Newton-John is thrilled at success
THE luxury retreat at Newrybar co-owned by Olivia Newton-John has been voted one of the top spa venues in the world.
Gaia Retreat and Spa won third place in a celebrity-owned hotels of the world poll by internet travel firm TripAdvisor, which surveyed its editors and travel clients.
Also in the elite top 10 were boutique hotels owned by world-famous actors, musicians and fashion leaders such as Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro, Donatella Versace and Gloria Estefan.
The award comes as an early birthday present for Gaia, which celebrates its fifth birthday next month.
Gaia respects guests’ confidentiality, but it is believed that pop star Pink, Erica Packer, actor Kerry Armstrong and TV frontman Richard Wilkins are just some of the celebrities who have stayed there.
The award is the latest of many accolades for the spa retreat, which promotes itself as ‘a place to reconnect with the land and yourself, where barefoot meets Armani’.
Gaia won a 2008 Conde Nast Traveller readers’ award for favourite overseas hotel spa, and is a finalist in the 2009 Asia Spa Awards, to be announced in early February.
Ms Newton-John said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the award. It’s a positive affirmation that we are doing something right.”
Co-owner Gregg Cave said he did not believe that guests were attracted by the celebrity-owner angle.
“Our guests are not coming to Gaia to stargaze, they are here for their own journey,” he said.
“I think people are wanting a more personal one-on-one touch.
“Our guests research well online, know what they need and want a boutique retreat, and are not looking for a resort or huge hotel.
“They want that personal tailored experience. At Gaia you can be aspublic or private as you wish. We respect privacy and honour that.”
TripAdvisor’s marketing chief, Christine Petersen, said celebrity-owned properties offered more than just star power: excellent accommodation mixed with a famous owner’s personal touches was a popular combination with travellers.