Retreat from Bali’s party scene to relax and revive at its wellness resorts. While away the days doing yoga, meditating and communing with nature. By Ricky French.
Set amid glistening jungle and rainforest on Ubud’s outskirts, Bagus Jati is a resort made richer by the rainy season.
Couples should opt for one of the deluxe spa villas, all with a spa bath and private verandah overlooking the lush forest.
Start your day with a yoga class held in a circular pavilion with folding doors that open onto a canopy of ferns and bamboo. Also try a class in the meditation centre – expect an hour of mindful bliss.
From the pool, stone steps lead you through a tropical garden to the enchanting Jati River and waterfall. This is one of the most magical places for meditation that you could imagine. When you close your eyes, the sound of the water surging into the natural pond seems to clear your head more than silence does.
Zen Resort Bali
Diving and meditation might not seem to have much in common but at Zen Resort Bali you’ll learn how linked the two are.
The resort organises diving programs that help you relearn how to breathe – a vital but often overlooked element of good health. A focused mind requires optimal oxygenation of the bloodstream and the apparently simple task of breathing is hard to ignore while underwater.
Diving in the Bali Sea, in pastel-coloured coral reefs, you’ll see a stunning display of marine life, including the mimic octopus, a species that imitates other creatures to trick its predators.
Happy to enjoy the view from above the water? Jump into a boat and cruise with dolphins.
Back on dry land, look forward to waking to the call of the honeyeater. Its birdsong is the perfect accompaniment to sunrise yoga before you relax into a day of Ayurvedic treatments and healthy, natural meals.
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The Seventh Seal Luxury Retreat
Tranquillity is a given at this luxury retreat that caters for a maximum of 14 guests.
The landscape architecture around the communal garden and dining area gives an open, airy feel, with beautiful wood panelling, spacious Balinese huts and manicured lawns surrounding its centrepiece: a 25-metre pool. Hanging vines and bougainvillea hint at encroaching jungle.
Each of the three master suites is styled differently but all have a huge bathroom with a granite tub, king-size bed and spacious living area.
While it’s hardly news that healthy food can be delicious, the point is hammered home with a menu of organic delights that will have your insides high-fiving; each dish is free from red meat, gluten, dairy and refined sugar. You’ll leave with recipes and plenty of healthy cooking tips so you can keep up the good work at home.
Bali Goddess Retreat
This women-only retreat in the heart of Seminyak crams a lot of activity into a seven-day stay, with the compensation of some serious pampering to ease any sore muscles.
Although the duration of your health, yoga and spa retreat is fixed, you can customise your experience with three activities, choosing from tropical reef snorkelling, an Indonesian cooking class, white-water rafting, a market tour or a private beach lagoon getaway, among others.
But it’s hard to top the adrenaline-pumping surfing lessons. Also on offer is a seven-day surf goddess retreat for those who want to learn how to stand up… and stay up.
SEE ALSO: Our full guide to Bali
Top image: Bagus Jati