The Retreat Reviews, Costs, Complaints

The Retreat


The RetreatThe Retreat Review

Hidden amongst the red oak trees of the Big Woods Preserve in Greater Minneapolis, Minnesota sits a brick and shingled English Tudor style Catholic-retreat-turned-treatment center. Once run by nuns, the spirituality of the facility’s roots still permeates the halls and the building’s old-school architecture while the peaceful rural surroundings offer additional serenity to The Retreat.

Accommodations and Food

Men and women are kept completely separated and assigned daily chores. Out of 62 possible residents, the program allows 41 men and only 21 women. It has a program catering to the 60+ crowd, although the average age is supposedly 38. Males are assigned their own private rooms (a rehab rarity) and females are dispersed between a shared quad and private dorms.

All clients are expected to keep their rooms and personal space clean. Chore schedules change on a weekly basis and can range from cleaning to being a peer leader (who’s responsible for taking attendance and making announcements). Any concerns from the group are addressed in a weekly community meeting and clients who have broken rules or are causing problems are either asked to openly take responsibility for their actions or risk being asked to leave the program.

As far as cuisine fresh produce in salads alongside American main courses can be expected. Examples include pizza, pasta, chicken and salmon. Breakfast is continental, but you can have as much of it as you want throughout the day. Staff will take clients to a local grocery store to pick up any perishable items they’d like

Treatment and Staff

The program of recovery offered at The Retreat is strictly 12-step. Days begin with a morning meditation and simple breakfast followed by a Big Book study—a volunteer-led group focusing on the main text of Alcoholics Anonymous. Then there is a group focusing on the 12-step approved book Living Sober and a recovery-related lecture before everyone breaks for lunch at noon. Afternoons are filled with 12-step work and personal time granted at some point in the afternoon, where residents are free to exercise at the on-site gym, run, hike around the seven-acre campus, or shoot hoops.

Nights are reserved for 12-step meetings, which are held on-site by local alumni and the strong recovery community, followed by a 10th step group where those new to 12-step get to learn how to take daily inventories of their behavior and recognize their attributes and character defects. Evening time is also when personal phone calls are permitted from either the facility’s free house phone or pay phone (no personal cell phones allowed). Neither is Internet access allowed for the entire time spent at The Retreat, which is anywhere between 30 and 90 days. In fact, no electronic devices—iPods, iPads or laptops—are allowed and neither is TV, with the exception of movie nights and big cultural and sporting events. Reading is permitted but is restricted to recovery-related or spiritual material that can be found in abundance in the facility’s on-site library.

Clients are catered by 17 full time staff members, most of which are patient coordinators and support staff. Three LADC specialists lead the crew. There are no on-site psychologists or psychiatrists but The Retreat has ready to access to many of those professionals in the Wayzata community.


There are no New Age or holistic treatments available, although there is daily yoga class.

In Summary

At the end of the day, The Retreat is an option for those who absolutely need to remove themselves from their toxic environments and get on an accelerated course to the 12 steps at a bargain basement price. However, those with co-occurring disorders might be served better at a dual diagnosis facility.

The Retreat Location

1221 Wayzata Blvd E
Wayzata, MN 55391

The Retreat Cost

$4,700 (30 days). Reach The Retreat by phone at (866) 928-3434. Find The Retreat on Facebook, YouTube and Google+

Do you have a complaint or review of The Retreat to add?  Use the comments area below to add your Retreat review.



  1. I also attended in July-August 2018. My concern is a medical one. I was hospitalized directly – via ambulance – from the retreat after three weeks with severe urinary tract infection and lower lobe bacterial pneumonia. I had been very ill and delirious for days. Upon recovery, I realized I had only hazy memories from the five, or so, previous days, one memory being wandering out of my room to the deck all night for days (delirium is worse at night). I realize it is not a medical facility but Perhaps they need to reconsider admitting older clients. I also felt their ”you are precious child of God” spiritual approach Disengenious. After being discharged from the hospital I was asked not to come back to the premises, have my husband retrieve my belongins.. also, no one has called to see how I made it back home after a long Cross country trek. Also, I got no response to an e-mail I sent to the CEO about my concerns, because he apparently feels he doesn’t need to. A facility relying on insurance money needs to be responsive to concerns. In the end, The Retreat is a business just like any other. You get room and board for 4,900 for 30 days, are asked to clean the place, and most staff have no training other than being in AA (CEO and selected psychology staff have professional credentials). They are more reasonable, but you go there at your own peril. By the time one staff member realized something was wrong, I was very seriously ill, septic from multiple infections. Not to mention, your money is not refunded (in my case 10 days) even if leaving due to serious illness. So weigh your options carefully.

  2. Sharon M Cody on

    I attended this “retreat”. It is not a retreat and is falsely advertised. When I called for information, I let the staff know my concerns. I got there to find out the women’s center was being demolished, the kitchen was in a trailer and the staff is very rude. Again, it is not a retreat. What a joke and a disrespect for guests going there in need to study the 12 steps and heal

Leave A Reply

About Author

The largest and most trusted rehab review site in the world.