ONE OF Casuarina’s most stunning oceanfront properties at 768 Casuarina Way, known as Oceans Retreat, has recently sold and is being refurbished with a view to reopen the luxury getaway as a health and wellness retreat.
Business partners Pat Rached and Damien Rider are breathing new life into the iconic building and are focused on reconnecting visitors to the property’s natural beauty through their wellness, fitness and training programs.
The duo hopes to have the retreat open for guests by mid-March 2018 and will offer retreat packages for individuals, couples and groups to escape the hustle and bustle of life and experience a revitalising holiday.
The Weekly recently visited the retreat to catch up with Pat and Damien and learn about their vision for the property and hopes to help with both mind, body and soul at the luxury retreat.
No stranger to retreats, Damien has travelled the world working in the industry in countries such as the US and Thailand with programs designed for raw vegans, wellness retreats, fitness retreats and tailored programs to meet guest’s needs and passions.
Damien is also an acclaimed ultra-athlete and has completed several incredible feats of endurance including in January 2015 he paddled on a Surf Life Saving board from Rainbow Bay to Bondi unassisted.
The mammoth task took Damien 17 days with dozens of shark encounters along the way and remains the longest unassisted sea paddle on record.
He also drew on his passion as a youngster for skateboarding and in 2016 rode his trusty 1980s skateboard across the United States a total of 4000km on Route 66, which took him 56 days and set another world record.
But his story does not end with his many athletic world records, Damien also started Australia’s first Child Abuse Awareness Week campaign in both Australia and Thailand.
“Child Abuse Awareness Week started last year for the first time and is now takes place each year on January 1 for seven days,” he said.
“Thailand is from January 3 for seven days and I undertake an annual paddle event during that time to promote breaking the cycle of child abuse and creating awareness for child abuse.”
Damien’s inspiring stories and knowledge of the industry around the world combined perfectly with Pat’s business experience and drive to succeed in the fast-growing retreat industry.
“Our vision for Oceans Retreat is to not only provide our guests with an incredible experience, but to also help with their fitness and wellness, through meditation and relaxation,” he said.
Renovations throughout the property are also emphasising the retreat’s connection to nature, restoring the property’s pond and connecting guests to the natural and super relaxing environment surrounding the property.
The pair are also connecting with local service providers to offer guests additional therapies including massage, physiotherapy and other health services on site.
“We want to create a retreat that’s also strongly connected to the local community and uses local services,” Pat said.
“Our hope is to also open up the retreat to other operators and allow them access to this amazing space to undertake their own health and wellness retreat packages.”
The main signature programs will run for seven days but three day and local commuter programs will also be available for $3,400 (seven days or as low as $2,400 shared room), which includes an amazing array of healthy meals, meditation, yoga, fitness training, swim training, daily massages and much more.
“We also help focus on the mental approach and help people overcome some of life’s challenges,” Damien said.
“It’s about helping support people through their adversity and their wellness. We feel that although there’s a lot of labels for people and their conditions, we work towards healing and offering to break those cycles that life can sometimes place in our way, and we also follow each client’s journey.”
Pat said the pair had also worked hard to keep the costs down in order to give access to the retreat for everyone.
“We want this retreat to be a strong part of the local community and we’ve priced it in a way to offer everyone the chance to come and experience the benefits of this amazing location and stunning property,” he said.
Damien also added the duo have already reached out to local youth providers such as Cabarita Youth Service to offer their ongoing support.
“It’s important to us that we have a strong local connection and we’re hiring locally as well as supporting those local services that provide the best opportunities to local kids,” he said.
The retreat is also currently seeking experienced massage therapists and wellness practitioners. To find out more about the retreat phone Damien on 0421 515 665.