Fivelements - The perfect Holistic, Sensual and Sustainable Retreat
I continued my “healing journey” (which started at The Yoga Barn) at Fivelements a few days later. Fivelements was absolutely beautiful and perfect. It would be hard to find a place that’s more aligned with my values and tastes than Fivelements.
The site is located at the end of a tiny village next to a river, with a beautiful walk through the grounds to the bungalow I stayed at, which was complete with mosquito net, an outdoor bathroom, and a private bathtub overlooking the river. Everything at Fivelements is natural, which helped create an amazing first impression. I had only just arrived, and had already wished I could stay longer.
Everything at Fivelements felt so relaxing, I wanted to make sure not to spend too much time working, but to enjoy the stay as much as possible. I did however take extensive notes on my phone about how much I loved Fivelements, which also served as an outlet for my excitement. ‘All natural’ is one of the recurring phrases in those notes. I believe it was the perfect combination of natural, beautiful, well designed, high quality, sustainable, vegan and holistic health at Fivelements that made me feel so aligned with this place. While there are lots of retreats that offer a similar combination of values and atmosphere, Fivelements didn’t come with the often attached hippie/backpacker kind of healthy vibe, but rather a high end experience. A relaxing spa environment with natural, sustainable values in a calm, unpretentious, and beautifully designed setting.
I started my stay at Fivelements with lunch at their all-vegan restaurant. The three course chef’s tasting lunch was SO good! Anyone could easily be vegan here, seriously! The food was so delicious and healthy - I had turmeric tamarind coconut water, a sunflower seed cracker (sooo good!) with almond hummus as appetiser, then spring rolls with tamarind dipping sauce, and barley risotto with edamame and cashew cheese as a my main.
The dessert was even more special - coconut panna cotta made from the meat of a fresh young coconut blended with agar, a cashew dip on top, homemade passionfruit sorbet made from passionfruits grown in Fivelements’ own garden, and pandan seed granola.
If you know the coconut body butter from The Body Shop, you can sort of imagine what this dessert tasted (and smelled) like. The difference being that the food was all natural and didn’t need any artificial flavouring. The taste and smell naturally were so strong, it must have been made with the best quality ingredients!
I met the restaurant’s vegan food magician, aka chef Gusti, after lunch. He’s been at Fivelements for 7 years, 6 of which he’s been kind of vegan for (he does eat eggs and sometimes fish for protein, as apparently it is very hard to get access to any vegan protein source other than tofu/tempeh in Bali). Gusti told me he’s lost five pounds since going “vegan” and is much healthier than he ever was. He used to work and live in Kuta and had to see a doctor once a week back then. He also used to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day, which he gave up when changing his diet. Witnessing Gusti's positive transformation, all his friends and family became vegan too. Gusti looks great, he’s perfectly healthy, and has an amazing vibe and aura.
The afternoon was spent at Fivelements’ spa, enjoying the Sakti Ritual. I was in HEAVEN! The ritual just emphasised what I mentioned earlier: I can’t fault a single thing about Fivelements. The Sakti Ritual was heaven and paradise in one! I wish I could have taken photos and captured it all.
The ritual started off with a flower foot bath overlooking the river. All the details were perfect. The chair was super comfortable, I could have sat there all day... Mei (my therapist) was wearing a beautiful shirt and bracelet (maybe strange things to notice, but part of all the attention paid to detail here!), flowers were floating in the water, the wind blowing through the treetops … All the colours I could see were perfect and so beautiful, I really wished I could have captured it. I then got served rosella tea with fermented mushrooms, lime and a bit of honey. So nice!
After a short meditation, the treatment continued with a deep muscle relaxation body massage, followed by a re-mineralising sea salt exfoliation infused with holy basil and lemongrass. Sea salt is a natural source in helping our skin’s ability to detox and promote cell renewal. After the scrub Mei wrapped wet warm towels around my feet. I also loved that she worked towards the heart during the message and scrub, and included all body parts (belly and breasts - after making sure I was ok with it of course). When I opened my eyes before the final bath, the wind was blowing the big, light white curtains, the room had the perfect temperature, filled with perfect smells...
For the bath ritual, the tub was being filled with five healing ingredients all used for a specific purpose, which Mei explained to me as she added them to the water: lemongrass to activate blood circulation, Balinese orange and lime for essential vitamins, and pandan leaves and ginger to awaken the senses and clear the mind. I also got THE BEST pandan and ginger tea while taking the bath. I tried to recreate it multiple of times, and kept asking for pandan in my tea everywhere I went after this, but it was never quite the same. So enjoy the tea, it’s very special!
Fivelements’ retreats really do engage all the senses: smell (the products used), touch (massage, scrub), sound (the wind in the trees and the river flowing by), seeing (beautiful colours everywhere + a plant under the head rest of the massage bed), and taste (great vegan food). It’s the most holistic, relaxing, and sustainable experience you can get!