Salt Retreats in Bali is the new kid on the block in luxury wellbeing and spa destinations. Located in Seminyak, ten minutes walk from the beach, the retreat offers an almost all-inclusive experience of chef-prepared meals, daily yoga and surfing tuition, and spa and massage treatments. The six-night, seven-day package is $3,295 per person including a private room with a king-size bed.
Salt Retreats has four rooms that can be configured in various combinations. I booked a private room, as did my travelling companion. Across the small pool there were two identical rooms, however one comprised four single beds and the other two single beds. These twin-share and quad-share packages were less expensive at $2,795 per person for the double room and $2,395 per person for the quad. While the rooms are well-appointed and spacious, I would not have been happy or comfortable to share a room with others, let alone strangers, at such close quarters. In fact our six villa companions for the week were almost all strangers to each other – four women and two men.
The experience did have a Big Brother vibe about it, as you spend most of your time with the same ten people. We were fortunate enough to spend the week with a delightful bunch. There is a risk however, that you may be grouped with people you may not be so fond of.
The food was not gourmet – it was very basic actually. And on quite a few occasions, the advertised menu was not delivered. Group yoga and surfing lessons are always tricky given there is such a range of skill and experience in each group.
The word luxury is subjective, and, at womanwithdrive, we take a discerning approach to reviewing products and places. We know our readers are familiar with five-star and luxury experiences, and expect a high standard. Salt Retreats did not deliver on this occasion.
Salt Retreats is a new resort and the owners may be experiencing teething problems. In time they may well iron out these issues.
If you booked the entire villa, it may translate to a different experience. It is a fabulous option for adults and teenagers travelling together as it combines health and wellness, beauty and exercise. However at around $25,000 to book the entire retreat, it’s not cheap.
There are other options for extended family vacations in Bali and I was able to view the villa next door to Salt Retreats during my stay. At USD $820 – $1,290 per night, Villa Jemma certainly offers a luxury experience. It features four well-appointed bedrooms with luxurious bathrooms, a pool with well-designed outdoor furniture, your own chef and four butlers. You also get access to the private Caggu Sports Club. The villa manager is on hand to assist you with transport and any activities you may wish to try. Private yoga sessions and massages at the villa are relatively easy to organise and surfing tuition is available on Kuta Beach where the waves are suitable for beginners. In my opinion, Villa Jemma looks like a better option for an extended family of adults and teens. I was not able to review the chef and service at Villa Jemma but the hospitality I received during my brief tour was classic warm Balinese.
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