Wellness retreats are all the rage, so we visit the Glass House Retreat in Bulphan, which is the first of its kind
It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone. Many have had to go through personal heartbreak, all of us have had to live through lockdowns, and with life slowly returning to normal, it feels as if many are now working twice as hard. Burn out awaits.
It’s partly a reason why wellness retreats are becoming so in demand. A chance to get away from it all, enjoy a spa treatment and some healthy food – but the Glass House Retreat in Bulphan goes a step further. This is a detox spa, so the place to go to get away from almost everything. “We are the first vegan, custom-built detox and wellness retreat in the UK,” points out general manager, Mericia Chapman.
The Glass House Retreat is a no-go zone for caffeine and alcohol and was the brainchild of Joy Jarvis. “Joy was a lifelong vegetarian,” Chapman explains, “who has used and visited health and wellbeing centres all her life and was left inspired by her experiences – but felt there was room for improvement. As part of Joy’s vision, the Glass House Retreat was designed with wellness and detox in mind. A big part of this is having no caffeine and no alcohol in order to give the body a total rest from stimulants. Many of our guests choose to continue with this approach when they leave us.”
The retreat radiates wellness, with ground to ceiling sheets of crystal-clear glass, meaning it is flooded with natural light. Add to that it’s located in the heart of Essex countryside and you can see why people are so at ease here. “We have an array of visitors from solo travellers, both male and female, small and large groups of visitors, and all body types and fitness levels,” Chapman says on their clientele. “We also get a lot of professional high-flyers who are looking for total rest and to be looked after in terms of all their wellness needs, including food, fitness, spa treatments and holistic experiences such as meditations and sound baths.”
Has Chapman noticed more interest in the Glass House Retreat since the pandemic began? “Not only have we seen an interest in our services such as treatments, wellness and fitness classes, but a growing interest in our holistic therapies we offer such as reiki, reflexology and our listening room, which provides guests with bespoke wellness programmes based on their individual needs.”
The latter perfectly showcases some of the more unique aspects of the Glass House Retreat. “Our spa treatment offerings vary from advanced technology such as lipofirm to holistic therapies such as bespoke healing,” Chapman says. “Our wellness classes cater for all ages and abilities. You can find yourself joining a high impact boxing class, aerial yoga or a relaxing chakra balancing meditation. Our guests are met with one of our wellness team members who will gather information ensuring their desired outcome of their stay is met. We offer a pure detox, fitness and plant-based diet experience, so something for everyone. Our low-cholesterol plant-based diets help with your digestion and is great for your heart. No junk food is served at the Glass House Retreat, just seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains – local, fresh and delivered daily.”
Considering we are in the summer months, what they do outside is also a real attraction. “Our outdoor natural pond is pretty unique and we introduced it last summer. It is great for cold water therapy, which is getting a lot of publicity from the likes of Wim Hof, as is our cryo-chamber,” Chapman smiles. “We encourage our guests to use the sauna and then take a dip in the natural swimming pond, which aids lymphatic drainage assisting in the detoxing process.”
Not enough of us take time to look after ourselves, allowing things to build and get on top of us before it all comes crashing down. You may feel a detox retreat is a step too far, but don’t judge it until you have tried it – and the Glass House Retreat is something right on our doorstep that can help ease away the stresses and strains of recent times.