Jason is a friend I went to school with when we were around thirteen. He had experienced Camp Eden a few times before and was returning 20 or so years after his first visit. His father sent all his 8 siblings there once they had finished school. It had become a’right of passage’ for the Goldsmith family.
On his return from his most recent visit I got in touch with him. I wanted to know how the retreat had changed over the years and what his initial impression was as he walked through the gates. I was also curious to know if the cuisine was different and in knowing how the treatments, activities and philosophies had altered after the re brand.
I had been to Camp Eden many times but never under the new management and its rebirth as Eden. I had always been in love with the rainforest. Incomparable beauty. My previous preferences and the time in my life demanded rapid boot camp and a quick shift to reenergise before heading back to the office. This time I took my partner. I had not told her what to expect.
When we arrived for dinner the first night, even I was surprised. Gone was the Pritikin diet and in its place was delicious healthy food with specialised meals for those who needed them.
Gone was the ‘harshness of life’ failure of self competition and in its place was a generous and kind nurturing of my body. Packages had changed from a mandatory regime and replaced with an a la carter selection of magnificent treatments, options activities and fun.
The grounds have matured and are manicured and lush. Renovations have replaced utilitarian facilities with luxurious accommodation. No long was it men on one side and women on the other. We shared a new hut, two queen size beds, balcony, large bathtub and our own washing facilities. They have even installed phones which once upon a time was taboo.
Perhaps the time in my life. Perhaps a sense of self and deserving of comfort but this trip was awesome. Still got the same comments about the glow, the radiance, the exuding of health…but this time the experience was enjoyable instead of self depreciation. A testament to improvements was that most of the guests were returning with their partners.