I had an excellent experience at the Ayurveda Health Retreat. I traveled solo to get away from the hustle and bustle of my hectic life. Below are the pros and cons of my stay:
- Food: The food was excellent!! I still think about the quinoa that I had for dinner and the hot cereal for breakfast. Please note that I am NOT a vegetarian. I eat meat with every single meal. However, the ingredients of the meals are very fresh (staff went to the farmers market every other day while I was there). I absolutely loved the food...every single meal! Also, meals are family-style, meaning you'll eat at the same time as the employees and the other guests. However, if you want quiet and alone time, they are willing to bring your meals to your room, which I tool advantage of several time during my stay.
- Services: The massage services were excellent as well! Sunflower is the best. She's small, but mighty! Katherine is the kindest person you'll meet. The practitioners are very gentle, kind, and intuitive. Richard is also very kind and caring.
- Accommodations: The accommodations are very modest. It's located in two houses (one behind the other). I liken it to a bed and breakfast (except it's more like a bed and breakfast and lunch and dinner). The room is small (fits a queen bed, small couch, dresser, and two night stands) with not much room to move around. This was fine by me, as I didn't need more space. The bathroom is a nice size as well. It flt as though I was staying with a relative. The room, bathroom, and house overall was very clean. There is also ample parking for your car.
- Private bathroom isn't so private. Several people used "my" bathroom during my stay. When I brought it to the attention of management, they were very apologetic. However, others still used the bathroom during me stay. It didn't bother me too much.
- Scheduling: This was a huge issue for me. I tried calling multiple times (three times exactly) before my stay so that I could talk to someone about scheduling my treatments. This was my first time at this retreat and as you could imagine I had a lot of questions. No one returned my call. I wasn't greeted when I arrived. It was as if they didn't know I was coming. Although they did call me the morning of my arrival to confirm my arrival time. During this call I had informed them that I had tried calling all week and never received a return phone call. The person assured me that it wouldn't be a problem to schedule my services when I arrived. When I did arrive, no one was there to greet me, and there was no one to talk to about scheduling my treatments. Richard was very kind and answered all of my questions in absence of anyone from administration. I didn't speak to anyone from administration until the next day when they came and told me that since I had not booked a treatment on Sunday, I wouldn't be able to because they were full. I think Richard may have talked to them because they offered different options to accommodate me, but nothing worked with my schedule. While they were apologetic, I really think that they could have done more to fix this issue. The least they could have done was given me a 10% credit off one of my services. I would have appreciated a least a small gesture for the inconvenience that they caused. Nothing was offered. This added stress to my stay, when my intention was to be completely stress fee. When I checked out, it took over 20 minutes. They didn't have anything printed and ready for my departure even though I told them exactly what time I was leaving. Then they charged me the wrong final payment amount to my credit card. I had to pull up my credit card statement to show them how much they charged for my initial (required) deposit. A customer should not have to do that.
I have an absolutely wonderful experience overall. The practitioners (including the intern and chef) were amazing. The administration side of the retreat was not stellar and prevented me from giving the retreat five stars. I feel as though they are not as understanding and sensitive as the practitioners. But the services are worth it, I would absolutely go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are open 7 days a week; you may reserve your personal Retreat at any time. You can come for a Traditional Panchakarma Retreat for up to 2 or 3 weeks, or come for a shorter R&R or Wellness Retreat. We are here to facilitate your journey to health and happiness through the sublime teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda. The Ayurveda Education Week offers an opportuntiy to immerse yourself in Yoga and Ayurveda in a nurturing enviroment. The Ayurveda Health Retreat (AHR) is one of the premier Retreats in Florida that offer traditional Ayurvedic medicine and Panchakarma treatments. The AHR was established by Richard A. Masla, Ayurvedic Practitioner, in 2001 and is located in the small historic town of Alachua, in north central Florida. The Retreat initially had only one treatment room and an office space. From these humble beginnings, it now encompasses three buildings: a beautiful yoga studio, a retreat center and a yoga ashram. Annually we serve hundreds of guests who visit us from all over the world. We are a group of dedicated health professionals who have created an authentic Ayurvedic retreat offering traditional Kerala Ayurvedic therapies. We have 3 Ayurvedic Practitioners, a psychologist, massage therapists, Reiki healers, and yoga & meditation teachers. Richard Masla, our Ayurvedic Practitioner, studied traditional Ayurveda under Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Pankaj Naram and Dr. Syama. Richard has mastered the ancient art of Kerala Ayurvedic Panchakarma and has trained all the massage therapists. We're here to accommodate you, whether you need a weekend refresher or a full 21-day retreat. We look forward to being of service! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ayurveda Health Retreat Hotel Alachua