Eden is the longest-running health retreat in Australia. Formerly known as Camp Eden, it has evolved over the years from a 'bunk bed and boot camp' style to a more relaxed, luxurious and nurturing retreat.
Groups are typically quite small, with a mix of people of all ages and from all walks of life. Many are returning guests, with some coming once a year to check out of 'normal life' and decompress.
It features 28 luxurious cabins, a beautiful open-plan dining room and lounge area with stunning views, a gym, steam room, sauna and spa. There is plenty to see and do, but the beauty of it is that you can do as much or as little as you like.
Each day starts off with an early-morning yoga or stretch class at 6am (if you're game - if you need a lie-in that's fine too!) The communal dining area is warm and spacious, and the food is out of this world.
Everything is made fresh by Eden's in-house chefs with a focus on nutritious, delicious 'whole foods'. It's all organic, seasonal and unprocessed. All of the meals, snacks and treats are amazing, but some of the highlights include poached pears with yoghurt and fruit salad, Zataar crushed lamb with minted pea puree, naked mushroom burgers with spiced sweet potato fries, and a divine mixed berry cheesecake.
Alcohol is off the menu but there are plenty of beautiful fresh herbal teas by the Little Wildling Co, fresh filtered water and the occasional Chai with honey.
Each evening an eagerly-awaited timetable is posted in a mailbox outside cabin rooms, which details all the activities available on the following day. The timetable runs from early morning through to late evening, but there's no pressure to do everything.
There's plenty of variety too, from Tibetan yoga to bush walks, Pilates and Zumba classes to gym sessions to help you work up a sweat. There's also some super fun group activities including a flying fox experience and day trips to the coast for some beach time and kayaking.
If you feel like some down time, you can hang out at the outdoor pool, soak in the hot tub, or de-stress in the sauna and steam room. There are also open-plan lounge areas where you can rest, read books, play board games or do jigsaws. Or you can just take a nap. The key is to do whatever you feel like, and whatever it is your body needs.
All packages at Eden Health Retreat come with a $400 voucher for treatments, which includes incredible massages, facials and body scrubs and wraps, as well as more esoteric treatments such as reiki, shiatsu, nutritional therapy and counselling.
On arrival, you can chat with a therapist about your requirements which helps them gently steer you towards the treatments that may be most beneficial to you. Seeing a treatment pop up on your daily timetable is a definite highlight of the week-long retreat!
The luxurious cabins were remodelled a few years ago by Brisbane design group Collectivus, and are wonderfully zen. Decorated in neutral tones and featuring Sealy beds and luxe, impossibly soft bedding, they're the perfect place to retreat to for a long soak in the bath or curl up for a nap during the day. Some cabins also feature private balconies which look out over the rainforest. There's no TV but rooms are equipped with a stereo and CDs containing soothing music and guided meditations.
However you choose to spend your time at Eden Health Retreat, one thing is for sure; you'll come away feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated, and with lots of wonderful new friends to boot.
Eden's six-night packages run from Sunday to Saturday and start at $3050 per person twin share (or $3350 for a single room). Each package includes gourmet organic meals and snacks, $400 of spa treatments, a wide range of activities and transfers from Gold Coast airport. Visit edenhealthretreat.com.au for more information.