
Regarding the safety elements of our programme, we hope this guest has since viewed the recent Horizons programme “Eat, Fast & Live Longer” on BBC2 with Michael Mosely looking at the scientific benefits of fasting and the immense physical benefits to the body, including the brain.

We understand that some people are unhappy when they are challenged outside their comfort zone, both in terms of diet and fitness. We find that committing to the programme and taking part in our activities as well as having a positive attitude, team spirit and sense of humour, helps our guests achieve their personal goals whilst at our retreat.

We would like to thank our guest for visiting us, sharing her personal experience and particularly mentioning that “Galia means well” and has “lost weight herself and wants to help other people achieve that”. It is actually a great privilege for us to help people in that respect as we fully understand what our guests are going through!
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Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2011

Such wonderful bedrooms. My stay was incredibly comfortable.set amongst the countryside. The most wonderful walks. It was hard to push yourself and Do the program, but it was worth it!!! I would love to come again.

  • Stayed July 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lizemac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2011

Some good points ... Yes we all did lose a lot of weight and the house is beautiful . however the belief in camp was that the weight loss programme was extreme and dangerous . 400 cals for a day with 4 or 5 hours exercise for people who may not have exercised or eaten healthily for a while is not nutritionally sound. One juice to survive all the mornings work was too little and only sets you up for failure in the real world when you leave as who can continue that ? No wonder there are good results but people should really look past that to what is safe and effective long term. There should be qualified people on board to monitor people's health as a number of our group were either physically sick or queasy and exhausted . Make no mistake that this is a money making business not a healthy living retreat you get little for your money as rooms are not automatically cleaned, you are fed next to nothing and preference is definitely given to people who are willing to part with bigs wads of cash for daily massages . You will find yourself on the end of quite a frosty attitude if you don't conform to the parting of money on a daily basis. The exercise team however were superb and very encouraging and probably responsible for most people's real change n attitude as they inspired you to keep going . Please find somewhere that has qualified dieticians or nutrionalists on board I really feel this regime is dangerously radical in order to get results and will maybe cause someone real harm one day .

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
23 Thank taxedteacher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slimmeria, Owner at The Slimmeria Retreat, responded to this review, September 11, 2012
We thank all our guests for visiting our Retreat and giving feedback, and whilst our intention is to help and please all our guests it is obvious that sometimes it might not be possible. We would like to thank our guest for her very positive feedback like “we all did lose a lot of weight”, “the house is beautiful”, “the exercise team were superb and very encouraging and…inspired you to keep going. We would like to comment on the following points:
1. Weight loss programme and calorie intake When guests have their private assessments at the beginning of the week, it is discussed how much weight they want to lose and diet plans are adjusted accordingly, therefore the calorie plan is totally tailored to individual needs of each guest. This particular guest chose to join our Ultimate Weight Loss retreat and specified that her target weight loss was 8lbs, do her diet was adjusted appropriately. We were asked for extra food including porridge for breakfast, eggs and muesli and she was paying daily visits to local towns… leaving her dinner uneaten on her return most days.

The programme would only be dangerous if you were underweight, elderly, very young pregnant, or if it went on for extended periods of time. It is extremely beneficial to have a detox die of healthy vegetables and fruit for a short period of time every now and then! Our calories plan is totally different for everybody, as some people need more food and some do not, but it is well in excess of 500 calories per day for everybody. In fact in some cases we have to actively encourage people to take certain foods and we monitor the situation daily. We run retreats of different types with different calories intake, e.g. we have Weight Maintenance retreats where people are on a healthy eating plan and consume in excess of 1,500 calories per day.

Most people who come to us adjust very well to this detox and do not have any side effects whilst with us. The basic rule is – the more unhealthy your lifestyle was pre retreat, the more unfit you are, the more you might struggle in the first couple of days until your body adjusts to an exercise routine and food plan, which will also include portion control, conscious eating and prevention of dehydration. We focus a lot on retraining the body to appreciate smaller, healthier portions and that might be difficult to start with. People usually learn very quickly that on day 3 or 4 they are likely to have amazing energy, that is if they stick to the plan and embrace our programme.

2. Daily Exercise programme We offer many activities each day including morning walks, fitness, yoga and dance classes. We do encourage everyone to take part at their own pace and no-one is pushed beyond their limits. As many of us know, before you exercise you can feel sluggish and tired, yet once you start moving that tiredness soon disappears and when you put 100% into exercise, by the end of it you can feel invigorated. It’s very rare that we have people who regularly miss our activities. Sadly, this guest hardly participated in our fitness programme while the rest of the group took part in all the activities and embraced the programme 100%.

