Every so often you need to reboot, and wellness retreats offer the perfect excuse to leave the real world, slow down and reconnect with yourself.

Stepping through a massive door into and expanse of light space and sea, while being welcomed with a rainbow cake conjured out of pineapple, carrot and zucchini with beetroot date frosting, I felt as though I was entering a parallel universe.

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I’d been invited to a transformative Wellness Sanctuary Weekend at the super luxurious 26 Sunset Villa overlooking Llandudno.

Wellness retreats often evoke images of monastic suffering, but 26 Sunset Villa doesn’t go there. This was a restorative retreat – think pampering wellness. Our bedrooms with their fine linen, rain showers and egg-shaped baths were decadent, and the comfy daybeds and heated pool begged for chill time. The retreats are small and exclusive – the villa has 6 double bedrooms, with the option of single occupancy or sharing. It works really well because the group is intimate and friendships form quickly, but there’s plenty of space to retreat for me-time.

The food was an Ayuverdic adventure conjured up by Sattvic chef Stacey Leigh, nudging us away from bad habits and sludgy eating. Think Shitake Thai Ramen style broth loaded with Asian veggies and lashed with coconut cream, fresh ginger, sprouts and rice vermicelli. And sweet treats that were mini bombs of delight made out of toasted sesame seeds, vanilla, cacao butter and coconut oil and maple syrup.

IMG_5681The next morning started with Buchu water, apple cider vinegar and herbal tea, followed by  sunrise yoga gazing at the mountains towards Hout Bay and the sea crashing against the rocks of Llandudno.  Stretching and meditating with Christi Wasserman while listening to the birds in the fynbos, hooked us into the present and banished the outside world.

After a yogic breakfast of smoothies filled with all the superfoods and banana chocolate pancakes, we strolled down to Llandudno beach to laze in the sun and dip in the icy water.

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Full body work massages called us back to the villa – if this was a detox I was converted.

Snoozing siestas and more amazing food – lunch combined sweet potato cakes on brinjal with avo, beetroot hummus, pineapple and pomegranate salsa, sprouts, pickles and Kimchi, followed by Sattvic Ferro Roches which absolutely looked like the chocolates, but were more delicious.

A late afternoon meditation took us on a beautiful music journey with Aloha Jaqueline who uses voice and instruments to evoke conscious, deep relaxation.

IMG_5772Sunset yoga, cocktails and canapes on the deck sealed an amazing day – I already felt as though I had been away for a week. I slept deeply and solidly – for a semi-insomniac it was fabulous.

A slow Sunday stretch and a Buddha bowl ambled into a morning exploring secret beaches with friends.

IMG_5810I never would have believed I could reboot in a weekend, but the retreat restored me completely – After three days of chilling with great people I left feeling lighter in spirit, totally rejuvenated and relaxed.

The next wellness sanctuary weekend at Sunset Villa, 26 Sunset Avenue Llandudno, takes place on 21-23 September 2018. Contact Christi Wasserman for more information at christi@hellohappiest.com

IMG_0635There are also several “Morning Yoga & Brunch” and “Sunset Yoga & Canapes” sessions coming up – See their website for more information: http://www.26sunsetvilla.com/

Follow Sunset Villa on facebook: @26LlandudnoCpt

Follow Christi on Instagram: @Hello_Happiest

Follow Chef Stacey Leigh on Instagram: @ajourneytoblossom

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