This review is a bit long, but I tried to review everything I did, to give you a picture of everything, verses just an overview...
I spent a week at the Ayurveda Health Retreat starting June 17th, 2012. It was a gift to myself for my 30th birthday. It was truly a life changing experience. The support and love that radiates from each member of Richard's team was something I have never experienced. I have been to high end resorts and luxury spas around the world, and nothing compared to this experience. I returned home, not only with a renewed energy, but also a renewed since of self, as well as a better outlook and healthier approach on life.
ACCOMMODATIONS - I would consider myself to be extremely picky when it comes to my vacation accommodations. I was somewhat nervous about my stay, because you can tell by the pictures of the retreat that the interiors are not posh luxury. However, upon arrival all my worries faded when I found that everything was very tasteful, clean, comfortable, and clean, clean, clean... (I am very picky about cleanliness) The beds, linens, towels, ect, were very nice, and every detail was attended to. The private rooms even had items for meditation tucked away in the nightstand: a lighter for your candle, a clear quartz crystal for meditation, earplugs for perfectly silent sleep, and plenty of books to read on every topic imaginable. Richard and his team think of everything for his guest.
PANCHAKARMA - The Panchakarma treatments are out of this world! My healer was Melba, who I would strongly recommend. It has been my experience that massages are always timed, down to the minute, and they always end before they feel complete. Not here! The treatment is more about the process than meeting a schedule, and is hands down the best spa treatment I have ever received. It is much more than just a massage, but more of a spiritual healing experience, that is personalized and catered to your needs by your healer. I also had the same healer each day, which was very nice to have the opportunity to build a relationship and comfort level with the same person. Towards the end of my retreat she even spent her own time to take me to a store, about 30 minutes from the retreat, which we had discussed. An amazing crystal and stone store, which I also highly recommend if you are into crystals (Sharron's Stones - High Springs Emporium.)
MEALS - I enjoyed every meal I had. Most of my meals were prepared by Greg, however, Richard did some of the cooking as well. The food was fresh, simple, delicious, and healthy. It gave me an entirely new approach to eating well. The food was prepared at a level that I would pay $25-$35 per for dinner, at any restaurant, and leave discussing the high quality of their ingredients. My only regret was not attending the cooking class. I myself love to cook, and I thought with Richard's cookbook I would be able to easily replicate the dishes myself at home. That has not been the case. The next time I go I will schedule my stay to allow myself to attend the cooking class, as I think it would be very beneficial.
YOGA - I had never done yoga before, and am very overweight, and not athletic. The yoga instructors were amazing, and I officially have found a form of activity that I look forward to doing! I have sense joined a yoga class in my hometown, and really found the beauty in yoga. Richard really spent some personal time with me, gently easing me into the process, and it was absolutely amazing.
AYURVEDIC FACIAL - Natural wonderful products, and would rank in the top 3 facials I have ever received. The esthetician did a great job with extractions, and it was as relaxing as everything else found at the resort.
HYPNOTHERAPY – While this was not offered as a service on the “menu” I had spoken to Richard prior to my retreat about my intent to quit smoking while I was there. I have been a smoker for 15 years, and have now successfully quit. I think that speaks for itself.
TRANSFORMATIONAL BREATHING – This was possibly the most healing experience of my life. I do however recommend educating yourself on what this modality is, as I went in thinking it was a class which would teach you breathing exercises to incorporate into your life. It is certainly not that, but is however amazingly healing.
VEDIC ASTROLOGY READING – This was a very eye opening experience. I can’t say I loved it, but only because my chart said some things, which I didn’t want to hear. However, the reader was phenomenal, and he really had a talent. I am always skeptical of readers, and never give them any information, but rather wait and see what they say. He was very on point with many of the things he told me, and even in the things which weren’t positive, offered an explanation as to how I could avoid, or grow from those things.
CHAI TEA: I can’t speak about the retreat without saying how awesome Richard’s fresh, homemade, Chai tea is! You will never want Chai from the “big box coffee house, which will remain un-named” again!
SUPPORT: Richard and his entire team were very open, caring, and loving. They were there to offer exceptional support for any reason, however, were not evasive and did not pry.
HEALTH CONSULTATION: Richard gives a great consultation, offering suggesting, giving solutions, and providing a very open forum for discussion. He was never once judgmental, and remained humble and helpful throughout.
All in all I can’t recommend this place enough! Richard and the people who surround him are such beautiful spirits, that it reminds you what can exist in this world! I will go back again and again, and if you are considering it...DO IT! It is more than you can ever imagine!
- 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
- Ayurveda Health Retreat Florida/Alachua