We Embarked on a Wellness Retreat and Here’s What We Loved About it

Bali recently became the launch pad for Revıvo, whose boutique wellness resorts promise a balance of good food, fitness, and spa time. 

Poolside at one of Revıvo Bali’s three villas.

Judging by the name alone, Revīvō is clear about its mission. In Latin it simply means “I’ll live again,” which speaks of a noble aim to inspire better living for all its guests. This new wellness resorts brand is the brainchild of two Hong Kong–based entrepreneurs who share a passion for wellness and travel: Gordon Oldham, founder of The Pavilions Hotels and Resorts; and Laurie Mias, who began Mr. Green Juice, Hong Kong’s first organic cold-pressed juicery. The opening of its Bali property in late March marked Revīvō’s worldwide launch; still to come next year are a wellness cruiser in the Komodo Islands (also in Indonesia) and a resort inside the 19th-century Château de Fiac in southern France.

Perched on a three-hectare hillside property above Nusa Dua, Revīvō Bali has just 16 smartly furnished suites spread across three thatched-roof villas. In this intimate setting swathed in teak forest, where the lush tropical gardens come dotted with lily ponds, weary urbanites can restore their sense of balance through a choice of six three-day retreats. Revīvō’s signature program, the Emotional Balance and Mind Training retreat, aims to manage stress through integrating personalized meals, exercises, and spa treatments.

It all starts with a body composition analysis; data gleaned from that is printed inside a personal journal, alongside health pointers that explain the foodstuffs appropriate for every blood type. These journals are a key component of the mind-training aspect, allowing guests to record their objectives and efforts, mood, food consumption, and daily achievements.

The menu here features locally harvested fruit and other natural ingredients.

Though that may sound a little severe at first, any apprehension of a strict regimen soon disappears at the dining table. Revīvō’s charm is in its adherence to the age-old counsel of balance and moderation, along with its coterie of enthusiastic staff. Here, eating is a celebration—an interplay of nourishing sustenance and an exquisite culinary adventure—teasing the senses and tossing out the notion that a healthy diet is inherently insipid. The menu is curated by Spanish chef and nutritionist Alethea Scaparros (better known as Aliwalu), a purveyor of mindful, balanced eating who incorporates elements of the Slow Food movement as well as the macrobiotic and raw food diets. Organic vegetables, meat, and fish feature alongside spirit-boosting coffee and alcohol.

The result? Innovative, Instagram-worthy drinks and dishes with sassy names. The Rolling Root salad is a psychedelic riot of marinated raw roots, grilled shiitake mushrooms, tempeh, and fresh greens seasoned with black-sesame gomasio. Thirst quencher Heal Me Gently is a super-charged concoction of roselle, pandan, and orange; for something stronger, try the rambutan martini.

Mornings begin with a high-powered trio of healthy shots—lemon juice with a pinch of salt, kombucha (fermented tea), and jamu, or Indonesian herbal medicine (in this case a mixture of ginger, turmeric, and coconut oil)—followed by a pre-breakfast fitness session.

Ayurvedic shirodhara therapy at the resort’s spa.

Throughout the day, expect a balance of cardio and one or two body-and-mind workouts that are tailored to desired intensity and ability. These range from hard-hitting activities such as kickboxing, TRX suspension training, Pilates, and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) dance, to milder but no less restorative Primordial Sound Meditation, pranayama breathing exercises, yoga, qigong, and tai chi.

Soothing spa pampering takes over as the afternoon sun begins to sink toward the horizon. Aromatherapy massage and shirodhara —in which warm Ayurvedic oil is poured onto the forehead—help return body, mind, and spirit to equilibrium. Come evening, another mind-training tool is shared by way of inspirational five-minute bedside reads. The aim is to cultivate simplicity, mindfulness, altruism, and self-reliance—achieving positive transformation via simple, practical steps that can still be followed long after you leave.

Revīvō Wellness Resorts offer year-round three- to 14-night retreats from US$2,100 per person, all-inclusive. There are day and weekend wellness journeys as well as room-only options.

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Mind and Matter”).

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