If you think Bali is all about beer, braids and bogans then think again, says Jessica Martin.
I arrive at Denpasar airport with bags under my eyes so dark that you could be forgiven for thinking, I’m wearing warpaint – sleep and I have not been on good terms recently. Luckily, I am about to experience five days of pure and utter relaxation in in a world away from day-to day deadlines and decision-making at Bliss Sanctuary for Women, a retreat in Canggu, Bali. Let the bliss begin!
Bliss’ Balinese driver Putu picks me up from the airport and drops me at the villa, which houses four private guest rooms, a peaceful garden, pool and an outdoor eating area. Bliss was founded by Adelaide native Zoe Watson, and caters for women (no men or children allowed) who are either travelling alone or with one or two other friends. There are no more than five women staying at the villa at any given time, so you know that your experience will be catered precisely to your individual needs.
During your stay you will have…
- Every meal cooked for you.
- Your very own driver.
- An hour and a half of beauty or massage treatment every day.
- An in-the-know hostess to book all of your day trips and activities.
As its name suggests, the sanctuary is all about following your bliss. It’s not a health retreat (although if that’s your idea of bliss, it can be arranged), it’s about really listening to what your mind, body and spirit need. Do you need to sleep in and eat banana pancakes by the pool for breakfast? (Urn, yes!) Do you need to be massaged for an hour and a half each day? Do you need to go shopping or drinking or dancing? Do you need to go to a yoga or meditation class? Whatever you need or want to do, you can.
My bliss features all of the above, as well as lots of reading, sleeping(!) and a cheeky midnight swim under the moon, but it also includes something they don’t tell you about on the website – real connections with the people working and staying there. I get great pleasure from spending time with Zoe, Courtney (Bliss’ Australian hostess at the time) and Bec, a fellow guest. We talk for hours over traditional Indonesian dinners and desserts, about everything from boys to careers to spirituality. I also relish time spent chatting to Bliss’ cook Alit (one conversation takes place on the back of her scooter as she’s taking me to yoga!) and beauty therapist Wayan. It’s a travel experience unlike any other; it’s not often that you go to another country by yourself and end up in a house full of strangers that feels like home.
Not surprisingly, Bali fills me with a sense of peace that I haven’t felt in other places I’ve travelled to. This is largely due to my experiences at Bliss, but it’s also to do with Bali’s picturesque surrounds and compassionate people. I came to get some sleep, yet I leave feeling more than just rested. I arrive home feeling centred, grateful, optimistic and hungry for new knowledge. Bliss indeed.
Bliss Sanctuary for Women Bali is a unique experience that combines the elements of the best yoga retreats, spa vacation and a healing holiday all in one. No couples and no kids
Bliss Sanctuary Retreat for Women was mentioned in the Doc Holiday feature. We pride ourselves on offering more than the best yoga retreats, spa resort holidays or healing retreats, we offer a truly unique experience for women travelling on their own without being alone. Check out our Bali Retreat Packages or find out more about the Bliss Bali Experience.