For our Winter 2020/21 issue, our publisher Paul got the chance to visit the amazing Creacon Wellness Retreat, and learn how the centre has grown since it first opened. We highly recommend it as a getaway destination, once travel becomes possible again.
Rest and Restore
The bliss of Creacon
by Paul Congdon
Creacon Wellness Retreat was set up by its founder Derek O’Neill and his late wife Linda in 2014. I attended the launch of their ‘Food is Medicine’ programme back in 2016, and the sense I got was of a space finding its way in the world. Not so now: I recently returned, and boy, has she grown! On arrival, I felt a sense of groundedness oozing from the walls and the surrounding lands. Creacon knows her place in the world. This is a tribute to Derek and his truly wonderful staff – but really, I should say Creacon family, because that is the sense you get here. It’s a respite and a refuge for people to come and rest their weary souls.
When you arrive at the reception, you are greeted by Salvo, a man with a wealth of experience in the service industry. His energy and gentlemanly manner means you are looked after exceptionally well and in a non-intrusive way, giving you the space you need. The rooms are of the quality you would see in a 5 star hotel, with amazing attention to detail – and indeed, health, with Kangen water supplied in every room, including your shower. I left my bags in my room and headed to the restaurant for my tasty, healthy evening meal. I love the combination of taste and health when it’s just right, and here they achieve that balance in spades, with chef Gaetano being a whizz kid in the kitchen.
After dinner, I retired to the lounge and got to meet some of the beautiful staff and residents: Sandra Grey Wolf, of Native American origin; Marzana; and Suzanne .
Each of the ladies are resident therapists, and they offer treatments such as healing, massage and life readings based on the Native American tradition of throwing the bones.
The meditation and yoga hall has a quirky library behind the bar area with books tucked into nooks and crannies , and you can explore a wide range of books on ancient spiritual paths and Vedic traditions, to modern day spiritual teachers like Louise Hay.
Start your day with a yoga class, followed by a breakfast or juice (they have a juice cleanse package) if you feel like a detox. The surrounding grounds are lovely for a walk and there’s also an infrared sauna for some further detoxing and relaxation.
Not so far away – if you fancy hanging out with some wild trees in nature – is the JFK arboretum, in which I loved getting my afternoon walk. There is plenty on offer at Creacon all year round, with courses, treatments and retreats. I loved the feeling each evening of heading to the restaurant and sampling the health goodies, of which there are many. The menu is designed with Ayurveda in mind, and there is something for everyone, veggies and meat eaters alike. If you fancy a vino, that’s on offer too … and the wines are very well chosen, with an organic and biodynamic selection.
There is an atmosphere of openness, spirituality and a recognition of all paths leading to the same place. In the evening, you can grab a good book and sit by the fire or hang out with the other residents for the chats. Creacon is like our own homegrown ashram, a nod to eastern philosophies. If you feel the need for a break, Creacon is here to rest your weary soul. Tell them we sent you.