Gerry Powell of Rythmia Life Advancement Retreat On How To Create A Travel Experience That Keeps People Coming Back For More

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine


Support: Healing is a deep and introspective journey that will take you to new levels of awareness and understanding. This isn’t always easy, so our staff has been trained to offer support so our guests feel held and heard through whatever they may be experiencing.

As part of my series about “How To Create A Travel Experience That Keeps People Coming Back For More”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gerry Powell.

Gerry Powell is the Founder of Rythmia. A successful conscious entrepreneur and author building businesses that provide healing to humanity and nature. He was the personification of the American businessman: rich, powerful and unhappy. He sold his company for $89 million, had 5 houses, dozens of cars, and 2 planes, but all of the material possessions couldn’t fill the despair he was in. He was suicidal and struggled with layers of addiction that nearly took his life. Through fate a friend introduced him to a plant medicine that allowed profound healing from his suffering.

The changes that were brought about by the plant medicine worked on his core issues. The addictions that were present in his life were a result of those core issues that were created through unresolved trauma. Once that trauma was healed by the medicine the addictive behavior left. What emerged in its path was a new version of Gerry that was able to enjoy all things in moderation without being owned by anything. Although this methodology flies in the face of convention, we at Rythmia see it all the time, we see the struggles of trauma undone and then a new and productive normal occurs for our guests. His life’s mission has been to show others that there can be a shortcut to happiness, and to their truth through the modalities offered at Rythmia Life Advancement Center in Costa Rica.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was an unfulfilled businessperson who was reasonably successful but terribly broken as a person.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I started this business, Rythmia Life Advancement Center, and it began with me taking a psychedelic. Apparently, in the psychedelic world, that’s exactly what you’re not supposed to do, but I did it, and it’s worked out on so many different levels.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started in business, I was a terrible businessperson but a good salesperson. The combination proved deadly. My early mistakes are what forced me to hone my business skills.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

There are so many people who helped me get to where I am today. Almost everyone I’ve ever met has helped me in some way. The late Michael Berardi was a tremendous influence in my life. His way of doing business showed me so many beautiful things. But most importantly, it was his excitable and inquisitive nature that made him so successful. That type of enthusiasm is contagious.

Thank you for that. Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to the travel and hospitality industries?

We feel that we are changing the game as far as coupling spiritual retreats with first-class amenities and service. I’m a fan of five-star hotels, and I can honestly say that the Rythmia experience is up there with any of them. It’s my belief that we have the highest percentage of five-star customer-rated reviews on the Internet. If not the very highest, right up there among the absolute best with over 1700 reviews to date.

Which “pain point” are you trying to address by introducing this innovation, and how do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo?

The Western medicine system can often create a trap that leads to more patients and an endless loop of diagnosis and prescription. The Rythmia way has been designed to liberate seekers of healing from the traditional path and offer an integrated protocol that offers our guests a sense of autonomy and freedom from systems that may feel oppressive in their approach. Up to 92% of our guests report that their week at Rythmia changed their lives and maintain this affirmation of healing even years after the experience.

As you know, COVID19 changed the world as we know it. Can you share a few examples of how travel and hospitality companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers will prefer to travel?

It’s always important for any business, regardless of industry, to maintain malleability. Change is inevitable, but at this current moment in time and for the foreseeable future, I think we are experiencing something unique in the sense that Covid has affected each of us so differently, and there are so many voices at the table. Because of this, you might have a client that wants to experience a vacation where they don’t have to wear a mask or worry about how close they are standing to someone else. But that same week, you will have a client that is very concerned about Covid and won’t step foot outside their room without covering their face in some manner. And you must accommodate both of those clients and make sure that they each have the best experience possible.

Additionally, there are so many more hoops to jump through when it comes to traveling these days, particularly traveling internationally. It is our job as service providers within the industry to make the client-facing experience as easy as possible; from arranging Covid testing to researching the latest international travel mandates, what would once have been considered going above and beyond is now the standard that we must maintain for our clientele.

You are a “travel insider”. How would you describe your “perfect vacation experience”?

My experience and the enjoyment of that experience results completely from a time efficiency standpoint. For me, it’s not only the quality of the vacation but the ease of the vacation. What rings the bell for me is everything about the airport experience and the time between the moment my plane arrives and the moment that I am inside the hotel room. Every aspect of that journey should be analyzed and optimized.

Travel is not always about escaping, but about connecting. Have you made efforts to cultivate a more wellness driven experience? We’d love to hear about it.

Our workshops and guest speaker program offer an educational aspect to the healing journey. Oftentimes during these classes, we will witness connections begin to form amongst our guests, which are then solidified and built upon during our plant medicine ceremonies. The individual experience becomes a shared experience, and in that sharing, life-long friendships and deep soul connections form.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a travel experience that keeps bringing people back for more? Please share a story or an example for each.

1 Set: Our resort caters to the guest experience from the moment they are picked up by our shuttle to the moment they leave the resort. We want to make sure anyone that comes to Rythmia feels supported and valued throughout the entire journey.

2 Setting: We are located in a Blue Zone, which is one of the 5 places in the world where people live happier, healthier, and longer lives.

3. Service: We are committed to providing the ultimate in customer service and go above and beyond to let our guests know how special they are to us. From remembering full names and preferences, to always making sure to greet everyone with a smile — this is integral to our core ethos.

4. Support: Healing is a deep and introspective journey that will take you to new levels of awareness and understanding. This isn’t always easy, so our staff has been trained to offer support so our guests feel held and heard through whatever they may be experiencing.

5. Safety: We have an on-site medical facility, which is guided by a team of medical professionals, including our resident Medical Advisor, Dr. Jeff McNairy. Before, during, and after the Rythmia stay — we closely monitor our guests’ health, well-being, progress, and integration to make sure they’ve gotten the most from this experience.

Can you share with our readers how you have used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Rythmia is the greatest example of this, in my opinion. From the work we do on a daily basis to our community outreach efforts in Costa Rica, I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished. And now we are doing everything we can to share our program with everyone, even those who may not currently have the means to visit our center via the Rythmia Scholarship Program. This program is funded by the generosity of our alumni and aims to bring as many individuals to the center as possible. If anyone is interested, they can apply for the scholarship on our website.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I think we did with Rythmia.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@gerardarmondpowell on Instagram

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!



Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor