Bali Goddess Retreats

»Sand, sun, spa and yoga«

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Bali Goddess Retreats have been wooing women in search of yoga and wellness since 2003. Specializing in 5-star retreats, the goddess guest will leave the world behind as she salutes the sun, surfs the blue and embraces the beautiful culture of Bali. Retreats are lead by a group of passionate and experienced yoginis, ensuring the highest instruction with a focus on balancing relaxation with action and health with indulgence.

There is something about a single-gender retreat that encourages bravery and solidifies life-long friendships. Past guests of the Bali Goddess retreats routinely report leaving the vacation feeling stronger, happier, and more refreshed than they have in years. While this is certainly attributable to the high proportion of solo female travelers (a rapidly increasing group) who are open to making friends with strangers, it is also attributable to the skill of the retreat staff. The crew at Bali Goddess know exactly what a luxury retreat is all about, and blend yoga, surfing, and fun into a tapestry of good memories for all of their guests.

While surfing is one of the optional activities in the flagship Bali Goddess Retreats, there are also Surf Goddess Retreats that naturally have a lot more surfing involved in the standard week-long packages. In either case, surf lessons are held at a nearby beach (all transport during the week is included, by the way, even airport transfers). Land-lessons are held first, when guests learn to handle their board and make that magical transition from lying flat on the belly to actually standing. The waves are gentle curls, perfect for beginners, and the (all-female) instructors take so much pleasure in sharing their knowledge that the atmosphere becomes one of shared joy.

The Bali Goddess philosophy is deceptively simple. Based on the three tenets of “Natural fitness, natural eating, and divine pampering,” a stay here delivers some heavy-hitting personal transformation wrapped in soft Egyptian-cotton sheets. The twice-daily yoga sessions are a blend of classical Hatha, Vinyasa for dynamism and Iyengar, an interesting and non-typical choice. Iyengar uses props like cushions, chairs and ropes to support the body in the pose, a departure from the traditional attitude of ‘do it alone or don’t do it at all.’ This physical support of the Iyengar style is mirrored in the overall emotional support that is key to the success of these retreats. Surfing, white-water rafting, paddle-boarding and windsurfing are often completely new experiences for many of the women who come here, and the discomfort of trying something new is soon swept away by the cheers of peers, and the good-natured laughter that accompanies tumbles.

Wholefoods are an integral part of the experience. The menu is unerringly delicious, based on local produce and recipes, but freshness and balance are the foundation of any food preparation. Organic is a word used often on the menu, as is free-range. The concept of not interfering too much with food is a top priority in the kitchen. All dishes are low in processing, raw whenever possible without sacrificing good flavor, and always colorful and deeply nourishing. Cooking classes are part of the package-options for anyone who wants to take home a few of the skills needed to replicate the tasty dishes, and this also offers a little incidental insight into the local food-preparation culture.

The rooms are available in a few standards. Some are twin-share and share a bathroom with another room. Others have either a queen-bed or a single and come with or without ensuite. There is even a full two-bedroom villa, for the completely deluxe experience. Even the least expensive room options are jam-packed with luxuries. This is a truly feminine experience, with custom-blended toiletries, huge soft towels, large beds (even the singles are more like a double), canopies, Wi-Fi, robes, slippers, books, on-call concierge and all of the other indulgent extras.

This is one of those vacations where nothing is left to chance. From the airport to the completely private and self-contained grounds of the Bali Goddess retreat, there is simply nothing for guests to worry about. Just a few hundred meters away is the bustling Seminyak for those who want to enjoy the local life, but as everything is supplied at the retreat, there is also no need to leave. Afternoon naps, massages, lounging in the green gardens with new friends. Bali Goddess offers a total package of rejuvenation, relaxation, and sheer bliss.

About the Area: Seminyak

Seminyak is the luxe-town of Bali. Just a few years ago this was a forgotten backwater, lost among the treasures and pleasures of the Balinese natural splendor. Now it is home to high-end restaurants, designer shopping and up-scale resorts. With Kuta just 15 minutes drive south and the quiet tranquil beauty of Canggu less than half an hour north, Seminyak is a hot-spot for visitors and locals with a little cash to splash. The dining here is world-class, and of course the beach is worth a visit, but serious surfers will be more impressed with other parts of Bali. Traffic congestion is a constant issue in Seminyak and there is the ever-present, confusing Balinese habit of having multiple names for a single road, but apart from these oddly charming quirks there are few places better suited to a luxury getaway than this hopping town.

Image credit: Bali Goddess Retreats

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