Desa Seni, total bliss at this healthy yoga retreat in Bali

Yoga, meditations, massages, healthy food, a beautiful swimming pool, private sleeping cabins, an overwhelming tropical garden and super friendly staff. I haven’t even mentioned the comfortable big beds, the outside bathroom, and this all located close to the beach: Yoga retreat Desa Seni in Canggu is the perfect retreat to recharge.


After a super busy year and some private circumstances, I needed some time to relax. Bali is the perfect place for that since there are a lot of healthy spots and yoga retreats on the island. I was already in Canggu and I heard that Desa Seni is one of the best yoga retreats of Bali: they have the most experienced teachers, delicious fresh and healthy food, luxurious surroundings and a great service! That’s exactly what I needed.

  I wasn’t a big yoga fan, but ever since I took some classes at Desa Seni I decided to continue to practice yoga in Amsterdam.


Desa Seni
The retreat is located amid ancient rice terraces.
You get a warm welcome when you arrive by the lovely women at the entrance desk of Desa Seni. Then a guided tour is waiting for you first before drinking a welcomes cocktail at the pool. The first thing you will notice is the relaxed and beautiful vibe of this retreat: The beautiful garden with colorful flowers, the big and comfortable sun bets and the stunning swimming pool was exactly what I was looking for. They seriously have thought about everything: mosquito spray, candles, incense, holiday cards to send out and a lot more.
You get to chill in a zen location for a few days where everything is included and that is what you want when you go to a retreat.
This Village Resort serves an eclectic Asian-Western cuisine with a focus on organic, healthy and fresh food. It has a
 vegetarian menu where delicious fish and veggie dishes from the resort’s own organic gardens are waiting for you. The restaurant is open to the public for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The traditional wooden farmhouse

The outside bathroom

Desa Seni’s daily Yoga program caters to all levels and offers a variety of yoga styles, open to the community and led by a qualified, dedicated, and passionate team of teachers. Apparently Desa Seni has the best yoga teachers on the island. A lot of people come here to take part of the 5 yoga classes they offer each day: From Kundalini Yoga and Hatha (the most reckon one) to Sunset Flow and Fly High Yoga. They might be a but heavier than in your own country, but it has also to do with the weather (you sweat a lot). The classes are super divers and you feel great when your done.


So what does it cost?
Desa Seni offers a variety of accommodations, all of which are antique wooden houses with beautiful terraces, sitting areas and private modern outside bathrooms. The interior of each unique house has been re-furbished to provide all the modern comforts, while the exteriors have retained the integrity of rural village life. Check the prices hereRoom Rates include: Gourmet Breakfast – Daily Yoga & Meditation Classes – Unlimited Drinking Water – Complimentary Wireless Internet – Daily Ceremonial Offering – DVD & Book Library.

Desa Seni
Jl. Subak Sari No.13, Canggu, Bali



Vegan sisters host a yoga retreat on Bali

Vegan sisters Isabella & Loulou Machine have already set ground in Amsterdam with their monthly Go With The Glow vegan brunches that attracts hip Amsterdam. Proving that a vegan lifestyle is anything but boring, they introduce new people to a lifestyle that is kind to animals, the planet and your body. This coming May they are taking this message overseas and the girls will host a vegan yoga retreat in Bali named Love Out Loud.


Total Zen in Bali
The boutique resort in Bali will be situated in between the rice fields of Ubud and will focus on yoga and spirituality. The ‘LOVE out loud’ yoga retreat is there to break the boundaries of a consciously styled life to live more from the true intentions of the heart. There is a 7-day full circle of yoga program designed to fulfill the desire of the participants who want to raise their consciousness to a higher level. The program offers physical challenges, attention to spiritual growth accompanied by a former monk, a vegan and organic menu that reflects the principles of yoga, breathing techniques and silences.


naya-resort yoga retreat on Bali
The Naya Resort in Ubud


Connect body and mind with yoga, listen to your heart in silence, feed your soul with plant based food and awake. LOVE out loud! 

naya-vegan yoga retreat on Bali
Healthy vegan food will be served during the retreat

Date: 25th – 31st of May 2017.
The Vegan Yoga retreat cost vary between € 1650,- ( including a single room) € 1550,- (including a double / shared room) or  non residential for € 850,-. Prices do not include flights to Bali.

For more info and tickets, check the Facebook Page.



