This retreat’s legit: Fivelements Bali
Lush, luxe, and beyond relaxing.
What: Fivelements Bali
Where: Mambal, Bali
Duration: Ranges from one-night stays to their 21-day Panca Mahabhuta retreat
Cost: Retreats start at $2,286—but if you’re just looking for a room, you can relax in a riverside suite for around $300 a night
Frequency: Offered year-round
Vibe: An eco-luxe retreat center just outside Ubud that feels worlds apart.
Vacation or nah? It’s nearly impossible not to relax at this lush, riverside refuge—so set that OOO and prepare to recharge.
What You Need To Know
Although Bali is surrounded by water, it’s not the ocean that provides what just might be its most rejuvenating respite; it’s a river that cuts through it.
The Ayung River is the island’s most sacred (and longest!) river—and you can sense that incredible, healing, powerful energy the moment you step foot onto Fivelements‘ grounds.
The eco-luxe retreat center sits alongside it, replacing the buzz of motorbikes and bustle of people in Ubud (which is just a 20-minute car ride away) with a gentle, calming roar of water constantly in motion.
DIY your retreat with treatments at their spa (which use local plants and herbs, and feature rooms that look out onto that iconic river) and a multi-course tasting at their gourmet raw-food restaurant.
Spending a few days in one of their charming, river-facing bungalows alone would refresh even the most burned-out traveler, but Fivelements goes beyond that. Commit to one of their multi-day programs—all promising a full-body detox—if you need that bit of guidance, or be a renegade and DIY your retreat with spa time (theirs uses local plants and herbs, just one of the many eco-conscious gestures you’ll find) and a multi-course tasting that toes the line between healthy and extravagant at the onsite gourmet raw-food restaurant .
Whatever you choose, there’s one non-negotiable: You absolutely must book an in-room bath treatment—where you can cross off that bucket list item and spend an afternoon soaking in a stone tub filled with flowers. You’ll be tempted to have your phone nearby (hello, Instagram bait), but resist the urge and instead allow yourself to just zone out to the hypnotic sound of the Ayung River rushing by just a few yards away.
Notes From The Inside
Our insider this week is Rebecca Willa Davis—obsessive traveler with a penchant for wellness who, hey, also happens to be the editor-in-chief of The Glassy.
Your respite’s respite
“Ubud is touted as the energetic center of all things woo-woo in Bali—but because of this, it’s actually quite a bustling spot. (Just crossing the street without being mowed down feels like an accomplishment—never mind scoring a spot for your mat at a Yoga Barn class.) Which is why I instantly relaxed the moment I stepped out of my car at Fivelements: It’s just 20-minutes southwest of the city, yet feels worlds apart. Think lush plants, sacred isolation, and the buzz of bikes replaced by the whirr of the Ayung River.”
Live that bungalow life
“Although there are a range of programs on offer (um, hello fire ceremonies and chakra balancings), my favorite thing was to relax in my bungalow. Between the beyond-cozy bed and my private, river-facing bath tub, there were plenty of ways to reset on my own. It helped that I could order room service from their award-winning raw food restaurant—I’m still dreaming about the smoothie bowl I ordered with spirulina granola.”
“The grounds are absolutely gorgeous, and filled with plants and herbs that are utilized by both the restaurant in dishes and the spa in treatments. Even better, Fivelements has markers so you can identify these healing Indonesian ingredients, like lemongrass and aloe vera. It puts ‘locally sourced’ on a whole new level.”
“There should be a rule that you can’t stay at Fivelements and not experience one of their bathing rituals. Because is there anything more indulgently relaxing than sinking into a flower-filled stone tub on your own private, river-facing porch? No, there is not.”
“It’s the little gestures that always stand out to me when I stay at hotels and retreats. For example, my masseuse noticed the really bad sunburn on my bum (that’s what I get for spending hours snorkeling in Amed) and not only offered a bit of treatment then, but that afternoon as well—when I returned to my room there was a bowl filled with fresh, ooey-gooey aloe vera waiting for me.”