Jayne Morris Renewal Retreat at Lucknam Park review | healing holiday, Wiltshire, UK
The Quick Read: Life coach Jayne Morris is known as ‘The Burnout Expert’, and as well as privately coaching clients all over the world, she runs occasional 2 night Renewal retreats at Lucknam Park spa hotel in Wiltshire which aim to help you put back the boundaries in your life; to put yourself first and take back your power. Jayne is a kind coach who coaxes rather than bludgeons you into realisations about your life. Drawing techniques from art therapy as much as traditional coaching, her retreats are fun as well as thought-provoking. The delicious surroundings of Lucknam Park is the icing on the cake – with spa treatments, great food and good yoga completing the feel-good package. The next retreat runs in May 2016.
Who it’s best for: Our group comprised super-stressed women in their 40s upwards but really it’s good for anyone who wants an unscary introduction to making changes, within a luxurious spa setting. If you want deep delving into the psyche and lots of catharsis, it’s probably not your best bet.
What you can do: Mornings start with hot water and lemon delivered to your room at around 7am. Then it’s a stumble across to Lucknam Park’s ‘Wellbeing House’ for a gentle morning yoga session at 8am. After a leisurely breakfast in the Brasserie it’s time for a workshop before lunch, then a further session in the afternoon. Everyone has a 1-2-1 session with Jayne to figure out what needs renewing or rejigging in your life. The group sessions are a mix of talks; group, solo and paired exercises; art therapy techniques (no technical skills required!) and guided meditations.
Spa treatments are included in your retreat – we loved the ila Kundalini back massage but were underwhelmed by the Dry Floatation and Sunlight Therapy. You can also carve out time relaxing in the spa (see our full review of Lucknam Park).
The schedule is pretty jam-packed so it might be tough to find time to wander the gorgeous grounds – we’d recommend adding an extra day for some serious lounging and to enjoy all the facilities of this fabulous hotel.
Where you stay: Lucknam Park is a refined hotel set in fairy-tale grounds near Bath – read our full review of the hotel for details.
How was it for us: A thoughtful welcome pack was sitting on the bed as I arrived (see main picture above) – a copy of Jayne’s book, From Burnout to Brilliance, a gorgeous hardback sketchbook/notebook, a little colouring-in book and a pack of crayons, plus a bag of bath salts with rosemary and bay from the hotel’s own herb garden.
Jayne has a background in martial arts and arts psychotherapy as well as coaching, so she often comes up with surprisingly playful approaches to looking at your life. For one exercise we were invited to pick out three little toys from a selection on a table – and talk to them. I enjoyed chatting with my Disney Princess, bendy snake, Dalmatian dog and troll (yes, I picked four!) and realising I need to do more to accept my fluffy feminine side, my inner wisdom, my instinctual nature and my playful child.
I also liked the way she takes clutter clearing beyond the physical and suggests clearing out stagnant friendships, thoughts and even energy patterns (I’d never thought of excess weight as clutter before).
Most of the retreat is held in Lucknam’s Wellbeing House, set apart from the main hotel so you have privacy, yet you also have all the facilities of a top-notch hotel and spa on tap. Depending on your nature, it’s either the best of all worlds or a bit of a compromise.
What we took home: During my one-to-one, Jayne gave me some surprising insights into my spirit guides (supposedly beings who are assigned to nudge and guide us through life). I’m going to be doing some visualisations and meditations to listen to their advice!
Would we go back: Probably not to the Renewal retreat as I had already done a lot of the work covered (although it’s a good introduction to personal growth work). But I’d certainly be up for trying more of the Lucknam Park retreats and rather fancy the yoga and the riding retreats.
People watch: Jayne is a kind, calm and soothing coach with a surprising spiritual edge. We loved her insights and her playful techniques.
Food watch: Technically you are supposed to eat from the set menu for this retreat but, on our stay, the details seemed a little fuzzy and several guests went for the whole hog (wine included). On future retreats the menu may be more tailored towards wellbeing. See our review of Lucknam Park for full details of their food.
What’s lowly: Everything needs more space to breathe on this retreat. It all feels a bit hurried. Lucknam and Jayne are aware of this and future retreats may be extended and adapted. We would have liked to have used the grounds as part of the retreat too – it felt wrong to be inside a room during workshops with such beautiful grounds outside.
Insider tip: If you want extra treatments book well in advance – the spa is very popular (it’s open to members as well as guests).
Price with a companion: £1330 pp based on two sharing in classic room. This includes breakfast x 2, dinner x 2, lunch x 1; an Ila Kundlani Massage, a sunlight therapy session, a dry float session, 2 x yoga sessions, a copy of Jayne’s book, a colouring book and pens and a Lucknam Park goodie bag to take home.
Price going solo: £930 pp in a classic room alone, for all as quoted above.
Value for money: It’s very expensive for a short personal growth retreat but then you are staying fully-catered at a stunning hotel. We’d have liked an extra day and more generous inclusion of spa treatments to warrant the price.
Sister retreats: Jayne also runs private retreats for individuals in the UK, Brussels and Dubai – contact her for details. Lucknam Park runs a series of other short wellbeing breaks including Spa and Wellbeing breaks, Saddle and Spa weekend breaks, Yoga retreats, Pilates retreats and Gourmet Getaways. They also have a Cookery School. See their website for details.
Reviewed by Jane Alexander
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