When people call me to ask about our detox retreats, invariably one of the most common question that comes up is “What is your BEST retreat location?” Now this is hard one for me! So hard in fact, that I often umm and ahh, to the point where the caller doesn’t end up getting any kind of clear answer! I have been giving this conundrum a bit of thought and decided, for me, there just is no clear winner. Both our amazing retreat locations, Bali and Byron Bay, have some pretty hefty pros. I figured I’d just note them all down here and let you decide for yourself!
Byron Bay, NSW
Ka Huna Massage Therapists
Yes these guys are at the top of my list. And pretty much anyone who has ever had a massage with Paulie, Sam, or Darbie will hands down agree (it was just a tiny pun!). I am being totally serious when I say these amazing individuals change lives. Words are not nearly enough to describe the transformations I have seen after a Ka Huna healing session with these light bringers. They have an unprecedented gift for taking away past hurts, emotional traumas, for clarifying needs, wants and desires, for banishing the dross from minds and bodies, for filling you with a light, a joy and a love that lets you float out of their rooms on silver wings. Pure bliss.
There is something very special about Tallows beach. Be it a beautiful sunny day, or a wild and windy afternoon, this beach is simply stunning. From our location you can walk for kilometres either way along this stretch of sand and soak up the smells, sights and sounds of the ocean. It is an uncrowded beach, often scattered with dog walkers and beach strollers of a morning (and occasionally a man on a bike who rides along the sand), there is space enough for alone time and reflection sitting on some bleached drift wood, gazing at the waves.
Suffolk Park Energy
I feel I might have touched on this in the previous section, and so I should. I know the beach brings a huge amount of energy into the retreat grounds. But yes, there is something extra special about Suffolk Park. I drive in and instantly feel at peace. There is no frantic energy, smiles come more easily, the window goes down and the radio up as I cruise towards the beach houses. Sleeping at night is also very special here. Being secluded at the end of a street means for nights serenaded by the sound of breaking waves, cicadas and the breeze through the gum trees.
Far Infared Sauna
Unlimited use of the 6 seater far infared sauna is definitely a huge plus! Booking out the venue as we do, means for plenty of time morning, noon or night, to wander over and sit in the detoxifying warmth. Last year I came across a group of women who decided to emerge from the sauna steaming on a rainy night, and stand out in the downpour, laughing, as the fresh rain washed away their sweat and toxins.
Cute Cabins with a Bushland View
While not luxury or 5 star, the gorgeous little cabins at Tallows have that rustic comfy feel to them. Plenty of space for 2 with separate bedrooms and a shared bathroom, many of the cabins have verandas or decks, some overlooking the surrounding scrub, the nearby fresh water lake, or bushlands. With a generous lounge area, and plenty of easy to move furniture, guests soon make themselves at home.
The Rabbit and The Turkey
Anyone who has been to a Byron retreat will know exactly what I’m talking about. You see, there is this rabbit, and his best mate is a bush turkey. And they hang out together in the afternoons. They have been together since I started attending retreats in 2011, and on my last visit in March, it looked like they were still getting along like and old married couple. The turkey will occasionally chase the rabbit around… But mostly they just hang out and nibble grass together. Cute to boot!
So now that brings us to Bali…
Culture and Cultural Activities
Travelling anywhere outside Australia means entering into a foreign culture, and the culture is Bali is such a beautiful thing to experience! With our retreat in Bali lasting 10 days, we have included numerous opportunities for cultural sites and sounds (and smells!). From the tiny, beautifully delicate offerings and incense put out daily, to the beauty and tradition of the water temple, time to wander the streets of Ubud, or visit the monkey forest, and closing with a very special Agni Hotra fire ceremony, the culture is certainly something you are encouraged to get to know when at our Bali retreats!
I have raved about these in the past and I will do so again. Jackfruit is now my favourite, followed closely by snake fruit, mangosteen, red papaya, rambutans, tiny pineapples, logan berries, dragon fruit, and passionfruit. Oh mu goodness I forgot mangoes! And bananas! See, the list just goes on!
Best Colonic Practitioner in the World
Without a doubt. I wish I could clone her. She is feisty, she is hilarious, she has a cheeky grin that would make nuns weep, and she is doing things with a colonics machine that the world has never seen! Just this last trip she managed to get 3 tape worms and 3 other nasty looking parasites (yet to be identified) from our guests. Lesley has our Bali guests cancelling their massages just so they can schedule in another colonic! Who swaps a massage for a tube up the wahoo? She is that good!
Bali Resort Luxury
Now this is luxury! With spa baths, large showers, huge beds strung with wreaths of mosquito netting, ornate framework, 3 pools to choose from, and a day spa on site, you really can come here and just lay back and soak it all up! Oh and did I mention the ever helpful staff? Nothing is too great an ask.
This brings me to the people, my goodness the people. They really are lovely. Our drivers Agung and Made have been with us for many years, and they go out of their way to help all the retreat guests. Their kind and generous, happy nature just makes you want to smile any time you are in the car with them. They are always ready to laugh and are so happy to share stories and information about their beloved Bali. The staff at the resort are just as wonderful. From the restaurant girls Putu and Ocha, the kitchen staff Siri and Wayan, to every person sweeping leaves or placing down an offering. You will always get a big smile and an accented “Good morning!”
I could go on. I started with a list almost twice as long for each, but realised I get quite effusive when passionate about a topic, I had to cut it off! For our awesome multi location retreat goers, please feel free to share your experience and your favourite! That’s if you’ve managed to pick one!