A BLISSFUL LONG WEEKEND IN TRANQUILITY
From the moment I walked into Gaia Retreat & Spa, I felt relaxed and in heaven. The initial thought when I first stepped foot into the sub-tropical and beautifully manicured gardens was that I was overseas again and not one hours flight from a bustling city. Our transfer from the airport to Gaia was extremely timely, with the very sociable Grant arriving at 9am on the dot. Gaia is secluded and located three kilometres from the nearest town, with stunning views of the Byron Bay hinterland and ocean from the highest point at Samira Lookout. And did I mention, that the retreat is also part owned by Australia’s Olivia Newton-John.
Check-in was in the Samoan inspired Kukura House and was personal and attentive. We were greeted with a colourful fruit plate while our host Karen walked us through our own daily schedule of a pre-booked massage and complimentary retreat activities. Each evening at dinner we were given another personalised daily schedule to outline the next days relaxing activities. There is no planning required.
ROOM | Our Layana Room was ready well before the scheduled 2pm check-in and we were guided to the room with no need to even carry our own weekender bags. For a cosy stay the room was decorated in warm natural hues to complement the eco friendly nature of the retreat. The room included all the essentials: a dreamy king size bed, modern bathroom, Gaia’s own bathroom amenities, an abundance of teas and complimentary bottled water and slippers. On arrival we also received a Spa Gift which included samples of LI’TYA botanical products.
EAT | Where do I begin about the gourmet meals that are all-inclusive? We didn’t have to think about our dietary requirements after we mentioned them upon check-in. Each meal was pre-set, so no choices or thinking required. I never knew organic and health inspired menus could be so flavoursome, leaving you to dream about what is next on the menu during the stay. The Quinoa bake was our introduction to the Gaia cuisine, the dish was colourful and textures amazing. Dinner was three courses and for those who appreciate a wine to compliment a meal, can still enjoy life’s indulgences from the organic and Australian wine range. Breakfast consisted of a healthy buffet which extended to the organic butter, condiments without sugar and a choice of fresh fruit or vegetable juice combinations. During the day, guests can snack on the daily gluten free and dairy free freshly baked cake or muffins as well as teas and detox juices. All the dishes were sublime and deceivingly healthy and your body feels refreshed even after a short retreat.
SPA | During the pampering weekend away we indulged with two massages. The Gaia Day Spa is very intimate and can get cosy at times with guests opting for multiple treatments during a retreat stay. The spa staff are welcoming and ensure you are totally relaxed and comfortable during your treatment. We enjoyed the complimentary Revive Package massage as well as opting for a Hot and Cold Rocks massage for the first time. The rocks massage was one and a half hours of pure relaxation and I’d be surprised if you don’t fall asleep while in this heavenly state. Afterwards you can enjoy a small fruit platter, a herbal tea and lime infused water to ensure you stay hydrated.
IN SUMMARY | What you need to know….
– BATH AMENITIES – Gaia’s own shampoo, conditioner and natural soaps
– BREAKFAST – A healthy buffet with one freshly cooked dish
– ROOM SERVICE – The inclusive meals are also available in-room for a delivery surcharge
– RETREAT – A boutique health retreat, located in sub-tropical gardens in the Byron Bay hinterland
– SPA – Intimate. Recommend the Hot Rocks Relaxation massage
– LOCATION – Secluded
– PRICE TAG – Luxe
– LOVED – The organic and gourmet all-inclusive meals, personalised daily schedule cards and massage treatments at the Gaia Day Spa
The Gaia Retreat is relaxed as you want it to be. Guests can stroll around in their yoga outfits or robes and slippers when walking to the spa. You can treat and enjoy your stay like it is a second home. The staff are more like your friends and can assist you at anytime. Leanne (Manager) and Gregg (General Manager and part owner) also personally greet and get to know their guests during a stay. Gregg was also kind enough to swap the Livwise Cookbook we just purchased with an autographed copy by Olivia NJ and himself. With a maximum of 38 guests, you can be assured of a peaceful time away from any hectic lifestyle to focus on your wellbeing and recharge.
BOOK | Gaia Retreat & Spa – Revive Package
933 Fernleigh Road, Brooklet NSW
All photos by Mel McLeod ©