On my last international trip in late 2019, I visited family in Singapore — my first time back in almost a decade — before popping over to Bali for a solo vacation. I was grateful for the experience then and now, I’m even more grateful after the unprecedented whirlwind of events in 2020 and 2021.
My week in Bali was absolutely magical. The sky is bluer, the leaves are greener, the fruit is sweeter, the tempeh is nuttier, the dragonfruit is pinker, the days are longer, my heart is calmer, and I left a couple shades tanner. It’s strange how rushing around in the heat and humidity in an unfamiliar place can bring so much peace. I felt refreshed and energized after my week there.
Soulshine Bali Boutique Hotel and Yoga Retreat Resort
Soulshine Bali is musician, filmmaker, and humanitarian Michael Franti’s boutique resort located about 10 minutes away from Ubud center. To reach Soulshine Bali, you walk along a narrow pathway as the resort is tucked within a lush jungle. The modern rooms and villas with gardens views are decorated with a mixture of Balinese art and rock and roll touches. One of the highlights at Soulshine Bali is the open air yoga shala, where you can practice yoga while taking in gorgeous views of the surrounding rice terraces.
Yoga teachers from all over the world host yoga retreats at Soulshine Bali, but you can also create your own retreat experience. I booked a package directly with Soulshine Bali, which includes two yoga classes daily, two massages, and organic meals. Many of my yoga classes were one-on-one with the instructor; no more than six students total when they were group classes. Practicing yoga outdoors in the heat and humidity was a new challenge for me.
In between yoga classes and exploring Ubud, which is known for being a wellness and holistic center, I loved lounging by the infinity pool and exploring the resort. There was some construction nearby, but there were zero issues with noise. I believe Soulshine Bali has opened the new building since my visit.
The entirely organic menu at Soulshine Bali is incredibly vegan-friendly, just like the rest of Ubud. I enjoyed green juices, tropical smoothie bowls, gado gado, and raw vegan desserts. Everything was fresh and nourishing. Most of my meals during my week in Bali were at the resort, but I occasionally wandered off to local restaurants.