5-Day Wellness Retreat at Shou Sugi Ban House

_DSC7380.jpg

We had the pleasure of spending Memorial Day weekend doing something we’ve never done before – committing to absolute relaxation and being immersed in our wellbeing. We were invited by Shou Sugi Ban House in Watermill, New York to experience their 5-Day Recharge, an extended wellness retreat offering five days of relaxation, rejuvenation and self-care. Hidden behind a gate revealing a giant Buddha as soon as you enter, the property lives on 3 acres and is comprised of 13 guest studios—all of which are designed by local architect Debbie Kropf as well as an all-female design team.

_DSC8859.jpg
_DSC8854.jpg
_DSC6139.jpg

The first night we had healthy dose of fresh brook trout, seasoned potatoes, and mushrooms. The culinary program was designed in collaboration with Michelin Star Chef Mads Refslund, which allows guests to experience an inventive, plant-rich, seasonal menu, designed to heal and sustain. All the ingredients are locally sourced, organic foods based on hyper-seasonal collaborations with local farmers as well as from on-site gardens. Executive chef Jacob Clark was present for every meal and I loved how passionate he was about the menu, and was a joy to hear about his culinary journey as well as the property’s no waste policy.

Tea Ceremony in the Healing Arts Barn

Tea Ceremony in the Healing Arts Barn

Gentle Stretch and Breathwork in the Meditation hall

Gentle Stretch and Breathwork in the Meditation hall

Waking up bright and early at 7am, we started everyday with a tea ceremony and a gentle stretching class, followed by a more traditional workout class concentrating on form and functional movement. Honestly it’s been a few years since I properly worked out, so it left me really sore for a few days, but it felt really, really good.

_DSC7343.jpg
Breakfast in the Main Barn of eggs, housemade tofu, yogurt, miso soup

Breakfast in the Main Barn of eggs, housemade tofu, yogurt, miso soup

_DSC7354.jpg
_DSC6213.jpg

After breakfast we headed to nearby Flying Point Beach for a Guided Beach Walk.

Jil Sander Dress,  Loewe Bag , Eric Javits Hat, Celine Sunglasses,  Azlee Necklace

Jil Sander Dress, Loewe Bag, Eric Javits Hat, Celine Sunglasses, Azlee Necklace

_DSC6364.jpg
_DSC6446.jpg
_DSC6428.jpg
_DSC6487.jpg
_DSC6577.jpg
_DSC6620.jpg
_DSC6608.jpg
_DSC6624.jpg
_DSC6650.jpg
_DSC6795.jpg

All the rooms are oriented around the main pool and with floor-to-ceiling windows that illuminate a clean aesthetic with natural light. Locally crafted Kobe-style beds are made of white oak, while the chairs are made from recycled wood that complement the monochromatic color palette of stone and biscuit tones. Gas fireplaces in each of the rooms are adjacent to the tokonomas, which are elevated alcoves common in many Japanese residences.

_DSC6809.jpg
_DSC6824.jpg
_DSC6812.jpg

We spent a good amount of time at the spa, where we were blessed with a daily massage. The spa menu was comprised of skin and body care, massage, bodywork and healing arts treatments, such as seeing a Shaman (which hubby actually did!). The spa also had an infrared sauna experience, its own Watsu pool, chromotherapy showers, hydrotherapy plunge pools, a solarium deck, and an indoor-outdoor relaxation lounge. We spent a few hours here each day.

_DSC6837.jpg
_DSC6844.jpg
_DSC6851.jpg
_DSC7374.jpg
_DSC7409.jpg
_DSC6862.jpg
Japanese soak tub in our room! You can actually choose between a modern tub or a traditional Japanese one.

Japanese soak tub in our room! You can actually choose between a modern tub or a traditional Japanese one.

_DSC6910.jpg
_DSC7292.jpg
Pas de Calais Top, Jil Sander Skirt, CHANEL Sandals,  Altuzarra Bag ,  Jacquemus Hat , Celine Sunglasses

Pas de Calais Top, Jil Sander Skirt, CHANEL Sandals, Altuzarra Bag, Jacquemus Hat, Celine Sunglasses

_DSC7044.jpg
_DSC7296.jpg
 
_DSC7323.jpg
Evening tea and songs by the fire circle by  Christiana

Evening tea and songs by the fire circle by Christiana

_DSC7334.jpg
_DSC7372.jpg
Duck eggs for lunch, ready to be served!

Duck eggs for lunch, ready to be served!

_DSC7359.jpg
_DSC7368.jpg
BCBG Dress ,  Loewe Bag ,  Dear Frances Sandals , Eric Javits Hat, Celine Sunglasses,  Azlee Necklace

BCBG Dress, Loewe Bag, Dear Frances Sandals, Eric Javits Hat, Celine Sunglasses, Azlee Necklace

Afternoon elixir of lemon verbena, ginger and turmeric with local honey, poured over a bouquet of foraged herbs

Afternoon elixir of lemon verbena, ginger and turmeric with local honey, poured over a bouquet of foraged herbs

_DSC8068.jpg
Tomorrowland Sweater, COS Shorts,  Dear Frances Sandals ,  Loewe Bag , Celine Sunglasses

Tomorrowland Sweater, COS Shorts, Dear Frances Sandals, Loewe Bag, Celine Sunglasses

_DSC8026.jpg
_DSC7920.jpg
_DSC8113.jpg
Road D Beach

Road D Beach

_DSC8484.jpg
_DSC8435.jpg
_DSC8553.jpg
_DSC8804.jpg
_DSC8650.jpg
_DSC8810.jpg
_DSC8851.jpg
_DSC8845.jpg
Alex Mill Top,  Aritzia Pants , The Row Shoes,  Nico Giani Bag ,  Balenciaga Cap , Celine Sunglasses

Alex Mill Top, Aritzia Pants, The Row Shoes, Nico Giani Bag, Balenciaga Cap, Celine Sunglasses

_DSC9137.jpg
Closing gathering in the Main Barn

Closing gathering in the Main Barn

The five days we spent at Shou Sugi Ban House were truly transformative, allowing us to gain mental clarity and physical healing. We learned about the art of meditation and breathing, slowing down and really focusing on the now. I took my first ever yoga classes here, and am now hooked. I am also so thankful to have spent it with great company. We shared every meal with people who were strangers who turned into friends and hope to cross paths with again in the future. Amy and Kathleen, the founders of SSBH, are two of the most inspiring people I’ve met, as well as the people who work there – all such experts and absolutely unapologetic about their craft. We would love to return every year if we could.

Before heading back home, we stopped by Parrish Museum as we’ve been meaning to visit for a few years now. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it is adjacent to SSBH and houses work by artists from the artist colony of Long Island.

_DSC9261.jpg
_DSC9262.jpg
_DSC9796.jpg
_DSC9845.jpg
_DSC9886.jpg
 
_DSC9207.jpg