Merribrook was built in 1984, making it the first chalet development in the Margaret River area. Until 2003 it was run as an outdoor learning centre for corporate training, but has recently undergone a million-dollar facelift which transformed it into a luxurious lakeside retreat, specialising in health and pampering packages to revitalise weary guests.
Many health retreats serve nutritious but boring meals, but not Merribrook. Breakfasts are a feast. Chef Richard Firth loads the table with delicious fruit, muesli, fruit breads, muffins and omelettes. In winter you are warmed by a roaring fire as the mist rises from the lake.
There are three dinner options. Eat a meal cooked for you by your own chef, dine at one of Margaret River's many restaurants or call in to the local delicatessens and use Merribrook's barbecue facilities.
Merribrook has one of Western Australia's most beautiful natural gardens. A newly built stone winter waterfall energises the Cowaramup Brook waters. There are meandering waterways, plenty of wildlife and secluded groves perfect for private contemplation.
The 65 hectares follow Rudolph Steiner's philosophy of 'no straight lines in nature'. Visitors are greeted by dazzling flowers, fruit trees, towering red gums and ducks paddling on the lake. So beautiful are the gardens that the owners have introduced guided tours.
Accommodation is built from local earth and echoes the spirit of country Australia. There is the Lakeview Luxury Retreat, Forest Edge Garden Studio and the Lake House, nestled on a private lake in its own valley.
A 20-metre solar heated pool, wood-fired sauna, outdoor spa and day bed provide unparalleled relaxation. Three kilometres of walking and running tracks take you past lakes, old orchards, olive groves, stone pine and cork oaks.