3. Nutritionist support There is a qualified nutritionist on board and our nutritionist advised on healthy eating plans for after the retreat and all guests found it extremely useful. Furthermore, a private consultation with our nutritionist was also available on request. I remember that this particular guest asked for quite a few recipes as well. We have doctors and nutritionists amongst our regular guests who fully support and embrace our programme.

4. Monitoring People’s Health We send an information letter to guests ahead of time and this lists “HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR STAY”. Included on this letter is “If you are taking medications of any kind, if you are pregnant, or if there will be some major change to your diet, we recommend that you consult you GP prior to your arrival.” We have private assessments at the start of the programme and guests are asked to fill in medical forms as well. We did not have any unfit people that week. The general rule is – no pain, no gain and people who want to benefit from this programme normally do. Most people know why they join our programme.

5. Money making business - we certainly hope to be one day. We run healthy living retreats and a lot of lives have been transformed as a result of staying with us and, by the way, there is no sin in running a successful business, is there?

6. Cleaning of rooms Rooms are offered to be cleaned every day. We would like to thank our guest for rating us highly for cleanliness and service.

7. Additional Treatments Most packages already include some spa treatments. We will never look down upon people who do not book additional treatments, it is TOTALLY against our ethos! Everyone is treated with equal respect. There is certainly no place for a “frosty attitude”. Many people book treatments themselves, as they appreciate the opportunity to balance hard work with relaxation.

Just to sum it up…
We run detox and weight loss retreats and our typical menu is displayed on our website. There are immense benefits in practicing a raw vegetarian diet for short periods of time. We do recommend that people consult their GP if they are in any doubt or have certain medical conditions. The nature of kick start retreats is such that you have to work hard to lose weight and you need to stay positive and focused. Most people succeed in this, but not all. Our general observation is that people with emotional issues do struggle when deprived of comfort food. At Slimmeria, our programme also includes abstinence from caffeine and alcohol. Guests are advised of this beforehand, however, some find it more difficult than others.

We are very proud of our guest’s achievement (a loss of 9.5 lbs in 6 days) and wish her well. It is a shame that she did not feel that happy about her experience with us. On a more positive note, we are delighted that other people at the retreat did not share her opinion and placed rather positive reviews about their experience at Slimmeria Retreat.
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London
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2011

I went with my sister and a friend to lose weight detox and exercise. We lost 8lb, 10lb and 12lb in one week by following the plan as set out by Galia our hostess. Food is vegetarian, nicely presented and regular but there is very little of it. That's the point. We went prepared to do whatever it took and got maximum benefit from it. Read all the information before you go and be prepared.
Galia and her team make everyone welcome and try their utmost to help you reach your goals. We also met a fantastic group of guests and the atmosphere was friendly and supportive throughout. There was a great programme of activities to keep us busy and active. Really enjoyed the organised walks around Hastings and Battle areas before breakfast and the daily yoga classes. The fitness instructors were all excellent and very motivating. In the afternoons we had free time for spa treatments or relaxing and in the evenings we had dance classes (loved the Swing and Belly dancing) and a talk on nutrition.
The house is beautifully restored and surrounded by gardens and a vineyard. We ate outside by the pool and exercised under the trees for the first few days and it felt like being in the South of France. Our twin room was in the attic and had a beautiful view especially at sunset. It was large and nicely decorated with beams and wooden floorboards. The ensuite was small but adequate.
I came back refreshed and delighted with my results.
I would definitely go back if I want to detox again.

Room Tip: Attic rooms at back have view of surrounding countryside.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Getawayfromitall67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed July 11, 2011

If you are really serious about losing some weight and detoxing then I would recommend that you visit Slimmeria. It does take some adjustment to get used to a raw (semi-raw) vegetarian diet, but the results speak for themselves.

Galia is very supportive and really wants you to succeed during your stay. Lisa, the fitness instructor is great too and is very motivating.

I have continued to lose weight since I have left which I am very pleased about.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank sampw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Slimmeria Retreat

Property: The Slimmeria Retreat
Address: Hye House Royal Oak Lane | Royal Oak Lane, Crowhurst, Battle TN33 9BX, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > East Sussex > Battle
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Battle
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
The Slimmeria Retreat Hotel Battle

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