The Sun (UK)


The Sun Newspaper Bliss Retreat Bali

Bliss Is The Life

Also online at: The Sun

WHEN you tell people you are flying to Bali to spend a week on your own in a women-only retreat, they only ask one question: “Why?”

But as a 29-year-old recently single woman who is forever busy, it made total sense.

I was a little anxious about knowing no one there. But the moment you set foot in Bliss Sanctuary, you feel right at home — or a more exotic version.

I was greeted by hosts Danche and Anna, who welcomed me into paradise.

The sanctuary in Seminyak, southern Bali — sister to another Balinese Bliss women’s retreat at Canggu — comprises five lovely rooms with wooden four-poster bed and marble floor, plus a dreamy outdoor bathroom set among tropical plants and trees.

My large walk-in shower and freestanding bath with organic toiletries including handmade soaps and bath salts, really was heaven.

The walled retreat is also home to a stunning yoga studio and a jade-coloured pool surrounded by daybeds, hammocks and palms as if designed for an Instagram page.

Bliss has a strict “no children, no couples” policy to ensure your stay is all about you.

While this may sound like the start of a long list of rules, it is the opposite. At Bliss you do what you want to do.

Whether that is spending an entire week doing nothing but being pampered by the pool, or filling your days with trips to temples, beaches and culturally rich towns, the choice is all yours.

The villa’s hostesses, each a combination of your BFF and PA, help you plan your itinerary and book in daily treatments.

Each guest is entitled to 90 minutes of pampering a day — and when I admit the most stressful thing I did was decide whether to have my hot-stone massage by the pool or in my room, you know just how relaxing my stay was.

From day trips to yoga classes, every other aspect of your holiday is also included.

While I could have happily divided my time between massages, manicures and sipping on home-made fruit smoothies, I was determined to use my time in Bali to soak up every drop of the country’s healing culture.

Bali is known for its spiritual teachings and, if I ever needed some soul-searching, it was now.

While I would normally shun the idea of taking advice from a “spiritual guru”, I signed myself up to all three of the Bliss Sanctuary’s handpicked healers.

I had my tarot cards read, took a lesson in happiness and tried a colourpuncture session, based on ancient healing principles using colour, crystals and light.

No one was as surprised as me after it all left me feeling happier, healthier and more relaxed.

I also took a trip to sample the healing waters at the Tirta Empul temple in Tampaksiring and the following day, myself and Anna, one of Bliss’s hostesses, visited the Ayana Resort and Spa on Bali’s south-western peninsula.

Its beautiful outdoor Thermes Marins Spa hosts one of the world’s largest aquatonic pools. Water from the Indian Ocean is warmed and funnelled through a series of pumps to create jet streams, micro-bubbles and geysers, which all worked wonders for my muscles.

After a day out or two, there is nothing better than returning home to the Bliss Sanctuary’s evening meal.

All guests sit together while the cooks lay on a feast — from seafood BBQs and grilled meat, to traditional Balinese curries and salads, it is a foodie’s dream.

The evening meal is also a chance to chat with other guests. I did not go to Bali looking to make friends, but came away with many.

I met a 31-year-old Australian who wanted a holiday but could not persuade her boyfriend or mates to join her, a 33-year-old Canadian who had gone through a break-up, and a New Zealand mum enjoying some “me time”.

This unique place, that brings together women from all over the world, is why Bliss is so special.

Before you leave, the sanctuary asks you to come up with a word to describe your stay. I wrote the word “grateful” on my card — with more gratitude than I had ever felt.

At a time in my life where I had been at a crossroads, I was grateful to have been shown a new path.

September 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!

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