Daily Mail Australia Website

Websites

Daily Mail Website Logo

I’ve been to heaven: Actress Arabella Weir spends a glorious week in Bali with no kids, no husband and no chores

From: Daily Mail Australia Website

  • Actress and writer Arabella Weir spent seven nights in the south of Bali at the Bliss Sanctuary For Women
  • The nine-room retreat offers unlimited massages and yoga, as well as three home-cooked meals a day
  • Arabella spent much of her time enjoying a wide range of beauty treatments and lounging by the pool

Bali. The very word conjures up images of exotic palm trees swaying in a gentle breeze, and an azure sea lapping a white-as-sugar sandy beach, doesn’t it?

And having just spent a week there, I can confirm that those impressions are spot-on. If anything, the Indonesian island is even better than I imagined.

I stayed at the Bliss Sanctuary For Women, a very small (the maximum number of guests is nine) spa on the south coast of the island. It did not disappoint.

Actress and writer Arabella Weir spent seven relaxing nights in the south of Bali at the Bliss Sanctuary For Women (pictured)

After a 45-minute drive from Denpasar airport, we arrived via a narrow, rather unprepossessing road, with rice fields on one side and a few shops on the other.

This approach gave no hint of the lush, becalmed luxury that awaited behind a wooden door set in a long, high wall.

Once through the door, we stepped into an oasis – a large, richly coloured, plant-filled garden in the middle of which sat a long, turquoise swimming pool. Suddenly I was in a different world and instantly felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders.

We arrived fairly late at night in our winter coats but they were quickly discarded as we were shown to our room.

The room was a vast, marble-floored space boasting two double beds draped in mosquito nets.

The rooms are air-conditioned so there’s no need to open the windows and let those pesky insects in, but the nets look fabulous anyway and add to the far-flung holiday feel.

"Arabella

Bliss Sanctuary For Women staff

At the end of the room, through beautifully carved wooden doors, was a real surprise – the en suite.

The incredibly glamorous bathroom was open to the skies – the only barrier from the elements being giant, pea-green plants rooted in a border made up of shiny black pebbles. It was dramatic and stylish. There is something so decadent and liberating about showering or bathing (we had a huge marble bath too) in the open air.

“Just being able to spend days dressed in nothing but a sarong – no pants, bra or make-up – is a luxury break in itself.”

The next morning, my pal Jane and I wrapped ourselves in sarongs from a basket in our room and padded across the springy, moist grass to breakfast. This can be anything from a fruit salad – I’ve never tasted pineapple or mango as sweet – to pancakes dotted with discs of bananas and topped with bacon and maple syrup.

Guess which option I went for? Well, I wasn’t there to lose weight – this is a sanctuary, not a boot camp.

I’ve brought up two children and thought I’d tried every trick under the sun to sneak fruit into their diet when they were younger, but sadly the idea of sneaking bananas into pancakes passed me by.

All meals contain fresh local ingredients – green beans, water spinach, mouth-watering fish, king prawns, and chicken often drenched in an irresistible Balinese peanut sauce.

Set in the middle of the large, richly coloured, plant-filled garden was this long, turquoise swimming pool, trimmed with sun loungers

After breakfast, our soothing hostess (she’s more of a guide really) asked us to choose our treatments for the day. Bliss offers several all-inclusive packages – we’d opted for the one with 90 minutes of pampering a day. Well, it seemed rude not to.

There is a long list of options and I squealed with delight while looking through them – facials, many different types of massage, pedicures, manicures, something called a ‘hair bath’ – in fact just about everything you could imagine.

It was thrilling and indulgent and, as pathetic as this may sound, greatly enhanced for us by the thought that afterwards we did not have to go home and cook supper for ingrates.

For our first treatment we opted for Balinese massages – a vigorous, tension-releasing kneading of tired muscles. To add to the intoxicating magic of it all, we were laid out on massage tables in an open-air pagoda-style wooden structure in the middle of a huge walled garden. As I was pummelled, I dreamily watched tiny geckos scuttle about on the roof.

Jane and I were full of good intentions after our treatments, but instead of exploring our surroundings, we ended up flopping by the pool. We felt so relaxed that we nearly fell off our loungers.

