One of the best experiences I had in Bali was spending a day at Fivelements Puri Ahimsa retreat. Here’s why I loved it.
Nestled on the banks of the Ayung River in Mambal, Abiansemal and not too far from Ubud (approx. 25 minute by car), is award winning and eco-conscious wellness retreat, Fivelements. In a nutshell, Fivelements focuses on providing wellness experiences in the form of healing, living foods and sacred arts – all inspired by Balinese culture.
My experience at Fivelements started with a warm welcome from the retreat’s staff members, a brief tour around the Fivelements property, shortly followed by a delicious lunch at the Fivelements Sakti Dining Room. We were seated outside right next to the Ayung River, shaded beneath large shoots of bamboo and other foliage.
As the majority of the menu is made up of plant-based raw vegan “living” foods, it was absolute heaven to my eyes (and later, tastebuds and stomach!). Being vegan, there are often cases where there isn’t much to choose from when eating out (unless you go to a specialty vegan restaurant), so coming across the opposite at Fivelements was very exciting in itself! I wish I could’ve tried everything!
We ended up starting with a fresh, cold-pressed juice; some raw vegan shitake mushroom dumplings as an entree; then a Balinese Sampler which consisted of a Tempeh Satay, Urap-Urap, Acar Pickles, Tofu Green Curry, Organic Red Rice and Raw Sambal. It was honestly and without a doubt, the best thing I had eaten in my two weeks in Bali!
For dessert, we enjoyed some red bean sorbet with grains of wild rice and banana – the perfect palate cleanser.
After our dining experience, we were given a more in-depth tour of the facilities at Fivelements where we learned more about what the retreat offered, its specialised programs and guides for each guest and how Fivelements was constructed and is maintained in a sustainable way. A couple of the examples of how Fivelements is doing this include having a dedicated compost area, and recycling rainwater and wastewater on site.
As someone who is passionate about environmental sustainability, I really appreciated the time, thought and effort taken by Fivelements to ensure that they had as low impact on the environment as possible.
After learning more about Fivelements, it was time for us to have our Agni Hotra experience. Agni Hotra is an ancient fire ceremony that originated from Hindu sacred scriptures the Vedas. Agni refers to fire and hotras means healing. Specially trained priests make offerings to the fire while reciting Sanskrit mantras to invoke blessings of health and abundance.
Although I couldn’t possibly recap the ceremony in words, the ceremony went for approximately one hour and included being seated next to the priest, reciting the OM mantra 21 times (to help purify and cleanse) while setting my intention or wish for the future. There were also offerings made of ghee and lentils to the fire one spoon at a time while saying ‘Swaha’ at the end of each chant.
The Agni Hotra ceremony was definitely a unique and memorable experience – and in some aspects, quite magical. Something about it made me feel relaxed and cleansed, and left me in an ultra-positive frame of mind. What’s not to love about that?
After the Agni Hotra ceremony, it was time for our final experience for the day at Fivelements: a coconut oil massage and coconut milk spa experience. Just what we needed to end a great day and two week trip in Bali!
Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa Banjar Baturning,
Mambal, Bali, Indonesia 80352
Lust to Wander experienced Fivelements as a guest however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.