Four Seasons Sayan
Having just experienced Jimbaran Bay and Four Seasons in the southern part of Bali, I was excited to get back to Ubud and stay at the Four Seasons Sayan, where I had previously been in April 2014.
A small bit of backstory:
Ubud is a place of pure magic. Now, I’m not sure if you go there because you seek something, or it calls to you, but whichever way it happens, when you find yourself there it is for a reason. I’ve been told it’s the spiritual epicenter of Bali and the energy there is palpable. So this being my third time up there and second time at this same hotel was definitely meant to be.
Walking into the hotel is almost like leaving planet Earth that we know it (i.e. any sort of city you have come from, including the rest of Bali), and instead stepping into Avatar-land. Side note, if you haven’t seen the movie, go do it as it’s based around meditation and tantra. You walk down this long bridge where you look out onto a pond that seems to be free floating in the middle of the jungle; this in itself is one of the best entries into a hotel I’ve seen. Next, you walk downstairs where you see the incredible architecture that is all open, no windows in sight, as you are now fully submersed in the middle of all the trees. You will be greeted with love from the staff, then led to your room and trust me when I say, no matter where you stay it will be stunning.
Because I had been to this hotel before, I already knew the layout of the land pretty well, so the most exciting part for me was to see the yoga shala, which was being built last time I was there. To say it’s amazing doesn’t even do it justice. Our first class was at 5pm, after sitting in a car for a bit of the day from Jimbaran. This was led by a wonderful instructor, who helped us not only create space to experience beautiful times during the next few days, it allowed us to stretch, enjoy nature and really get into the Ubud spirit. The following day we did anti-gravity yoga, which uses the silks to really stretch your body. This is a lot more challenging than you think it will be, but is very fun to be able to swing through the shala while in a fun yoga pose. The last night we experienced a sound healing with crystal bowls as the sun was setting. Talk about feeling like you’re in a dreamland!
Being situated in the middle of the jungle and right on the river, there is powerful energy and a lot of peaceful nights you will experience. Any insomniac will find relief when you sit outside at night and listen to the sounds of nature. It’s also a deeply healing place, which means that being at this resort will leave you feeling rejuvenated, unlike many vacations where you need a vacation from the vacation.
The spa treatment that was chosen for me here was again based on my Chakra form, this time focusing on my solar plexus, or third chakra. All treatments in Bali start with a footbath and scrub. They take such tender care of even touching your feet that automatically you are brought to a place of relaxation. Next, I was given a full body scrub, then clay mask put all over my body, where I was then wrapped up in blankets, which felt like I was in a cocoon. Sri, my therapist who I HIGHLY recommend (like highly, highly recommend) then took my head in her hands for a cranial sacral massage. If you’ve never had one of these, it is a game changer. I felt so relaxed that I dozed in and out of consciousness, finally to awake to her showing me to the bathroom. A bath had been drawn with flowers and rose petals, lime slices and while this was magical in itself, the bath was free standing in a room that was an outdoor bathroom with jungle in the background. Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone on me as I was on a slight technology detox (for a few hours, haha!) otherwise I would make this picture front and center of the blog post.
So, I laid in the bath while Sri brought me ginger tea and fresh watermelon while music played in the background. I showered and came back to the room for a full body massage, with extra love and care on the Manipura, or solar plexus, where the stomach is.
This is to date on of the best treatments I’ve ever done. So if you have a chance, try this one and definitely ask for Sri. I’m sure everyone is magical, I just felt especially connected to her.
My time at Four Seasons Sayan was healing to say the least. It helped to clear up quite a lot of ongoing issues in my mind, helped me connected further with the beautiful group of firneds I was with, and allowed me to feel so naturally rested that I didn’t even mind the long journey back.
One of the fun things that I got to do was go on a little walk around Sayan with a guide (who I actually had the last time I was there for the temple tour and she is the sweetest woman ever!), who took us into a local’s house where got to really learn about the culture and the way Balinese live. It was truly magical. Then we went into the rice fields on the property and cultivated the land to plant rice, after blessing it of course. It was very interesting to see how much work goes into making rice and it definitely makes me appreciate the food I eat even more!
Overall review: if you are trying to choose between going to the Four Seasons at Jimbaran versus Four Seasons Sayan, you must first figure out if you want a very healing trip or one that is more fun and beachy-like. While Jimbaran now has a special place in my heart, Sayan is one of those resorts that is unlike any other I’ve been to. You can typically experience a beautiful resort on the beach, with beautiful pools and great water activities, however it’s harder to come by to find a place in the middle of the land that has such magic to it. I personally recommend heading here, even if you can only come for a night or two and see what healing it brings to you. While you’re here, take part in any number of activities, which ranges from learning how they farm rice (something very fun I got to do), to river canoeing, bicycling around Ubud, and watching local Balinese dance at night.
Oh, little side note, Julia Roberts stayed at one of the villas here while filming Eat Pray Love!