I came across the Acorn Wellness Retreat quite by accident while browsing Facebook one night. Strangely I had been saying the previous day to friends, that I wished there was a place to go to where I could experience true relaxation and tranquility from my busy life. Although I try very hard to practise meditation and relaxation every day, I often get caught up in the real world of busy-ness and stress and my anxiety goes up another notch. So I decided to go visit the Acorn Retreat to see if this was the peaceful haven that I, and thousands of others needed.
Acorn Wellness Retreat is set in the stunning countryside a few miles north of Harrogate and is located near to Brimham Rocks. I have to say that on walking through the door I immediately felt relaxed and ‘at home’. I was greeted warmly by Katie, the owner of Acorn Wellness Retreat who had the wonderful vision of a place where people could take time out to reflect and relax, either by experiencing the peaceful surroundings or by taking part in yoga, mindfulness or one of the many treatments on offer. The Wellness Retreat is a non profit organisation who aim to use any profit to support people touched with cancer whether they be patients, families or carers. What a wonderful concept ! So by visiting the wellness retreat, whether you are there for a single yoga session or a full day relaxing enjoying treatments, you are essentially helping support those in our community who have been affected by cancer. Perhaps it is because of this that the wellness centre has such a peaceful atmosphere which is apparent as soon as you walk through the door.
What immediately struck me as I first entered the centre was the stunning beauty of the building itself. I have been to many spas / retreat centres over the years ( I am a little spa junkie !) and none have come close to the beautiful design of the Acorn Wellness Retreat. The design reminded me of a Scandinavian lodge house with hand carved wood covering the interior of the building. The attention to detail was unbelievable, with even door handles carved out of wood and intricate carvings of acorns scattered in and amongst. I have tried to capture the interior of the centre with my photos ( and on my You Tube Channel ) but the photos honestly don’t do it justice. I think the design really enhances the tranquil and peaceful feeling of the building and is a great credit to Katie and the craftsmen that produced the final result.
OK, so I have raved enough about the interior design ( although I honestly can’t stop talking about it ). Let’s move on to the rest of the centre. After been welcomed at reception, I found my way to the Wellness Bud which housed a lovely sauna and steam room, perfect for warming those tense muscles and for clearing stressed out minds. Lovely fluffy towels were available along with a gorgeous smelling selection of toiletries.
Moving onto the main relaxation room called the Blossom Room, which looked out onto the beautiful grounds through large ceiling to floor glass doors. This was a stunning room and almost made me feel I was sat outside in the gorgeous gardens. However I was definitely inside, sat on a relaxing lounger with a warm cosy fleece blanket in front of a roaring fire. I honestly could have stayed in this room for hours relaxing and even sleeping. That was what struck me about the Acorn Centre. It actually was the type of place that you could have a sleep without feeling awkward.
Moving on reluctantly, I visited the other relaxation areas which are beautifully furnished with the emphasis on comfort and cosyness. I stayed here for a while enjoying a fresh carrot juice and some healthy cacao treats. Magazines and books were provided for guests to read although I would take a good book myself as the whole day lends itself to reading a long book. This is something I never get chance to do while at home as I am sure most of us don’t.
Lunch is provided during a day retreat and the emphasis is on healthy, nutritional food. I had a little look at the lunch menu while I was there and it looked delicious. Homemade chickpea and lentil curry with vegetables. Yummy. Lunch is served in a beautiful dining room overlooking the gardens providing the most relaxed way ever to eat. And yes, the dining room is a work of art with the interior design of hand carved wood, once again a feature of the room.
Tearing myself away from the relaxation rooms ( and yes, it was SO difficult ) I ventured upstairs to see the accommodation provided for guests. These rooms are also available to use during the day, for guests to use for relaxing, sleeping or just to use the shower after a visit to the sauna and steam room. There are four rooms in total. The Conker room was my favourite with a unique double bunk bed which was the cutest thing ever ! It reminded of a little Hobbit house with little wooden doors on the top bunk for shutting out the world no doubt.
Other accommodation includes a king size bedroom, a twin room and a triple room all designed in the beautiful Scandinavian style with hand carved wood furniture and accessories. All these rooms are just stunning in their design and would provide anyone with a relaxing sleep or even afternoon nap.
The Acorn Retreat has a purpose built yoga studio which is home to regular yoga classes which are suitable for beginners or more advanced level. For those times of pleasant weather, yoga can also be practiced in the outdoor yoga areas located in the stunning grounds. Also in the grounds are outdoor seating areas for relaxing, chatting and just taking in the wonderful peaceful atmosphere.
Treatments are also high on the list of visiting guests and the Acorn offers a varied list of treatments that would suit most people. The treatments include full body massage, reflexology, Indian Head massage, facial therapy, chakra healing, mindfulness coaching, Reiki healing, stress therapy and there is even a nail technician for that full pamper experience.
During my visit to the Acorn Retreat I spoke to Laura, a day guest who was coming to the end of her stay. Laura spoke so highly of the day she had spent at the Acorn, from the welcome from the staff to the delicious lunch to the relaxing treatments. There is nothing better than listening to a personal review of a venue in order to gain an honest picture of the facilities. Laura couldn’t speak highly enough of the Acorn centre and confirmed she would be returning for another relaxing day in the near future.
As for me, well, I reluctantly had to leave the Acorn Retreat and make my way home. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and totally became immersed in the tranquility and peace of the centre, even in a short space of time. My friend and I talked non stop about it all the way home and vowed we would return soon and spend a whole day there. And we did just that. In ten days time we are returning as day guests and have booked in on a ‘Just Be’ day with a yoga class, lunch, a treatment and a full day of relaxing. I cannot wait as I think my body and mind have been craving just this for a long time. I shall let you know how my day was at the Acorn Wellness Retreat but in the meantime please check out the website of this wonderful place and pass on the details to all your friends and family. This place is a true treasure in a stressed busy world we live in, and I think if more people utilised places like this then our mental and physical health would be vastly improved.
Until next time dear friends