Inside the real meditation retreat used in Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers”
Hulu’s latest hit drama Nine Perfect Strangers follows nine people from all walks of life as they embark on a ten-day wellness retreat to help bring them clarity and a new lease of life.
Located at the fictional Tranquillum home in California, the retreat is run by mysterious host Masha Dmitrichenko (played by Nicole Kidman) and her three staff.
Before long, a series of ominous events begin to unfold, proving that everything in Wellness Retreat isn’t what it seems.
The series is based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, who also wrote Big little lies which was adapted for television by HBO and starred Kidman alongside Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley.
Rather than on set, the series was shot in a true retreat – the SOMA Meditation Retreat in Byron Bay, Australia.
Not only was the novel originally set in Moriarty’s native Australia, the location turned out to be better for filming during the pandemic.
Director Jonathan Levine previously said News week: “We were originally supposed to shoot this show in LA, then we were a week away from building all these sets on the Paramount field in mid-March but we quickly realized that it was not possible. .
Ironically, this was not a show designed in COVID, however, many details of the show made it a good logistical fit for a pandemic. One place, autonomous, very small cast, not a lot of extras.
âWe looked in Australia because a lot of our production team is Australian and they were doing really well with COVID. “
Due to travel restrictions, SOMA ended up being selected by Levine solely from photos and drone footage before filming began.
The staff experience was also invaluable, as Levine explained: âWe often asked the people who run the place to give us authenticity checks on some of our activities. It was a perfect place.
What is the SOMA meditation retreat?
SOMA is located in Byron Bay, a picturesque coastal town in New South Wales, and is set in 22 acres of rainforest.
SOMA was founded by Gary Gorrow and Peter Ostick in 2019.
Gorrow has over 17 years of experience as a Vedic Meditation Practitioner, Qualified Ayurvedic Health Coach, Mindfulness Expert, High Performance Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Social Entrepreneur.
He has worked with a number of prominent clients during his career, including actress Cate Blanchett.
Ten years ago, Ostick was the founder of a media company operating in nine countries when he exhausted himself and ended up in hospital for the second time in three months due to stress and l ‘exhaustion.
He met Gorrow while seeking to change his lifestyle before creating SOMA together.
What services does SOMA offer to clients?
SOMA offers four retreat packages with prices for individuals starting at AU $ 2,500 ($ 1,797.44) for a two-night stay.
The three-day meditation retreat includes accommodation in a king-size suite with private bathroom, Vedic meditation training with Gorrow, daily yoga sessions, continental breakfast, and Ayurvedic lunches and dinners. It also includes access to the grounds and facilities, including a sauna, magnesium ice bath and freshwater swimming pool, a guided forest walk, and an outdoor fireplace at night.
Its most expensive package, Masterclass, starts at AU $ 4,500 ($ 3,260.41) for individuals and promises to “unleash your creative potential and generate a significant change in the way you see the world.”
It includes twice daily seminars with Australian photographers Stephen Dupont and Tamara Dean which aim to âinspire you, motivate you and help you find hidden passion and creativityâ.
Guests will also take daily movement classes and be catered for with all meals included and prepared by an Ayurvedic chef.
Other packages offer private mentoring with Gorrow and a range of spa treatments.
SOMA also offers an online meditation and mindfulness course called Rise, which costs AU 349 ($ 252.86).
Explaining his philosophy and that of SOMA before the launch of Rise, Gorrow said, âWorking with thousands of people, I realized that there is no magic cure for anxiety, no magic pill. , nor a single approach.
âAs human beings we are all unique and multifaceted, which is why any approach must be nuanced, holistic and intelligently grounded. “
SOMA’s approach is about ‘recalibration’ and helps ‘give people a new perspective, practical knowledge and scientific tools that will serve to lay the foundation for a richer life,’ he added.
Nine Perfect Strangers airs every Wednesday on Hulu and available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.