Blog 35: Bliss Sanctuary Women’s Retreat Turns 4!


Bliss Sanctuary for Women's Retreat turns 4
Blog 35 – Bliss Sanctuary Women's Retreat Turns 4! Birthday Cake

Today Bliss Sanctuary For Women Retreat turns 4. FOUR years old!!!


4 years ago this was the day I opened the doors to my first ever guest.
I hoped she would love it, but I had no idea if she would or not. I was so nervous I could hardly breathe.
She did love it.
We named a desert after her.

It was just me and her and 4 staff in a 4 bedroom villa.
A gorgeous menu.
I had done the whole fit out by myself.
I had handpicked the staff.
I had created something.
And she loved it.

I was just a girl on her own, embarking on a dream, a need for women to take time out for themselves and a message for women to please do this for yourselves. And a solution for women needing time out. Something I thought women would love, need, respond to. Something that would open their hearts, minds and souls to give back to the most important person in your world. YOU.

I had created something DIFFERENT. I hadn’t ripped off anyone elses idea. I created my own brand, a new form of traveling for women only, a sanctuary environment tailored to any woman wanting a relaxing holiday on their own or with a friend.

Since then we’ve had:

Over 730 women through our doors
Over 810 bookings
Over 200 seafood BBQ’s
6 tv segments
Over 50 articles
A chapter in a best selling book
Countless blogs, tweets, shout outs
We’ve been on radio
We have over 20,000 people who have chosen to like our FB page

I started with a 4 bedroom Villa, 4 staff and me.
If it didn’t work that was ok, I was going to heal myself after a car accident left me chronically ill and I would then go back to ‘real’ life rested and rejuvenated.

Over 70 people booked in the first 6 months, so this was to become ‘real life’ after all. And after 4 years it is my whole life.

The start of 2013 we had doubled our size. At the time it seemed such a huge risk, but looking back it was a no brainer!

I’ve renovated 4 villas
I’ve re-styled 5 villas
We have now employed over 50 staff and contractors

I have learnt a LOT
About life
About women
About health
About myself

I am still overcoming the hurdles of employing the right management staff to help me as we keep growing and as I keep learning.

We’ve changed currencies, learnt about International Banking, set up a business in Hong Kong and other countries, traded internationally.

We’ve had guests from far and wide USA, UK, Canada, UAE, Russia, Germany, Australia and more.

Personally I’ve suffered a lot of losses, a strained relationship with parents, estranged best friends, my social life is no longer, my health has become better then worse then stabilized then worse. And I have remained single despite a few false starts.

2 years into this journey I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Migraines, and Chronic IBS, all things making a blissful life very difficult but not impossible. I’ve tried to overcome this with tenacity, learning, healers, psychologists, chiropractors, Physios, bodywork, specialists, doctors, natural doctors, kinesiology, diet, counselors, regression therapy, hypnotherapy, theta healing, psychic readings, astrology, pain management, natural remedies, drugs. I feel like I’ve tried everything.
Yet my health is still the same.

I wouldn’t have started Bliss without these health issues. My life was too fast paced.
I never stopped.

Yet it makes it so difficult to have joy in ones life with these limitations.
It’s lonely.

But I will keep going on my health journey, my journey towards bliss.

This year is going to be a huge year. Lots of back end growth, legal documents, procedure manuals, solid staff retention, strategy, building … yes we are growing!

I’ve travelled to Greece and Spain looking to expand. Then I realized my model wouldn’t work there as the season was too short. In the meantime Bali kept growing and we have turned hundreds away! So it is time to grow to our full capacity before looking at what’s next.

I have 2 homes, one in Australia and one in Bali with my dog and cat and 5 villas, lots of staff and a huge amount of responsibility. It is stressful. It is hard work. It is amazing.

Up to this point I have only been looking forward.
Always more to do. Never satisfied. Plans. Goals. Achievements swept under the carpet and not celebrated.

Every cent has gone back into growing the business.
I haven’t paid myself in 4 years.
The business is literally 6+ x bigger than when I first started.
The brand is solid and amazing.
Many have copied and failed.
Many have pledged alliance and left.

Many have trusted us to help them follow their bliss and it has changed their lives.
So many tears of happiness and so many smiles and laughter and words of encouragement from the heart. So many returning guests.

We’ve had over 230 trip advisor reviews. Almost all of them amazing.
We’ve only had a handful of unhappy guests and they have all been happy with the overall outcome. That is quite astounding for this industry. Half of these were simply scared of geckos (gorgeous creatures that don’t come near us, are not poisonous and don’t even bite!) The other half helped us learn and grow in humility and I am thankful for every bit of feedback any guest gives us. It is a gift.

Too many plane trips to count for one who has a fear of flying.

Phew! I am exhausted.

It is time to stop and smell the roses.
Stop and appreciate this amazing life and the people in it.
It’s time to further develop my people, my brand, my business in a way that doesn’t leave me completely exhausted.
It’s time to have a life.
It’s time to be so thankful and so appreciative.
It’s time to keep going.
It’s time to take a breath and smile.

So for me this 4th Birthday is about all that and more.
Mostly appreciation, disbelief and one huge big deep breath followed by an amazing smile of wonderment from the heart.

Thankyou for being a part of my bliss.

Much Love, Zoë.

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!

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Zoë Watson
A world Solo Traveller, Zoë understands first hand what is important when traveling alone as a woman. She has not only bought this together in the creation of Bliss Sanctuary For Women but she writes about her own experiences as a female on all sorts of topics.
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