Hen's Ideas: Bali Getaway

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Today’s brides and bridesmaids are taking the traditional hen’s night to a whole new level of indulgence, stepping up the one-night soiree to an overseas getaway. Brianna Ragel shares her pick of the best Bali retreats for a hen’s do with a difference


You can’t go past Bali for a hen’s getaway. Only a short, affordable, eight-hour flight away, Bali delivers on its promise of sunshine and pampering — perfect for the bride who wants to relax and unwind with her girlfriends before the big day. While the Indonesian island is the ideal backdrop for your hen’s escape, the real destination is the resort you stay at. Here are two of Bali’s best.

SURF HAVEN BALI, SEMINYAK

Nestled in the upmarket and centrally located area of Seminyak, Surf Haven offers the kind of hen’s indulgence that is likely to leave you fi tter, healthier, and no doubt glowing by the time you leave. What more could you want before the big day?

Voted best women’s surf/spa retreat by Harper’s Bazaar, Surf Haven is a sevenday women’s retreat hosted at the serene tropical oasis of Villa Jepun, which is only a 20-minute drive from the airport, and a fi ve-minute walk to the beach. The villa boasts six stunning bedrooms, beach house-style dining and lounge area, yoga studio, pool, and gardens — and is perfect for a hen’s group. It’s safe, secluded, and staffed as if it were a luxury hotel for the times when you and the girls want to stay in and relax. And for the days and nights when the group wants to experience all that Bali has to offer, it’s only a short stroll to Seminyak’s magical beach bars, boutiques, markets, cafés, and restaurants.

For the bride and her bridesmaids who want to de-stress before the big day, Surf Haven guarantees a week free from having to think and plan! It’s all inclusive and includes 24-hour butler service to ensure your every whim is catered to, and a weeklong schedule of pampering activities — surf lessons, massages, beauty treatments, and daily yoga and meditation (all of which you can opt out of if you would rather chill and sip a cheeky cocktail by the pool).

Mealtimes are also a highlight, with each breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert a feast for the senses. Each day the table is set differently with great care and creativity, and the aromas and fl avours of the gourmet whole-foods spa cuisine, designed by Australian therapeutic chef Samantha Gowing, are tantalising. Best of all, with no preservatives and processed foods for a week, you’ll come away feeling the healthiest “version of you” and ready to shine in the spotlight on your wedding day.

For a sneak peek at the recipes on offer at Surf Haven, log on to www.surfhavenbali.com

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS YOU’LL LOVE

  • A one-day “Best of Bali” cultural tour to Ubud, which includes yet another gorgeous lunch in the rice paddy fields at award-winning organic farm Sari Organik, a bike ride through the peaceful Bali hinterlands, and a visit to a traditional Balinese house. 
  • The luxurious granite and antique wood ensuite bathrooms with tropical open-air rain shower and organic spa toiletries.
  • All rooms are decked out with cable TV and DVD player and are fully airconditioned.
  • Daily coconuts that will leave your skin glowing and an endless supply of purified water, coffee, organic herbal teas, and health tonics. 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi so you can keep in touch with your fiancé back home. The villa accommodates up to 10 comfortably with a mix of share and single rooms.

    For hen’s package availability and prices email info@surfhavenbali.com or visit www.surfhavenbali.com

 

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BLISS SANCTUARY, CANGGU

Opened a year ago by former Adelaidebased advertising manager Zoe Watson, Bliss Sanctuary for Women is based on the principle of fi nding your own bliss. 

Accommodating groups of three to five, the gorgeous Bliss Sanctuary Villa is set in the quieter area of Canggu, which at one time was only known to locals and surfers. But there is more to Canggu than its beautiful beaches. Located 20 minutes’ drive north of Seminyak along the coast, Canggu is fast becoming home to the many expats living in Bali who are drawn to the quiet, untouched village feel and expansive views of the beach and rice fields.

The presence of the expat community is also stimulating fast growth and development in the area. Set against the rice fi elds are a splattering of boutiques, cafés serving local Balinese food and espresso coffee, the Desa Seni Village Resort yoga club, and the well-known Canggu Club, fi tted with lavish tennis courts. Still, in the absence of tourists, Canggu feels more like the “real” Bali and thus delivers on its promise of providing a true escape.

The luxury sanctuary offers hen’s groups a number of set packages, including the Bliss Sanctuary package; Waterlovers package; Eat Pray Love experience; Bali sightseer; Thrill-seeker; and the Fab Foodie package.

Regardless of the package you choose, the Bliss Villa hostess will sit down with you upon arrival to create an exact itinerary to suit you and the girls. The good thing is that there is fl exibility if you find you need to change the day or time of activities.

Whether it’s excitement, culture, or adventure you’re after, or a luxury pampering experience, the Bliss Sanctuary can accommodate. Daily massages and beauty treatments are included with your stay, and the villa chef is on hand to cook up your favourite meals when you want them. The menu includes local dishes such as nasi goreng and gadu gadu, as well as many western favourites. For trips to nearby Seminyak or even longer excursions, Putu, the villa driver, is available as your chauffeur. It’s all very simple and easy at Bliss Sanctuary — just what you need for you and your BFFs before your walk down the aisle.

For hen’s package enquiries email Zoe Watson zoe@blisssanctuaryforwomen.com or visit www.blisssanctuaryforwomen.com

SPIRITUAL HIGHLIGHT

The highlight for me was a visit from a local Balinese healer, Ketut Samiratha. While I was sceptical at first, I found
Ketut’s mix of traditional Balinese healing combined with refl exology, chiropractic, and kinesiology (he has studied in Australia and Holland) truly enlightening. His own brand of diagnostic and intuitive consultation and therapy, which he calls De CHY, is a must-do for anyone wanting to rebalance and align their body, mind, and spirit.

For more information visit www.balichyhealing.com

EAT, PRAY, LOVE

Bliss Sanctuary’s Eat Pray Love Package is a five- to seven-day experience, which includes:

  • Your own private room and bathroom with plasma TV, DVD player, and library of old and new movies to choose from
  • Daily yoga for all levels in partnership with a nearby specialist yoga centre, Desa Seni
  • Daily massage and spa treatments
  • Bliss spa toiletries
  • Gourmet local cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
  • An endless supply of purified or bottled water, coffee, and herbal teas
  • Personal drivers
  • Pushbikes for riding around the rice paddies and to the beach
  • Airport transfers
  • Fresh juice on arrival
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Personalised itinerary consultation and booking services with your Bliss hostess
  • Day trip to see Ketut Liyer, the Balinese spiritual healer
  • Bike ride around beautiful cultural centre, Ubud, as seen in the movie Eat Pray Love, including breakfast overlooking the Batur volcano and a smorgasbord lunch

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