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SheSaid Publisher Monique kicks her bad habits to the curb and checks into a health retreat. Here’s her story!

Monique’s health stay diary

“Going to a health retreat is a bit like going on a school camp except none of your mates are coming along. Not many of us do very much by ourselves these days. We have family, friends, co-workers, husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends to accompany us to almost everything.

So when I was invited to the Hopewood Health Retreat just outside of Sydney in the Blue Mountains, I was a little nervous as to how I would cope with no kids, no husband, no mates and more importantly no alcohol, sugar or caffeine!

After “Maureen” my ever annoying TomTom died on route I thought it could be a sign that I should have stayed home. But I decided it would be good for me – a learning experience and one I should embrace!

Once I pulled up at Hopewood in the Blue Mountains and saw the gorgeous gardens, rolling green hills, and birds I knew I was in for a relaxing treat.

A lovely man called Clive took my bags to my room and I was given a guided tour by manager Sharon who encouraged me to do as much or as little as I liked during my stay. It’s not 5-star lodgings but the quaint motel-style accommodation is perfect for relaxing, unwinding and focusing on your health.

I proceeded to enjoy a few hours peace and quiet by the pool with the latest book by my favourite author Nora Roberts. How decadent! I tried not to keep checking my watch as sitting by a pool, by myself, in the middle of day and the middle of the week is completely foreign to me! Don’t get me wrong, years ago my girlfriends and I would have qualified as professional pool-lounge lizards, easily able to clock up a straight eight hours by the pool followed by cocktails. But work, careers, kids and effective skin cancer advertising has put paid to all that fun years ago.

By 4pm I had to pull up stumps anyway as I was expected at the massage rooms for a Swedish massage. Oh what a hard task! I was pampered with a relaxing hour massage (with one of the best foot massages I have ever enjoyed) then I was back to my room which included a TV and in-house movies (a hit with many of my fellow “retreaters”).

Dinner was a little daunting as everyone seemed to be already quite well acquainted but with my healthy yet unbelievably tasty veggie lasagne in hand I was asked to join a lovely group of ladies from Canberra, Sydney and Tweed Heads for some lively banter over dinner.

I passed on the opportunity to join my new found buddies for after dinner tai-chi but promised to meet them for an early bushwalk before brekkie. The next day I enjoyed a busy day of facials, detox treatments, more massaging and even a little more sun! Think I could get used to this!

Special Offer

Now that the kids are back to school make time for YOU with Hopewood Health Retreat’s Back to School special offer. Make a booking for a visit between 25 January and 13 March 2010 and receive a free night or two*!

• Book a 7 night package and receive 2 extra holiday nights free!

• Book a 5 night package and receive 1 extra holiday night free!

• Book a 4 night package and receive 1 extra holiday night free!
• Book a 3 night package and receive a bottle of Springfield’s Essential Lavender Oil free!

* Free nights are holiday nights only and must be taken concurrent to stay. Naturopath not included in the extra free night/s stay. Not available with any other discount.

Call (02) 4773 8401 to book now!
www.hopewood.com.au
103 Greendale Road, Wallacia

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Monique’s Health Retreat Diary