Top Sante editor-in-chief Katy Sunnassee visits The Glass House Retreat in Essex to unwind and recharge with mindful fitness classes, plant-based nutrition and top-to-toe wellness…

If you need to rest and recharge, look no further than The Glass House detox and wellness retreat. With top-of-the-range fitness facilities and classes, spa treatments and detoxifying plant-based nutrition – all in one place – this certainly is a one-stop shop for a total health reset.

Arriving at The Glass House Retreat:

Less than an hour from central London and set among seven acres of lush Essex countryside, The Glass House Retreat oozes wellness from the moment you arrive. With ground-to-ceiling sheets of crystal-clear glass – as the name implies – the main building is flooded with plenty of natural light for a rejuvenating and uplifting atmosphere. Plus, the eco-friendly build is complemented by solar panels, a ground source heat pump and rainwater recycling technology.

The perfect haven for a complete detox and reset, the centre offers 21 modern and comfy rooms, a Himalayan salt sauna, indoor swimming pool, a panoramic gym and a plethora of spa treatments from expert therapists. If you want to try something a little different, you’ll also find a cryo chamber, wellness dome and natural outdoor swimming pond!

food at the glass house retreat

Enjoy a low-cholesterol, plant-based diet, to help balance your nutrition, aid your digestion, and support your heart health

Plant-based diet at The Glass House Retreat

While staying at The Glass House Retreat, you’ll be treated to a low-cholesterol, plant-based diet, to help balance your nutrition, aid your digestion, and support your heart health. Specifically formulated with detoxification and wellness in mind, you’ll find seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, all of which are local, fresh, delivered daily and organic where possible. All dishes and juices are rich in vitamins and minerals, high in fibre, healthy and largely unprocessed.

With no junk food in sight, the entirely vegan menu offers a range of delicious options, from zucchini lasagne to apricot chutney tart. You can even attend vegan cooking classes with resident Chef Robin Foster.

Spa and fitness facilities at The Glass House

The Glass House Retreat boasts a huge range of facilities to support your physical and mental wellbeing. In the spa, unwind with the heated leisure pool, steam room and warming Finnish sauna, then enjoy a treatment from a menu of massages, facials, scrubs and more. If you’re not staying for an extended break, there are plenty of spa day offers available.

There’s also a cryo chamber where you can try out cryotherapy. This ground-breaking treatment, popular with celebs and athletes alike, offers a huge range of benefits, from aiding with weight loss and toning to reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It can also enhance recovery from injuries and reduce joint inflammation, while also boosting your energy levels and easing stress.

And it doesn’t stop there: seeing as wild swimming is all the rage right now, last summer, the retreat introduced a new natural outdoor swimming pond and outdoor sauna to meet the growing demand for cold water dips. At the same time, the wellness dome was introduced. Here, you can take part in daily mindfulness classes, yoga sessions and interactive workshops, all designed to help you feel your best.

Fancy a workout? Head over to the holistic studio, fitness studio or gym for a sweaty workout. Either go it alone with the weights and cardio machines or join in with one of the plentiful classes. With options for all fitness levels, you can choose from yoga, Pilates, BoxFit, Bootcamp, Barre, water aerobics and more. On fine days, you’ll even be able to exercise outdoors in the seven-acre grounds, making the most of the cooling breeze as you get active.

natural outdoor swimming pond

Last summer, the retreat introduced a new natural outdoor swimming pond to meet the growing demand for cold water dips.

Accommodation at The Glass House

After a long day of looking after your mind and body, relax and recharge in your comfy, modern room, complete with a selection of herbal teas and an en-suite stocked up with vegan and eco-friendly Anyah Eco Spa products. There is free high-speed internet – or, if you’re looking for a complete off-the-grid experience, shut your phone away in your very own digital detox safe.

A typical day at The Glass House Retreat

While your chosen schedule is completely up to you, here’s an idea of what to expect on your average day at The Glass House Retreat…

  • 7:00am – Rise and shine
  • 7:30am – Hot water and fresh lemon
  • 7:45am – Hour-long countryside walk
  • 9:00am – Breakfast
  • 10:00am to 10:15am – Mindfulness Class in The Dome
  • 10:30am to 1:00pm – Exercise classes, free time, spa treatments
  • 11:00am to 12:00pm – Psyllium Husk Beverage
  • 1:00pm – Lunch
  • 2:00pm to 5:30pm – Exercise classes, free time, spa treatments
  • 4:00pm to 4:30pm – Plant based food cooking demonstration
  • 6:15pm or 8:00pm – Afternoon/Evening Entertainment (Mon-Fri)
  • 7:00pm – Dinner

Travel facts:

Katy stayed at The Glass House Retreat in Upminister, Essex. Spa days start from £100pp, spa breaks start from £305pp. There are plenty of offers and packages available depending on your health and wellness goals. Find out more at