Ridge Country Retreat website
My first impression driving into Ridge Country Retreat for our yoga retreat was excellent. The landscaping and gardens were beautiful and looked well cared for. It felt a little bit special and my anticipation started to grow. We arrived close to 5 p.m. as the sun was setting and was greeted by David. I wouldn't call him a smooth operator but he was friendly and polite nevertheless. Walking into the lodge's big lounge was lovely with big glass doors looking out to the deck, wonderful gardens, geothermal pool and stunning country view. The lodge had a lovely rustic feel to it. There was a large open fire in the lounge which would have given a great cozy impression if it had been lit before we arrived. We were a little surprised we were unable to swim in the geothermal pool on the first evening as it was being filled and would be ready for the next day. First impression of our suite in the lodge was good as it was a lovely large relaxing room framed by a magnificent view. I did immediately notice the view would have looked so much better if the glass doors had been cleaned. The bathroom was impressive, 5 star, very large with a jacuzzi right next to the window looking out at the view which was one of our highlights. Soaking in the jacuzzi, opening the window, turning the lights out, looking up at the stars and lights of Tauranga in the distance was incredible. The sheets were comfortable but the bed had a little bit of 'roll in'. The room was warm enough when we arrived, having been heated by an oil heater. We turned it off the first night when we went to sleep but it became too cold so kept it on the following night and during the day to keep the coolness out of the room. It was a pleasure to sit by an open fire in the lounge before dinner at 7.30pm which was catered by an excellent chef, 'James'. Fresh, delicious vegetarian meals, including gluten and dairy free options. Yoga started at 7am. Our instructor 'Tanya' was fantastic! Framed behind her through the large doors we enjoyed seeing the sun rise over the gully as we focused on our yoga. Every one of the 5 yoga sessions were different and varied and our instructor caring, calm, helpful and very knowledgeable. Following most yoga sessions we moved into the dining room to enjoy our wonderful meals which seemed to flow nicely and everyone had worked up an appetite. One suggestion would be to have a slightly later yoga session, e.g. 4.30pm on the second day followed by an earlier meal straight after yoga as the time between lunch and dinner at 7pm seemed a little long. There were massages and other The stunning view of the hills and gully while swimming in the geothermal pool were incredible. Even though the pool was warm, it wasn't quite hot enough to sit stationary for long but it felt great to be swimming in a non chlorinated pool. The soak in the hot outside spa afterwards was relaxing. On the last day we drove to an adjacent road, Reid Road for a 20 minute farm walk along to the top of the Papamoa Hills walk starting from Summerhills trails. This is one of the most stunning views overlooking Te Puke, the beach at Papamoa, Mount Maunganui and Tauranga. We came away from the Yoga Retreat buzzing. Our overall experience was excellent. Highlights were soaking in the Jacuzzi looking out onto the most relaxing, stunning country views, the revitalizing yoga sessions and the delicious healthy meals! We came away from Ridge Country Retreat feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, we would definitely recommend this yoga retreat!