Bali must do’s for first timers

In my previous blog, I highlighted some sights you should visit in Java. Even though Java is beautiful, I think an even more special place in Indonesia is Bali. Bali is quite a popular destination and once you visited this island you’ll understand why. While in most of Indonesia, Islam is the main religion, in Bali most people are Hinduists. You’ll see Hindu temples everywhere. But these are not the only interesting sights. Here’s are some Bali must do’s if you’re visiting the island for the first time.

Ubud is the cultural hart of Bali. It has a lovely center with nice bars and restaurants. It has quite a spiritual vibe with all its great temples. The most impressive one is Gunung Kawi, an 11th-century temple complex spread across both sides of the Pakerisan river. It comprises 10 shrines that are carved into seven (!) metre high sheltered niches on each side. Once you move away from the center, Ubud also has beautiful surroundings, you can walk for example to Campuang Ridge and see beautiful rice fields.

Bike downhill from Mount Batur
This is a spectacular tour which starts in Ubud, from where you’ll drive to Penelokan, which is right next to Mount Batur. You’ll have breakfast overlooking this impressive, active, volcano and its crater lake. After this great start, you will bike downhill back to Ubud. Along the way, you’ll see little villages and visit a coffee plantation, typical Balinese houses and the well-known rice fields.

Breakfast with a view

Dive in Amed
If you like diving, Amed is the place to be in Bali. There are lots of different dive schools that all offer PADI or SSI courses, or just regular dive trips in case you are already certified. One of the most memorable dive spots is Manta Point, close to Nuusa Lembongan. It takes some time to get there and it’s therefore also quite a pricy dive, but it will be well worth once you see massive – up to 6 metres wide – Manta’s under water. 

it-is-called-manta-point-for-a-reason, Bali must do's
It is called Manta Point for a reason!

Relax at the Gili’s
The Gili’s do not really belong to Bali, but they are the perfect getaway with their white beaches, clear blue water and amazing sunsets. You can easily get there by boat from Padang Bay. Gili Trawangan is the biggest island and mostly known for its parties. Gili Air is a bit smaller but it has a great atmosphere and is very vibrant with all the restaurants along the beach where you can eat sea food that just came out of the ocean. And if you really want some relax time the smallest Gili Meno is the place to be. All islands are home to an impressive underwater world and snorkeling or diving are great activities here. Find more info about the Gili islands here.

There you have it, just a little guide into Bali must do’s for first timers. And I’m sure there will be a second time very soon after!



*Dionne is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands, currently living in Den Bosch. In everyday life she works as a marketing-communications professional. She loves to travel to distant destinations, but she also enjoys a city trip closer to home.

This is why we are in love with the Indonesian island Bali

There’s no place like Bali! Bali is an exotic Indonesian paradise where you will get the experience you will never forget. The first time when I fell in love of this wonderful island was 6 years ago. I completed my communication studies, saved enough money and decided to pack my bags for a 4 month backpacking trip in Southeast Asia. My dear friend Marlieke joined me for the first 3 weeks in Bali.

Me and Marlieke in Seminyak 7 years ago. Too cute:)

I remember driving the motorbike for the first time, watching the magical sun rise on the Gili islands, the super nice local food corners where I tasted spices I have never had tasted before, my first surfing experience, the wonderful rice fields … and a lot more. Who wouldn’t wanna go back?
Sunset at the Gili Islands

Those 3 weeks in 2011 were definitely not enough, so it was time to go back together to Bali! The month December is maybe not the best month due to rain season, but we were super lucky. Sunny Days and blue Skies every day! 

I started on my own and Marlieke flew in at New Year’s Eve. We fell in love all over again!
In Love with Bali
Marlieke and me in 2017 in Canggu

Bali is known for it’s healthy foodspots, surfing, yoga, picturesque beaches, friendly locals, party’s and of course cheap and nice massages. Bali has you covered! Apparently Bali sometimes has a bad reputation, especially Kuta where many tourists come to party. But trust me, there are plenty of areas where you can chill and enjoy your holiday big time and avoid the crowd. 

I travelled from Uluwatu, Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak Nusa Lembognon and Nusa Ceningan back to Uluwatu and ended in Seminyak. I forced myself to relax and chill and my goal was to find the best places to do so and share these with you! So in the upcoming weeks you will find the best tips and my favorite hotspots!

Get inspired!

