“A stylish and holistic health retreat with fantastic countryside views and fabulous food”
There’s plenty of outdoor space in which to wander, and the property is strewn with jacaranda trees, hammocks, meditation benches and hand-carved Tibetan stone urns. You’ll feel comfortable here alone, or with a friend or partner, whether you want a couple of nights R&R or a more intensive package. Complementary activities range from tai chi classes to sound meditation, and the spa offers a huge range of holistic and pampering treatments from some of the best therapists in the area. What's more, the food is fantastic - inventive, delicious and full of goodness.
- The inspirational views of green hills and valleys, with strategically positioned daybeds so you can enjoy them
- Exceptional gourmet health cuisine from head chef Dan Trewartha
- If you're bored of the usual treatments here's your chance to try iridology or a craniosacral massage
- Spa-shy partners can go for hearty bush walks or head to Byron Bay for a surf
- Rest and renewal comes at a serious price
- Strict 2-night minimum stay
- The activities are almost always pitched at beginners - if you’re already into a practice such as yoga or tai chi, you’ll need to book private sessions if you want to progress
Best time to go
- Spa Hotel
- Restaurant (open daily)
- Over 16s welcome
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Tennis Court
- Bicycles Available
The wooden cabins are strewn across the property and each is split into a twin share room (except the Acala Suites). The interiors are comfortable but beautifully simple, with walls and fabrics in muted browns and greens, and everything is designed to help you rest your mind. Organza curtains ensure you get lots of light as well as privacy.
Small touches make the difference - tea lights placed on the rims of mirrors, a burner with your own supply of lemon myrtle oil, home-made organic toiletries, organic fairtrade teas with jade ceramic tea cups from Japan, a daily supply of lemons with a sharp knife and cutting board for you to prepare your own early morning cleansing drink.
The Layana Rooms are the least expensive, with their own small deck, a bedroom, dressing area and simple shower room. It’s worth paying extra for one of the Sura Terrace Rooms - each has a private courtyard and daybed, as well as a bath. There are also 2 timber-floored Acala Suites , a 1-bedroom and a 2-bedroom, each with its own lounge, larger bathroom and a kitchenette.
- Air conditioning
- CD player
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- DVD player
- Internet access
- Safe box
You eat all your meals at Kukura House, an attractive Samoan longhouse at the centre of the property, which has a large terrace for outdoor dining on sunny days. The food is utterly delicious spa cuisine and special diets are catered for. Organic wines are available from 4pm onwards and with dinner.
The head chef Dan Trewartha prepares tasty inventive dishes using organic and locally sourced ingredients wherever possible - there’s an organic vegetable garden on site. Breakfast is buffet-style with (unusually) plenty of options for vegan and wheat-free diets, and a daily changing hot option. Portions aren’t huge, but they are always enough, so this is one place where you won’t leave feeling fat and heavy.
Typical dishes for lunch and dinner include roast sweet potato and rocket salad with honey mustard vinaigrette; smoked chicken, pear and rocket salad, and tamarind glazed salmon on sweet potato and daikon (a kind of radish).
- Coffee / tea making
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- The Gaia Day Spa offers a wide range of treatments - holistic massages such as thai, shiatsu, kahuna, aromatherapy and craniosacral; alternative therapies such as naturopathy, iridology, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and astrology; pampering treatments such as body polishes, masques and baths, and a huge range of facials. Signature treatments include a 2-hour reflexology session, and a 3-hour Hinterland Adventure, which incorporates a body polish in the steam room.
- Shape up with early morning yoga and an afternoon class which changes daily - tai chi, pilates, sculpture, meditation, fitness and stretching are all on offer
- Have a game of tennis or borrow a bike and explore the area
- There are some great bush and nature walks in the area; ask reception to point you in the right direction. If the weather's especially good, take a hot-air balloon ride and explore the area from above
- Take a trip into Bangalow, a lovely town nearby which has small boutiques and eateries
- Head to Byron Bay for some beachside R&R - go early morning or at dusk to avoid the crowds. During the day it's buzzing with surfers and kayakers and you can go whale watching in season (May-Oct)
- Book in for a speciality retreat: women’s health, men’s health, art and sculpture, gourmet health cuisine and ayurveda - enquire when booking
- Or upgrade yourself to a ‘Focus’ programme. These 5 day courses are tailored to you, by experts, with a focus on either detox, weight loss, fitness or yoga. The aim being to restore your body to a relaxed state, helping you to feel energised and self-confident
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Hot air ballooning
- Well being
- Whale watching
Gaia Resort & Spa is situated 10kms from Byron Bay. It's inland on the east of Australia, a 2-hour drive down the coast from Brisbane.
Ballina (24km) Served by domestic airlines from Sydney and Cairns.
Many international airlines fly into Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns, see links below.
From the Airport
The hotel offers free transfers from Ballina airport between 9am-4pm. Outside these hours there are plenty of taxis available at the airport.
If you want to hire a car to drive down from Brisbane or up from Sydney, see our car rental recommendations. It's a 2-hour journey from Brisbane; 9 hours from Sydney.
You can also travel to Ballina by train - see Country Link for details.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Australia and getting around
- Ballina 24.0 km BNK
- Beach 10.0 km
- Shops 40.0 km
- Restaurant 5.0 km