I just left Bali & I’m planning a trip back!

Rice Fields in Ubud

Rice Fields in Ubud

Raise two hands if you love going on vacation. Over the Christmas holiday this last year, my sister and I got the bug to book something impulsive and to take a vacation somewhere we’ve never been before—and to take a trip that was less about partying and more about self care and fitness.

Temple Guardians

Temple Guardians

A quick google search later, we discovered that fitness/wellness retreats are growing widely more popular with the masses. We found one tucked away on the island of Bali, Indonesia that catered to everything we were looking for in a restful, adventure filled and luxurious vacation. Here are the highlights of our week long vacation in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia!

The Basics & Fun Facts

Population: 4.2 million on 2,234 square miles.

Religion: Balinese Hinduism, called Agama Hindu Dharma, originated from Java and is a blend of Shivaism and Buddhism.

Ice is government regulated. Also, don’t drink the tap water- not even the locals do. Keep that mouth closed in the shower, too, or you’ll get the dreaded “Bali belly” - several uncomfortable days of staying in eyeshot of a toilet.

Bali is home to two active volcanoes.

Bali is The Coral Triangle. Sitting right in the middle of the world’s richest waters for corals, considered the ‘Amazon of the Seas’ for its marine biodiversity. There are 600 species of coral and countless turtles and tropical fish.

It’s considered rude if you are on your lady cycle and to enter a Temple…it’s frowned upon and locals believe it brings you bad luck. Although- there are no regulations in place to prevent women from entering Temples- your personal choice!

The biggest reason we choose Bali is for its spa scene. Bali has the most dense populations of spas in the world.

Where We Stayed

Bliss Sanctuary for Women.- Canggu For the ultimate Bali Spa experience, invest your time and money into this sanctuary. There are 3 sister properties associated with Bliss (Canggu, Ubud and Seminyak) and they all include unlimited spa treatments and a decadent menu. Think 90 minute massages, foot reflexology, facials, hair treatments, nails and an on demand kitchen staff who will whip up any healthy meal on the menu at any given moment.

I arrived at 2am on Monday morning and I was greeted at the airport by a private driver, Ketut, holding my name on a big sign with an even bigger smile on his face. He drove me 30 minutes to the sanctuary and I arrived to a fresh made watermelon smoothie with a side of spring rolls and flower petals arranged in a big “B” on the bed, complete with lavender aromatherapy filling the air.

The next morning, I woke up to big hugs from my hostess Ani, and the Bliss kitchen staff making breakfast. I ordered a smoothie bowl with fresh yogurt, fruit, nuts, granola and honey drizzle. The menu is extensive and everything that you could wish for is on it- including vegan options.

Ani arranged my schedule for the week including activities like snorkeling, mountain biking and visiting an elephant sanctuary. I had a private driver to shuttle me back and forth between the meet up points for the activities and Bliss. In between activities, there was plenty of time for slow days and spa treatments. I opted for 2 massages daily, foot reflexology, facials and private pilates reformer classes.

I loved lounging by the pool and catching some sun on the pool cushion floaties. The gorgeous villa was full of cozy blankets and gorgeous artwork. It truly felt like a home at Bliss. I highly, highly recommend planning a visit to a Bali and staying with Bliss Sanctuary (for women only!) They take the stress out of trying to plan a schedule and do the work for you so you can relax and enjoy the beautiful Balinese culture and scenery. I left Bliss feeling completely recharged and felt like I had the perfect balance of adventure and calm.

Click HERE to learn more about Bliss Sanctuary for Women

Stephanie Zillmer