Fivelements, Bali, Indonesia
Tucked away at the bottom of the village of Baturning, near Ubud, lies this wonderful sanctuary of spiritualism, spa and sustainability. Conceived and built around the concepts of Balinese cosmology, beliefs and healing combined with modern methods. Built and conceived by like-minded individuals, it is run by Bali residents Kiko and Lahna, who have crafted an ecoescape that leaves you totally rebalanced and relaxed. A vegan, alcohol and smoke free environment, it is haven away from the stresses of modern life and a place perfect for rebalance. The Sakti Dining Room redefines the concepts of healthy and raw food, amongst languidly laid out yoga mandala buildings, a spa and luxurious rooms and a temple all with a green ethos at their heart.
The property meanders along the banks of the Ayung River, making the most of the beautiful verdant natural surroundings. Nature and the buildings combine in so many areas, with the natural fauna blending with landscaped areas to create a harmonious atmosphere that blends to make Fivelements a haven for the senses.
Their philosophy is uniquely woven around the Balinese belief of Tri Hita Karana that means ‘Living in harmony with God, among humans and with nature.’
This is evident in the carefully thought out bamboo designed spaces used for yoga, meditation and sacred arts. The wonderful Sakti Dining Room was designed with the roof to be in the shape of an upside down banana leaf, which is traditionally used to eat food off in Indonesia. The Mandala spaces are designed with a unique spiral shape that winds up to the sky creating a soothing space and a unique system that lets air circulate to warm and cool. This dynamic use of bamboo architecture carries through to the serene spa suites that are dotted along the river bank creating an atmosphere of pure tranquility as you listen to the flow of the water during one of the incredible healing or beauty treatments.
Puri Ahmisa has nine suites also dotted along the riverfront, sustainably built from wood and bamboo. These are havens of sumptuous comfort and peace named after the Balinese elements, such as Teja (fire) and Apah (water), perfectly reflecting the mood. The rooms are enveloped within their natural surroundings, looking out on the gently swirling Ayung River and small waterfalls, lush forest and private garden areas. Balinese music filters through whilst you can encase yourself in a bamboo box with a huge natural boulder bath and relax feeling the sounds of nature wash away stress.
Huge comfortable beds dominate the suites, complimented with Indonesian textiles, from which you can enjoy the view of banks. Bathrooms are open Balinese style and make use of natural materials such as bamboo, wood and stone complimented by homemade natural aromatic bath products. The Bidari Suites are designed for complete privacy with their own plunge pools overlooking the swirling swells of the river below and are perfect for romance and seclusion in the height of ecoluxury.
Fivelements has established itself as a world renowned healing hotel and a trip to the Healing Village is a must to really experience the incomparable mystic beauty of the ethos of this property. Balinese priests and healers will perform a myriad of deep treatments to holistically embrace the principles of opening up spiritually based on the Balinese belief of Sekala – Niskala. This works on the idea that we live between two worlds – our seen world or Sekala, and the unseen psychic realm of Niskala. Healing rituals include a combination of meditation, deep bodywork and prana energy, performed by healers whose innate knowledge and skills have been passed down generations of healing and priest families.
Pak Wayan performs energy healing that incorporates the powerful Panca Mahabhuta that works to balance the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether within the body. Pak Dewa will rebalance the seven Chakras, our energy centres that allow the flow of energy through our body. The body is scanned intuitively by your healer to perceive any weakness and clear blocked channels and energy during this process. Then through massage, passing of energy and release and clearing then takes place. Afterwards you should feel release and elevation. After the treatment an interpreter can be used to express any experiences or emotions you felt and how that reflects on your spiritual and physical wellbeing. The healing treatments are deep therapies that can be intensely personal to each individual, however you will leave with a sense of renewal and metamorphosis.
For pure relaxation and indulgence there is also an array of beauty rituals on offer. Like the Healing Village, the spa is located overlooking the flowing waters of the river below. All treatments start with a soothing footbath on a balcony above the gentle currents and continue into bamboo pavilions. The Fivelements Sakti Ritual is designed to be purifying and beautifying. Combining organic ingredients of sea salt, orange, lime, ginger, pandan leaves, lemongrass and Holy Basil. Starting with a deep tissue massage, followed by a scrub and then a wonderfully sensuous bath overlooking the foliage and water, full of all the smells of these wonderful ingredients. This is the ultimate in pampering in a world-class eco spa. Afterwards a feeling of revitalization combines with inner calm to give a holistic feeling of wellbeing.
Complimentary to the various healing treatments are the practice of yoga and scared arts, such as Aikido. This is in line with the Balinese belief of Tri Kaya Parisudha that reflects heartfelt goodwill and thinking with consistent speech and action. Balinese Ceremonies are also available performed by the priest who can arrange a fire or water blessing both designed to be cleansing and empowering. Vows can also be exchanged in a traditional Balinese ceremony, made famous by the marriage of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall on the island. However once a month a sacred Agni Horta fire ceremony, an ancient Hindu fire ceremony that is used for healing and purification.
In keeping with the holistic ethos of Puri Ahmisa, the Sakti Dining Room is a degustation culinary adventure in the art of raw and vegan food. Prepare to be amazed and intrigued as to how such fresh and simple ingredients can transform into the epitome of culinary craftsmanship. Tasting menus of 3,5 or 7 courses can be created or you can order a la carte. Choose from the rich yet sharp raw lasagna, the fresh selection of salads, delicious raw sandwiches, such as the falafel, and pizza, main courses includes dhal, green curry and raw keow teow. Finish this all off with a delectable raw chocolate ganache cake or raspberry parfait accompanied by a ginger and lemon grass fizz. Not only is the menu incredible it revives the senses and unburdens tired metabolisms, leaving you feeling lighter and detoxified. They also run courses for those who would like to take some of these dishes home with them.
As well as creating a harmonious and mystical place to escape from the world, Kiko and Lahna have created an eco model that balances and works within the environment of this enclave. A group of eco architects created this bamboo oasis, after doing a full environmental assessment of the flora and fauna. Energy saving is a high priority due to Bali’s already stretched resources, as is water. Fivelements reduced their electricity for lighting by 95% using amazingly efficient LED system, Sycamore fans provide low energy cooling and water is recycled at a very high rate and waste management and recycling are central.
They also support a range of social programmes in the neighbouring village of Baturning, India and soon to be setting up clinics around Bali. Naturally they also keep ancient Balinese traditions alive and actively support indigenous healing knowledge. The use of a bamboo as a sustainable material also means that the property can be ecologically regenerated without causing any stress to the environment. A full sustainability report can be found on their website.
Fivelements Puri Ahmisa is a mystical hideaway enveloped in nature that is a perfect cure from the stresses and strains of modern life. The wonderful concept of balance that created this place works to make a mini ecosystem for the soul that is captivating and cleansing. It is a perfect destination for those who love nature and nurture with a glimpse into the magic of ritual that is Bali.
Photos Courtesy of Electra Gillies & Fivelements
Words Courtesy Of Electra Gillies