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Written by lee on July 29, 2016. Posted in Reviews, Travel & Lifestyle
Imagine a location that feels like another world away, but is in reality just a hop, skip and a jump from anywhere in Australia. A place where you can fly and flop all within the space of a few hours and feel like you’ve been transported to a parallel universe.
Located in Bali, nestled alongside the sacred Ayung River near Ubud, and beyond the hustle and bustle of Kuta and Seminyak lies Fivelements, an award winning eco-conscious wellness destination which is inspired by the natural and holistic Balinese way of life.
Fivelements encourages guests to nurture harmony of their spirit, the environment and with one another and tune-in to their physical, emotional and spiritual needs, allowing an organic healing process to naturally unfold.
Medicine cabinet love. My all time favourite ingredients ginger and turmeric.
Upon arrival I was greeted by warm Balinese smiles and given a refreshing coconut welcome drink before being led through pretty gardens and stone pathways to my private modern thatched hut. It literally felt like I had stepped into the colour and magic of a traditional Balinese painting.
My gorgeous hut away from home
Flinging open the wooden doors will reveal a surprising level of plushness and comfort. The beautiful rooms are peaceful and serene with jaw-dropping natural décor and attention to detail. With an emphasis on nature, the elements of timber, bamboo, stone, water and natural tones all meld comfortably within the space and open balmy air.
Sleeping tight under the net
Walking through into the bathroom my heart skipped a beat when I saw the liberal use of stone and wood, housed with bamboo to bring as much of the outside in, and create an ambience of being totally at one with nature.
Stone and Wood
And then there was THAT shower.
Forecast: Sunday morning showers
One of the other water highlights of Fivelements is the open-air bathtub which sits inside a private bamboo enclosure, enabling you to enjoy your surroundings during a relaxing salt water soak. It was perfect for soothing my weary yoga muscles after a big day of yoga the day before.
In the early evening, the girls from the spa popped around to offer me a revitalizing bath ritual composed of five powerful healing ingredients: lemongrass to activate blood circulation, aromatic Balinese orange and lime, and pandan leaves and ginger to awaken your senses and clear my mind.
Bath ingredients! Orange, pandan, sea salt, ginger and lime.
Move over Vivid Sydney! The supernatural volcanic stone bath featured customised therapy lighting which showcased the seven colours of the chakras, and as you lay there it encouraged the unison of the mind, body and spirit and the connection with nature.
Each of the five residences at Fivelements features a private, hewn-boulder bath overlooking the Ayung River.
Post bath time bliss, I sat on the private deck, a wonderful place to unwind from any stresses in laid back style, and perused the menu which was prefaced as offering raw vegan living foods cuisine in celebration of our “aliveness.”
Long lunch with mountains of greens
When it comes to food at Fivelements their goal is simple; to allow mother-nature’s cuisine to shine with all her exciting tastes, textures, vibrant colors and pure flavours. It was evident to me that the food they serves was prepared with love, passion and attention to detail and each dish just oozed the feeling of being so healthy and full of energy-giving nutrients.
The menu is based around the concept of a fine-dining healing cuisine of ‘Living Foods' comprising of raw vegan fare, and other lightly-prepared plant-based dishes. As I like to have a mixture of cooked and raw foods this suited me perfectly.
You can choose to enjoy the refueling food either in your room or at Sakti dining room, which is a bamboo architectural masterpiece, topped off with a sweeping thatched roof in the shape of a banana leaf, a Balinese symbol of food. The restaurant overlooks a pretty lotus pond on one side and the mesmerizing Ayung River on the other.
Virtuous breakfast offerings
During my three day stay, I happily ate my way through their fantastic menu, at breakfast I enjoyed Coconut Chia Porridge with local Tulsi Seeds, Oats, Activated Seeds, Goji Berries and served with Coconut Milk, on day two I had a Superfood Dragon Bowl with Purple Dragonfruit, Banana, Coconut, Chia Seeds, Strawberries, Sprouted Nut Granola, Lime Yoghurt and Cinnamon and on my final day I enjoyed the Spiced Granola with Activated Nuts, Oats, Coconut Milk and Banana, which was my favourite!
Main meals always begun with a serve of Curried Kale Chips with Balinese Spices, and Coconut and one of the highlight meals was the South Indian Dahl with Coconut Yoghurt, Coriander and Chili, served with crunchy flaxseed crackers.
I made this raw zucchini pasta with marinara sauce during the cooking class
On the menu, there were mountains of zesty green salads to choose from featuring edible flowers, leaves and raw dressings, Balinese Green Urab-Urab with Organic Greens, Vegetables, Herbs, Coconut Bacon and Aromatic Balinese Dressing and one of the popular meals is a Shitake Mushroom Burger with Rice Bun, Caramelized Onions, Kimchi Mayonaise, Umami Ketchup, Pickles, Jicama Slaw, and yummy Sweet Potato Chips which I polished off for dinner.
Dessert was also a feast for the eyes not to mention the tummy, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the Milk Chocolate Mousse Cake with White Chocolate Ice Cream, Raw Cacao Syrup and Chocolate Tuile with a side of Homemade Cashew coconut Ice Cream.
This really is clean eating at it’s finest.
Once you’ve had your fill of fruits and organic vegetables it’s time to relax by the pool on the comfy terry toweling lined day beds and indulge in an afternoon drink.
Lazy days by the pool
There are plenty of beverages to choose from; smoothies, juices and healing and comforting hot elixirs and tonics were all offered. I enjoyed the Bali Spiced raw hot Chocolate and Chai Latte made with locally sourced Tea and Spices, Coconut Milk, Coconut Sugar.
One of the major attractions of Fivelements is the spa which is central to the area and a place where you can not only be slathered in locally made ingredients and transported to a world of bliss but also experience energy healing, rejuvenating massages, deep bodywork, ultra-nourishing body care, local super food facials and unique water healing experiences.
Room with a view
Featuring nine private healing rooms for Balinese therapies, each has their own ensuite bathroom and bathhouse with a river stone healing bathtub.
All of the treatments at Fivelements embrace holistic Balinese-inspired therapies and are administered by traditional Balinese healers using ancient wisdoms passed down from direct lineage.
Following the Balinese principle of Sekala-Niskala, which holds that we all live equally in two worlds; the seen or conscious world Sekala, and the unseen or psychic world Niska- la, the Balinese healers engage the help of the higher divine source during each healing session.
Gorgeous foot soak bath with Balinese sea salt, petals and lime.
Whilst I was at Fivelements, I joined Chef Made Tantra for culinary training which was a fantastic experience, he certainly took me on an inspiring gastronomical journey! We created some absolutely delicious basics and dishes such as coconut milk, green juice, cashew dressing, and granola.
A man on a mission
Chef Tantra is a man on a mission with a passionate interest in local and native ingredients having worked in hotels across Bali and overseas. During the class he showcased exciting and absolutely delicious vegan and vegetarian fare made with flare using aromatic herbs, vegetables, spices and a healthy dose of flavours.
Cooking class ingredients
During the class I had an introduction to living foods and the importance of using local and in season food sources and also picked up some great tips about quick and easy meal preparation, I shared with him some of my own cooking tips too as we had a mutual interest in simple and healthy recipes. He was most interested in nutritional yeast flakes and wheat free tamari!
I learnt how to make a delicious garden blend soup with fields of greens, crushed garlic and orange, and also a marinara sauce that we had with the zucchini pasta that day for lunch.
Garden green soup with swirls
The soup was delicious and so energy boosting and I felt like a million dollars afterwards
I really enjoyed my time at Fivelements and came home refreshed and revitalized with a sense of peace and harmony.