Bali has been the centre of almost every travel conversation this year, Trip Advisor crowned it the number one destination in 2017. And we all know I am obsessed with the place. Evidence here and here.
I’ve experienced Bali in many ways, as a backpacker, as a buyer, with friends, family and my partner. I’ve done the holiday, the business trip, the backpacker solo trip, the romantic trip, for adventure and for immersive travel. I have never been to Bali for a wellness retreat! Until now that is, with epic surf, endless sun, and it being the yoga hub of Asia it was about time I went back to my favourite place and to indulge in some self-care!
If you are still wondering if you should visit Bali, here’s my review of the wonderful Pineapple House retreat in Canggu, Bali which will definitely make you want to book your flights asap!
Right from the start, Pineapple House oozed tranquillity and calmness. Check-in was basically non-existence and instead, after being picked up by my lovely driver Agus from the airport, I was shown around and introduced to Era who is the retreat manager and go-to gal for pretty much everything!
The Pineapple House is located in Canggu and is a villa retreat that offers yoga and surf packages. Do as much as you want or nothing at all, the Pineapple House caters for all types of visits. Guests are able to create their own retreat experience from an extensive menu of yoga, surf and options to add a variety of activities, with packages starting from 2 days. It’s a flexible resting point for an injection of soul-enriching yoga and surf.
The villa has two living spaces both with a pool, kitchen and common areas, it is surrounded by rice paddies and although in a busy area of Canggu as soon as you walk through the villa door you escape to a peaceful paradise and the only focus is your wellbeing. The villa is run by Rachel the owner, Era the retreat manager, Agus the driver and Putu the cook and cleaner. Its often the people who make or break an experience and for me, this place was made by the wonderful people who run it. Everybody involved in the Pineapple House went above and beyond to make sure you everything about your stay is exactly how you want it!
The rooms at Pineapple House Retreat are extraordinary. The villa consists of two spaces with two rooms in the back house and 3 rooms in the front. I stayed in one of the back rooms, with an outside bathroom, separate outdoor bath and a gorgeous whitewashed four poster bed.
Our rooms came with glass bottles that were filled daily with drinking water and large pumps bottles for shampoo and body wash. One of my favourite things about the Pineapple house was their sustainability measures. They recycle, have a compost bin for the food scraps, they don’t have plastic water bottles( which is a big thing in Asia) or small toiletries that are often used once whilst the packaging lasts a lifetime. Rooms do not come with a fridge but there are two kitchens that both have fridges if you are like me and need them for your Beauty Chef products!
All stays and packages come with daily breakfast. Each morning the cook Putu comes to cook everyone a nourishing breakfast. During my stay I had black rice pudding with coconut milk, chia pudding with fresh mango, a black rice and banana pancake, and eggs however you like. We also got fresh fruit and coffee or your choice of herbal teas.
Although no other meals are included you can buy your own fresh produce and cook at either of the two kitchens. I couldn’t go past the array of amazing cafes Canggu is known for. Each day after my surf and yoga I would take a short walk to Jl. Pantai Berawa that was lined with some of my favourites like Nude, Peloton Supershop, Milk and Madu and Milu by Nook.
On the nights that I was wrecked from being a gnarly surfer ( seriously though that shit is so tiring!) I used Go Jek App to order a meal and had it delivered. You will be given manual/guide during your stay that has a whole chapter on food!
Black Rice Pudding for Breakfast
Nasi Campur from Peloton Supershop.
Poke Bowl from Milu by Nook
Black Rice Pancake for Breakfast
“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.” – Deepak Chopra
Pineapple House offers surf classes for every level. Depending on your package a number of daily surf classes will be included,
I had only surfed once before when I was very young, and although I live minutes from the beach I have a bit of anxiety when it comes to waves, but as soon as I had the leg rope on my ankle and hit the water my angst immediately faded and was replaced by excitement and contentment. This was then turned into immense pride as Sunny pushed me onto my first wave and I rose to my feet and glided along! I was so proud to have gotten up on my very first wave!
Out there amongst other beginners, my courage ran strong spurred on by the motivation of being within a school of eager learners. Surfing isn’t easy though, in fact, about 20 minutes in I had a serious new found respect for my boyfriend and surfers in general. The fitness level it takes to paddle continuously is much greater than I anticipated! 3 hours in my arms felt like they were going to fall off, I had no idea how was going to come back tomorrow and do it all again.
Surf lessons are offered by Sunny Surf who is an excellent teacher! Each morning Sunny picks you up and takes you to Batu Belong beach, approximately 15 minutes away from the Villa. This beach is great for learners which you will see in the abundance of learn to surf vendors that crowd the small beach. You will start the lesson with an explanation about your board, balance, and how to get up and your stance when riding the wave. After an extremely short practice of paddling and jumping to your feet its time to try it out on the waves. There is an instructor with you all the time. Sunny will tell you when you have to get on your board and start paddling or push you onto the wave,
I don’t know why it took me so long to learn to surf especially since one of my favourite places is the ocean! But man I am proud and so excited for wave chasing this summer! These few lessons gave me the confidence I needed to make it more than just a once in a lifetime activity.
During my second lesson and it was just me and Sunny, the waves were fewer but we sat out the back waiting for the bigger waves. Apparently, my confidence shot up big time in a short amount of time! I was loving this whole surf lifestyle! Thinking it couldn’t get much better than this, 3 turtles came over to say hello!🙈🐢 It was so surreal!
Yoga is offered by neighbouring retreat Desa Seni. Depending on your package you will be given vouchers and a yoga timetable and can go to the classes as you wish. There are private classes offered at Pineapple House if you pre-arrange, or there are mats, bolsters and blocks if you would like to do a self-guided practice in the common spaces.
The Desa Seni village is an amazing yoga resort with passionate and experienced teachers. The grounds are calming and tranquil, with yoga mats and everything you need for your class.
You will be given a timetable when you arrive at Pineapple House that has different times and teachers for Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative, Yin, Alignment & Adjustment, Meditation and Community classes or events.
With a flourishing garden, that is set up to replicate a traditional Indonesian village, Desa Seni is the perfect place to relish in your practice. It also is a resort that is dedicated to living sustainably, with 40% of their land used for organic farming, they compost and recycle all their garbage, and practice countless other factors that help to encourage an eco-green environment.
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