Breathe easy at exclusive forest retreat

Breathe easy at exclusive forest retreat, by Gemma Patterson - 20th Feb 2008
(Credit: The Gold Coast Bulletin)

Stressed-out out celebrities and overworked CEOs can soon flock to a new $1000-a-day retreat for the mega-rich, but they can forget the mobile phone, cigarettes, booze and sex -- because this is no romantic rendezvous.

The $5 million resort, set on 22ha of rainforest near Uki in the Tweed Valley, is a swanky fivestar affair boasting a 20m pool, spas, a float tank and views of Mt Warning.

With a focus on de-stressing and detoxing, the resort will offer a vegetarian-only menu and each visitor must sleep in their own room, complete with double bed and ensuite.

Former property developer Grant Hilton, 37, built the exclusive eco-resort, called the Universal Peace Centre Retreat, which is to open this Saturday.

Mr Hilton said the $5000, five-day retreats, aimed at celebrities and wealthy businesspeople, would mix modern luxuries with daily sessions of yoga, meditation and 'breath work'.

"I created this place because the celebrities and businesspeople are all really stressed out, there's so much pressure on them," he said.

"The retreat is designed for people who need a break -- this is a space for them to take time out and lock everyone away.

"There are no phones, no TVs, they just fully relax and allow themselves time to de-stress and detox.

"We want to make people feel bare, take them back to nakedness.

"We're the only retreat I know of that combines five-star luxury and this spiritual aspect."

Mr Hilton said this weekend's opening would feature celebrity guests, but he wouldn't kiss and tell.

"All I can say is that we'll have about 10 celebrities plus five bands playing, including Sacred Earth from Melbourne," he said.

The invitation-only affair begins at 5pm on Saturday and will also see the launch of a world peace CD, featuring the John Butler Trio, to raise funds for children who are victims of war.

"The United Nations Ambassador for Peace Reuben Silverbird has flown over from America to do a blessing," said Mr Hilton.

Mr Hilton said his dream project stemmed from personal experience.

"I used to be a stressed out property developer," he said.

"I lived at Sovereign Island in a two-storey house and had a Mercedes, a boat and a beautiful wife but I was still miserable.

"My wife Naomi sent me on a 10-day silence meditation retreat about four years ago and I've been on a spiritual journey ever since."

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