Influencers. The A-List. Instagram perfection. Where else could you find all 3 of these things in one place? Bali.
Known for its tranquil beaches, friendly natives and sense of adventure in one of the most picturesque environments, the area of Nusa Dua is everything you could imagine, and the ultimate destination for recharging your wellness, refuelling with sensational pan-Asian food, and switching off from the outside world - an opportunity no one could pass up.
My first trip to Asia, my first 16-hour flight and my first-ever stay at one of the world’s most luxurious wellness hubs, and I’m officially hooked, and already planning my next trip.
The Mulia is a 5* beachfront resort along the bays of Nusa Dua, and boasts SIX award-winning swimming pools (who knew pools could win awards?) spanning around the 75 acres of tranquil complex, and has seen the likes of Fergie and *ahem* Vladimir Putin as guests at their exclusive villas.
Among 1-6 bedroom private villas with their own garden and swimming pool, restoring your wellness begins even just as a guest at the main hotel, with a balcony jacuzzi and bathtub overlooking the Indian Ocean coming as standard. Take notes, Holiday Inn.
Aside from having a personal butler at your beck and call 24 hours a day (special mention to Ari for dry cleaning my suitcase over a mere dead spider), The Mulia also offers numerous specialist relaxation programs with Balinese therapists, for when you’re not hanging out at the infinity pool of course.
During a day at Mulia Spa, the on-site retreat, we had a full days itinerary involving yoga in the scenic gardens of the hotel at 7am, followed by a 300-calorie breakfast with energising juices and waters to get us prepared for a day of restoration and relaxation. And when I say 300-calorie breakfast, yes, I did hide a croissant in a napkin on the way out.
The spa boasts 20 treatment rooms so there’s no shortage of options, and heading into the hot and cold hydrotherapy pools was a good place to start, constituting a gentle tissue workout, without having to move a muscle (literally).
The Mulia also boasts Asia-Pacific's only ice room, a chamber of ice and -1 degrees, with, similarly to a sauna, a giant refilling pile of ice in the middle that is actually edible. It’s only recommended you stay in there for 3 minutes, but it’s a welcome break from the 30 degree heat outside.
But when you do get down to the nitty gritty of experiencing a Balinese massage, a singing bowl ritual is performed both before and after, which can only be described as Big Ben on acid to any fellow city dwellers - although strangely relaxing.
A Balinese massage a full-body, deep-tissue, holistic treatment, and aims to stimulate blood flow around your body by a series of gentle stretches - and aside from being a room filled with the scent of frangipani, you know it’s done the job when you wake up from the sound of your own snoring.
The ancient deep tissue massage technique using palming, stretching, effleurage and pressure points to relieve tension and improve blood flow intends to harmonise mind, body and spirit, as well as increasing metabolism - and finished with an aloe vera body wrap to soothe and moisturise skin (and sun burn!)
Of course, we ended the spa day with what all good days end with - a bouncy blow dry, before heading back to our private villas to enjoy the sunset (and yes, I did post it all over Instagram so sue me).
5 days of rejuvenation and a taste of luxury at the resort dubbed Traveller's Best Spa Resort In The World left me feeling fresh, glowing, and ready to head back to office life with a more positive mindset.
The only downside is that now I expect to be transported everywhere on a private golf buggy, but non the less, I'm already coppering up to make my poignant return back to The Mulia to do it all over again.