Our needs were simple. We required a break in a secluded location to relax, meditate and detox. We had three weeks to spare but didn't want to break the bank. Our search led us to Jiwa Damai Bali Retreat located about 20 minutes from Ubud, Bali.
We arranged with Jiwa to be picked up from Denpasar Airport and it took about an hour to get there. On arrival we were greeted by Margret, our wonderful host who promptly offered us a fresh salad from the kitchen.
There is a range of room types at Jiwa. If you like to be more in touch with nature, the Lumbungs are a great option. They are traditional Balinese wood and bamboo houses nestled in the gardens with an open aspect. There is a mosquito net over the bed and a hammock downstairs. Also featured is a stunning open bathroom to view the stars at night.
The other rooms are more conventional with king size beds and either ensuite or shared outside bathroom. These rooms are nice and clean and spacious.
The Balinese Lumbung is perfect for those wanting to be close to nature
One of the reasons we chose Jiwa was the promise of organic food direct from their garden. Thankfully this was the case and the meals were mostly vegetarian although some dinners included chicken or fish. Tofu and tempe are favourite dishes here and usually cooked in Asian cuisine style. The breakfast choices are impressive and range from eggs cooked any way to banana pancakes or Nasi Goreng.
The organic permaculture garden with bee farm in the background
Jiwa Damai sits in a lush tropical valley with beautifully maintained gardens perfect for exploring or finding a quiet place to read. Within this is the organic vegetable garden fed from natural spring water with permaculture principles applied. There is also a section for a range of medicinal herbs. The retreat welcomes volunteers from around the world to work side by side with the gardening staff exchanging ideas and information.
Volunteers lend a hand in the organic vegetable garden
Guests are also able to enjoy a large pool on the grounds or perhaps book a massage in the purpose built health room. Margret is also happy to conduct meditation and yoga sessions at no extra cost to the guests.
I would recommend Jiwa Damai to anyone with similiar needs to ours as we certainly found peace and relaxation in a friendly and healthy environment. The costs are also very reasonable and it's easy to organize a taxi to explore Ubud if you feel like a shopping hit as we did.