Revive the Soul in Bali
I love a holiday that begins before you arrive. And that’s exactly what happens when you are heading to REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort in Bali. Prior to arriving at their welcoming front doors, the team at REVĪVŌ have you fill in a detailed health questionnaire so they can begin preparing a bespoke retreat that will have you feeling full of life by the time you leave. REVĪVŌ in Latin means ‘I’ll live again’. Restoring health and topping up energy? This, I did not think would be possible in three days… I was wrong!
Bali is a Mecca for wellness retreats, healing holidays and luxury Spa Resorts. REVĪVŌ is Bali’s newest offering and fits in well. It is not a rigid retreat that has you up at dawn and downward dogging soon after. Nor is it a luxury resort with a full-service Spa, where you spend your time floating between the Spa and your suite in a white fluffy robe. REVĪVŌ is a unique concept, which sits comfortably between the two, maybe closer to the former, with a dose of luxury from the latter.
When I asked Laurie Mias, CEO & Co-Founder, what is REVĪVŌ’s point of difference, that thing that sets them apart from the others? She answers with her broad smile and French accent,
“Fun! I really wanted fun to underpin all of our programs.”
And that’s what I really like about REVĪVŌ. Actually, there are quite a few things, and I’ll get to that – but this sense of fun and the little playful elements peppered throughout the resort is refreshing. From the hanging daybed in reception to the giant swing in the garden, you can’t help but reconnect with your inner child… and feel happy.
Emotional stability is a huge part of being totally healthy, and a lot of health retreats and wellness resorts over-look this vital concept. While they may focus on mindfulness and meditation, REVĪVŌ goes next level and promote happiness.
Laurie, a wellness devotee and yoga instructor herself, understands the need for happiness and the part it plays in our emotional wellbeing. While happiness ultimately comes from within, REVĪVŌ certainly provides plenty of tools to help you ‘lift’ your emotional weight and allow your happiness to resurface. I dare you to swing on the giant swing and not smile. You may even find yourself having a giggle!
So, with my Happy Belly welcome drink reviving my drained cells, my 3-day Retreat at REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort begins…
Located amidst the breezy hills of Nusa Dua in Bali’s south, REVĪVŌ is surrounded by teak forest, dense tropical rainforest, and the Indian Ocean is a short walk or bike ride away. Nusa Dua’s beach strip is home to some of Bali’s biggest International resorts. By comparison, REVĪVŌ is a boutique property, with a three-to-one staff-to-guest ratio. Private. Intimate. Nurturing.
Formerly the home of Adrian Zecha, founder of the luxury hotel group Aman, comfortable luxury and a sense of home has been retained in the conversion to a Wellness Resort. With just 16 suites spread across three different (and stunning) villas, you feel like a VIP guest, almost having the place to yourself.
Each of the Balinese-style Suites feature a voile-draped four-poster bed, desk and day bed lounge areas, a sunken bathtub and shower with garden views as well as outdoor dining facilities within either: a private garden, a private courtyard, or a private pool. That word again word… Private!
Yet, in reality, you’re not coming to REVĪVŌ for its accommodation. While it is luxurious and spacious, and beyond comfortable, it’s the actual wellness programs that make this place distinctive.
At the start and end of my stay, I meet with Wellness Coach, Kathy Cook. Kathy is delightful, intuitive, knowledgeable… a warm embrace on a very cold night. Her happy, positive nature is truly contagious. Instantly, there is rapport. Small talk dismissed to make way for rich conversation. Since she already has insight into my health and the areas I want to work on, we get straight into it. A program has been devised based on what we (a collaborative approach) feel I could focus on during my stay.
I am lean, fit, eat clean foods, and have spent my entire career in the health industry. According to the results of the Body Composition Analyser, my metabolic age is less than half my actual age. Physical health AOK! Because of this, possibly I am a harder guest to please.
However, health is not just physical. Hell, it’s not just physical and mental (which, thankfully, is also in good shape), it also includes – for lack of a better word – spiritual. Health comprises that over-used, not full-understood trio, Mind, Body and Soul. So, how do you improve the health of your soul? Well, for starters it’s doing more of the things that make you happy. It requires having a passion, a purpose, and a sense of contentment. And it is this tricky little chestnut, that the team at REVĪVŌ are experts in cracking.
“At REVĪVŌ our mission is to educate our guests to learn to embrace change and look at their own emotions. Our body treatments, activities and nutrition offers are designed to help guests to develop Life’s Most Important Skill: mind training and ultimately mind transformation.
