Press Reviews & Our Awards
It was really lovely to be a part of the Dorset Leading Ladies feature in Dorset Magazine,that was apart of their honouring of women for International Women’s Day on 8th March 2023.
It was also a big and beautiful surprise to be featured in the Muddy Stiletoes article ’10 Dorset and Somerset women you need to know’ celebrating local women, also for International Women’s Day.
We currently come 2nd in Dorset on Trip Advisor for Spas and Wellness Centres, here’s a lovely review of us in our local Dorset Live online news website. Perfect!
Gold for the THIRD YEAR RUNNING! At the Dorset Tourism Awards, Spa & Wellbeing Experience of the Year and we made it through to the FINALS for the South West again for the THIRD YEAR RUNNING! WOOHOO!!!
We had a visit from a lovely lady Claire who writes the amazing blog Weekend Candy in December 2018. She loved her retreat day with us, read her review for more and heres a little snippet:
“Saira has been running affordable yoga retreats since 2011 after Vinyasa yoga helped her overcome her own personal challenges – and it’s this deep sense of respect and love of the practice that shines through in her tuition. In fact, Saira’s natural charm and magnetism, coupled with her gentle teaching style, has brought her a healthy clutch of recognition: she has a loyal fan base and, for the second year running, Mellulah has won gold in the Dorset Tourism Awards.”
‘We find inner peace at healthy house party of Mellulah Retreats in Dorset. Huddled around a countryside kitchen table with my fellow retreaters, I’m cooing over a mug of infused stickyweed. I found this hedgerow herb, reputed to remove toxins from the blood and ease skin irritations like eczema, in the sprawling garden just minutes ago. I do wonder, though, if I’m only enjoying this bitter herbal elixir because it’s the last morning of our retreat and I am marvelling at the beauty of everything.
Mellulah Retreats, near Blandford Forum, is the work of yoga teacher and holistic therapist Saira Francis and I’ve joined her retreat at the delightful seven-bed Springfield cottage, surrounded by green hills that roll through to the Dorset Gap, a track crossing dating from the Middle Ages…..’
‘It’s nice to be able to say that this bread is from down the road, and the stew was made from veg in the farm shop,’ says Saira Francis, who organises the retreats. ‘People enjoy that, especially when they come down from London. They really like that everything’s local and healthy.
Guests can take part in on-site therapies and yoga retreats, and enjoy superb vegetarian food. Working with a local caterer and farm shop owner enhances the experience.’
All our customer feedback and reviews can now be seen on Tripadvisor! If you need help deciding if you should choose us, we are ranked 2nd out of 68 Spas in Dorset!
We have 88 5 star reviews as of July 2023 Thank you!
I just wanted to.email to say thank you for the retreat today. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I got a lot from it, it both reassured me of things I do to help me manage stress as well as giving me new strategies. The setting, activities and lunch were really perfect for a day of relaxing. Naomi Lewis April 2019
Transformative as described! J.B April 2019
I signed up for a day’s retreat yoga not thinking I had the time for it. What time well spent it was. Saira is an excellent yoga teacher who takes a wonderfully holistic approach to her practice. The yoga, mindful walk and unexpectedly and extraordinary sound healing with Preet left me feeling completely relaxed, recharged and recalibrated. Time with Saira is a thoroughly worthwhile investment in your wellbeing – mind, body, spirit. Andrew Hick April 2019
From my first weekend retreat back in September 2017 I fell in love with the whole experience, the yoga, the location, the food but mainly Saira, she is what makes these retreats so special and sometimes life changing for people. She has the warmest heart and passion for what she loves doing and you take that feeling away with you after every retreat. Sarah Barnes, March 2019
I attended one of the weekend retreats at Symondsbury Manor and found it to be a perfect balance of yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation. The sound healing and yoga nidra were really great touches, as well as the very filling and delicious nourishing food. I left feeling relaxed and charged up. I highly recommend it to others, regardless of level of yoga, meditation, etc (I’ve attended quite a few retreats and silent meditation but there were also relative beginners at the retreat and we all left feeling uplifted) Athena Michaelides, March 2019
We just wanted to say how much Karen and I enjoyed (and benefitted) from the weekend retreat – it was truly wonderful and something we will definitely do again. A lovely group of people in a truly relaxing environment – we both managed to shut ourselves off from the world for those few days which feels like quite a feat with all that is going on in both of our lives. Thank you for all the hard work you put into organising and making sure everything went to plan. Sarah Trenchard March 2019
The Vinyasa flow was perfect, well paced, offered the right amount of variations to allow you to deepen the pose to your own ability. Saira was an excellent teacher, explained it well, filled me with confidence that she knows her stuff and was very welcoming. The setting was beautiful, I loved it. Preet – well, what can I say, I’m in love!!! Her sound healing was something new to me but I adored it! I could listen to her singing and banging gongs all day long (in fact I can now, I bought a CD from her website) And such a great bunch there on the day too, I didn’t feel at all scared being there on my own. I will be back. Rachael Gilles, January 2019
I just wanted to say how I’ve had hip issues for the last year and half (linked to my running and cycling) but since starting yoga with you, my hip is the best it’s been for a long long time and i’m walking up and down stairs without a horrible pain /discomfort and clicking! AND…. despite the viruses I’ve had of late, I’m running better and faster than ever before! Half marathon now booked in for March (alongside duathlons through the year) and I’m excited about all the goals I may achieve this year! I’m sure it’s the yoga that’s helped me! Sarah Wise, December 2018
Sarah is a pro! Very well organised, super chilled and delicious food. A perfect break from city life. Zoe B, November 2018
Thank you so much for the yoga retreat at Symondsbury. Helen and I really enjoyed it once again – your wonderful yoga sessions, the food and smoothies, the gong bath and meditation, the amazing location and the walk on the beach. It was all very memorable and we returned to work feeling much refreshed. We do hope you weren’t too tired afterwards and would like to thank you so much for all you excellent teaching and organisation. Also please say thank you from us to your lovely daughter who worked so hard. With love and thanks, Mary and Helen Gryspeerdt, November 2018
A BIG thank you for such a wonderful retreat last weekend. It was a wonderful experience and it totally exceeded my expectations. The food was lovely, the location perfect and the yoga was wonderful. You have mastered being totally in control whilst it all looking effortless! Your daughter Betsy was a star too. She worked very hard all weekend.