Le Pirat beachclub in Nusa Ceningan

We stayed in this instagramable hotel Sal Secret Spot in Uluwatu

Beautiful view at Rob Peetoom in Seminyak

Healthy lunch at Milk & Madu in Canggu




4 Recommendations On Beautiful Java

Java is the most populated island of Indonesia and it has a great deal of sights which are worth a visit. You can easily travel the whole island by train, if you have the time off course, because the length of the island is about 1000 km so it does take you quite a few hours to get across. These are some of the sights I would recommend visiting:

The Dutch Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia with about 9,6 million citizens. A lot of people say Jakarta is too crowded, dirty (because of the smog), hot and therefore not necessarily worth a visit. But I like to think otherwise. Yes, it’s crowded and chaotic, but once you get used to that you will see this city has some great things to offer. Especially when you are interested in some (Dutch) history, Jakarta is an interesting metropolis. You can still see the Dutch influence for example in the buildings on Taman Fatahilla square. In the Jakarta History Museum you can get a glance of live in the earlier Dutch East Indies.

Inpressive Prambanan

When you are interested in some (Dutch) history, Jakarta is an interesting metropolis.

Borobudur is one of the most famous sights of Indonesia. Yes, it’s full of tourists, but since it’s the largest Buddhist temple in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you cannot skip a visit. The temple is designed as a mandala and has nine platforms in total, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. The temple represents the Buddhist cosmos. Next to a lot of tourists, the temple is also visited by many pilgrims. A pilgrim must walk every platform 7 times, clockwise and from bottom to top. This way, he or she will reach Nirvana; an ultimate state of soteriological release and liberation from rebirths.

highest-platform-of-the-famous-borobudur, Java
Highest platform of the famous Borobudur

Prambanan is probably just as famous as Borobudur, but this sight belongs to a completely different religion. It’s the largest Hindu temple of Indonesia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The compound consists of more than 200 temples, but the three main ones are the Trimurti temples; the largest one (47 metres) is dedicated to Shiva, God of Destruction. The two temples next to this one are dedicated to Brahma, God of Creation and Vishnu, God of Preservation. Like Borobudur, visitors should officially enter each temple from the east side and circumambulate clockwise.

The Ijen Volcano
While a lot of people visit Mount Bromo, the most famous volcano of Java, I decided to visit another volcano during our holiday in Indonesia; Ijen. Ijen is one of the few volcano’s with a crater lake. This lake contains a huge amount of sulfur, which supports a mining operation. Miners walk down the crater about twice a day to load the sulfur in baskets and carry it up to the crater rim and down the mountain by hand. This is a very labour-intensive operation, not to mention a very smelly one. When visiting the Ijen volcano, you should wear old, very old clothes. Even after washing them for about 10 times, I could still smell the sulfur! But you will see this is all worth it when you climbed Ijen and are standing at the crater rim and see the sunrise or sunset. The view is just indescribably amazing. And if you have the guts, you can even walk down the crater when it’s dark and see the so-called blue fire, which actually is ignited sulfuric gas.

Sunset at the top of Ijen, Java

In my next blog, I will continue my trip through Indonesia and give some insights in the interesting culture of Bali.



*Dionne is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands, currently living in Den Bosch. In everyday life she works as a marketing-communications professional. She loves to travel to distant destinations, but she also enjoys a city trip closer to home.

Bali’s best hangouts of 2016!

The first time I fell in love with the island of Bali must have been in 2013 when I lived here for my studies. Ever since, this magical place has found a little spot in my heart and will never leave! After my Aussie adventures and on my way back to Amsterdam I (obviously) couldn’t resist making a pit stop again on this spiritual island. Guess what!? I found so many new hotspots! Unfortunately they didn’t all fit in one blogpost since the list is long! But these are (just) a few of my favorites listed per area. These are Bali’s best hangouts of 2016!


Crate Café
Crate Coffee, Crate brekkie, Crate smoothies….Life’s crate! And it actually is when you fancy your brekkie right here. Crate is an absolute “hipster happening”. With an Australian owner it’s hard to go wrong with coffee and classic breakfast so hands up for Maree Suteja! Detail: I love how you guys put that cover on my scooter seat against the hot sun to protect me from burning my ass after! Your best bet after a surf? Calrrito brekkie burrito, no doubt!
64 Jalan Batu Bolong, Canggu 80361, Indonesië
insta: @cratecafe

Crate cafe Bali

Pretty Poison
Same owner as Crate..must be just as good, right?! You cannot miss out on this one during your Bali stay, trust me. After a day of surf, skate takes over. Secure a spot around the skate bowl to watch one of the skate competitions, get inked by the “in club” tattoo artist or dance the night away! Favo drink: Kombucha with Tequila. What I love: the equal mix of locals and foreigners, music & vibes…

