Whilst we were in Bali, we had the absolute privilege of staying at Bagus Jati Health and Wellbeing Resort in Ubud. After climbing a mountain in Lombok and scuba diving for three days in the Gili Islands, we were more than ready to return to a somewhat neutral altitude; somewhere below the clouds and above sea level! So we caught the fast boat from Gili Trewagan back to Bali to do some yoga and sit in the sun.
‘To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.’ Jane Austen
The location of the retreat is about a 20 minute drive away from the centre of Ubud, just beyond the famous Tegalalang rice terrace. The hotel offer a free shuttle service twice daily if you want to spend the afternoon getting lost in the hubub of one of the islands must-visit destinations, however we chose to stay put and make the most of the facilities for the two nights we were staying; we’d booked an additional two nights in the centre of town in which to see monkeys, temples and rice paddies.
As we made our way down the driveway, we headed further into the topical forest until we finally met with the mesmerising view of the hillside on which the retreat has been built. Individual villas cascade down the slope, each looking out towards the wall of dense foliage that makes up the vertical cliff opposite. Other than the perennial sound of crickets and of the sacred waterfall at the bottom of the hill, it was instantly peaceful.
We received the warmest welcome from the staff upon our arrival and enjoyed a ginger and lemongrass juice; which was much needed after the long, hot trip over from Gili. We were then taken by buggy to our villa. I was lost for words. The rooms are absolutely beautiful; our villa was adorned with flowers and featured a stunning balcony and the biggest bed I’ve EVER seen. In the bathroom there was a walk in shower, a two-person jacuzzi and a tray of natural shampoo, conditioner and shower cream, which had been homemade with jasmine and neroli down at the spa. Absolutely gorgeous. The attention to detail was impeccable and it suddenly felt as thought our holiday had just got a whole lot more romantic!?
The programme at Bagus Jati is all inclusive and every day there is a different activity to jump on to, from nature walks to cookery classes. You can also opt to do any of the activities on this list at any time, for an additional rate. We joined in sunrise yoga and meditation with a gentleman whose name was actually Buddha – whoa – and Liv also opted for Aqua Aerobics whilst I laughed and took photos of her from a sun lounger by the side of the pool. The Yoga & Meditation Pavilion steals the show here with its infinity-style edge that literally makes you feel as if you’re in the trees; dragonflies and swallows would dart in and out and it was so beautifully distracting that it was almost difficult to concentrate on the yoga! I’m not sure I’ll ever have a yoga lesson in a more spectacular location.
Throughout our stay, the food was a real highlight; breakfast in particular. Its safe to say we really made the most of the buffet, which offered fruit, pastries, cooked breakfast, gluten-free scotch pancakes, freshly made juices and the most unbelievable granola I’ve ever had in my life. It was some phenomenal mix of dried fruit, shards of coconut and seeds. The Bagus Jati menu available for the rest of the day was also delicious. The majority of choices were gluten-free and there was an enormous variety of vegan and vegetarian options. Notable dishes include the snapper curry, tofu kebabs and red rice. I have no idea what made it red but it tasted out of this world. The hotel staff also serve afternoon tea round the pool at 3’oclock, complete with homemade cookies, which was the perfect pick-me-up.
The wellness centre features a small gym, a jacuzzi, steam room, hair salon and breathtaking infinite pool. It was like a tiny village; each individual treatment room even had its own private water garden or view out into the river valley. After packing so many activities into the first week of our holiday, we figured the least we deserved was a treatment at the spa, right?! Liv chose a facial, in which she learnt all about the natural products that were used on her skin and suddenly became an Aloe Vera expert; I opted for the hot stone massage. It was bliss. The best spa treatment I have ever had and my therapist was one of the most amazing women I have ever met, she couldn’t do enough for me.
It was the perfect end to a completely enchanting two day stay at Bagus Jati. I hope that one day I’ll be able to go back.
*Thank you to Bagus Jati for such a wonderful stay.