Thank you for a wonderful experience and one that I will never forget.
I hope to see you on another retreat soon. Rachael Giordani November 2018
Still processing last weekends three day retreat, such a magical weekend of natural healing, incorporating yoga, meditation, sound and energy work, and rest, lots of rest! Delicious food and laughter, Saira is a real life angel if/when you are ready to look inward, I highly recommend having her by your side, I am blessed. Sally K, Lymington, Sept 2018
Thank you for providing a wonderful day for the team on Monday. We all benefited positively from the experience and it was also good to be together somewhere and not talk about work the whole time. I certainly felt taller the next day and have been more aware of my posture and balance, internally as well as externally. Will H, Senior Lecturer, Bournemouth Arts University, Dorset, July 2018
Thank you and your wonderful team for a truly inspiring weekend. Never having been on a retreat I really didn’t know what to expect but it didn’t disappoint! The weekend had a very calming effect, helped by our silent day of reflection. I found the noises/demands of normal life at home quite disturbing and so I hid in my book for a few hours more! Thank you for your generous offer of discount on your next retreat, I will give it some serious thought. Thank you all again for a spiritually uplifting weekend with the most delicious food. Jill D, Dorset, March 2018
Thank you for a wonderful weekend, I do feel restored and refreshed. I feel that your retreat will become an essential part of my diary over the next few years. Tamsin A, Bristol, March 2018
My Mum kindly booked me to have a ‘ Soul Replenish Massage’ winter special with Saira and it was incredible!!
The treatment was incredible, I have never ever felt so relaxed in my life. Saira herself is also genuinely a really wonderful person and helped me in so many ways.
I highly recommend and thank you so much and I will be returning for sure at a later date! 🙂 Lucie R, Dorset, March 2018
Had another great retreat day at Mellulah, this time at the gorgeous Whitemoor farm Hazelbury Bryan.
Loved it, so cosy in the converted barn with the wood burner, great yoga, 3 meditations , a sound bath & chanting . I’ve been to about 5 soundbaths but not with Preet who has the most amazing voice for the chants.
Can’t wait to go again in the Spring with friends & hopefully yoga class mates from Bournemouth. Sharon E, Dorset, February 2018
I really enjoy Saira’s yoga classes and find them so beneficial. Sometimes I arrive absolutely exhausted and by the end of the session feel as restored as if I’d had a good night’s sleep! I find Vinyasa flow yoga perfect for me, I have attended other classes over the years and Saira’s are undoubtedly the best. It is the combination of the mindfulness meditation, the flow, the breathing and the relaxation at the end that I find so beneficial. I come away rejuvenated and calmer which helps me deal with the pressures and stresses of everyday life. Saira is a wonderful teacher, she explains and demonstrates what we have to do so well and varies the sessions. I find a real sense of continuing development and improvement during the classes, so I find it challenging which I enjoy. In addition, Saira is empathic and calm and the whole atmosphere in the room with fellow yogis is one of calm and peace and we can each work at our own pace. Also the venues are restorative and in lovely places. Thank you so much Saira! X Sarah Thomas, Dorset, November 2017
I recently attended a one day retreat. I have very little experience of yoga. Saira was fantastic and offered a whole body holistic experience for the day. I felt I had my eyes opened on vegan food, loved the energy balls and home made chai tea. The vinyasa flow yoga felt amazing and the next day I ached in all the right places. An afternoon of meditation was interesting, it definitely requires practice, we went through chakra meditation and yoga nidra. As a beginner I found chakra meditation easier to follow. Would I do another retreat with Saira?……YES! Vix Gillet, Sturminster Newton, July 2017
So yesterday I gave myself a treat. I gifted myself a retreat day with Mellulah in North Dorset. It was blissful time to switch off, a day full of Yoga, nourishing food (by the amazing Feed The Soul), meditation, mindfulness and yoga nidra. Time to switch off and just be for 6 whole hours. If you haven’t heard of Mellulah check out the website https://mellulah.co.uk and upcoming retreat days and weekends. I totally recommend. Saira teaches from a place of experience and dedicated practice – conveying both the depth and the simplicity of yoga, mindfulness and meditation in her words and teachings. Yoga with Alice, Bridport July 2017
What a great retreat day at Ibberton . Everything was perfectly planned, really enjoyed it & such great food too! Friends who have been to similar events said we were spoiled at they’ve not had such good value /varied days. A friend & i went to a yoga & sound healing /gong last week locally & definitely did not compare! Hope to see you at another event soon. Sharon Etherington, Bournemouth, March 2017