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The inside scoop from Australia’s top luxury destination

The inside scoop from Australia’s top luxury destination

Winner of countless spa awards around the world, including the 2019 World Luxury Spa Award’s Best Best Luxury Destination Spa, Australia & Oceania (country winer) winner, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is a globally renowned ecotourism certified lifestyle retreat that combines organic living, spa, movement and relaxation with delicious organic cuisine and vital wellness seminars in a dedicated low tech environment.

Gwinganna’s marketing manager Tracy Willis talks to Mala McAlpin about what makes the retreat so special.


What do you believe makes Gwinganna different from other wellness retreats?
Gwinganna has so many elements many that are distinctive from other retreats. The large land space is a point of difference as we have the largest amount of land of any retreat in Australasia.

A diverse range of innovative programs, a variety of accommodation options to suit varying price ranges and the fact we do not have day visits to ensure an exclusive retreat environment make Gwinganna stand apart.

Our focus on wellness education is unequalled in Australia, utilising our own in house presenters along with special guests ranging from medical experts, international guests such as Brandon Bays and pioneers such as Dr Libby.

Our team is not only the largest but the wellness team are the most experienced in the country, many who have been with us for over 12 years.

Gwinganna was the first retreat to break the mould used by other health retreats developing the concept of Rest Time, designed specifically for strategic rest from 2pm each day. This is time for our guests to pause, reflect, meditate and explore personal solutions by visiting wellness practitioners. The focus may be improved cellular health or emotional wellbeing, stress management or spa experiences in the Spa Sanctuary.


What do staff do to ensure visitors have an exceptional experience?
Each team member is focused on the guest experience and how we can enhance that every day. The education, movement and spa teams are always in training, gathering the latest research and data to unpack and share with guests, helping them better understand often complex health concepts. This helps guests to take these experiences and information home and implement them into their daily lives.

What kind of marketing & social media efforts do you engage in to ensure you stay top of mind?
We work with a wide and varied audience from many areas and backgrounds so we have many different initiatives to reach people on various platforms. We know that what works for some doesn’t work for others and often try new things in certain market segments before applying it to a broader audience. We also appreciate that people today are often bombarded with so many messages so we aim to find some balance in our communications.


What do you think you owe most of your success to?
Our strong commitment to results for our guests has been the priority since we opened in 2006. Our single focus is this location and space, and the ability to attract incredible people to help us deliver a memorable valuable and relevant wellness experience. We’ve never been afraid to do things differently and try new things. Our global reputation has grown based on this premise and what we have developed over the years.

What can other spa and wellness businesses learn from Gwinganna?
There are so many businesses now with varied spa and wellness options. We showcase how a fully immersive retreat experience can impact guests. Potentially other businesses could see what is able to be achieved in this environment in a relatively short period of time. While Gwinganna is a complex business to operate which makes it also costly to run, the key lies in what we are able to deliver each week for our guests.