Five Elements Bali is a highly awarded wellness centre that is in a league of its own. Located 15-minutes from Ubud on the Ayung River and surrounded by tropical flora and tranquil ponds, the centre is perhaps one of the world’s best examples of evoking a sense of harmony in a luxurious retreat format – the red thread of harmony through environment, design, cuisine, wellness and the thoughtful river suites allows for some of the most sought after luxuries of our time: renewal and re-balance.
The six founders, from Bali, Italy, Switzerland and USA, created the centre in 2010 with the aim of “Designing high impact wellness strategies aimed at supporting individuals, couples and organisations enduring life transitions and transformation.” They have since gained over 30 international recognitions, including “Indonesia’s Best Wellness Spa” (World Spa Awards, 2015), “Best Gourmet Vegan Cuisine” (World Luxury Restaurant Awards, 2016), “Eco-Champion of the Year 2018” (Vision Style Awards), “Spa Retreat of the Year” (Asia Spa Awards, 2013), “Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year for Ubud” (2016 Luxury Travel Guide Awards) and many more, making the retreat Bali’s most awarded wellness destination.
GUEST EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS:
§ The way guests are welcomed is an experience in itself. Firstly there is a member of staff waiting at the parking area to greet you in a traditional way and then take you to reception. At reception another 2 staff greet and welcome you again, check your reservation, and then lead you to your destination – whether it is a suite, the day spa or the dining area. All staff at Fivelements are beautifully dressed in traditional Balinese clothes and have an authentic and professional service attitude.
§ The location feels like a tropical paradise, away from the busy areas of Ubud. Here you are surrounded by nature, gardens and ponds. The only thing you can here are the sounds of birds, and the flowing river which passes right next to the resort. The property’s design with natural materials such as volcanic stone, bamboo, thatch add to this effect, delivering a sense of blissful tranquillity.
§ The river suites are spacious natural bungalows made from woods, bamboo and thatch that are comfortable, private and conducive to relaxation (the sounds of the river sets the mind at ease). There are also two categories of suites with a private pool, which adds an additional layer of luxury and comfort to the experience.
§ Gastronomy: The 3-level “fine dining, eco-luxurious” vegan restaurant is made from bamboo & wood, with a fish pond in the middle, and is surrounding by other larger ponds and gardens. On the river side there are 2 levels of seating where you can enjoy the view of the river and listen to the water flowing – a very relaxing experience.
∼ The menu itself is guided by Hippocrates’ quote “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. This concept drives the cuisine, which is plant-based and yet exceptionally tasty, diverse and creative. It is a gastronomic journey in itself and is all centred around wellness and nurturing your body. It is a very healthy meal and even after you are full, you still feel light.
∼ High quality organic ingredients, sourced from local farmers using sustainable agriculture. The highlights from my menu included: a green juice packed with flavor and nutrients (Cucumber, Apple, Green Leaf, & Lime), the well-presented and equally delicious Fivelements Superfood Salad (Organic Greens, Vegetables & Herbs, Avocado, Tamarillo, Ginger Cacao Cashews, Spirulina Chips), the unique flavours of the Southeast Asian Style Tacos (Jackfruit Camitas, Avocado, Ginger Torch Sambal, Cocunut Lime Sour Cream) and, of course dessert: Pumpkin Pie with Cocunut Cashew Icecream.
∼ The washroom was one of the most creative we have seen. Set in a private outdoor garden, it is all made from bamboo. It is also very innovative as the water flows down from a huge bamboo from the ceiling when it detects your hands.
§ Wellness: Wellness is a focus throughout the premise, but the awarded spa itself is truly unique. Here you can find wide range of healing, beauty, yogic and other rituals – including a full day experience which combines nutrition with therapeutic rituals. The spa rooms are very spacious, including 2 massage beds, a shower, toilet, a bathtub overlooking the gardens, jungle and river, an outdoor terrace, seating area, and a closet with a bathrobe, towels and other amenities.
∼ Traditional Massage with Fivelements Sakti Ritual: This is a rejuvenating experience that offers a deep level of relaxation. The bath is prepared and the masseuse gives an explanation of all the ingredients that will be used for the massage and bath (lemongrass, Balinese orange, lime, pandan leaves, ginger and our Sakti bath oil). The masseuse says a traditional Balinese prayer before starting the massage. Delicious Ginger tea is also offered during the bath.
§ Book the 1 or 2-bedroom River Front Suite with Private Pool to make the most of your experience
§ It is a romantic setting to enjoy with your partner. If you go with your partner, you will also enjoy a larger massage room with more spacious outdoor seating area and the bath will be directly by the river.
§ Fivelements has so much to offer other than dining and traditional spa experiences including: Meditation, Yoga, Sacred Arts, Balinese Ceremonies, Healing Journeys, Wellness Consultations, Healing wih Living Foods, Detox with Living Foods, Culinary Trainings, Retreats, Romantic Day Experiences, Weddings, Honeymoons and regular events. In fact it is even recognised as one of the top 14 venues for TEDx events worldwide.
§ If you are going for the Day Experience (wellness and culinary), make sure to save some free time to simply enjoy the natural surroundings of the destination itself.
§ Visit in April/May/June to enjoy dry season while avoiding the peaks of July & August. September can also be a good time to visit.