Friday, April 2, 2010

Bryant Retreat for Women

A few years ago I had what was commonly seen as a breakdown. With out going into details here, I learnt that for me I have to look after myself and at times take time out.
With five children some of them married and with children of their own and a husband that suffers from a mental illness, some times 'time out' means going away on my own where all my needs are taken care of.
I have been on two over the last six months and the latest one was simply amazing.
I had to commit to 11 days as that is part of being able to totally relax. It was at the Bryan Retreat for Women, in Raglan and it was totally free, although you have to be referred there by your GP.
I arrived on a Monday afternoon and left 11 days later on the Friday morning.
 The brochure  states, "Bryant Retreat was created to provide an environment where women are able to rest in quiet, calm, surroundings. The simple timetable, together with the relaxing atmosphere and peaceful location of the home, provides guests with stress-free surroundings in which they are able to think out their problems....The timetable at the home allows plenty of free time so that guests can unwind, free from work, home and family responsibilities.... The Bryant Retreat is for women between the ages of 25 and 65 years, who are in need of rest and relaxation. A maximum of six women guests at a time are accommodated for ..."

The timetable was a bit alarming before I went but I realized it was so right once I was there.
  • 7.30am  Breakfast in bed; Quiet time spent in bed until after morning tea. No shower or bath until after morning tea
  • 9.30am Morning tea - served in bedroom. Guests arise and dress - free time until 12 noon
  • 12 noon Dinner, Rest until 2.30pm
  • 2.30pm Afternoon tea - served in rest area. Free time until 5.00pm
  • 5.00pm Tea 
  • 8.30pm approx. Supper - at time to suit guests
  •  9.30 approx. Guests are asked to be in bed unless arrangements are made with Manager.

All the meals were home cooked with a lot of vegetables from their own garden. Everything was served on bone china or glass bowls with silver knives and forks etc, and condiments served in dishes etc, not a plastic container in sight. We each had cloth napkins at meals, our sheets (which were ironed) were changed half way through the stay. All our washing (except our 'smalls') were washed, ironed and returned to us. We even had fresh flowers in our room and nothing was of any trouble. There was a foot spa to use and plenty of books and dvd's if we ran out of our own books to read. We were not allowed to clear the table after meals, do the dishes or any cleaning. It was like staying with an amazing Aunt. We were treated like royalty. We could even have back/shoulder massages, and ladies come in to do hair cuts, and body massages at a small cost. It was five minutes walk to the shops and library where you could have half an hour free internet access per day.
 My room was the last window/door on the left of the building above.
This is the view from sitting outside my room, looking to the harbour inlet.

My room. It was the largest out of the six and they gave me a card table so I was able to set it up permanently for bible reading and study and doing my journal etc.
Fresh flowers were in our rooms when we arrived and we were welcome to change them when ever we wanted from the lovely flower gardens outside. This was my second arrangement

The whole experience was just so relaxing but strengthening for me emotionally, physically and spiritually. I came home feeling empowered to go on with the things that are around me and the family but also sure of what I wanted. I also feel to encourage any woman to be kind to herself and take time out in what ever way they can, they deserve it.

Edited Since I have posted this I have seen quite a few people from around New Zealand look at this post. I knew when I was looking for information there seemed nothing on Bryant Retreat. I hope this helps you.
I would say do what ever you need to get there. Banardos can help with child care and meals on wheels, so we were told at the retreat. Family will help even if on rosters when they see the need for you to have time out.
While I was there, there were only three of us and one lady went home after 6 days so you are not tied to the 11 days but they do want you to be there to get the full benefit of the rest.
If things come up and you can't get there when you have been booked in you are allowed two other opportunities to have a stay.
I think they said you could go again after a year and I may well consider it.


  1. Lovely to see you post again. Glad you got that well deserved 'rest' you needed.
    Take care. Maa.

  2. wow! In America we don't have any such thing. It sounds just heavenly. I fear I could not leave my hubby that long as I am so in love with him I would be just terribly stressed out. However I think a few days would be so nice. I take care of everyone and feel as though I always need to be the rock. Lately it has taken such a toll on my body. I have begun having heart palpitations etc... now I am being forced to settle down and make sure I start taking care of me. Thank you for Sharing! God bless you and keep you!

  3. Thank you Stacey. I too didn't think I would cope with being away for that length of time from the family and hubby but having been married for 31 years and the things that have gone on in our life (with his Mental Illness) I knew that this was a time for healing and taking care of me. It took of lot of organising at home before I went but then my youngest is 15.
    This was a retreat I went to last year but it had a daily charge. I was there for three nights and three whole days.

  4. Well I have just come home from 11 relaxing days at the retreat. What a wonderful place that we as women have to go for time out or just a well deserved break. I was there with 4 other women with 4 of us from Hamilton and 1 from Turangi. The women that work there are wonderful ladies and fantastic cooks. It was lovely to sit down at lunch and dinner time to a meal that you didn't have to prepare yourself. All the meals were just devine. I highly recommend if you have taken your car out there to go up to the mall (ie the recycle shop at the dump. We are so lucky to be able to have this place.

  5. Im so pleased you have had a wonderful restful time. Isn't it just an amazing place.