We believe that unlimited amounts of massages, yoga classes, training and organic food can only be a good thing. Cue Bali’s many, many different kinds of retreats promising everything from pampering to increased fitness. In fact, the Indonesian islands have so many on offer that it can be a little confusing. So, we’ve gone ahead and put together a collection of our fave Bali retreats so you can work out which one has your name written all over it.
THE RETREAT FOR…Getting fit
Sharing Bali’s eight cosy bungalows are set among gardens overlooking the mountains, jungle and rice fields in the hills of north Ubud. Here, the retreat hosts a massive 20 different fitness programs ranging from Blissful Barre to Chi Chi Life, all aimed to get you in your best shape ever. “I like to think that Sharing Bali ‘hacked’ the health retreat world, and as a result, is a place for our guests to ‘hack” their own lives for a short time. We want guests to participate, meet new people, feel alive, be active, and have some fun,” says Karen Willis Co-owner of Sharing Bali. “We get active with Bootcamp, Barre, yoga, pilates, jungle treks, sunrise volcano climbs and outdoor fitness adventures.” Our tip: Try and do the sunrise trek if you can – it’s an original route created by Karen so it’s completely free of other tourists. Cost: $395 – $1995 for 3 nights
THE RETREAT FOR… a totally silent experience
With the combination of phone calls, texts, emails and social media, communicating can sometimes feel like a full-time job. The solution? Get in touch with your inner self by visiting a silent retreat, like Bali Silent Retreat. So, what exactly happens at a silent retreat? For the time you choose to stay, you won’t speak – but you will attend optional meditation and twice daily yoga classes as well as be fed well with a twice-daily vegetarian buffet (and an all-day grazing table). “[It was] one of the most amazing experiences of my life, disconnected from my busy distractions. I opened my mind to new and exciting ways to live my daily life. A very emotional, deeply life-cleansing experience,” says Aussie guest Jo of her experience at Bali Silent Retreat. Our tip: If you feel like you need to give your vocal chords a little exercise, you can join the retreat’s rice field walk, which is a daily tour with a talking guide. Cost: $26-120 per night for accommodation and $40 per day retreat fee.
THE RETREAT FOR…a total detox
Bagus Jati Health and Wellbeing Retreat has a setting that’s so serene, it’s almost impossible not to feel instantly relaxed as soon as you step foot on the property. The detox package here includes five nights with three detox meetings (with a specialised doctor). You’ll be provided with a customised detoxifying diet, with education and motivational sessions, and body treatments including acupuncture, massages, yoga and mediation sessions. Oh yeah, and if that’s not enough, you’ll also have unlimited access to the gym, spa and pool. Our tip: The website has a ‘Last Minute Deal’ option in the bottom right corner where you can snag yourself a deal if you’re flexible. Cost: $2724 – $3500 for five nights (depending on accomodation).
THE RETREAT FOR…Eco lovers
Situated on the southern slopes of Mt Batakara at the end of a gorgeous valley with a combination of coastal, rice paddie and forest views, it’s hard to imagine there’s anything more amazing about Bali Eco Stay than the serenity of the location itself. But, that’s not the case. “Bali Eco Stay has on site a 12-meter waterfall which produces hydroelectric power throughout the property, plus a wonderful place to spend time in and around. There is even a 25-meter section of stream for swimming above the waterfall,” says Australian owner John Blundstone. The entire resort is built on permaculture principles, including organic food gardens, crop production, water management, ecological and energy efficient building design and waste and water management. Our tip: Stay with Bali Eco Stay for seven nights and the seventh is complimentary. Book direct and each guest receives a complimentary traditional Balinese one-hour massage. Cost: $160-290 per night.
THE RETREAT FOR…Some serious pampering
Sure, getting your blood pumping and being active feels great, but sometimes you just need to kick up your feet and be treated to some pampering. So, if you’re after a top-to-toe beautifying session then you can’t go past Goddess Retreat. “Part of our unlimited spa offerings are Aromatherapy Alchemy Massages with ancient traditional Balinese techniques, Hot Stone Massages, relaxing Facials, Manicure and Pedicure, as well as gentle Body Scrubs with Bali salt, and after-sun cooling treatments using natural tropical ingredients such as aloe vera and banana leaf,” Joyce Oei, Goddess Retreats Reservations Manager tells us. Our tip: Book in advance, as you’ll receive a free room upgrade. Cost: $2900 – $4200 (ranging from a shared room to private pool villa) for seven days/six nights.
THE RETREAT FOR…Learning to surf
If you’ve always wanted to surf but felt that you’ve left it too late then you’re in luck. Mind Body Soul Surf Retreat Bali believes that everyone has the ability to learn how to surf no matter what age or skill set, and they’re determined to help you get there. Their five-day program aims to take you from beginner to surfer. You’ll spend those days in the water teamed up with another student and one of Bali’s best professional surf instructors. So basically, by this time next week you could practically be Sally Fitzgibbons. Our tip: Book with your mum or sister and receive a $130 discount. Cost: $2700 – $3300 for seven days/ six nights.
THE RETREAT FOR…Yogis
If daily yoga classes overlooking Uluwatu’s world famous surf break sounds like your idea of heaven (yep, us too), then get clicking, because that’s exactly what Bali Bliss Retreat has to offer. The sanctuary for women offers fully catered 5 day/4 night villa accommodation with unlimited use of quality yoga equipment (yes, that does include Lululemon mats) and classes. Our tip: Their retreats are only on once a month, so make sure you check their dates before booking time off work. Cost: $2300 – $3600 for five nights.