Arabella's air-conditioned room (pictured) was a vast, marble-floored space boasting two double beds draped in mosquito nets

There is plenty to see in Bali – it’s just that… well, we were at a sanctuary and we’re middle-aged mums. If it’s a toss-up between walking around a lovely temple or seizing the opportunity to zone out beside a pool, there’s no contest.

Treating oneself doesn’t come that easily to most working mums. What woman doesn’t dream about lying around all day being pampered, free from her children, husband and household chores?

On another morning Jane and I roused ourselves to greet the day at 7am with a sunrise yoga session. My initial reluctance – caused by the delay in getting to those scrumptious pancakes – quickly evaporated as I practised my downward- facing dog to a chorus of exotic birds. It was such a wonderful way to wake up.

As if being pampered and cooked for weren’t enough, just being able to spend days dressed in nothing but a sarong – no pants, bra or make-up – is a luxury break in itself. It’s a long flight to Bali from the UK, but if you can face that, your effort will be rewarded because the Bliss Sanctuary is just as the name suggests… pure heaven.

Arabella Weir is an actress and writer best known for her role in The Fast Show.

March 2017

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!

Bliss Media

  • Venus Magazine

    Venus Magazine

    When a stressed out and exhausted Zoe Watson needed a break from the daily grind she headed to the tropical …
  • Cosmopolitan Website

    Cosmopolitan Website

    The hardest part is finding someone to take your Instagram photos...
  • New Idea Magazine

    New Idea Magazine

    Find Your Bliss in Bali - New Idea Associate Editor Holly Richards swapped deadlines for massages at this women-only retreat.
  • Label Magazine

    Label Magazine

    Be your best with Bliss. More than a yoga retreat or healthy holiday, Bliss Sanctuary for Women sets its sights …
  • Signature Luxury Travel Magazine

    Signature Luxury Travel Magazine

    Bali’s Healing Magic. On the ‘Island of the Gods’, healing through both the physical and spiritual is a natural way …
  • Hospitality Interiors Magazine

    Hospitality Interiors Magazine

    The retreat us ideally situated in a tranquil cul-de-sac, yet with the area's famed shopping, restaurants and beautiful beaches in …
  • Black Beauty & Hair Magazine

    Black Beauty & Hair Magazine

    With spring being the season of blossoming and renewing, doesn't the idea of retreating to discover yourself sound appealing?
  • Natural Health Magazine

    Natural Health Magazine

    The Bliss Sanctuary For Women in Bali offers proper pampering for mums and daughters this Mother's Day - think deep …
  • Good Housekeeping Magazine

    Good Housekeeping Magazine

    A yoga break can restore your mind, body and soul like nothing else. However much time you have to spare, …
  • Bella Magazine

    Bella Magazine

    Prepare yourself for the most pampering holiday of your life. Blissful days - Bliss Sanctuary For Women is one special …
  • Bloc Magazine

    Bloc Magazine

    Responding to world travel trends, Bliss Sanctuary offers more than a breathtaking Bali retreat – it’s a sanctuary.
  • Modern Spa Magazine

    Modern Spa Magazine

    This Bliss Sanctuary For Women has launched a second relaxation sanctuary, in Seminyak, Bali. Founder Zoë Watson tells us whar's …
  • Ahlan! Magazine

    Ahlan! Magazine

    Working out suddenly doesn't seem such an effort when you do it in paradise.
  • Soul & Spirit Magazine

    Soul & Spirit Magazine

    The Best Female-Only Retreats. Travel unaccompanied to these sanctuaries of relaxation without feeling alone.
  • Woman & Home Magazine

    Woman & Home Magazine

    A Holiday Just For Me – I’d always dreamed of a relaxing escape and on a whim I booked a …
  • Closer Magazine

    Closer Magazine

    Josie Gibson: I get “fat fear” and weigh myself every day.
  • Woman Magazine

    Woman Magazine

    I Felt Relaxed and Refreshed. Sipping a cocktail by the pool, I felt the sun warm my skin. I was …
  • Madison Magazine

    Madison Magazine

    What Comes Next - For these women, a severe life setback was the catalyst that set them free, Sophie Miura …
  • Escape Magazine

    Escape Magazine

    Women’s Retreat Is Ultimate Bliss. Ladies, forget the Kuta rat-race and discover a serene sanctuary where it’s all about you.
  • Cleo Magazine

    Cleo Magazine

    If you think Bali is all about beer, braids and bogans then think again, says Jessica Martin.
Kirstie Wyatt

Share the Bliss