We believe that wellbeing consists of experiencing a sense of contentment in the knowledge that our life is flourishing, and has a meaning beyond our own pleasure. Happiness is a way of being. In order to become happy, we have to learn how to change ourselves. What it takes is an inner change of perspective and attitude, a skill that anyone can develop with some direction and persistence,” says Laurie.
THE MAGIC NUMBER
With the goal of enriching my soul, or as I like to say, quietening my mind so I can be more present, and therefore more mind-full… I begin my journey.
Each day of my 3-day program, I have three MOVEŌ classes, three highly delicious NŪTRIŌ meals, a REMISSIŌ Spa treatment and plenty of free time to enjoy the facilities.
The day begins with a Morning Mindful Practice. The practice is provided in the journal you receive at your initial consultation with Kathy. Each day this practice is different, it is simple to do, and sets you up for an open-minded, gratitude giving, day ahead.
At 7.30am my NŪTRIŌ Trio Shot is delivered to my room with a genuine smile and cheery ‘Good day Miss Kris’. Indeed it is. Each shot is designed to nurture your vital organs, so like your mind they too are set for a great day ahead.
Shot 1: Warm water with lemon juice and a pinch of salt
Shot 2: Kombucha Shot
Shot 3: Jamu Shot: Ginger, Turmeric and Coconut oil
After my shots, I’m off to do the first of my three MOVEŌ classes for the day. This can be anything from HIIT Cardio, Aqua Yoga on a FitMat in the pool, meditation, Pilates, TRX class, Muay Thai boxing, or one of the many yoga classes from Aerial or Hammock Yoga (love) to Ashtanga or Yin Yoga. Some of the classes induce sweat, others serenity. All have a different purpose, yet the common ingredient of fun!
With an appetite well and truly primed, breakfast is served. The food is another thing that sets REVĪVŌ out from the crowd. It is simply delicious. Nutritious, tasty food is so, so good for the soul. Every cell of your body hums in perfect harmony when it is fed nutrient dense, simply divine food.
Do yourself a favour, if you’re in Bali, and happen to be staying somewhere else, come to REVĪVŌ and do one of their half or full day retreats so you can experience their food. I have eaten at some of the best wellness retreats in the world, and the cuisine at REVĪVŌ is right up there rubbing shoulders with the best.
With satisfied taste buds, a full but calm tummy, and one MOVEŌ class done, the tone of my day could not get any more Michael Buble! Or could it?
REMISSIŌ, HOLISTIC SPA
Before my treatment, I’m torn between spending time in the hot and chill plunge pools, the Jacuzzi, the infrared sauna and steam room or having a float in the salt pool. I decide to do the pools for this treatment, and the next time the steam and sauna.
According to Kathy, the best way to do the pools is to start with the hot, and move to the cold and repeat. Try to fully submerge yourself in the cold, and then ‘relax’ in it for two minutes. Relaxing in an ice-cold (so it feels) bath seems juxtaposed. I do as she says. Hot, Cold. Cells tingle – this must be good… count to 120, get to 30 and I’m out.
She did say it has taken her time to build up to two minutes.
The premise behind contrast therapy (hot & cold) is that muscles constrict in cold water and blood vessels expand in a hot water. By moving from a hot to cold to hot pools, it increases blood flow, which stimulates circulation and your lymphatic system. The cold plunge pool’s chiller keeps water temperatures at a therapeutic but not balmy 10°C. Great for joint inflammation and enhance muscle recovery. How athletes can sit in an ice bath for 5-mins post-match has me beat. In my ‘new-and-improved’ mindful state, I am not giving it a second thought, nor am I feeling less adequate for my heart-racing 30-second stint. I feel great. Alive. And ready for my treatment.
As with MOVEŌ and NŪTRIŌ, REMISSIŌ, Holistic Spa has an abundance of options. Most of the treatments are derived from authentic ancient Balinese healing traditions, although aroma, hydro and chromo therapies are also available. As they say, when in Rome… I enjoy a Balinese Massage at the hands of Ratih, a truly gifted therapist. I learn she has been practicing massage since she was a child. Both her mother and Grandmother, who are guru healers in the eyes of the Balinese, taught her. She has also been formally trained, but the innate art of intuitive touch handed down through the generations can’t be fully taught from a book. It just is.
Two more days like this and I feel like my flat tyres have been pumped up!
While three days is too short, I’m grateful for my reviver, and I’m sure my journey will lead me back.
“Well-being is not just a pleasure sensation, it is a deep sense of serenity and fulfilment. A state that underlies all emotional states end the joys of sorrows that can come ones way”
REVĪVŌ run a variety of retreats all year round, from fertility and sleep to detox and meditation. Check out their website for upcoming retreats.
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