Q&A: Get well and live well at The Banyans, QLD

Can you describe the retreat facilities and guest lodgings?

Arriving at The Banyans Wellness Residence is discovering a slice of paradise. The Banyans really is what living well feels like.

The luxury wellness retreat is nestled on a beautiful property between Brisbane at the Sunshine Coast in a hinterland area overlooking an expansive lake, and provides a place to breathe, clear your mind and detox your emotions from the every day and stress of life.

Each guest has a generous suite ranging from 45 to 120 square metres with marble ensuites, walk-in wardrobes and Apple TVs with a range of curated content. The residence itself boasts a library, formal and informal lounges, movie theatre, well-equipped gym, infinity pool with a spectacular view, lawns and beautiful, organic, chef prepared meals each day.


Can you tell us about your multi-faceted approach to wellness?

So often, our health is addressed by different practitioners in a segmented, siloed approach, but an integrated approach can get better results more quickly. Guests who are seeking the best in wellness benefit from our multi-disciplinary team working together for their success.

The Banyans incorporates a biopsychosocial approach to wellness, embracing a comprehensive therapeutic framework of care. We know, for instance, that nutrition has a significant influence on our wellbeing – emotionally, mentally and physically – so developing a nutritional profile for each guest informs their personalised menu. We will often have guests with polar-opposite nutritional needs in residence, and our nutritionist and chefs prepare an individual plan and menu for each. It’s exciting to see and measure tangible improvements in guest health with such a tailored approach.

Imagine how much more engaged guests are when they step into a counselling session after having had a personal training session that has boosted their mood. Massages in the afternoon help them relax and practice mindfulness, or focus on journaling as part of their wellness plans. With an expert team available to guests, including psychologists, nutritionists, various consulting medical specialists, psychiatrists, personal trainers, physiotherapists, music therapists, art tuition and more the team collaborate on a tailored plan for each individual. The wellness plans leverage the benefits of each modality to see a powerful and positive synergy for guests.


What activities are available to guests throughout their stay?

The activities range from wellness activities to recreational activities, all of which provide a time of restoration and rejuvenation. Outside of each guest’s therapeutic programs inclusions, guests have experienced private helicopter tours, horse riding on the beach, hikes and mountain climbs, abseiling and even private golf masterclasses. The list is endless! Queensland is an amazing part of the world, and we love showing it off to our interstate and international guests. The weather here is simply stunning and enjoying nature is good for the soul. We consult with each guest about what they want to do and provide a range of options for them to select. Being based in one of Australia’s most picturesque regions, there is a wealth of activities for guests to enjoy. As we build bespoke programs, no guest experience is the same because no one person is the same!


You offer guests food from a tailored organic menu prepared by in-house chefs. Why is nutrition such an important element of the retreat and what kind of cuisine can guests expect?

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. In Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around one million Australian adults have depression, and over two million have anxiety.

Senior Psychologist Peter Hayton said, “While many people suffering emotional concerns might see a psychologist, very few access a complete health service with nutritionist, exercise and therapeutic support”.

Well-documented research implicates nutritional deficiency as a frequent catalyst for depression, and that is why analysing the nutritional status of all of our guests is an important part of our treatment process at The Banyans.

Knowledge of individual vitamin profiles helps you to know where the missing pieces of the puzzle are, where are the deficiencies and what your overall nutrition status is. Sometimes “feeling down” or “unfocused” or “tired all the time” or “unmotivated” or “edgy” can be symptoms of malnutrition, and treating these, and helping the body to rest can relieve the symptoms that are associated with depression. Hence, a focus on understanding each guest’s nutritional profile is vital to supporting their recovery and wellbeing. We are proud to offer a menu rich in organic, fresh, sustainable produce. Our nutritionist Lisa Cutforth and Executive Chef Jarrod Huey work together to create a tailored menu plan for each guest.

Guests learn to understand food as medicine and often have the opportunity to learn directly from the chef about the meal they are eating. Cooking classes also form part of the wellness program so guests can learn how to implement nutritionally appropriate meals when they return home.

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How is The Banyans aligned with sustainability and environmental care?

Environmental wellness is important to a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. A healthy environment contributes to healthy people. Our luxury guest amenities are organic, and bought from a local Australian boutique supplier. We even provide guests with bamboo toothbrushes which were invented by a Brisbane dentist which are biodegradable, environmentally sustainable, and do not pollute the environment. Bamboo grows quickly and is self-renewing, so using this as a product reduces deforestation.

Our chefs have implemented a low-waste system, so that food waste can be used as compost in local farms, from which we later buy fresh produce. Sourcing local produce means it’s better for your body and better for the community. You can develop relationships with your suppliers and reward ethical behaviour and support small business.


What is it that makes The Banyans experience luxurious?

The Banyans Wellness Residence and surroundings are magnificent, and the views are spectacular. What really sets the luxury experience apart though is the personal one-on-one attention in a peaceful and positive environment, providing a chance to heal and become well.

Busy people spend their lives giving out, whether it is leading a business, training for success, mentoring staff, reporting to Boards or providing for loved ones. They can neglect their own well-being and overlook the warning signs that something needs addressing.

In a frantic, sometimes cutthroat world filled with pressure to perform, finding a place of rest, where your wellbeing is the focus of an expert team, is an unparalleled luxury. Guests often remark they have the best sleep of their lives, and that itself is a great luxury. Sleep is crucial for health and wellbeing, so I love hearing that kind of feedback.


Who is on your team of staff?

Our expert team includes Senior Psychologist Peter Hayton, Medical Director Dr Christan Rowan, Equine Therapist Dr Anja Kriegeskotten, Nutrionist Lisa Cutforth and Executive Chef Jarrod Huey.


What are some reasons people might choose to stay at The Banyans?

Why wouldn’t you stay at an elegantly furnished stunning location, dining on a personalised chef prepared menu, staffed by warm and caring experts, all working together on your success!

Practically, we know that work-related stress is on the rise, along with anxiety, which sometimes leads to self-medication. We know that addressing physical and emotional wellbeing increases our productivity so it’s a wise choice to take steps to improve our health.

We find that guests are often looking for an opportunity to focus on their health or recover from difficult situations in a very private and beautiful environment. The confidence that comes from an Australian operated business is important for guests, particularly when they are unwell, rather than being in a sometimes uncertain environment overseas.

Guests return to work and life rejuvenated and refreshed, ready to tackle new challenges with new skills and tools for life. On occasions, we have been in touch with family of our guests as part of the requested follow up. The reports have been immensely satisfying when we hear the positive change that is evident.


The Banyans


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