Shortcut Canggu
Insta: @prettypoison___

Source: Pretty Poison Bar

Little Flinders
Lovely hangout, the sweetest staff and a healthy cuisine. The chef cooks with what’s in season and with local produce which is not only good for you but also for the environment! This is actually the case in most hotspots by the way… Go for the “Canggu Love” brekkie bowl!
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.78
insta: @littleflinders

Little Flinders, Bali
Source: thetwentysomethingjournal

Milk & Madu
Another great joint in town! Milk & Madu is a must on your Bali To Do list. Healthy & delicious foodies plus the best coffee (Revolver) on the island (okay Crate’s blend comes pretty close) is served here in an amazing atmosphere. My all time favorite: smashed avocado on toast!
Jalan Pantai Berawa 52
insta: @milkandmadu

milkandmadu Bali

Source @bali_cafes

Avocado Café
Hidden away behind green leaves, you’ll find this cosy little healthy & happy place specialized in paleo and vegan! In collaboration with Motion Fitness Bali, Avocado café loves to share the importance of healthy nutrition. With fresh and organic produce every day you can enrich your body with lots of vitamins and minerals… Isn’t that what we want!?
BatuBolong, 69b, Canggu
Insta: @avocadoccafebali

avocado cafe bali
Source Instagram @avocadocafebali


Nalu Bowls
Besides Uluwatu, Nalu Bowls can be found in Canggu (Echo Beach), Ubud and Seminyak so there’s absolutely no way around this healthy smoothie bowl experience! I always take the “Mavericks” bowl, named after a big wave surf break on the American West Coast. It’s an Açai blend with granola, banana, strawberries and COCONUT flakes. I love to eat mine on the cliff overlooking the Uluwatu surf…Goodlife!
Jalan Mamo,  Uluwatu, attached to Single Fin
Insta: @nalubowls

Source: @elljay12

Drifter Surf Store
Believed to be “the soul of surfing” by founders Jake Mackenzie & Tim Russo…. Drifter doesn’t only offer you the coolest collection of surf boards and retail but also gives you a place to enjoy great espresso and read tons of books, hand selected. On the road from Uluwatu to Bingin it’s hard to miss this amazing old Javanese teak house that is transformed into a surfers paradise, inland!
Jl. Labuan Sait, Pecatu
Insta: @drifterbali

drifter bali

Bukit Café
“Best food in the Bukit” as their wifi password reveals and they are damn right! Me and my friend Isabel (another Dutchie from Amsterdam) kept coming back here for mouthwatering foodies, colorful smoothies and quality time. Owned and operated by an Australian vs. Brazilian a.k.a. a party for your tastebuds! What we loved: the pink pitaya smoothie with dragonfruit and the zucchini fritters!
Jalan Labuan Sait
Insta: @bukit___cafe

bukit__cafe Bali

 Bukit cafe Bali
Source: @bukit___cafe


Right in the middle of Seminyak’s shopping walhalla, Revolver Boutique Coffee House provides you with one of the best coffee experiences you can have. The vintage, jazzy, mixed with wild west interior and the lovely people make you smile for miles. The coffee brand became pretty big on the island resulting in many hotspots brewing their coffees with Revolver coffee beans! For speedy take-aways step by “Baby Revolver” situated at Jl Petitenget 102. Love, love, love!
Jl kayu aya / Gang 51
Insta: @revolverespresso

Revolver Coffee Bali
Source: @revolverespresso

Where sun, surf and sea come together, where Byron Bay and Bali cross paths…. Open all day every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With the same owners as Milk & Madu, Watercress will never let you down! Enjoy the goodness of their (Revolver) coffee combined with their smashed chats & goats cheese! No better way to start your day.
Jl Batu Belig 21a, Kerobokan
Insta: @watercressbali

watercress bali
Source: @watercressbali


Yoga Barn
Did you know that Bali is the island of spirituality!? Where better to go than Ubud? Wander around the Yoga Barn and explore a deeper meaning of life through meditation, holistic healers, Ayurvedic Rejuvenation, acupuncture and different styles of yoga! Calm down, connect your body, mind and soul while finding your inner peace. Namasté!
Jalan Raya Pengosekan

Yoga Barn Bali
Source: @guna_kviese

Bali Buda (name will change to Bali Bunda soon)
I actually love the Bali Buda store/café situated in Sanur but the one in Ubud is just as lovely. A great supplier of wholesome, raw, vegan, honest and organic foodies, as well as skin care products that make you feel good inside and out. What I love: their organic sunscreens and the cassave flour pancakes!
Jl Jembawan 1

balibuda Bali


Villa Pasir
One day I took a little trip to Nusa Lembongan to explore the island and surf some waves. I never booked any accommodation up front (as usual) so upon arrival I started walking past all the cute home-stays on the beach. Villa Pasir was one of them and I immediately fell in love with this guest house designed and owned by a beautiful French lady living her dream!
Front Beach, Jungut Batu
Insta: @villa_pasir

Villa Pasir Bali

Bed villa pasir
Amazing place to stay in Bali!

