FINDING WELLNESS AT FIVELEMENTS
One of the first questions I was ever asked when I arrived in Ubud last April was, “Have you been to Fivelements?” The answer at the time was no, I had not but I was very intrigued after hearing so many people talk about it.
Whether you are in Ubud for health, yoga, or just to explore, this is one of those places that everyone knows about. And when I say everyone, even the motorbike drivers will tell you how nice it is- and that’s saying something. It was during my recent trip that I was invited out by the owners to experience all that the hotel has to offer and learn about what made them open it.
The journey to the hotel is about 20 minutes outside of Ubud, which is really not that far to get away from the buzz of the center. Upon arrival, you’re not quite sure what to expect, as with most properties is Bali, what you see on the outside is not what you experience on the inside. Walking in you immediately feel at ease and a sense of calmness. This is echoed throughout the property and especially when you sit down to eat at the restaurant. When sitting down, I recommend grabbing a table right near the river as you get to listen to the water flowing, coupled with birds and other beautiful sounds of nature. I was led on a tour of the property and it’s everything that I thought it might be: beautiful, peaceful, welcoming and easy to navigate. There are only 8 villas, which means it’s quite private and coupled with a staff of 70, you are sure to feel like the most important person there.
I chose to receive the Panca Mahabhuta treatment, which is based on energy work from a traditional Balinese healer. I was led into the spa treatment room, which is right next to the river, and given a foot bath outside on the deck. It was pretty lush and I could have easily sat there for a while. Next I was led to the bed where I got under the sheet and Wayan began his magic. There was no physical touch involved, instead, he began with chanting mantras to initiate the session. Once I was fully relaxed he began “working” on my body. While you don’t have a physical touch, there was definitely some sensation going on where ever he was (even though my eyes were closed). I ended up “falling asleep” and I say that in quotes because I don’t think I really fell asleep, but I was pretty much gone. Now this is very strange for someone who has had sleeping issues her whole life and doesn’t ever nap, and I mean ever. Finally, he held onto my head and his hands began shaking. It was strangely comforting, almost like something that should be in my body was coming out. When it was finally done he told me all my chakras were balanced, my blood was good, no ailments in my body. The one thing he did say: “No Think.” I’ve seen a few different healers in Bali now and they have all told me the same thing, to stop worrying, stop thinking so much, and relax. That my mind is too busy and that’s what I will become sick from in the future if I don’t change. I was pretty blissed out after this session, not going to lie. It was a mix between feeling like I had a buzz from a drink mixed with having just slept a deep peaceful sleep. I told Wayan “I felt in the clouds.” Strangely interesting and beautiful all at the same time.
Next it was on to lunch, which is the part I was most looking forward to, especially since I was starving at this point. I’ve heard so many people tell me about Fivelements and the food so I am happy to give a little run down for you.
The chef, Felix Schoener, is German and is meticulous with his details in everything he plates. The food that was served was a kombucha with beet juice (in a champagne glass, naturally), homemade carrot tofu- delicious(!), an organic rice with a crusted eggplant, and mushroom pate, and a raw dessert of ice cream, a cookie crust, raw chocolate, and fresh mango. If you are not served this off the bat, ask for the turmeric juice (jamu jamu as it’s really delicious here). The food was delicious and although it looked like really small portions coming out, I can happily say it’s one of those ‘quality over quantity’ moments and I was perfectly stuffed afterwards.
Overall review: I do recommend coming to Fivelements if you are staying in Ubud. Whether or not you are in the health world, eat vegan, do yoga, do none of it, or simply like to eat food, this place is a breath of fresh air from the craziness that is Bali. While the prices might not impress you, it’s definitely worth it to stop by, even for lunch. I didn’t get to stay overnight so I cannot really comment on the rooms, other than they looked beautiful and very relaxing. Personally, I will happily go back for another decadent vegan meal that was made to perfection (and that’s saying something, coming from me). If you don’t have the sort of money to spend on a treatment or stay at the hotel, then do go for lunch as it’s one of those ‘Don’t Miss’ places in Ubud, I can now say.
Have you been to Fivelements? What are your thoughts?
Lots of Love, N