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Rare gem hits market in Byron Bay hinterland

Agents prepare for influx of global interest in Australia's most awarded lifestyle retreat, Gaia Retreat & Spa

An internationally acclaimed, secluded lifestyle retreat overlooking the stunning Byron Bay hinterland and coastline is set to make waves when it hits the market this week.
Colliers’ Karen Wales and Gus Moors have been appointed to market Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay on behalf of co-owners Gregg Cave, Ruth Kalnin, Olivia Newton-John* and Warwick Evans (G.R.O.W.).

“Poised atop the highest peak in the shire, Gaia Retreat & Spa is an intimate globally recognised boutique lifestyle retreat, offering 22 elegantly appointed rooms, expansive day spa and restaurant set on over 8ha of land,” Ms Wales said. “The sale also includes two adjoining residential titles across more than 4ha with expansive district views, while the retreat itself offers scope for additional development.

“Since opening in 2005, Gaia Retreat & Spa has hosted many treasured and special guests who have become part of the Gaia family. This loyal customer base has high repeat visitation, which has helped to make Gaia a highly profitable business over an extended period of time.

“Unlike many other Australian luxury retreats, Gaia is easily accessible from the domestic and international airports of Ballina and Gold Coast, thereby ensuring year-round demand.”

Gaia Retreat & Spa is a global leader in wellness tourism and offers individually tailored programs including yoga, relaxation and renewal, detox, weight loss, improved fitness and general wellbeing. 

A regular recipient of global hotel and spa awards, Gaia most recently received the Global Chairman’s Award for the Best Global Spa & Wellness Retreat in 2020 and Global Hotel of the Year in 2018 at the World Luxury Hotel Awards – a first for an Australian hotel.

Agents expect an influx of interest from a diverse range of buyers, from global and international hotel investors to private investors with an interest in sustainable, barefoot luxury tourism and global wellness.

“The current owners wish to entrust their custodianship to likeminded visionaries who are inspired to continue their ‘G.R.O.W.’ ethos – Gratitude, Respect, Organic, Wellness,” Mr Moors said.  

Mr Moors said given the retreat’s Byron Bay location and global reputation in the wellness market, it was ideally poised to capitalise on these growth trends and offered an incoming owner substantial future upside.

“Highly profitable luxury retreats are rarely traded, given the strong combination of excellent cashflow and enviable lifestyle offering,” he said. “The opportunity to secure such a large, tourist-zoned site in the pristine hinterland of Australia’s highest growth tourism region overlooking the coastline of Byron Bay will never be replicated.

“The Byron Shire has historically attracted more than 2 million visitors annually and is a tourism focal point for people seeking an alternative beachside lifestyle holiday with the area renowned for its long sandy beaches, as well as art, yoga and meditation. 

“The arrival of Hollywood in Byron Bay and the global buzz this has created over the past year has fundamentally changed the region forever. It has fuelled domestic and international interest in the region’s property market, with house prices in Byron Bay surging 36% in 2020 to now rival Sydney. This has resulted in strong growth in the surrounding areas and Byron Bay hinterland.

“Byron Bay has grown in prominence as destinations where health, wellness and/or spiritual activities converge have attracted a unique and growing visitor type. 

“The global health pandemic is only expected to exacerbate this trend as people become more health conscious and interested in how to lead healthy lifestyles.”

Gaia Retreat & Spa is currently owner-operated and has a long-term track record of delivering healthy bottom line returns through very high retention of staff and repeat visitation by guests, including an impressive array of national and international celebrities who regularly patronise the retreat. 

“The simplicity of Gaia Retreat & Spa as a pioneer of barefoot luxury means an incoming owner has limited medium term capital expenditure requirements through its understated, yet high quality interior design,” Ms Wales said.

Gaia Retreat & Spa is licensed to hold functions for up to 100 guests and also includes a wide range of recreational facilities including a day spa with 10 treatment rooms (14 beds); salt water heated swimming pool, sauna and spa; yoga room; fitness centre; tennis court; two organic vegetable gardens; walking tracks and an outdoor fire pit.

*PLEASE SEE BELOW STATEMENT FROM THE OWNERS

Gaia statement


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Gus Moors

Head of Hotels | Australia

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Sydney CBD

Having joined Colliers in early 2014, I have subsequently sold over $180 million of hotel assets across Victoria and NSW, including the largest hotel transaction in Victoria since 2008, being Bell City Preston for $143 million.

Prior to joining Colliers, I was Director of Asset Management for Tourism Asset Holdings Limited (TAHL), Australia's largest hotel owner and responsible for selling down this portfolio totalling over $1.5 billion.

Before TAHL, I was with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels for 7 years, as Head of Asset Management and Chief Operating Officer for the Hotels group across Asia Pacific.

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Karen Wales

National Director, Transaction Services | Hotels Asia Pacific

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Sydney CBD

Karen has over twenty years of experience in the hotel industry and holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Australian Graduate School of Management. She brings with her a specialised knowledge of the Asia Pacific hotel investment market and an ability to drive fresh capital into Australia’s hotel markets. She has developed an exceptional network over the past two years across Asia and the Middle East and within government, in her capacity as Senior Investment Specialist Tourism Infrastructure at Austrade and her knowledge of new entrants into the growing Australian tourism sector is second to none.      

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