As we transition into 2015, the Year of the Goat in the Chinese zodiac, synonymous with yin energy, peace, harmonious co-existence and tranquillity, the mood is set for a true ‘Retreat for Change’ and there is no better wellness destination than Bali’s award-winning COMO Shambhala Estate.
The road to holistic health and spiritual balance is paved with good intentions. At COMO Shambhala Estate, the undisputed icon of luxury retreats in Bali, it meanders through misty valleys, amid the tropical jungle canopy and along the sacred Ayung River, overlooking dramatic rice terraces and majestic mountains.
The Estate, previously known as Begawan Giri, is a residential wellness haven located north of Ubud, resting gently on 23 acres of serene land. It comprises 30 rooms and suites contained within five element-themed Residences, five chic Retreat Villas and four tranquil Private Villas.
Sensitively designed by renowned Bali-based Malaysian architect Cheong Yew Kuan, in collaboration with interior designer Koichiro Ikebuchi, the various wellness, shared and living spaces of the Estate are a contemporary expression of tropical luxury and timeless elegance, marrying Balinese, Asian and European aesthetics without compromising the cultural authenticity and sanctity of its natural environment.
Strategically located next to Ojas, one of the main wellness areas, the Retreat Villas’ stylish one and two-bedroom units – Taramala (Garland of Stars), Vasudhara (Mother Earth), Kusumalaya (House of Flowers), Shantivana (Peaceful Forest) and Saundarya (Beauty) – contain spacious bedrooms, double-vanity bathrooms, private pools with jacuzzi jets, assorted living, lounging and dining areas and large outdoor decks – perfect for sharing with friends and families. Each guest is assigned a readily available personal assistant to cater to all whims and wishes.
At the Estate, the core emphasis is on encouraging guests to embrace a healthy approach to food, nutrition and wellbeing without sacrificing flavour or taste. We like to call it mindful eating. The COMO Shambhala Cuisine at the impressive glow restaurant utilizes organic, locally sourced ingredients, blending south Indian, Italian and Balinese influences and guided by the nutritional plans of the Estate’s dietician, Eve Persak. Developed by Group Executive Chef Amanda Gale, the sophisticated menu can be modified to accommodate all food intolerances and suit personal palates.
The resort’s second restaurant, Kudus House, is open for breakfast and dinner, serving Indonesia’s authentic, diverse flavours housed in an antique 150-year-old former Javanese residence with an amazing jungle view.
COMO Shambhala prides itself on its holistic concept and nurturing approach implemented by a professional team of resident experts, health consultants and visiting specialists throughout its wellness programmes and activities, dedicated to sharing their knowledge and inspiring guests to make life-changing improvements to their health and wellbeing in a home-away-from-home environment. The Estate’s six signature programmes include detoxification, stress management, weight management and skin revitalization, each featuring a bespoke, carefully curated combination of meals, treatments, therapies and activities designed for stays of three, five or seven nights.
Spa addicts and fitness fanatics are spoiled for choice with more than 20 Asian-influenced and Western holistic therapies in the ultimate facilities – nine treatment rooms, four consultation rooms, an outdoor hydrotherapy pool, steam and sauna rooms, a 25-metre lap pool, yoga pavilions, Pilates and yoga studio, an indoor gym, a jungle gym and a climbing wall.
To the romantics, life within COMO Shambhala Estate is an idyllic microcosm of the outside world – a place of respite and a rare sanctuary for the healing of mind, body and spirit. To us, the secret to a truly transformational experience lies in ‘just being’ at the sublime retreat.
- Go for a guided, energizing Estate Walk. Dive into the natural spring — dubbed ‘The Source’, locally revered for its healing properties – to jumpstart your day.
- Join the Estate Yoga class and attend healthy lifestyle lectures. Experience the benefits of hydrotherapy and open your mind to Qi Gong.
- Meditate in one of the pavilions by the riverbank. Allow the mist to kiss your skin and the sounds of cicadas and rushing streams to lull you into a blissful state.
- We are head over heels in love with COMO Shambhala’s bathroom amenities. The signature scent is infused with a captivating formula of sweet almond, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender and peppermint. Sprinkle some scented bath salts in a hot bath and immerse yourself in the tub for mental clarity and invigorating energy.
COMO Shambhala Estate
Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod
Payangan, Gianyar, Bali, 80571, Indonesia
Tel (+62) 361 978 888
This article was first published in Asia Dreams, January-February 2015.
Photos courtesy of COMO Shambhala Estate.