There are some places you stay that you start planning your next visit before you’ve even left, and Fivelements near Ubud is exactly that kind of place. It is the perfect mix of magic, spirituality and luxury.
The resort is the ultimate in privacy – only nine gorgeous villas sitting just a stone’s throw from the Ayung River. Fivelements is the only resort I’ve stayed at that has a view of a waterfall from the room, and the sound of flowing water resonates throughout the property.
We were greeted with a flower bath on arrival, which made us feel like royalty as we sat in the enormous outdoor stone bathtub and appreciated the incredible view.
The villas are simply amazing, and their round shape made me feel like we were ensconced in a light, luxurious, welcoming cocoon. The huge daybed gave gorgeous views over the river, and the king size bed couldn’t have been more comfortable. The room was also an interesting mix of the natural and technological – built of all natural materials, but with a state of the art system controlled through an ipad which you can use to alter everything from the lights to music to the airconditioning.
We were really keen to immerse ourselves in the ancient Balinese healing practices, and Fivelements was the perfect place to do it. You can book a session with healers offering incredible experiences, from water therapy to blessing ceremonies. We chose the Sakti ritual, which included a sensational deep massage, sea salt body scrub and relaxing flower bath in the rustic but lovely treatment rooms overlooking the river. I also had a massage with a local Balinese healer, who had a light, magical touch which left me floating out of the room.
At the heart of the property sits the jaw-dropping yoga pavilion, its enormous cone-shaped thatched roof seemingly rising out of the ground. From inside, the roof offers a circular view of the sky, 21 metres above. The impressive structure is surrounded by smaller replicas, immersed in tropical gardens. Doing a self practice in the main studio felt about as close to the Yoga Gods as I'm ever going to get. It was a truly profound experience.
The pool is a beautiful shimmering deep green, and sits close enough to the river that you can hear its flow while you’re paddling around.
There’s also a smaller pool used for watsu (an incredibly relaxing water massage). White daybeds are dotted around the pool, with some overlooking the river and cascading jungle.
Another highlight of a stay at Fivelements is the food, which is a masterclass in vegan and raw cuisine (and so delicious, it would inspire even the greatest of meat eaters to consider going vegetarian!). Even sitting in the restaurant was a spiritual experience, with the river roaring on one side, and the sound of chanting coming from the fire ceremony being held on the other.
Overall, our stay at Fivelements could not have been more perfect, and we’re hoping to return more than once.
Notes: Bali is a safe destination, but I always travel with insurance. You can get a quote for travel insurance with Fast Cover by clicking here.
The best months to visit Bali are June, July and August when it's hot and mainly dry.