So many wellness vacations have been blossoming on Bali, the so-called spiritual belly button of the world. Here is a short overview of the options available researched by Gekko Retreats and tips on how to choose one that fits you.
Wellness vacation or retreat is a holistic way to reconnect with the inner self. These vacations give us opportunity to unplug from technology and everyday routine and tap into the source and get a much clearer reception of our inner voice.
Retreats are unique vacation packages that incorporate alternative healing techniques, like yoga, art therapy, meditation, mindfulness, NLP and many more in combination with the best hospitality features Bali has to offer.
Fast growing market
While spas were once the epicenter of wellness tourism, the industry has exploded to include all kinds of holistic programs including cruises, hiking trips, weight loss clinics, addiction treatment retreats, art retreats, health tourism and yoga retreats. As the Huffington Post reports, a study presented at the Global Wellness Tourism Congress last year estimates this type of travel is now a half-trillion dollar market, making up 14 percent of all tourism revenues.
Location, Location, Location
What is your perfect spot for holiday? Where do you unwind better? In a luscious rainforest or surrounded by the rice fields with sounds of trickling water from subaks (leveled rice fields)? Or do you long for the sound of ocean waves and inviting turquoise blue water? Bali boasts a unique geography and myriad of resorts, and villas at the most amazing locations, so the choice is yours.
Ubud is known as the hub for retreats in Bali. The lush tropical forests and rice-fields and resistance of traditional Balinese are some of the reasons why clients want to retreat there. Sanur is known for its peaceful village atmosphere and kilometers or paved walks by the sea. Seminyak’s windy coastlines and vibrant nightlife on the other hand are great for surfing retreats. The Candidasa off east coast of Bali is a wonderful location for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing. The north coast of Bali besides isolation offers some breathtaking views of dolphins, and diving in underwater galleries.
The islands off Bali such as Nusa Penida, Lombok etc are getting increasingly popular destinations for retreats, because of their pristine nature but not for long since the development is headed that way as well.
Whichever one of those features is your cup of tea, the retreats are always located in isolated spots, surrounded by nature, away from bustling traffic.
From wellness escapes to surfing retreats, here is how the packages fulfill your unique and specific needs.
5 Popular Types of Retreats Available on Bali
1. Need an exercise routine? Active Retreats are your cup of tea
One of the most familiar types of retreats is created around intensive yoga practice. Those are intended for the mid level to advanced yoga practitioners. Most famous, but at the same time hidden from the public eye are Olop Arpipi’s yoga retreats. Olop is a renowned Iyengar yoga teacher that has a yoga joglo in Seminyak, Jl. Drupadi 7.
Then there are Pilates retreats, pole-dancing retreats and trekking retreats in the mountains for of those that want to focus exclusively on body toning and detoxing trough exercise.
2. Feeling like some pampering? Spa retreats will do just that
Many resorts and hotels are specialized in offering those types of retreats. Although spa retreats are aimed for couples, single travellers are increasingly signing up for some “me time”. This segment of the market is yet to be developed.
A typical spa retreat includes accommodation, meals and body treatments, and quite frequently daily yoga and meditation. Often, the retreat will be combined with a raw food/detox program, so be ready to leave your French fries cravings back at home.
Spa retreats are custom made, so a nutritionist and a so-called “retreat mother” will be assigned to you to make your program fit your needs and wants. What I like about those retreats is that they respect client’s physical condition, mood, level of tiredness etc. So if you feel like just sleeping in that day, it is perfectly reasonable to cancel everything. No pressure.
One of the best places to have a spa retreat is Aroma Spa Retreat at Sanur Beach Hotel and Fivelements Puri Ahimsa in Mambal. Another place is Como Shambala Estate in Ubud that offers a spa retreats focusing on Ayurvedic treatments. For those looking for a good service but smaller budget is Ubudsari.
3. Do you like to sing or paint, but don’t have time for it? Art retreats are uniquely designed to help you have fun around your favorite artistic activity
This type of retreat is aimed to offer lighthearted workshops in the art medium closest to your heart. The purpose is to do what you love, enjoy yourself and by searching your unique expression find your voice and dig trough your subconscious. Usually prominent artists are hired to do the program.
Their programs include several hours of art workshops per day, yoga or other exercise to create stability between the mental and physical world, delicious food and free time. Singabout is one of the organizations that offers art retreats on Bali, but there are others like Antida Soundgarden, that specialize in Jazz music, etc.
4. Theme retreats
Theme Retreats carry various names and use different techniques, but their goal is to help you upgrade your software, empower yourself, to lead a more positive and more fulfilling life. Some of them are NLP programing, finding your True-life purpose, Female Archetypes, Rewrite your narrative, Health and prosperity retreats…
Purpose.org retreats use the techniques of creative workshops and extatic dance workshop to shake away thoughts and behavior diving us from discovering our true-life purpose.
Rewriting your narrative is an inspiring retreat by Wholistic Recovery International that uses mindfulness, yoga, and group therapy.
Mindfulness is a meditation technique originated from Buddhist practice, but used as alternative treatment to traditional psychology. It is simple practice of being aware of our thoughts and emotions in each moment without judging.
For those who want to recharge in isolation but also enjoy vibrant tourist offers in the south – DARE offers Health and Prosperity Retreats tcombine serene isolation of Ubud rainforests and city vibe of Seminyak,
5. Do you like the ocean and being outdoors? Surfing retreats offer you a dash of adventure
Bali Yoga and Surf Retreats are a great choice if you are looking to reconnect with nature and explore the dynamic of surfing life. The retreats include 7 nights accommodation, meals, surf lessons, yoga and meditation activities.
They are located in Nusa Lembongan, which is a separate island to the south of Bali, still belonging to the Bali province. Surf Goddess Retreat and Mind Body Soul Surf Bali are organizations that offer surf retreats for women only. Both of them are located in the vibrant Seminyak.
The author of this article is Iva Tarle, a former diplomat, Public Relations expert and explorer of spirituality and culture. Iva has been living on Bali since 2012 and founded Gekko Retreats – best wellness holidays designed by experts, where she promotes and builds retreats in collaboration with wellness experts, therapists and artists.
You can find out more about our diverse retreats and therapies used at our website and ask us for guidance in choosing the retreat that would be most beneficial to you.
Mail: iva at gekkoretreats.com