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Reviewed September 26, 2017

Fabulous food, an excellent range of activities and facilities. Wonderful staff. A truely rejuvenating and restful week. I did a 5 day program and then added on the weekend making a 7 night stay.When you first get there if you haven't been before it's a bit school campish and for about 36 hours I thought - what the hell have I done. But once I settled in I saw how beneficial the package structure was.
The right amount of activity and rest - and you can do as little or as much as you want. I went alone and had no trouble meeting nice people to chat to.
Be aware though - it's not a 5 star hotel. I was disappointed with the room I was in and I do think they need to up the quality and ambience of some of the rooms. Mine was pokey and a bit shabby- mismatched bedside tables and no chair, curtains falling off the rails, cheap artwork on the walls etc. It wouldn't cost much to freshen them up.
Before you go - and I think you should go - make sure you thoroughly research your room category etc. That way you won't be disappointed when you arrive.
I was in an Orchard Suite room which had a shared sitting room. That was a complete waste for me since as a solo traveller I didn't use it once. This may be of benefit to a group travelling together.
But if you need rest, re-booting, rejuvenatingetc then this is a wonderful place.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
6  Thank Siena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 30, 2017 via mobile

I was lucky enough to spend 7 nights at Gwinganna for a Detox Program. The place is beautiful and so comfortable. The staff are amazing and supportive.
I was a "newbie" to this sort of thing, so I had little idea what to expect. At some point during the week, most people had a down day, due to the detox - no caffeine,gluten,sugar or alcohol. After that it was amazing.
The walks, the guest speakers, the never ending list of activities on offer, and the spa - they were all incredible.
The food - all organic, some of it grown on the property, was amazing, and plentiful.
This is a " timeout" I would encourage everyone to take, but go on your own.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled solo
1  Thank Patricia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwinganna, Manager at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2017

Dear Patricia P

Thank you so much for your review. You have captured the retreat experience so well and while some guests feel the effects of a detox, they always talk about how much better they feel after just a few days in this dedicated retreat environment away from distractions, responsibilities and technology.

We are very fortunate to have a large land space so that guests have plenty of room to explore and be in nature either own their own or in a guided activity. Offering a wide variety of activities means we can offer different things to try and something for all levels of fitness and experience.
Thank you again, wishing you wellness.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 29, 2017

I had heard how great Gwinganna was from a few people and did the 5 day retreat.

In some ways it was not what I expected. I imagined a small nurturing retreat, but it was more like a large holiday resort. There were nearly 60 guests.

I was recovering from a bout of flu and thought by continuing with my booking it would be fine as I would recover in a peaceful quiet setting. And although it was a beautiful setting it was very much more regimented than I imagined, especially in the morning and the pressure on arrival to sign up for their treatments was annoying, especially as I have my own practitioners and the way the treatments were grouped meant I could not use the amount allocated for a free or subsidised treatment from the group I chose something from. It was all very confusing and overwhelming on arrival.

In hindsight I should have gone home and taken my travel insurance and gone back at another time.

Personally I found the food, facilities and activities offered very good, but it might not be for everyone. The 5.30am wake up for 6am qigong was fine by me, although having been to a number of yoga retreats, I expected some meditation before the qigong.

The spa building was very beautiful but not disability friendly. Many, many steps from the waiting area to the treatment rooms and you had to go outside and back into another area so it would be challenging with the rainy season and slippery.

There are massive electricity high wires running right through the middle of the property which cannot be helped, but having to walk under them a few times a day would be challenging if your were electro magnetic radiation sensitive of which there is an ever growing number of people. Ideally having all buildings and activities away from them would have been better.

I booked for an 80 minute talk and workshop with the gardening expert who was a very lovely and knowledgeable lady, but it cost $140 which I though outrageous, but as I volunteer in an historic vegetable garden, decided to pay for it. Unfortunately I was very unwell on the day and told them at breakfast that I could not attend the afternoon talk, but they would not refund the amount, as it was in their rules. Very annoying as I had already spent a fair bit on extras which I actually regretted as the treatment staff were definitely no better than many I see at home privately for much less. (I do understand there the need for a slight increase in cost at a place like this, but for some treatments it was nearly double what I pay for equally or better qualified practitioners in Melbourne and Brisbane.)

The "icing on the cake" was that I did pay a deposit to return as I though I would like to give myself and Gwinganna a second chance when I was feeling better and I now knew how it was run and would get better value and appreciation for the place. They were promoting a 15% off your next visit. When I got home and received an email confirming my deposit and that 15% was only off two of the more expensive types of rooms. When I rang to query this they said it was on the promotion leaflette which I did not keep and would have been in smaller print. The room I stayed in was only 10% off. When I complained and told the girl I had a few annoying experiences, she suggested that maybe Gwinganna was not for me. I decided at that point maybe she was right and she could repay my deposit. A pity as I would like to go back and really enjoy it now knowing how it now runs.

This is a very slick corporate type of operation. There is definitely a place for it and it reaches people who do need to look at their health and lifestyle. They also have some leading edge information and research. Overall they do some fantastic things.

Warning ... Beware, read all the fine print on everything and do your homework thoroughly before you go, so you are aware of what you are up for and some of the finer details and rules to be followed.

Room Tip: Depends what you want. Thoroughly check it out. Some of the cheaper rooms have baths and some of the more expensive don't.
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank imajineering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gwinganna, Manager at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded September 5, 2017

Thank you for your review. You’re right, its always a good idea to research well when choosing a destination as there are so many different options available now, especially in the wellness area. We are however a complete wellness destination and not a holiday resort.

We’re sorry you felt it was pressure to sign up for extra services as this is completely optional, as is whether or not you choose to participate in any activities.

When we have guests with mobility issues, we work directly with them to ensure access to areas such as the spa is smooth however being in a bushland environment with many uneven surfaces can mean guests may need to take a little more care in some areas.

Unfortunately with private sessions, we need to have a cancellation policy in place as we cannot often change things at very late notice. Our gardener receives some of the most outstanding feedback of all so we are sorry to hear you did not find her session good value. Our therapists are also regularly noted in guest feedback as exceptional and we work hard to ensure they are of the highest standard.

We suggest in all our materials that guests review the Dreamtime menu options for spa and wellness therapies prior to arrival. This can help you plan preferences and areas to focus on and of course work within your own budget.

The special offer to return is available on our main types of accommodation and our Reservations Manager explained this with you when you phoned us recently. We then did process the refund for you so its disappointing to read your account of this situation online. We’d be happy to discuss this again with you in a private forum by email or phone if you would like.
Wishing you wellness.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 22, 2017

Accommodation excellent, food is fabulous even though there is minimal dairy and all gluten free, activities suited most with a low level and much higher intensity offering, massages were excellent. The changes they suggest are doable without turning your whole life upside down!

  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Susie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 13, 2017

I stayed close to the dining room in a Heritage room. It had a bath and was all you need for a simple stay. I enjoying being so close as I was involved in all the activities on offer and wasn't tempted to opt out and stay in my room.

Donna was our group leader and she was beautiful. So kind and warm.

The chi gong, challenging walks, boxing, Nia dance, tribal dance, yoga, meditation, massages, facial, the journey, pools, steam room, being in nature, delicious healthy food, great people, nice teachings, surrounds and space was incredible. I recommended it for anyone feeling burnt out and needing to be replenished.

It was amazing being cooked for and not doing any laundry for seven days!

Basic tips and simple living is the key. Life is so crazy for so many of us. I have been able continue with some of their tips at home. I would love to return and recommend Gwinganna.

Thanks so much.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Lauren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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