- Nine Perfect Strangers -Is Tranquillum House On 'Nine Perfect Strangers' A Real Resort?
With the health and wellness industry booming (the lucrative market made $4.5 trillion in 2019 alone, according to the Global Wellness Institute), resorts that cater to rich people looking to change their lives through the power of beautiful views and yoga are ripe for skewering. Hence the back-to-back releases of HBO's The White Lotus and Hulu's Nine Perfect Strangers. And while the real-life counterparts of these fictional paradises for the wealthy middle class are out of reach for most of us, you may be wondering if Tranquillum House is a real place, if only so you can avoid it.
On the show, Tranquillum House is an ultra-modern oasis nestled into the wilderness. The exclusive retreat is owned by Masha, a former business executive who devoted her life to the health and wellness of others after being shot in a car park. However, her methods are... unorthodox, to put it lightly. In addition to fasting and yoga, guests are subjected to daily blood draws, foraging expeditions, and gravedigging exercises. Oh, and there's definitely something illicit in those smoothies the guests are served every morning.
Ultimately, the resort is a total nightmare, albeit a stylish one. Thankfully, Tranquillum House doesn't appear to be based on any single real life resort, but there there have been plenty of health retreats gone wrong that Nine Perfect Strangers author Liane Moriarty may have drawn inspiration from. For instance, back in 2009, three people died during a dangerous sweat lodge ceremony in Arizona hosted by self-help author James Arthur Ray. Ray was later convicted on three counts of negligent homicide.
While most resorts are gentle getaways where people can unwind and escape the stress of their normal lives, there does seem to be a dark side to the industry, as well. And while the show is keen on exploring the grittier side of health and wellness getaways, the place where Nine Perfect Strangers was filmed seems much more grounded.
Where Was Nine Perfect Strangers Filmed?
In Moriarty's book, Tranquillum House is a rambling, old plantation house tucked away in the outback of Australia. But the Hulu series went in an entirely different direction by choosing a modern, new age resort as the backdrop for the show. Architectural Digest reported that the streamer originally planned to film the series in California, but the ongoing pandemic led them to choose a location in Australia instead.
After looking at several properties with retro vibes, production designer Colin Gibson ultimately settled on Soma, a wellness retreat in Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia as one of the primary filming locations for the show. According to the resort's website, Soma offers "a series of wellness retreats that provides a unique space and expert resources to rest, recharge, and renew yourself from the inside out — mind, body, soul."
Thanks to its modern architecture and large windows, the new construction serves as the perfect backdrop for the story's themes of self-examination and reflection. But in reality, a stay at Soma sounds far more relaxing than anything Masha could come up with. Packages include everything from spa treatments and yoga sessions to meals from a Ayurvedic chef. And hey, you can even go on a guided foraging expedition just like the characters on the show — minus the forced fasting and goat murder, of course.
Still, a visit to Soma does come with a pretty hefty price tag attached. A three-night stay at the resort will set you back around $3,980, but since the cost of admission doesn't include a session with the dreaded Masha that's basically a steal.
Images: Vince Valitutti/Hulu