I don't even know where to start - loved the people, the place, the food - everything! Every year I try to do something for myself for my birthday and for a few years I had been wanting to do a yoga retreat. In my extensive searching I happened to come across Ayurveda and after reading reviews on Trip Advisor decided to check them out. I was a little nervous about it as I didn't actually know anything about Ayurveda, Panchakarma, etc. and would be traveling solo. I'm so glad I took the risk though!
Here are my thoughts:
- the people are amazing! Everyone is super nice, kind, and down to earth and very attentive. When Richard and Reuben found out it was my birthday they put together a little birthday dessert for me and the staff/visitors sang to me - so nice!
- because it's a smaller place and I was by myself I got the opportunity to go swimming with Richard and Reuben, really take part of the cooking lesson, and share meals with the staff
- the food: I could go on and on about how great it was! Both cooks were great but I have to say that I looooooovvveed Richard's meals. If I could have figured out a way to steal him and bring him home with me I would have :) All the food is fresh and they definitely make sure you have enough
- my treatments were great too. Very relaxing. I literally wish I could do the part where the drip oil on your forehead every night before bed!
- Also enjoyed the yoga classes. As with any time you do yoga the class varied depending on the instructor and some I was more into than others
Now some things to note:
- I was there for 3 full days which wasn't necessarily enough if you wanted to check out local attractions in Gainesville, etc. I wound up going to the butterfly exhibit and then was racing back because i wanted to see the cooking lesson. Next time I would build in enough time to spend a certain amount of days at the retreat and then see sites on other days.
- although labeled a resort i would say it's more like a bed and breakfast so keep that in mind expectation wise
- yes your private bathroom may get used however my experience is that it was used by staff as they were preparing to do your treatment, not random people
- I stayed in the yoga building which was quite nice however if you happen not to go to yoga and are in your room while they are holding a class you will be stuck in your room for a while. This happened once while I was there but wasn't a big deal
- it's Florida so they are huge, disgusting bugs (yuck)
All and all i really enjoyed myself and I was actually a little sad to come home because I knew I would have to leave all the rest and relaxation and come back to the stress and busyness. I would definitely recommending attending and will most certainly contemplate another visit.
- 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