Why Fivelements Retreat Bali is one of the most spiritual healing and wellness destinations in the world.
Fivelements Retreat Bali is internationally recognised as one of the most spiritual healing and wellness destinations in the world. Since opening its doors in 2010, Fivelements (which recently launched Fivelements Habitat in Hong Kong) has created a very special place for anyone looking for a five-star wellness retreat. Located in a beautiful river valley the award-winning retreat offers authentic spiritual rituals, holistic healing treatments, and delicious plant-based cuisine, all in a beautiful setting just outside Ubud in Bali.
Before arriving at Fivelements Retreat my expectations were high. The multi-award-winning property has over the past ten years received over 30 international recognitions including Most Eco-Friendly Venue in the World so I knew I was in for something very special.
Located along the banks of the Ayung River near Ubud in Bali, Indonesia arriving at Fivelements feels like entering a small village surrounded by tropical greenery. The sustainable eco-wellness destination retreat, which is built on high-energy and sacred grounds, compromises of three sacred arts mandala spaces and nine luxury riverfront sleeping suites (11 more to come in 2020), and is inspired by traditional Balinese building methods using locally-sourced materials and recycled timbers. Connecting the beautiful buildings and villas are paved walking paths, wooden bridges, and tropical gardens creating a communal feel. There is also a round circle of stones, each representing every religion in the world built around one stone which is a very high-energy spot which might have something to do with the great energy and the calmness of the place. Walking around this highly spiritual area there’s soothing music played around the property adding to the mystic experience.
Perhaps the most striking building is the large yoga shala, a sacred arts mandala space, in bamboo with an impressive grass roof which wraps around the round building leaving a gap that captures the wind for a lovely breeze inside. The shala is used for yoga, meditation, martial arts, and sound healing. The daily morning yoga session is held at 8 am by yoga instructor Mardi Kendall who has over 50 years of yoga experience. The class is fun and warm and suits all yoga-levels, in fact, Mardi plays around with poses to make them less ‘yogi’ and more inclusive for everyone.
There is a beautiful outdoor swimming pool overlooking the river which is a peaceful spot to rest on the sun lounges and soak in the green surroundings. The separate heated pool is used for Water Healing and is Bali’s first Watsu pool for water therapy.
The Riverfront Suites
The nine ensuite villas made from bamboo are located along the river. I’m staying in the Akana Suite surrounded by a pond and accessed by a wooden bridge. The bedroom has high ceilings with a comfortable four-poster bed in the middle and the private veranda which has a great river view that can be enjoyed from the large bathtub made from stone. My favourite part is the spacious outdoor bathroom boasting an open-air shower in the middle of a private garden, which can be accessed by a stone path. It’s simply magical to have a shower under the blue sky using the organic amenities which are beautifully presented in ceramic pots.
Treatments & Rituals
Fivelements is deeply rooted in the ancient traditions of Bali and the treatments and rituals are designed with both the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects in mind. The Fire Ritual is a traditional Hindu ritual and was a very special experience. A local priest was conducting the ceremony and offerings were being made into a fire to get rid of negativity, clearing the energy and for manifestation. We were asked to throw rice and beans and coconuts into the fire whilst chanting and were blessed with holy water to finish the ceremony.
The retreat has a large selection of beauty and body treatments and the Sakti Ritual is a fantastic whole-body treatment for total relaxation. It starts with a foot bath in the Wellness Lounge followed by a deep tissue massage and re-mineralising scrub made from sea salt and basil. The treatment ends with a beautiful flower bath composed of five ingredients; lemongrass, pandan, orange, lime, and ginger (there’s even a laboratory where all the healing products are being prepared using fruits, salts, herbs, and flowers for all-natural therapy blends and healing teas & tonics). The In-Room Bath is prepared in the outdoor bathtub made from volcanic stone from Java. Whilst I’m soaking in the powerful healing tonic made from the healing herbs and flowers and sipping on the sweet ginger tea I take in the beautiful river view and lush greenery feeling total bliss!
The retreat also offers personalised wellness programmes such as the Detox Retreat, Culinary Retreat, and Rejuvenation Retreat.
The Plant-Based Sakti Dining Room’s delicious food
If you love vegan food you are in heaven and if you are a skeptic vegan you are in the right place (to be converted). The “gourmet health-giving cuisine” at the award-winning Sakti Dining Room is tasty, innovative and fresh. Not only are the plant-based dishes healthy and absolutely delicious, but the ingredients are also sourced from local organic farms (some vegetables are even growing behind the kitchen). Every meal is served with a juice or smoothie and I particularly loved the passionfruit kombucha. For breakfast the cinnamon spice granola with nuts, coconut milk, and banana is great and the open sandwich made from cassava flour bread, cashew cream cheese, Asian pesto, tomato, and basil is heavenly. For lunch and dinner, various soups are served as a starter including the mushroom and coconut soup which is one of the most popular ones. The beetroot risotto is fantastic and the vegan lasagna a must-try. The desserts are light and fruity and the mango cheesecake with strawberries is hard to resist. Apart from the food the restaurant is overlooking the river and is beautifully designed with bamboo, high ceilings and large lamps that are glowing in the evening creating a cosy atmosphere.
Who is Fivelements Retreat Bali for?
This is an intimate and authentic wellness retreat for anyone looking to deepen their spirituality, re-connect, detox or simply relax in a beautiful environment. Popular among couples of all ages and solo-travellers the 5-star retreat has all the facilities and amenities any discerning traveller might look for. The service is Balinese hospitality at its best. Expect to be greeted by a big smile and by your first name at breakfast. The food is 100% vegan however the dishes are so delicious that my partner (who usually prefers a steak and red wine) doesn’t mind it at all, in fact, he cleared his plates within minutes. Although the vibe is grown-up and guests advised to speak softly and respect each other’s space, there are also opportunities to socialise at the pool or in the restaurant. The retreat manages to strike the perfect balance when it comes to accommodating both introverts (like myself) and extroverts. Fivelements Retreat is one of those places you simply don’t want to leave. However, when the inevitable moment is there and I’m packing up I get a quick glimpse of my face in the mirror and it’s glowing. I reflect on my stay (expectations exceeded) as I walk towards the cab, that will whisk me away back to the real world, and I feel calm and balanced and my energy level is high. Whether it was the fire ceremony, the detox, yoga or the energy fields or perhaps all of them combined, I’m not sure, but I feel a great positive shift in my life!
Fivelements Retreat Bali
Mambal, Abiansemal, Badung Regency, Bali 80352
More about Fivelements
Continuing to challenge the boundaries, both environmentally and spiritually, Fivelements has
evolved into a serious business platform that promotes retreats, community projects and
sustainable initiatives, caring for guests and encouraging change both in them and the world
through cuisine, wellness strategies and love in action.