If you’re feeling drained, tired and a little lacklustre then close your laptop, book a flight to Bali and check into Fivelements ASAP. I promise that a some rest and relaxation at this little slice of heaven will make you feel brand new in no time. Nestled in Puri Ahimsa near Ubud, beside the John Hardy factory, Fivelements is made up of luxurious huts, a spa and wellness centre, an award winning raw and vegan restaurant and has some of the best holistic practitioners in Asia. The eco-wellness retreat was founded by six people from Bali, Switzerland, USA and Italy in 2010 and has won 18 awards for food, design and much more. I loved everything about the resort and here are my top five takeaways highlighting all of the best bits!
The Fivelements resort looks and feels completely at one with the land that surrounds it. The wooden restaurant, spa and guest rooms blend seamlessly into the lush Balinese backdrop and the outdoor pool overlooks the flowing Ayung River. Although the retreat is quite small, all of the 18 private huts feel secluded and very private. The lower level of the restaurant beside the river was my favourite spot during my stay as it’s a great place to catch the morning and afternoon sun. The rooms are pared back, large and luxurious with mosquito nets on four poster beds and huge outdoor tubs. The spa has a number of dedicated treatment rooms that overlook the river and the restaurant has a pond in the middle with stunning goldfish swimming around. There’s a designated fire pit for traditional Balinese fire blessing rituals and a stunning round communal area in the centre of the resort where everything from large functions to one-on-one yoga classes take place (more on the magic yoga later!).
You can go to Fivelements for a day or even a night, but most guests opt for one of the signature retreats that run for a week or longer. Whether you want to rejuvenate, replenish, detox or beautify, there is definitely something to suit everyone. I decided to experience a little bit of everything and spent three days and two nights on a raw and vegan foodie journey while getting a variety of spa treatments. Some people say that the sacred ground the resort is built upon has healing properties and I definitely agree. These retreats are great options if you need to heal spiritually or physically, or simply if you want to do a light or intense detox.
The food at Fivelements was so good that I couldn’t resist packing a meal for the flight home. The award-winning Sakti Dining Room is spacious and airy and the menus have a multitude of healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast ranged from Raw Granola with Coconut Yoghurt to Buckwheat Pancakes drizzled with honey and the juices served alongside were tasty and nutritious too. Healthy snacks like Dehydrated Nuts and Kale Chips with dips were available throughout the day, but I was always careful to leave room for dinner because I had heard there were great things in store. Chef Felix Schoener is a mastermind when it comes to bringing guests on a gastronomical journey. From Raw Tacos and Pizza to Cashew Cheese Boards and Live Lasagne, there is nothing this chef cannot do with local ingredients and a sprinkling of fairy dust. I usually say no to dessert, but that was definitely not the case at Fivelements and I had the chocolate cake three nights in a row… and no, I didn’t share. If you’re looking to do an intense detox during your stay they also offer wonderful juice cleanses that will make you right as rain if you’ve overindulged.
If the delicious menu won’t send you into a happy slumber, the special treatments at the wellness centre certainly will. Fivelements offers healing rituals, beauty spa rituals, sacred arts, Balinese ceremonies, healing journeys and wellness consultations. All of your preferences are assessed in detail before you arrive and the holistic practitioners can create a special package just for you if you wish. I wanted to relax and unwind during my time at the resort so opted for a healing massage that proved to be the most amazing treatment of my life. The soothing and gentle method my therapist used definitely differed to massages in other parts of Asia I’ve had in the past and I could have stayed there for hours. My entire body was worked on from my head to my toes and I was fast asleep by the very end!
Ubud is renowned for being an exciting hub for yogis around the world, so I knew I wanted to try a class during my stay. What started as your average one-on-one flow yoga class turned into an amazing acroyoga experience towards the end of the 60-minutes. I was pushed to my limits without even realising it and was shocked at the things I was able to do with the right guidance. I would highly recommend booking a private class if you get the chance!
All in all, Fivelements is a fantastic high-end wellness retreat that did wonders for my mind and spirit. I left happy, relaxed and re-energised, with a newfound curiosity about raw and vegan food – I’m even thinking about going back to do some culinary training! It’s a great girlie getaway, couples hideaway or honeymoon hotspot, but most of all I would recommend it if you need a little ‘me’ time to reset both your body and mind.
Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa Banjar Baturning, Mambal, Bali, Indonesia 80352, +62 361 469 260, [email protected]