High up in New Zealand’s Southern Alps surrounding Queenstown, you will find a whole new way to reconnect with yourself and calm your mind. The first-of-its-kind wellness centre was designed with luxury and its relationship to the environment at the forefront. And that is the first thing you’ll notice when seeing the sustainable centre built of recycled timbers, and designed to exude an understated luxury in its zen-inspired minimalism. Everything is just so that you would not be the first to feel as though you had stepped into Scandinavia or northern Japan at this New Zealand retreat.
I spoke with the retreats co-creator, Paula, to learn more about what makes this experience unlike any other, which she described as “a transition space for those interested in nature, adventure, self-development, alternative health, and results-oriented fitness.”
The environment and architecture is one of the most important aspects of the retreat. As Paula described, the location in the mountains near Queenstown makes it easy to access, but still away from the civilization as to truly find solitude. It overlooks Lake Wakatipu, and the Pig and Pigeon islands. It is surrounded by farmland and the air is fresh. The buildings were designed to have an ultra-low footprint and have met Passive Haus standards.
“Here we’ve merged ancient traditions with modern technology. So, while crops are stored in cellars, refrigerated by the ambient temperature of the earth, the site is monitored by a state-of-the-art building management system, allowing efficient conversion of sun and water to energy.”
This marriage of design and sustainability makes for guests rooms that are as hygge as it gets, with “woven natural dyed blankets, organic cotton linen, New Zealand wool floor rugs and natural latex mattresses.” Each room has a stunning view of the surrounds, making it an ideal place to unwind, recollect your thoughts, and write or read during the downtimes.
The Retreat Experience
Two different retreats are offered. One at six days which is to improve upon health using nutrition, mindfulness, yoga, and functional movement, and one at eight days which goes even deeper for big changes.
With expert staff and educators, the retreat combines nutrition, yoga, hiking, spa and massage, strength training, and mindfulness sessions for a total refresh. The sub-alpine terrain hiking is a major component. With gorgeous trails around the lake and other peaks, as Paula mentions, the physically demanding hikes, “combined with yoga, fitness classes and massages, all keep mind and body aware of the ever changing life.”
Open-air spas overlooking the impressive mountain range and lake offer a range of therapeutic benefits and treatments. As well as one of the best views you could have.
A Typical Day
When asked what to expect at a typical day at the retreat, Paula answered:
“A typical day begins before 6am with sunrise Yoga followed by a 3-4 hour sub-alpine hike, dynamic strength training, meditation, therapeutic massage and other featured programming. Spend your remaining time with sessions in the contrast hydro spa, which includes infrared or Finnish saunas and outdoor hot and cold pools. All elements of the wellness retreats are seamlessly integrated for a unified approach to overall wellbeing, and a team of leading international experts, both in-house and guest educators, will deliver all activities.”