Bali Eco Deli
An added value to your stay in paradise! Bali Eco Deli is conscious about the environment and tries to reduce the use of plastic with their recycling program which makes me so happy! Plastic is a huge problem in Indonesia and Eco Deli gives a great example in the race to safe the planet and its natural beauty. Their produce is not only healthy and delicious but also fresh, locally grown and organic. For the girls: pastries are the main foodies on the menu and it doesn’t matter if you can’t choose, you can just take it all! Really!
Main road Nusa Lembongan
Insta: @baliecodeli

Bali Eco Deli
I love everything about this place!

Blue corner bar
First of all go here for an amazing sunset! Secondly, order a couple of those super tasty taco’s with either beef, chicken, fish or veggies (they are small so take at least 3)! Besides the taco’s the menu offers all sorts of yummy Mexican food. What I love: fresh coconut with lime, comfy bean bags, fish taco’s!
At the end of front beach
Insta: @bluecornerbar

15. @bluecornerbar

15. Blue corner taco's
Source: @bluecornerbar 

Sun, surf, yoga, good food and good people is what Bali life is all about…I hope that you will enjoy these hotspots as much as I did but I also want to spread the word of being a conscious traveler. Respect the local culture, clean up your garbage and care for mother nature…it’s your privilege to be in Bali after all. Now go and enjoy your holidays! :)

Till next time…

-X- Mandy

*Mandy is one of our guest bloggers who has lived in Bali and Australia. She’s now back in Amsterdam getting ready for her next adventure.. Follow Mandy on Instagram!

Top 5 » Bali’s most healthy hotspots

It’s that tropical & magical little island, it’s the island that everybody escapes to recharge their batteries.
I’m talking about Bali, Indonesia.
Like London, Australia, and some other big western countries, Bali is is one of those places where the healthy food and lifestyle started a while back.
And yet more and more healthy hotspots are popping up.

This is our Top 5 of Bali’s  most healthy hotspots :

1. Sisterfields
With Australia around the corner, it’s not a big surprise that this kind of cafe opened up in Bali not too long ago.
They call themselves “The Iconic Australian Cafe”.
You can certainly have breakfast like a king or eat lunch like an emperor with one of their famous tropical juices.

IMG_6322 copy











Source: Sisterfields

Jl. Kayu Cendana No.7, Seminyak, Bali 80361

2. Sari Organik, Ubud
I came to this place in 2010. First I wasn’t sure where I would end up because you’ll need to walk through the rice fields for about 20 minutes which makes this place even more special!

Once arrived, you can enjoy the best fresh coconuts, and homemade organic lunches.

Bali's healthy hotspots

Jl. Raya Tjampuhan, Ubud, Bali
There’s no website available but check this link

3. Shelter café 
From 7am you can indulge yourself with healthy food and this open tropical café.
Amazing salads, homemade gingerbeer, lemon squash or their super smoothies will make you want to come back here.
Many bloggers are fan of this place, and so is Wander-Lust! 


Source: Facebook Shelter Cafe

Jl. Drupadi, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
Be sure to visit their Facebook 

4. Ubud Hanging Gardens
You can imagine my jaw dropping when I entered the hanging gardens for the first time.
I had a wonderful dinner here with no time for a jump in the infinity pool but let’s just say we have a rain check on that one!
They mainly use vegetables, fruits and spices  from the Bedugul or are grown at their own property, their seafood comes directly from Jimbaran Bay making lunch and dinner very tasty!


Source: both pictures courtesy to the Ubud Hanging Gardens

5. Warung Kecil
My parents told me about this secret place. Sanur residents love it here.
The prices are extremely low but the food quality is sky high!
From the outside it doesn’t look like anything special but it’s cosy and cute on the inside.
They offer vegetarian and vegan options plus healthy wheatgrass shots, fresh almond or macha milk, pressed juices, young coconuts and you can also go for a buffet.

PicMonkey Collage
Source: Facebook Warung Kecil

Jalan Duyung no 1, Sanur, Bali
Check their Facebook for more info