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Luxurious Wellness Retreat in the Heart of New Zealand

Updated: May 2, 2023

Upon arriving at Maruia Retreat, I was instantly struck by the tranquility and serenity of the surroundings. Nestled within a 500-acre nature estate, the retreat boasts breathtaking views of the surrounding river and forest. The drive to the retreat was a leisurely one, winding through the beautiful New Zealand countryside, and by the time we arrived, we were already feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Regenerative Wellness and Yoga Retreat

Character main villa of Maruia River Retreat set against a forest backdrop

We were warmly welcomed by Cristina, one of the delightful co-owners of the retreat. As a passionate advocate for regenerative tourism, she and her husband Lasse have created a one-of-a-kind destination that prioritises sustainability and environmental consciousness. Being seasoned yoga instructors, Cristina & Lasse have designed the retreat to be a sanctuary for individuals seeking to foster healing and restore balance in their lives.

We were looking forward to be given the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in nature and revel in the restorative power of the great outdoors. By choosing to stay at this wellness retreat, you become a part of the mission of regenerative travel, where you will contribute to the preservation of the environment and help mitigate the impact of climate change. It's a unique and wonderful concept, and one that truly sets Maruia Retreat apart.

The Luxurious Amenities and Services at Maruia Retreat

Instantly we felt at home as we were ushered inside to relax and enjoy a refreshment before heading to our room.

The Serenity of the Lux Villa and Its Sleep-Enhancing Features

Darken bedroom with cozy inviting light and comfortable bedding

Our Lux Villa was simply stunning, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The room was spacious and beautifully decorated, with every little detail catered for. You instantly feel a sense of serenity and calm, a place where you can quietly relax with a cup of herbal tea, a great book, or a space to chill and meditate with the peaceful sound of the birds in the surrounding trees.

When it comes to a good night's sleep, I can guarantee you that this is the spot to come. When I say every little detail is thought of, I mean it! From the comfort of the bedding to the carefully considered pillows that are designed especially to curate and support you in a good night's sleep. With sleep being an important part of our overall health, Maruia Retreat emphasis on ensuring that you are well cared for. Including black out curtains & even additional items to eliminate all light, goes above and beyond for an extraordinary stay.

After settling in, we headed to the main living area to enjoy a pre-dinner drink. A relaxing space, to mingle & connect with other guests, accompanied with a glass of superbly selected New Zealand fine wine. We adjourn to the dining room where we are served our included three course dinner.

The Gastronomic Delights of Maruia Retreat's Food

Plate of colourful cuisine at Maruia River Retreat

The food at Maruia Retreat is simply divine. Our resident chef, none other than co-owner Lasse himself, prepares the most delightful soulful dishes, produced from their own kitchen-garden and locally sourced producers. With meticulous preparation and an emphasis on seasonal and authentic flavours, it is easily forgotten that not only is the food prepared fresh it is also with a focus on both a nutritional & healthy value.

Homemade coconut ice-cream is served as part of my dessert. This, made especially for me, to deliver on my 'dairy free' dietary requirement. Delicious and healthy are two words that accompany every dish.

The Unique Spa and Sauna Experience at Maruia Retreat

Tonight, we were offered a spot to experience the outdoor rainforest spa and sauna. This is no ordinary hot tub but a forest bathing experience where you are surrounded by the stillness of the majestic forest. The calming and soothing benefits of the natural surroundings are unmatched.

Tonight, it is raining - making the experience even more magical. Imagine sitting in a 40-degree tub, surrounded by the dark and alluring forest, with only the sound of the cascading raindrops.

Outdoor Hot Tub & shower within the forest

Beside the forest tub we locate the cold shower hose of fresh running river water. This will provide you with nature's most authentic cold water therapy treatment. Tonight, I quickly brave an arm or two under the cold running water. Perhaps tomorrow I will be brave enough to go 'all in'.

To accompany the forest tube is a striking infra-red sauna nestled amongst the beech trees. Christina enlightened us on the various natural therapeutic advantages to ensure we selected the most advantageous setting to suit. Following an hour of relaxation, we returned to our luxe suite for a soothing herbal tea and a peaceful and night's sleep.

A Serene and Rejuvenating Yoga Experience at Maruia Retreat

Yoga instructor positing student for correct posture

The following morning, we woke early to take part in the morning yoga class. The yoga studio was a serene and peaceful space. Christina introduces the lesson to the class and carefully adjusts and corrects individuals, allowing each to move to their own ability. You can expect to leave the class feeling fresh and rejuvenated, ready to take on the day. Should your desire be to have a more in-depth yoga experience, additional private lessons can be sort and a schedule arranged to suit.

Breakfast was a delicious healthy reward, after our early morning yoga session. A breakfast table filled with fresh fruit, muesli's, salmon, locally farmed eggs, along with naturally squeezed juices, just some of our choices. Perhaps, the star of the breakfast table being the fresh honeycomb to enjoy the taste of naturally sweet honey to spread on our freshly baked bread. How can you resist!

Fresh honeycomb prepared on a breakfast table

Guided Hike: Experience Nature's Beauty Firsthand

After breakfast, we set out on a wilderness hike with our guide Lasse, and his trusty companion Rhonda (our friendly resident Ridgeback) who helped to show us the way. Incredibly informative and knowledgeable about the local flora and fauna, Lasse will take you on a hike through the stunning grounds stopping to show you points of interest. Leave with a newfound love for the land and an appreciation for nature and your environment.

Next on the agenda was a glorious massage which we had pre-arranged as an added extra. This was the perfect prelude to a second relaxing dip in the hot tub and infra-red sauna. This time venturing further under the cold tap of fresh water. It does get easier!

An unforgettable experience at Maruia Wellness Retreat

Overall, our stay at Maruia Retreat was nothing short of magical. The beautiful surroundings, luxurious amenities, and impeccable service and attention to detail, all combined to create an unforgettable experience.

We say goodbye with a feeling of sadness. Even with our short 2 night stay we have quickly bonded and felt a connection to both the land and its people that it is hard to leave. Prepare to return home with less mindful clutter, a sense of clarity and a rejuvenated body that is ready to tackle life on the outside world.

It may be goodbye, but we vow to return. It's too hard to part without this making this promise to yourself.

I would highly recommend this retreat to anyone looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway in New Zealand's South Island. You may wish to add a few nights on your way through the central South Island, perhaps a detour from Kaikoura to the West Coast of New Zealand, or a short side trip from Nelson.

Packages include:

  • Daily morning Yoga Classes (Fridays to Sundays)

  • Daily continental breakfast

  • Nightly three course dinners

  • 1 x One Hour Private Forest Bathing Experience in the Stoked river hot tub and infrared forest sauna with cold shower facilities

  • Use of Finnish Dry Sauna and cold shower facilities

  • Access to nature trails in our 500-acre beech forest and Maruia River estate

  • Unlimited coffee, teas, spring and sparkling water

or go all in and create your own personal restoration package with additional private yoga classes, 60 minute massage therapy sessions & more.


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