Why every woman needs to put the Bliss Sanctuary in Bali on their 2017 to-do list
From: Dublin Live
I was about to hop on a plane to paradise and I was miserable. For me and for many, the US election result was the nail in the coffin of 2016 and I hadn’t felt that low in quite some time.
So what better way to test this so-called sanctuary for women in Bali. This place promised to leave me revived and awakened, but given my mood at the time, I thought I was going to be the exception to their gleaming record of happy customers.
Nevertheless, I left Dublin Airport on a dismal November day and wondered if this week in Bliss could honestly take me out of an overwhelming slump.
But there’s something that happens the moment you get that first whack of Balinese heat getting off the plane.
It’s a hazy, tropical warmth that feels healing in itself.
When I arrived, I was picked up from Denspansar airport by my personal driver, Katut who took me to the Bliss Sanctuary for Women in the Canggu district.
The renewing and rejuvenating qualities of this glorious island are obvious the minute you get your first glimpse of Bali.
We drove through the busy traffic, passing cafes and speeding vespas.
Yellow, Frangipani flowers frame the narrow streets and huge lime-green plants bloom between buildings and shops.
I asked Katut what he thought I should squeeze in during my time in Bali as I wanted a full schedule so I wouldn’t miss out on a single thing.
He shook his head, smiled and said: “You need to make sure you relax.”
He must deal with tense women flying into Bali on a daily basis wanting to pack an empty to-do list as soon as possible.
But this is the key to how the Bliss Sanctuary works – your wellbeing and your relaxation are priority.
When I arrived at the resort, I was greeted by the wonderful Bliss Sanctuary hostess, Danche who guided me around one of the most tranquil places I have ever been to.
The Sanctuary is situated in a coastal village surrounded by paddy fields and lush tropical plantlife.
It’s just a five-minute walk from a superb black sand surfing beach with a fantastic cocktail bar called Finnegan’s (I go all the way to Indonesia and I still manage to find an Irish bar).
Danche explains to me that I can fill my days with activities if I want, but the major goal is to unwind and “find my bliss”.
The one thing she does insist on is having a Balinese massage the moment you arrive and who could say no to that?
I lay by the turquoise pool for the best part of two hours having all the knots in my neck and shoulders worked out by a wonderful Balinese masseuse and I felt the healing effects of Bali kicking in already.
Hot stone, aromatherapy, Thai; the choice is endless and I made sure to avail of Bliss’ “unlimited massages” offer on a daily basis.
Another personal highlight was meeting women travelling from all over the world.
The Sanctuaries are small and only cater for only a handful of women at a time.
And Bliss encourage their guests to meet for a communal evening meal.
As most women who stay in Bliss tend to travel to Bali alone, the evening meal adds a social and inclusive aspect to the trip.
So most evenings, we gathered outside underneath a beautiful wooden canopy to enjoy a sumptuous feast of Balinese dishes like serombotan, Beef Rendang and unrivalled seafood.
Here, we’d share stories of our families, our work, and our ambitions before retiring to our stunning bedrooms with their oversized beds, soothing candles and luxurious sheets.
On my second day I decided I’d join some of the ladies for an early morning yoga session in a neighbouring resort, Desa Seni.
Surrounded by tranquil tropical rain splashing on waxy plants and the sound of wood pigeons cooing in the morning mist, we stretched and woke up our bodies.
I decided to begin each morning with yoga followed by a trip to the neighbouring Milk and Muda cafe to enjoy a cup of local coffee or coconut water straight from the coconut (how else?).
It was the perfect way to start the day.
One of the most interesting experiences in Bali was availing of the Sanctuary’s healers.
For those who are sceptical or uncertain about holistic healing rituals, I would still recommend trying them.
If anything, it awakens your awareness of your self, your mind and your body – which is something we often forget to do in our busy day-to-day lives.
My first session was with Henri Rodriques who is throughly enthusiastic and passionate about colour-puncture work.
Many women who had already experienced a session with Henri told me their migraines, aches and even long-term spinal injuries had completely disappeared after one session, and most felt their sense of wellbeing had vastly improved.
Henri and his assistant, Nengah explained to me that colour-puncturing is a relatively new healing modality but has characteristics similar to acupuncture.
Instead of needles, Henri applies crystals and light to certain pressure points on the body, clearing blockages and unknown traumas we have trapped deep inside.
I was made to feel throughly comfortable during my session and I have to say, there’s definitely something to it.
I also opted for a tarot reading with the incredibly intuitive Erlangga Patria.
I’ve had Tarot readings before out of curiosity, but none had ever been so insightful.
Erlangga was able to tell me things about my work, my friendships, my relationship and my past that he couldn’t possibly have known and I felt comforted by his visions for my future.
Many of the other women had overwhelmingly positive experiences with Erlangga and felt like they were given a clarity they hadn’t had before.
After my stay in Canggu, I was transferred to the dazzling Semanyak Sanctuary.
In slightly more modern but equally beautiful surroundings, I met with more interesting female travellers and availed of the stunning treatments.
The gorgeous hostess, Anna also arranged some fantastic trips for me.
Bali’s Holy Water Spring Temple is certainly a must-see. The so-called Tirta Empul attracts local Hindhu worshippers and tourists who wish to bathe in its healing waters.
The middle section of the temple homes over 30 fountains, each with their own name and dedicated to certain ailments.
Traditionally you bow your head underneath the fountains allowing the water to cleanse your mind and body of evil spirits, or to cleanse the soul.
It’s a truly once in a lifetime experience.
I was told I couldn’t leave Bali without witnessing an iconic sunset at the famed Tanah Lot Temple.
This 13th Century temple is perched on top of an outcrop in the ocean and is surrounded by markets and other holy Hindhu shrines.
It was here I received a blessing underneath Tanah Lot as the tide was rolling out and waves were crashing against the rocks.
It was a wonderful moment and certainly one I’ll never forget.
The sense of serenity and contentment leaving Bali was priceless and honestly necessary.
For women feeling worn down and disconnected or for those who just need some time for themselves, the Bliss Sanctuary for Women is certainly a place you need to visit and experience for yourself.
- For more details on booking a stay in Bliss click here
Bliss Sanctuary For Women, empowering women to travel solo with a tailored Bali retreat holiday just for you.
Follow your bliss your way with an experience completely tailored to you. More than a retreat for women, it’s your personal time out for rejuvenation and wellness. This Bali holiday is free of group schedules so you can choose to do as much or as little as you like. From unlimited sightseeing, unlimited massages, unlimited yoga, meditation, healers, plentiful and yummy food, shopping, personal drivers to take you anywhere you would like to go… it’s all up to you.
Check out our Bali Packages and remember they are all completely flexible so you can change anything you would like once here.
We would love to meet you!