Caryn Reichenberg escapes to Gaia Retreat & Spa in the beautiful Byron Bay hinterland to press the pause button and reconnect on a spiritual, physical and emotional level. The stunning resort won the top award at the 12th annual World Luxury Hotel Awards held in Bali late last year and provides an opportunity to “escape from the perils of new millennium living in a secluded sacred space where you can renew, refresh and restore”.
The lowdown on Gaia
Gaia Retreat & Spa can be found in the breathtakingly beautiful hinterland of Byron Bay, a region often referred to as the “healing heartland” of Australia. Founded in 2005, Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Olivia Newton-John and Warwick Evans, affectionately known as G.R.O.W, set out as a close-knit team to realise a dream. Today, Gaia offers guests total flexibility to tailor their retreat experience and is “home” to some of Australia’s best healers and therapists.
We all occasionally have the need to pause, take stock and reconnect with oneself. There are many aspects to well being, and Gaia is the prefect place for guests to reconnect with themselves physically, spiritually and emotionally. What stood out for me was the staff’s exceptional service, nurturing guidance complimented with nourishing, award-winning organic cuisine.
One feels safe in the environment of Gaia, a place to be pampered and feel the warmth and genuine care.
Nestled in the lush, sub-tropic Byron Bay region in Bundjalung Country, Gaia is an escape from the perils of new millennium living in a secluded sacred space where you can renew, refresh and restore. The 25-acre property offers 14 treatment rooms, a heated salt water swimming pool, tennis court, hot-tub spa, sauna, steam room, walking tracks and its own organic garden. From the birds in the flowering gardens to the eco-architecture and design, Gaia evokes a sense of peacefulness, tranquillity and belonging.
Ours was the beautifully appointed one bedroom Komala Villa, with separate luxurious king bedroom and spacious indoor/outdoor living area and kitchenette. It also features a luxurious reclining bath and double shower bathroom and ensuite. The outdoor deck has a private daybed cabana overlooking your very own saltwater infinity plunge pool.
Complimentary to the room is high speed internet, DVD/CD stereo, bathrobes, hairdryer, security safe and iron. Ceiling fans and split cycle air conditioning are available for the warm summer months.
Be greeted and checked-in amidst the warmth of the lounge room of Kukura House. Elegantly decorated, Kukura House is contemporary, sleek and spacious, yet warm and welcoming where guests can gravitate in the lounge and dining area by day or night.
During the day, laze around the salt water pool, hot spa and sauna, or take a walk in nature.
Indulge and nurture yourself and choose from the extensive spa treatment menu to feel rejuvenated, renewed, restored, pampered and spiritually connected to yourself and the environment. Some of the Day Spa offerings include the Gaia Deluxe which includes a one-hour massage and one-hour facial and a Byron Bay Dream: Pumice stone body polish; Hydrating leave on body masque; Nourishing warm Macadamia oil scalp massage; and a a full body flowing relaxation massage. Others include a Gaia Goddess and a Gaia Man package, an Ayurvedic Package and treats for couples.
Gaia is a true culinary experience where guests dine in style at Kukura House with an emphasis on a balanced diet. The day begins with a sumptuous buffet and hot breakfast followed by a light lunch, while the evening unfolds with a three-course fine dining experience. Meals, snacks, juices and teas are all inclusive.
The team’s philosophy is that the “food should be as delicious and visually attractive as it is healthy”. Gaia’s chefs choose the freshest organic produce available from the property’s own garden, the orchards and plantations of the NSW Northern Rivers region, as well as food sourced from local farmers and providores.
The choice is yours when it comes to activities. Morning yoga, fitness class in the gym, Meditation or Pilates in the afternoon, a hit on the tennis court or just indulge in the many spa treatments on offer.
10 Words Or Less …
A ‘home’ away from home to reconnect with oneself.