We love retreats, whether it be overseas, local or even in our own home, and we’re sure that you do as well!  Health and wellness retreats are becoming increasingly popular and a gap in the market has led Sabijn, founder of Retreat Here, to create an amazing business concept that helps people find the best wellness retreats out there!  Retreat Here is a wellness travel agency based in Melbourne and they have a special and very generous offer to share with you all (see below for details).

Retreat Here also shares with us some of the top wellness retreats to give you some ideas for your next trip!  If you’re like us, we love to start planning the warmer holiday getaways during these cooler winter months, the thought of sunbathing by the beach makes us so happy!

Please tell us a bit more about Retreat Here and why you created it?

Retreat Here was created as a passion project inspired by plenty of travelling, a career of more than 15 years in the travel industry, a love for yoga and all things wellness, and most importantly, a strong belief that in today’s world people need to take care of their personal well-being.
We live in an ‘always-on’ society with long working hours and a busy social life. I believe the key to a happy and healthy life is a good work-life balance and it is important to change the way we think. It is ok to do something good for you and take a well-earned time-out, without feeling guilty about it. Whether that’s a yoga class after work, a two week fitness holiday or a weekend escape in a secluded boutique hotel. Just make sure you regularly do something good for your mind, body and soul.

The Retreat Here concept is so unique. Please tell us a bit about your business concept and how your brand has inspired so many people in Australia to access health and wellness when they travel!

Retreat Here’s mission is to improve the individual well-being of Australians (and soon Europeans, as there’s plans to expand) by creating unique wellness holidays, taking all research and travel planning out of their hands, and ensuring every escape is an inspiration to lead a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.

The booming wellness industry has led to many hotels calling themselves ‘wellness hotels’ and the sheer volume of retreats on offer online can make the healthy trip-planning process rather daunting. So just like any good travel agent would take all the research and organising out of your hands, so does Retreat Here for wellness holidays. This can be an individual health program at a wellness resort like COMO Shambhala or Kamalaya, one of my custom programs at Nihiwatu wilderness retreat, or a group retreat where you can connect with like-minded people. On top of that, we also offer retreat planning services for wellness professionals and corporations, to help them with any logistics that are part of a retreat – think venue search, transport, externally sourced activities.

Why do you think retreats are so important? Is it possible to retreat in your own home?

Retreats are so important because in modern day society, finding harmony between our life and work expectations isn’t always easy. Anxiety, stress, chronic fatigue and burn-outs are all common health problems these days. Most people have hectic and stressful jobs and a busy social life which make it easier to get caught up in the ‘daily grind’. As a result, people don’t always put themselves first and don’t take/have the time to eat healthy and meditate or exercise.

Treating yourself to a wellness holiday means you can focus on your personal well-being and individual health goals. You will learn long term healthy habits that will allow you to lead a healthy and more mindful lifestyle long after you return home.

I absolutely think you can retreat in your own home, whether that’s a hot bath, a meditation or yoga session or your favourite magazine and a glass of wine. And whereas those ‘you-moments’ are incredibly important and should be enjoyed by everyone, actually getting away from it all and being in a different environment with other people and professional wellness experts will make much more of a difference as it will allow you to fully recharge and tackle specific well-being goals.

So you’re going to share of your favourite retreats with us – we are so excited!

There are so many wonderful places where you can go, and they all offer a completely different experience so it really depends on what you want to achieve. However, a few absolute favourites are:

Kamalaya in Thailand has the wellness concept down to a tee: the grounds are peaceful and green, there are no TV’s in the rooms which makes it the perfect place to really switch off. The therapists are fantastic and they have a huge variety of wellness programs to choose from, a daily activity schedule and great (detox) foods. Highly recommend for solo-travellers and anyone who really wants to get away from it all and reconnect with nature.

The Barai, which is a destination spa in Hua Hin, is probably the most impressive spa I’ve ever seen. It is Luxury with a capital L, and they offer five lifestyle programs that can be entirely customised to your needs. The eight suites are almost palatial and absolutely huge, and the staff will do everything and anything to make your stay as comfortable as possible. The spa was designed based on the Elements and it is by far the most beautiful design I’ve ever seen. Pictures don’t do justice though, it’s a place you need to experience and feel the energy.

Less obvious for a wellness retreat are the Six Senses properties, my favourite Six Senses Laamu in Maldives and the one in Oman, Zighy Bay. They offer Integrated Wellness Programs from 3 to 14 days and are ideal if you want to combine some wellness with a luxurious and eco-friendly getaway, and perhaps some ice cream indulgence. Six Senses have recently started their ‘Sleep with Six Senses’ program, which is designed to help you get the best rest possible.

And if I can add one more, Nihiwatu on Sumba Island is another favourite of mine.
If you’re planning on hosting a luxury yoga retreat, the yoga deck above the trees at Nihiwatu offers the most stunning views and sunsets and it really is the ideal place to salute the sun. Alternatively, we offer three custom wellness holidays for individuals and couples at Nihiwatu which are a great way to experience life in Sumba, connect with local cultures, learn how to surf and embark on a full day Spa Safari to a remote part of the island. During the Spa Safari, you’ll have access to a private spa therapists all day and can choose from a range of treatments that you enjoy in your very own spa pavilion. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Retreat Here has generously offered our community a $100 cash back voucher which you’ll find our Dimensions of Wellness Magazine in our Winter Wellness Box.  Voucher is valid till 1 December 2017.  Winter Wellness Box now available on our store for $95 (including shipping). Contents of box valued at over $180 RRP. 

You can find out more about Retreat Here’s wellness retreats on or on their Instagram @retreathere.