We live in a time when tourism is rife, travellers are rampant and thanks to the many social media channels available at the touch of a button, few places stay untouched for long. With Instagram at its peak popularity, the second a so-called Influencer posts an image of a tropical paradise, people flock there in their hoards to get a picture-perfect square snap of their own. So, it rarely happens that one stumbles upon a hidden haven that is both flawless from start to finish and still relatively undiscovered. Enter, Fivelements, a transformative Ubud retreat in Bali.
An Immersive Ubud Retreat
An idyllic hideaway on the outskirts of Bali’s cultural capital, Fivelements offers the ultimate in luxury living, while still retaining traditional charm.
Fivelements is home to just nine exclusive suites, all of which have open verandas and river views. The walk to my suite took in the eco-resort’s swimming pool, spa and yoga studio and really gave me a tranquil impression of the place. During my stay there I saw just one other couple which really had an impact on the sanctuary-like nature of Fivelements.
The suite was jaw-droppingly beautiful; the kind of place you immediately want to memorise for future inspiration when designing your dream home. The main bedroom had timber floors, high ceilings, airy white curtains and included a huge four-poster bed which then led to a stylish bathroom behind it with an outdoor shower.
However, the main feature was undoubtedly the outdoor stone bath, housed by a bamboo enclosure at the front of the bedroom, its proximity to the Ayung River a matter of metres.
The thing that most stood out to me about Fivelements was the exquisite details of the place and how perfectly they created a healing and serene space. From naming each of the suites after a Balinese element (mine was Bayu for air) to customised lighting in the bathtub the seven colours of the chakras, to the teak wood bed, Balinese art and basket of fresh fruit. It was a balanced fusion of earthiness and indulgence; the juxtaposition to the river; the airiness of the suites combined with the in-room sound system and luxury bed linen.
Spa Sanctuary on the Banks of the Ayung River
If you want the mother of all facials, the kind that will trump any previous spa treatment, try the Fivelements Super Food Facial, which will indisputably be two of the best spent hours of your life. Like the rest of the resort, the spa was picturesque and serene, and again overlooking the river.
The ingredients for my facial were laid out, and the therapist talked me through each of them; their benefits and how they’d be used. From fresh pineapple serum to cleansing coconut milk, to a honey and brown sugar scrub, to refreshing aloe vera gel, chilled quartz crystals and a Spirulina and seaweed mask it was superfood by name, superfood by nature, and I’m not sure any future facial will even come close.
Following my facial, I had a flower bath in my room overlooking the river. I was told about the significance of the different coloured flowers; red for love, yellow for clarity, pink for joy. Sipping on Balinese ginger tea in my post-facial glow as the river rushed by was about as good as it gets.
Integrated Wellness and Healing at Fivelements
Another thing that sets Fivelements apart is that in the spirit of it being a health and wellness destination, the resort is a dry one and alcohol is neither served nor permitted at the restaurant.
As someone who is partial to a Prosecco (or several) this wasn’t even a factor during my stay; as often happens when I’m in a blissed-out state and fuelling my body with facials and raw foods, the last thing on my mind is a glass of bubbles.
Which brings me to the food. Given its location on the outskirts of Bali’s foodie hub, one would expect good things from this Ubud retreat. But once again Fivelements outdid themselves.
From almond crust pizzas to perfect passionfruit panna cotta to black rice pancakes and the greenest of smoothies; it truly was a culinary delight.
We ended our stay with a traditional fire ceremony; led by a local Balinese priest, it was an invigorating hour that incorporated meditation and chanting and is known to be effective in helping one let go of unwanted aspects in their lives.
We cracked coconuts to signify the death of our ego, drinking the fresh coconut water straight from the shell and threw grains and lentils into the fire as offerings.
To me, the fire blessing was Bali at its very best, and an opportunity to learn more about this country that so many of us flock to.
Fivelements was faultless. Undeniably one of Bali’s best kept secrets, I have a feeling it won’t stay that way for long.
Fivelements Ubud Retreat
Mambal, Abiansemal, Badung Regency, Bali 80352, Indonesia
The Fit Traveller was a guest of Fivelements Ubud retreat for this stay. As always, the opinions, words and images are authentically our own.
Lucy Pearson is a certified bookworm, wanderluster and a qualified yoga teacher with a thirst for adventure and love for life.
Lucy has her own blog, The Unlikely Bookworm and also contributes to Stylist Magazine and Hip and Healthy.