Two nights away at a health retreat was just what my partner and I needed to reinvigorate our bodies after a hectic couple of months travelling, partying and over-eating.
Giving up all the things I enjoy, adhering to strict diets, no martinis and boot camp style exercising is not my idea of fun. I knew there had to be a better way to get my body back into shape.
After doing some research, I discovered Solar Springs Health Retreat, which offers two to seven night packages, designed to indulge and inspire, leaving me feeling renewed. This sounded just the sort of place we would enjoy.
An easy two hour drive down the highway from Sydney, Solar Springs is situated in the Southern Highlands town of Bundanoon, a quaint village that takes you back to yesteryear. If driving does not appeal, catch the train to Bundanoon and Solar Springs will pick you up from the station.
On arrival, we felt a sense of grandeur as we proceeded up a driveway, flanked by huge trees. The main building, a former 1920’s Guest House, is set amidst beautiful park like gardens, situated on the escarpment overlooking Morton National Park.
After receiving a warm welcome, we were shown to our Valley View Room, complete with views over the gardens, where each morning and evening we watched the arrival of kangaroos, rosellas, cockatoos, galahs and ducks. In the distance we could see the magnificent Morton National Park.
To enable guests to escape from their everyday life, none of the rooms have a phone, radio or TV. I must confess that I did miss having a TV in my room, but there was a TV Lounge provided for guests.
Three meals a day, plus afternoon tea, are included. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style, while dinner consisted of a three course set menu which changed each evening. Although there was not a wide choice, the food was excellent. Those watching their weight, were not tempted by the multi-course menus and groaning buffet tables, such as one sees on cruise ships.
The daily programme offered a wide choice of activities including archery, aquarobics, bushwalks, yoga, gym classes plus specialised lectures from a life coach and a naturopath. The enormous indoor pool, with a bubbling spa at one end, was very popular. There’s even a tennis court, but if none of these appeal, a pleasant option is to catch up on your reading in one of the two comfortable lounges.
My favourite activities were the spa treatments. I enjoyed a very relaxing facial one morning, then in the afternoon I indulged in a full body massage. From the five facials available, I chose the “Solar Steam Infusion Facial” using papaya enzymes. Male guests are not forgotten, with the “Solar Men’s”, a special 55 minute facial for men only. My Swedish massage was just what I needed to get rid of the tension in my shoulders.
There were so many other beauty treatments available, apart from the facials and massages, I could have spent my entire stay in the spa.
Sandra Tiltman Photos: John Pond