If there was ever a perfect place to pause, the new wellness retreat Revīvō (meaning “I’ll live again” in Latin) would be it. Nestled on a hillside in southern Bali’s Nusa Dua, the resort’s secluded location gently coaxes you into getting comfortable with yourself again. Enjoying your own company has always been difficult to achieve in the modern world. In fact, taking time out to be alone is almost like meditation – a way to fully embrace your own silence, thoughts, space and flaws.
Like most things, however, it’s easier said than done. Experts who have had years and years of practice still struggle to meditate for more than half an hour. Specialising in immersive programmes focused on well-being, Revīvō offers a more holistic approach to your usual wellness retreat with an emphasis on training the mind and self-reflection. The goal isn’t to return a few pounds lighter, but to feel refreshed, re-energised and armed with the knowledge to best nourish your mind and body at home as well. Ranging from three to 14 days long, you can choose from Revīvō’s six programmes; they focus on emotional balance and mind training, detox and organic weight loss, sleeping well, anti-ageing and longevity, de-stressing and relaxation, and one that’s tailored for mothers-to-be.
While some resorts can seem slightly eerie in their silence, Revīvō wraps you in a sense of calm stillness. Each suite is refreshingly mellow and filled with dark teak accents, a sunken bathtub (mine overlooked the jungle) and, importantly, a mosquito net over the bed so you aren’t disturbed while you sleep. All 16 Balinese-style suites feature a simple, peaceful and pared-back design. These can be privatised to make up three residences – two suites for four and one suite for eight – for a more exclusive retreat as a group; each comes with its own pool and sala dining area.
The Revīvō journey is split up into three core concepts: Nūtriō (nutrition), Moveō (fitness and wellness) and Remissiō (healing and restorative treatments). My three-day programme started with a thorough pre-arrival phone interview with Kathy Cook, the resident health and wellness coach, which covered a broad range of topics including wellness goals, what you normally eat and how you’re doing emotionally. I remember one question that stood out in particular: “Would you be willing to go without your phone during your stay?”
Every morning begins with a trio of shots delivered to your room at 7.30am to kick-start your digestive system and awaken the body – warm water with lemon and salt, a Jamu shot made with ginger, turmeric and coconut oil, and homemade kombucha. Then, it’s time to move for an hour.
The Moveō area features a yoga and mediational hall, an aerial yoga outdoor space, Pilates studio and gym packed with boxing, TRX and Kinesis equipment, as well as a 25-metre lap pool for aqua workouts. A perfect balance of ying (restorative and mindful) and yang (more intensive and heart-pumping), the sessions are customisable, ranging from yoga and qigong to Thai kickboxing, high-intensity interval training and reformer Pilates. Led by local fitness instructors, the group classes provide a good introduction to different types of workouts, though those looking for something a little more challenging would be better off opting for private training.
The menus at Revīvō have all been designed by renowned Spanish nutritionist chef Aliwalú. Using the best organic and locally-sourced ingredients, most dishes are vegan and gluten-free where possible, and high in protein and low in carbs. The bread, for example, is made out of unripe banana flour – something I hadn’t even noticed, a testament to how innovative and delicious the food is. It’s not only easily digestible, but also high in fibre and keeps you sated longer, potentially aiding in weight loss.
As I was on Revīvō’s emotional balance and mind training programme, my menu was specifically designed to be grounding and soothing. Among the dishes were banana porridge with chia seeds, apple, cinnamon and goji berries, followed by tahini and honey on toast for breakfast; a crunchy roots salad and pepes (fish cooked in banana leaves) for lunch; and a hearty vegan ramen filled with mushrooms, tempeh and beetroot noodles. Each meal is also supplemented with Ayurvedic teas and detoxifying juices.
A daily spa treatment is also included as part of the programme. The natural facials use slices of cucumber to massage and soothe your face, and a natural yoghurt scrub to exfoliate. The spa also offers a variety of hydro, chromo and ancient healing treatments, including Shirodhara – an Ayurveda therapy designed to calm, relax and cleanse the mind and nerves by gently dripping a warm liquid over the forehead (or “third eye”), lulling you into a meditative state. If there’s one thing you should make time for, it’s a soak in the saltwater floating pool that’s designed to relax tired muscles – particularly after your sweaty session. Before falling to sleep, you’ll receive a daily affirmation and life tips on a little card placed next to your bed – one day, it was about cultivating altruism, and the next on building inner strength.
In today’s #fomo world, the pressure to keep up social appearances and constantly be moving from one thing to the next has never been so prevalent. The temptation of falling into mindless consumption – be it a Netflix binge or a food binge – is also hard to resist. If it’s all become too much, then it’s time to break the cycle. Once you fully learn to embrace your own silence and thoughts, you’ll have accomplished what many fail to achieve in their lifetime: to know and to love yourself. An escape to one of Bali’s newest wellness concepts just might help you start that journey.
This feature originally appeared in the June 2018 print issue of #legend