• Jennifer Spiroff

Retreat Away From the Resort

As I put together this retreat, I had specifics in mind. First location, location, location. I could have chosen to have this retreat in a resort setting, but a resort setting would not give the tranquility I was searching for. I was not looking to have my clients have a vacation, as much as I was interested in giving them a little sabbatical. Resort settings certainly come with benefits for the company giving the retreat. There would be no concerns of menu, massage is on hand, conference rooms, and the price can come down with profits up. However, in my own value system this all posed as a problem for me.

Let's start with the location. This particular retreat is being held in a giant mansion overlooking Lake Cle Elum and the beautiful Cascade Mountains in Washington State. There are private rooms to choose from, or a bunk room that holds up to 13 people. For this particular extended weekend, we are only letting out 4 of the bunks to keep things quiet, private and serine. The private rooms all have sliding glass doors with a path that leads directly to the hot tub and heated pool. As far as location and housing, it is hard for a resort to compare with the beauty of this Cle Elum lodge. Large decks for yoga and meditation, large kitchen to assemble with interactive meals, hiking trails, private heated pool and hot tub, this is the perfect setup for absolute relaxation.

I have a degree in Holistic Nutrition so for me, on a personal note, menu is very important to me when I am eating away from home. Therefore, it is just as important for my clients to have only the best foods. Not that delicious foods aren't served at resorts, but there is no guarantee for freshness or organic, and this retreat can accommodate for gluten free, dairy free, vegan, etc. We also have two interactive meals scheduled with the chef as she goes over quick and easy breakfast and lunch ideas as well as the importance of NOT skipping meals and how nutrition is key for the health of body and brain.

Massage can be found at any resort. Having a Major in Massage Therapy and working as a medical massage therapist for numerous years, I am a bit picky when it comes to my massages. Fluff and buff massage practice is not an uncommon thing and can be regularly found at resorts. Therapist who work resorts are generally, (not always) pretty new to their profession and just getting their feet wet. This is simply not acceptable, which is why I personally selected the therapist for this weekend. On a weekend such as this the bodywork/treatment should be "something to write home about!" That is why our therapist for this weekend is a highly experienced massage therapist, who will not only work out the musculoskeletal kinks, but is also a Reiki Master, proficient in Emotional Freedom Technique and the session includes Spiritual Aromatherapy. When it comes to a weekend sabbatical that is exactly, in my opinion, what is deserved.

The last point is cost. Cost to me and cost to the client. My five year plan is for my company to be giving a monthly retreat. Retreats given in different locations for different groups with different interest and situations. The near future looks to have more spa type retreats, but also retreats for para and quadriplegics, wounded vets, cancer survivors/remission and the list goes on. Yes, money will be made, but I am not in the business to get rich. I am in this business to serve others. To provide a service of SERENITY, RELAXATION, HEALTH, WELLNESS and I am not looking to cut cost or corners in order to make a buck. As a company and as an individual, I will spend a little more in order to give a little more. In the end I will receive back enough of the monetary, but more importantly I will gain more success and fulfillment having given what truly matters, which is the best treatment and experience that I know how.

In One's Element Serenity By the Lake Retreat is no ordinary retreat. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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