Perfect for a real escape
From: Red Magazine
Yes, the path to Bali in search of inner peace and serenity is well trodden (thanks to the brilliant Elizabeth Gilbert), but that’s for a very good reason: the place simply radiates with good vibes. Like Ibiza or Arizona, Bali is one of the world’s rare wellbeing spots where the water just seems bluer, the sunshine brighter, the plants greener and the people just a lot more soulful than anywhere else.
And right in the heart of Seminyak, where tourists gather in their thousands to watch the sun set (a must-do), there’s a brand new retreat that aims to give your soul a real reboot. Fittingly, it’s called Bliss.
A sister retreat to Bali’s other well-loved Bliss Sanctuary in Canggu, the new Bliss Sanctuary in Seminyak is a beautiful villa set in a private walled garden with five chic, well-appointed rooms (think four poster beds, lots of flowing white linen and vases of scented tuberoses by your bedside). As you’d expect, there’s also an azure blue pool for lazy post-lunch dips, daybeds and hammocks draped in patterned sarongs for naps and a mezzanine yoga studio for daily stretches. It’s all pretty Instagram perfect
At the centre of everything this Bliss reatreat does is a ‘no kids, no couples’ policy to keep the emphasis solely on you and your wellbeing. It’s perfect for single travellers, groups of girlfriends or even a getaway for you and your mum (if you can’t leave the kids, Bliss also offers Buddha Villas for family retreats).
Whether you’re recovering from heartbreak, taking some much-needed ‘me time’ or escaping with your best friend, you’re taken care of from the moment you book. The villa’s dedicated and well informed hostess emails you before you’ve even boarded the plane to let you know what currency to bring, what to pack and let you know where you’ll be collected at the airport.
When you arrive at the villa, she’ll also help you to plan your perfect itinerary, whether that involves seeing every temple in a 25-mile radius or doing nothing more strenuous than sipping smoothies by the pool. It’s all about you.
And the very best bit? Everything’s included in your retreat package – from indulgent massages, spa treatments and yoga sessions with their brilliant instructor, Jenni, to all the healthy food and fresh juices you could want (the hardest part of the day? Choosing what to have for lunch. Seriously.). What’s more, there are also cooking lessons on offer and chauffeured cars or push bikes on tap for trips outside the villa to temples, mineral springs, waterfalls and beaches (for which you’re also given a local mobile phone, pre-loaded with credit and useful numbers – you know, just in case you want to phone ahead an put in an order for dinner).
Highlights include bike tours through rice fields to the Mount Batur volcano, sightseeing in Ubud and taking part in a healing water ritual at the ancient Tirta Empul temple.
If that’s not enough, for an extra charge, your hostess can draft in an amazing chiropractor, Ayurvedic doctor or intuitive healer from crack team of esteemed local experts, including a kindly Balinese knot-busting masseur called Sami, a ‘colour acupuncturist’ called Henry and yes, even Elizabeth Gilbert’s very own magical healer, Ketut Liyer. All you have to do is say the word.
My advice? Take a day trip or two, have all the massages and do all the yoga possible and join in the villa’s communal supper at least once (if you’re travelling solo, as I was, it’s a lovely way to do some socialising each day).
Or don’t. Chill out. Do nothing except move from your bed, to your sun lounger and back again. Take a stack of books and lose yourself in them by the pool. Whatever you need to get you back on track. As they say at the villa, it’s all about finding your own bliss.
- Having your own hostess on hand from morning until dinner time to attend to all of your needs is a boon. From booking day trips and treatments to taking meal requests and sorting out any problems or even just lending a sympathetic ear, she will really make your trip all you want it to be.
- The staff are all genuinely lovely, caring women and the massage therapists, Mega, Kadek and Tini, are exceptionally skilled.
Having the space to breathe.
- Watching the sunset on Seminyak beach with a cocktail in hand, then padding back to the villa for a delicious, healthy supper. Heaven.
- If you happen to be given the room next to kitchen (as I did) make sure to ask staff to turn off all the kitchen and living room lights before they leave every evening. There are two curtain-less interconnecting windows between your room and the living room, so if any lights are left on, it may keep you awake.
- As with anywhere in Bali, the mosquitoes can be fearsome. If you’re prone to being bitten, make sure you bring jungle-strength repellant, even in low season.
Need to Know
Number of rooms: 5 rooms, and the whole villa sleeps up to 7 people (there is availability to share in 2 of the rooms but this is only open to friends who want to share, not strangers. If you’re on your own, you’ll definitely have your own room).
Check in: From 9AM
Check out: Until midnight
Private parking: No – but drivers are available day and night to take you wherever you need to go, so there’s no need to hire a car.
Child friendly: No. The retreat’s policy of ‘no couples, no kids’ is meant to maximise your ‘me time’.
Rate: A week’s Bliss Package is £1725 (not including flights)
Where to book: blisssanctuaryforwomen.com
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!