I found my chi whilst staying at The Golden Door

I found my chi whilst staying at The Golden Door

Whilst staying at The Golden Door, I discovered my Chi.

I also learned, when staying at Health Retreats, they aren’t all about hardcore workouts and strict diets.

Prior to 2012, I had never been to a health retreat before. Mostly as I suspected they were all about green smoothies, early morning rises and harsh fitness regimes over the course of either 3 or 7 days.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good green drink as mush as the next person, But when I go away on a mini weekend away to escape the busy life of Sydney, I prefer to spend my days sleeping in, lounging by the pool and getting a facial or two.

So when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join her at The Golden Door in the Hunter Valley, I was a little apprehensive to say yes. And you know what, after only 2-hours my opinion of health retreats had completely changed.

Here I was given the option to spend the day by the pool, enjoy a spa treatment or two at the Elysia Day Spa and even sleep in if I wanted to. There’s still no alcohol or coffee at The Golden Door, but there’s no noise or children running around, and unlike real-life, the decisions to be made are endless. Chill by the pool? A spa treatment or two? And every hour there is an activity on; like yoga or meditation, if I chose to engage, meet people or learn something new. I got to choose the holiday and my journey.

After 3 nights of relaxation, yoga, mediation and quiet solitude at the retreat I came back to Sydney an entirely different person. Completely in-tune with my inner chi.

Not only that, I now know thereโ€™s a new breed of health havens offering relaxation and an escape from the every-day. Delivering the perfect holiday setting, where anyone can use the time to take a break from regular lifestyle, catch up on sleep and chill out. All without the pressure of being involved in a list of relentless activities on an itinerary that must be followed.

Would I stay again at The Golden Door? I already have, I went back in 2015 and 2016.

Early morning Tai Chi on meditation hill, watching the hot air ballooning over the Hunter Valley
Early morning Tai Chi on meditation hill, watching the hot air ballooning over the Hunter Valley
The view from our balcony at The Golden Door health retreat
The view from our balcony at The Golden Door health retreat

Delicious eats at Hickory’s in Bowral

Delicious eats at Hickory’s in Bowral

Hickory’s Restaurant in Bowral has some of the most delicious eats there is.

Whilst staying at Peppers Craigieburn Hotel in Bowral, we ate the most delicious 5 course degustation meal I’ve ever had. Trust me, I have eaten a lot.

It consisted of 5 courses of some of the freshest food I have ever eaten.

It started with homemade gazpacho; an Italian tomato based soup which is served cold, before moving onto a second course; a salad made with fresh herbs and vegetables grown in the hotel’s very own garden out back. With our taste buds now alive and kicking for more, we moved onto the third course: scallops, which were seared to perfection and served on iddy biddy crackers with fresh avocado.ย 

I’ll admit it, when I first booked my partner and I into the degusation dinner at Hickory’s, I was a little nervous that 5 courses would be too much food. I was wrong. By the time we had finished the third course of scallops, our mouths were watering for the fourth course. My partner went for the steak, I opted for the salmon. I was told the steak was perfection, but I wasn’t interested. The salmon tasted so good, I had no intention of sharing, or ruining the taste by trying anything else.

The fifth and final course, was of course dessert. Strawberry inspired Panna cotta and I enjoyed every mouthful. It was the perfect way to finish the degustation meal, without that heavy feeling that many other desserts leave you with.

Peppers Craigieburn in Bowral is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway, especially during winter. Where many people try to escape the cold, I prefer to head down south, where I can sit by the fire in a cosy hotel, taste the local wines and dine on exquisite food. The accommodation is very comfortable, with fresh new furnishings, surrounded by an earthy ambient atmosphere.

And let’s not forget the best part of Bowral; which is the setting. The landscape of the Southern Highlands is incredibly picturesque; anytime of the year, making it very hard to just simply drive past.

I’m counting the days down to next winter already, so I can book myself in for another stay.

The beautiful Craigieburn Hotel in Bowral


The delicious dessert served at the end of the degustation dinner.