Mystery, intrigue and brilliant locations figure prominently into Hulu’s latest drama “Nine Perfect Strangers,” the first three episodes of which debuted on the streamer this week. (The remaining five will drop each Wednesday through September 22.) Based on the 2018 book of the same name by Liane Moriarty of “Big Little Lies” fame, the Jonathan Levine-directed limited series tells the story of enigmatic, hard-nosed self-help guru Masha (Nicole Kidman) and the ultra-modern Northern California retreat center she runs, Tranquillum House.
The “nine perfect strangers” referenced in the title are Masha’s newest guests who have come to the facility to cure whatever respectively ails them via a ten-day wellness program, or as patron Lars Lee (Luke Evans) describes the intensive experience, “Just another construct to separate rich people from their money and get them to feel good about themselves in the process.”
Masha’s methods may be unconventional (her highly-regimented program bars all electronic devices and culinary vices, while encouraging 11-hour fasts, foraging off the land and even digging one’s own grave), but the bucolic setting where her special brand of healing takes place is nothing short of magical! Bound by brutalist concrete walls as well as floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking striking vistas at every turn, the retreat manages to be both starkly modern and serenely tranquil at the same time.
I have bad news for those hoping to seek their own enlightenment on the premises, though, as the center doesn’t actually exist IRL. Said to be in the fictional town of Cabrillo, in truth Tranquillum House is an amalgamation of two different spots, neither of which is located anywhere near the Sunshine State.
As first identified by Architectural Digest, the sanctuary is a mash-up of two sites Down Under – a dairy-farm-turned-timber-plantation known as Lune de Sang and a luxury yoga center named Soma, both of which can be found just outside of picturesque Byron Bay in New South Wales on Australia’s eastern coast.