The trip to Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreat in Bali

After turbulent few years   in 2016 i finally start to get back on my feet and had saved enough to go  on some long distance  exotic holiday  that had  been  in my plans for a while. I start discussing it with my childhood best friend who  is a yoga teacher in Chicago and she decided to come with me . Picking up our destination was not difficult. Bali was on top of my bucket list and she really wanted to go on a yoga retreat. Those of you who are  interested in yoga probably already know that  the island is known for its spirituality and amazing yoga retreats places.

We found Blooming Lotus Retreat through a google search and it caught out attention with its cheap comparing to other places price and with the   fully five star reviews it had received.

They offer 4 and 7 days retreat options and as we could only spare around 8 days without our children we opted for the 4 days one.It costed 400 dollars per person  and  they offer  payment in installments - 200 dollars immediately and the rest 30 days before arrival. In the price was included  three nights in a luxury villa , 2 meals  daily , two yoga classes everyday , 2 yoga workshops , daily meditation  session and visiting one cultural event. Now i will mention that check ins are only on Sunday afternoon ( 5 pm ! )  and check outs on Wednesday morning ( 12 noon ) . It is actually like  having two fully days retreat  schedule and a cultural event trip  on Sunday and a yoga class on Wednesday.morning. They still offer the best value for money we could find there as their villas are   high 5 + standard and the service was exceptional. 

The place is situated in Ubud  an hour  drive away from Denpasar airport. The property can arrange pick up for 35 dollars upon  request in advance , if you grab a random taxi at the airport and negotiate  will cost slightly higher but similar price. We both arrived very late at night  , two days before our reservation there so we decided to stay  and recharge our batteries  in Kuta as we both had over 26 hours journey to Bali.

We both flew with Emirated to Dubai and boarded the same connection flight from there to Bali.

We both flew with Emirated to Dubai and boarded the same connection flight from there to Bali.

We left for Ubud  by taxi  with organizing with the driver to give us a little tour around the places on the way.It costed us 30 dollars ( 400 000 rupiahs )for the trip.  Note that  for Bali you will definitely need to exchange money before you arrive there and have cash as cards are not that widely accepted.

For that price we stopped on few places on the way such as Pantai Pandawa beach, lovely seafood restaurant situated in  a near beach, temple visit  ,the famous Kopi  Lawak coffee   plantation, which makes one of the most expensive coffee in the world and Turtle island near Benoa Beach.( 35 dollars extra )

Those lovely children informed us that in Pandawa beach you   say Hi and take pictures with strangers :) 

Those lovely children informed us that in Pandawa beach you   say Hi and take pictures with strangers :) 

we were the only tourists on the beach 

 

Some fish spa in Turtle Island near Benoa Beach.

Some fish spa in Turtle Island near Benoa Beach.

The staff asked me do i want to feed them so jumped in . I have changed my views since then and  have decided not to visit places where animals are kept in captivity.

The staff asked me do i want to feed them so jumped in . I have changed my views since then and  have decided not to visit places where animals are kept in captivity.

you need to cover your legs to visit the temples 

you need to cover your legs to visit the temples 

Two trees in a temple

Two trees in a temple

waiting to try the coffee in Luwak plantation.

waiting to try the coffee in Luwak plantation.

My favourite was the coconut coffee, i bought some for 250 000 Rupiah. i didn't know they make the coffee out of animal labour until i got there so if you are an animal supporter I would spare the visit.

My favourite was the coconut coffee, i bought some for 250 000 Rupiah. i didn't know they make the coffee out of animal labour until i got there so if you are an animal supporter I would spare the visit.

We arrived at Villa Ubud Corner 88 -a hotel made  of  luxurious villas , where the retreat was taking place. We were greeted with delicious  flavored coconut water and pandan juice pancake and a leaflet for the schedule for next few days  at the reception which is located on top of the property.

view from the reception

view from the reception

After a hassle free check in , we were escorted  by a golf car to our private villa which was two floors below  .

Our villa was large , made in modern  Balinese style  with air conditioner , two single beds , dressing room and huge shower and bathroom. We had a private infinity pool which offers a direct view to the tropical forest in the near distance. We shared that and an outdoor kitchen and living room facilities  with the residents of the other two rooms who were part of the retreat group . Along with that there is also a bigger  pool a floor below for everyone to enjoy.

view from my bed 

view from my bed 

Evening yoga by the pool

Evening yoga by the pool

The time had stopped , The larger pool had awesome tropical view

The time had stopped , The larger pool had awesome tropical view

We had breakfast and dinner included in the price. The food was strictly vegetarian which was great for my taste and preference   but if you are a meat lover you might see  this as a negative. Breakfast was nice but repetitive consisting of granola or muesli , fruit salad and yogurt. Dinners were made of indonesian cruisine three meals courses and were not very large in size but quite delicious options.

Amazing bunch of people.

Amazing bunch of people.

That was actually one of the girl's  lunch which were larger but  were similar  to dinners i - tufu , tempeh , rice ,tabouleh .

That was actually one of the girl's  lunch which were larger but  were similar  to dinners i - tufu , tempeh , rice ,tabouleh .

On the first evening we didn't have any yoga activities. Instead they had organised for  the whole retreat group to see a cultural event in Ubud. It consisted of some storytelling and traditional Balinese dance . I found it   quite fascinating and mesmerizing.

The following morning we started our first yoga class at 7.30 after being woken up  half an hour earlier by the staff  who gently rang a singing bowl around the villas. The yoga studio was located on the top floor next to the reception. There is a quite soothing calming feel to it with a fantastic view to the near river and jungle.

The teachers Ashley and Megan were very spiritual and knowledgeable and did their best to facilitate and adjust their classes for people who are on beginners level to yogi instructors. They thought us Asana practice and mediation and pranayama methods and breathing techniques. It was great  introduction  for people who were just getting the grasp of meditation and yoga. However for my friend as being a teacher poses were not much of a challenge. The workshops classes  who started at 11 am focused on helping us finding ways to integrate and incorporate yoga into our daily life and turn it into a way of lifestyle. The evening yoga and medidation  classes started at 5.30 pm  until 7 pm  followed by dinner. I discovered Yoga Nidra there and it has been part of my evening meditation practice ever since. For me the information i gathered there  set the foundation of spiritual enlightenment and self -healing. 

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Between the activities we had free time to use if we wanted to go back to sleep , lie down by the pool , explore Ubud and other  tourist activities .The hotel offers a free shuffle to Ubud. During our stay there we visited the local shops and restaurants , the rice terraces (  must see by all means if you are in Ubud )  and the magnificent  breathtaking Tegenungan waterfall. I would also recommend visiting the Monkey forest but be careful  with your possession as the monkeys are known to  get a bit  mischievous and steal them :) .

My time in Blooming Lotus Yoga  is still very special to me. It was eye opening and transforming in any way. Along with being with my best friend again , I met some amazing people  from the staff to worked there  to the locals and the rest of the residents in the villa. I would definitely recommend paying it a visit if you are looking for a great value for money yoga retreat , honeymoon spot or  just place to relax in peace and tranquility.  

     xxxxx    

                                                     Edendeli