Cloona: Health Retreat Centre

Cloona, Cloona health retreat, Daragh Kelly

I arrived home yesterday from a six-day sojourn in Cloona, a health retreat centre in the West of Ireland.  Now that I am safely home, I realize that my decision to go to Clonna was one of the best, if not the best, that I made in the past twelve months.

Cloona is an extraordinarily peaceful place, in an enchanting setting, in a particularly scenic  part of Ireland.  The centre is in an old three storey mellow stone mill.  It’s the antithesis of a modern-day interior designed to within an inch of its life spa and is all the better for being so.  The decor is pleasingly simple and has an almost monastic quality but the centre is in no way austere.  Hand thrown pottery, hand-woven baskets, wooden furniture, plants, flowers, paintings, prints, wall hangings and  colourful cushions all fuse together to create a warm and welcoming space.

Clew :Bay

Dhara Kelly who leads the Cloona team is the son of Cloona’s founder. When his parents bought a house and land outside Westport in the 1940’s an old dilapidated mill was part of the package.  In the 1970’s his mother offered the mill to exiled Tibetan monks, as a base to set up a community.  The monks worked on restoring the mill but sadly the Irish government refused to grant them visas for permanent residence.  Dhara’s mother then decided to open Cloona as a health retreat/detox/cleansing centre.

Although shedding a few pounds was not my primary motivation in going to Cloona, I enrolled, because the dates suited, on a weight loss detox retreat.  My days at Cloona started with a shot of wheatgrass juice before the first walk of the day at eight thirty.  We walked, as a group, under Dhara’s guidance for about fifty minutes and ate a citrus fruit breakfast on our return.  After breakfast there was a yoga class to take us up to lunch; lunch (other than on the two juice only days) was a repast of delicious soups and salads.  After lunch we walked again in the surrounding idyllic countryside. The last meal of the day (fruit/dried fruits/nuts) was at six o’clock. Seven to nine in the evening was sauna time.  Two complimentary massages were included in the package and there were other therapies available (at extra cost) for those who wanted them.



I went to Clonna because I felt low on energy, because I felt flat and because I felt I needed to stop, if even for a short period, the incessant whirring of my brain.  I came back refreshed, soul-restored and as an added bonus I am close (ish) to my fighting fit weight.

My heartfelt thanks to the Cloona team and to my fellow passengers on the Cloona journey for making my experience of Cloona so enjoyable and highly rewarding.

Note: the cost of the six-day weight loss retreat at Cloona is €590 or €740  if you opt for an en-suite room.  Full details of all programmes (including Cloona in Italy) are on the website


Filed under Healthy Living, Ireland

21 responses to “Cloona: Health Retreat Centre

  1. Sounds blissful, I’ve been looking for something like this in Ireland (north or south) lately. Know the feeling about low energy!

  2. It looks wonderful! Wouldn’t it be lovely to go there a couple of times a year?

  3. It most certainly would. If only I could.

  4. I’m so glad that you went.. and took us with you in your photos. It’s funny how we “balk” sometimes at taking the time to do things like this.. when it really is a necessity to stop and re-energize…

  5. Thanks. As you say we are not always good at taking time out for ourselves. I am so glad I did last week.

  6. How wonderful! The retreat sounds warm, earthy, and restful. So glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself and have returned fit and refreshed. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

  7. Looks and sounds like a marvelous *true* Retreat. Something we should all do periodically, whether in an actual retreat setting or, if need be, simply by genuinely unplugging and slowing down for a period at home, mindfully absorbing what’s good and shedding what’s not. Thank you for the reminder!

  8. It was marvelous. Slowing down and unplugging is a good thing to do. I like your phrase ‘mindfully absorbing what’s good and shedding what’s not’. I thinking we are so often caught up with *running* our lives that we have little time to think about and decide upon what’s truly important and what’s not.

  9. bernadette ryan

    when is the next retreat, please, and the price for two people

    thanks bernadettte

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  11. Cathy

    I have been there three or four times…and it is a spiritually healing place. Beautiful.. And i come back full of energy and peace.

  12. Sara B

    your comments have spurred me to choose Cloona for my much needed detox, destress etc retreat, thank you!

  13. Sara B

    question – even if I have never done Yoga before (and am utterly unable to sit still for 2 hours in mind let alone in body!) will it be ok..?

  14. Sara – I am so sorry I missed both your comments when you first submitted them and I have only just spotted them – I hope if you did get to Cloona that you enjoyed your stay.

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  16. I’ve done Cloona twice – the standard package – the first time with a friend and the 2nd time on my own and each time it was perfect. I come away feeling centred, rock solid and resilient and, best of all the feeling lasts for months even through Christmas. You describe Cloona beautifully, you do this magical place justice. Well done.

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