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Front Facades with View.jpg
The main building at Well Being Retreat Center in Tazewell, TNRetreat Center
Westview Cabin # 1 Lit up on a Gray Day.jpg
A hilltop bench for contemplating the 360 views at Well Being Retreat Center
Bedroom interior of a Cabin at Well Being Retreat Center

Guest Comments

Biomimicry Card - Oct 2023.jpg

Guest Comments at the end of a 6-day Retreat October 2023

Frankie Hart in Full Lotus.jpg

Frankie Hart is a Yoga & Tai Chi Instructor with over 10,000 hours of teaching experience.  This what she had to say about having her retreat at Well Being in October 2020:

"Well Being Retreat Center offers your soul moments of heaven on earth. This fall I returned to the center to offer my annual Yoga Retreat and the majestic beauty of the place was appreciated by all of us even more deeply during this current pandemic. The view of the river were tranquil, the sounds of nature, soothing, the wooden deck supportive and easy on the body and the cozy heated blankets for meditation were both practical and luxurious. We enjoyed the delicious meals outside as well."  Read the full review here.

Food Service at Well Being Retreat Center's Commercial Kitchen
A photo of a freshly prepared meal of salmon, Caprese salad and greens
Photo of hearty cole slaw, sweet potato fries and mashed cauliflower

Comments about the Meals

Irene from Knoxville – Sept 2016 writes:

"Everything is absolutely wonderful! Food is fantastic. You should write a cookbook. We can feel the love and thoughtfulness that has been put into everything."

Dennis H. – Chattanooga, TN – April 2019
Wanted to take a moment to let you know what a positive impact your retreat center had on my life this year. The food you and your staff prepared showed me what healthy eating could look like and i was able to change our diet at home. Both my husband and i have lost weight and feel better. The connection with the land was just as powerful! Thanks to you and yours for all you do!

Patti G. from Nashville – October 2016 writes:

"I just wanted to thank you again for providing such a lovely and serene setting and ambiance for the retreat, and for providing such wholesome, healthy and tasty food. After five days of eating your yummy healthy food, I felt as if I could not go back to my usual unhealthy eating habits. What a gift!"

Sara H. from Knoxville – August 2016 writes:

Not a detail was left undone, the Well Being Retreat Center is truly a gem. Patty and Don are incredible hosts and I think secretly Top Chefs. Every meal prepared was thoughtful, creative, and made with love. I tried many new foods for the first time and enjoyed every bite. This place nourished my body and soul and I am grateful for the time I got to spend here.

Colleen from Knoxville - August 2016 writes:

"My husband and  I were completely bowled over by the glorious food! Much better than Omega or Kripalu or Blue Spirit or Asilomar or Vajrapani or Naropa or Mount Madonna or anywhere else we have ever been. I would be grateful if you have a cookbook …Thank you both for the miracle on earth you have created. "

Comments about the Hosts

Photo of Don Oakley & Patty Bottari, Directors of Well Being Foundation
Photo of Kitchen & Dining Area of Wood Duck Cabin at Well Being Retreat Center

Courtney R. – Lexington, KY – January 2018
To Patty: Thank you so much for your grace, beauty, compassion and kindness. I’ve felt so held this week. It deeply touches my spirit to know you are here – holding space for each of us – and nurturing your guests in the Wise-Woman way. I feel your love, your care, your strength.
To Don: Thank you for your gentle spirit and your loving presence and humility. I loved seeing you in the kitchen with your apron on. Your peaceful way is lovely. I deeply appreciate all of your hard work in planning, design and creation of this space. Your stewardship of this land is deeply appreciated. Much Love to your heart.

Kathy from Nashville – October 2016 writes:

"(I) want you and Don to know that you will remain in my heart, and that you and the beautiful place you have created have given me a very concrete experience/image/vision to carry forward. Simply knowing that you are in the world, on the land, welcoming folks and calling them to silence, gives me a sense of peace. I feel so very fortunate to have spent that sacred time with you and wish you all the best until our next opportunity to be together.

Kellie from Knoxville – June 2016 writes:

"The gratitude and love I feel cannot be limited by words. It is difficult to describe how blessed I feel to have been introduced to both of you and to the Well Being Center. It has been a place of healing and a place of love and you are both the nucleus from which is radiates. Thank you for everything."

June from Asheville August 2015 writes:

Again I have to shower you and Don with love and appreciation for creating a spectacular place. Your warmth, love and generosity have hugged me all day. I look forward to seeing you both soon.

Comments about the Facilities


Barry & Jan from Knoxville May 2015 writes::

"What a wonderful three days in paradise! Thank you for being such gracious hosts! We loved every second – the cottages are lovely and the paddling relaxing. We will be back.”

Alex from Virginia - September 2016 writes:

"This fall, on silent retreat with Mukti at the Well Being Conference Center I marveled, enjoyed, and overflowed with gratitude for Patty and Don's vision, passion, openness and action in every detail of the setting and accommodations supporting our stay and purpose: from the clear attention to ecology and environment as they've built this place from the ground up."

A photo of Autumn Reflections on the Powell River

Comments about the Land


Laura from Harrogate, TN – February 2016 writes:

"We had an absolutely wonderful stay this weekend. We hiked the stairway to heaven and we walked along the beach. It was an incredible experience. We decided that we would definitely be back since we didn't want to leave in the first place!"

Tina from Morristown, TN - May 2016 writes:

"To say your Well-Being Retreat has a high vibration is an understatement.  The trees speak and the wind and water transmutes all things released and no longer needed.  You are a blessing to share this lovely patch of super charged Earth energy with us." 

Barbara from Knoxville June 2016 writes:

"Thank you for sharing your vision and for your kind and sweet spirits. Well Being CC has made an impact on my spiritual growth and shows love in action. Truly, I have learned: “Silence is golden and love flows like a river.”

Comments from the Scientific Community

Photo of Endangered Species Mussel Release into Powell River at Well Being Retreat Center

Jess Jones, PhD, Restoration Biologist with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – Oct 2016

"Thanks so much for the wonderful stay here at Well Being. I’m always amazed at the innovation and positive vision each time I visit. Your hospitality to host my students and technicians and to play an integral role in mussel conservation on the Powell River has been an integral part of our efforts. Can’t wait to see you again."

Dr. Agnes Vanderpool, Ph.D., Professor at Lincoln Memorial University - May 2014

“I wanted to express my sincere thanks and that of our girls and their parents for the Environmental Science Day we spent with you at Well Being. I have had a lot of really positive feedback about the program, the Well Being facility and the hospitality with which we were all treated. It was a lovely day! Thank you both so much for giving of your time, energy and resources to the children of our community.”

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