Twin share; table for two; buy two, get one free: getaways were built for couples and, according to band Three Dog Night, “one is the loneliest number”. That’s precisely why Adelaide ex-advertising rep Zoë Watson created an oasis for the female solo traveller in Bali. The result is Bliss Sanctuary for Women, a bespoke destination strictly designed for singles or those holidaying with a friend; no partners, no kids, no worries.
And as someone who shudders at the notion of eating alone in a foreign country, the thought of going to a happy , magical place where everyone else is alone, too, sounds just delightful.
My Bliss Experience begins as soon as I land at Denpasar International Airport and make my way through the throng of yelling locals with scrawled signs. However, I’m greeted by my own smiling (they’re always smiling) personal driver named – wait for it – Ketut (hot like a sunrise, beautiful brake foot, etc. ). Weaving through the traffic, I discover the preferred mode of transport is the scooter, which, from what I can infer, is treated like a car and can carry anything: newborns, fresh-harvested crops, propane tanks…
I arrive in Canggu, 10km north of Kuta, within an hour and meet the Sanctuary’ s hostess. Kari is there to be your own personal assistant and organise your Balinese holiday from top to bottom, or let you laze by the pool, beckoning you to the massage bale when it’s time for your (included) daily 90-minute massage. She might just be one of the nicest people ever: if you want to sleep in until 10am and eat mango pancakes in the sun, she’ll let you. If you want to hitch a ride with Ketut to Seminyak for a day of shopping, go right ahead. And if you fancy a visit from Sami, a fifth-generation traditional healer, you don’t even have to leave your room – better still, he’ll tell you you’re really healthy (schwing! Take that, Mum).
“The main difference between Bliss Sanctuary for Women and a‘retreat’ is that we have no specific schedules,” Watson tells me. “Kari is there to organise anything you would like to do and take all decision-making out of your stay .”
And don’t get me started on the food. Each night, the seven of us (no more than eight women stay at Bliss at any given time) gather around the poolside dining table for a traditional Balinese feast. From coconut prawns with mango salsa to mahi mahi wrapped in banana leaf, the food is wholesome and delicious home-cooked fare – there’ s no chance you’ll go home hungry.
Instead you’ll return limber, sun-kissed and thoroughly deserving of the “Wow, you look so relaxed” comments from your workmates. Ah, what bliss.
Bliss Sanctuary for Women Bali is the perfect retreat experience for the female solo traveler
Follow your bliss your way with an experience completely tailored to you. A health retreat, yoga vacation and spa holiday all in one with no limits on the things you love. You can view all of our Bali Retreat Packages here.