Be your best self.

9 Amazing Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Bali Detox Retreat

9 Amazing Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Bali Detox Retreat
Carly Jacobs
 This post is sponsored by Luxury Retreats Bali

A few weeks ago I jetted off to beautiful Bali for a 5 day detox retreat to review the experience for a client of mine. When she first asked to me come I jumped at the opportunity and immediately booked my flight. Then I started quietly freaking out about doing a detox. I had visions of myself bent over a toilet bowl for 5 days straight and rueing every mouthful of pizza I’ve ever eaten but the reality was the exact opposite. After the 5 days I feel rested, relaxed, focussed and clear. Here are some of the amazing life lessons that I learned on my Bali detox retreat.

9 Amazing Life Lessons You Can Learn From a Bali Detox Retreat


Sunrise and yoga and meditation overlooking the infinity pool. It is literally the best way to start the day.

You don’t need to eat anywhere near as much as you do

On my first day of Luxury Retreats Bali, the chef set down this tiny plate of miniature banana pancakes for my breakfast and I almost had a heart attack. I knew that lunch wasn’t for another 5 hours and I was terrified of being hungry. You know what? I did get hungry. You know what else? I didn’t die. Also as time went by I got less and less hungry and learned to listen to my body and allow it time to digest. I now wait 5 full hours in between every meal and I’ve never felt better.


Chia porridge and fruit 


Banana and coconut flour pancakes


Raw rainbow salad

It’s awesome to pour salty warm water up your nose

When Morgan, the yoga teacher, showed us how to pour salty warm water in our noses from a neti pot and then presented each of us with a neti pot of our own, I was laughing my arse off. I thought it was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen. After trying it though, I’m hooked. Best sinus clearer ever. I do it every morning before I exercise and it’s improved my breathing immensely.


The private plunge pool in my own villa

It’s possible for absolutely everyone to meditate

Many people claim that they ‘can’t’ meditate. I used to be one of them but that was before I went to my Bali detox retreat. On the third day we had a few meditation gurus come in to run a Oneness Meditation session. It was 21 minutes of very specific breathing while holding hands in a group. I know that sounds a bit cult-like and before I did it I felt a little uncomfortable about the idea but it turned out to be one of the most significant turning points for me with meditation. I still need to work on my solo efforts but it’s comforting to know that I am indeed capable of meditation.


Morning meditation

Your health is worth investing in

I’m not going to beat around the bush here: A Bali detox retreat isn’t in everyone’s budget. Before I did the retreat, I honestly couldn’t see myself paying to do one. Depending on the time of year, a 5 day luxury retreat can cost anywhere from $2200 to $3500 which not a lot of people have lying around. However the value that I got out of my trip was so extraordinary that I’m tucking my pennies away for Mr Smaggle and I to go back again together for the November session. Watching the men on the retreat change from these stiff, uptight dudes into glowing health machines was amazing so I’m definitely taking Mr Smaggle next time. It was an utterly life changing experience. Some people spend $1500 on gym memberships they never use, $200 on vitamins they don’t need and $80 per week on personal training sessions that they always cancel. I’m pouring every cent of my health budget into an annual detox retreat from now on.


The beautiful entrance to the Chintamani villas


Villa Nora


The main pool at Semara Resort 


Finn’s Beach Club at Semara 

You won’t die without alcohol/meat/coffee

The retreat went for 5 days where we ate mainly raw and vegan food with no alcohol, stimulants or meat. I generally go 5 days without alcohol most weeks and although I love a good coffee, I’m certainly not addicted to it. I am however a big meat lover. I like to eat a low grain diet so that means heaps of protein and I was worried that a mostly raw/vegan diet would leave me starving. I needn’t have worried. The food was incredible. They used tofu, beans, tempeh, lentils and chickpeas for the bulk of each meal and all were accompanied by piles of leafy greens. I honestly didn’t miss anything at all the whole time I was there.


Vegan lunch buffet

Travelling alone is awesome

I did the Luxury Retreats Bali detox on my own because it was for work but I think going alone is a fantastic way to make the retreat an individual and personalised experience. Every night the group comes together to eat dinner and everyone was so lovely. We’d all chat about our experiences during the retreat. There was plenty of down time between yoga and spa treatments and I really appreciated having that time to myself to do some reflection and let my brain chill out. I would have loved to have done the program with Mr Smaggle but there was something really gratifying about going alone, like it was my own personal detox retreat.


Having some chill time in the infinity pool at Jamadara Villa before evening yoga and meditation

Sometimes you need to drink the Kool Aid

I’m very into my health and I’m constantly trying to find new ways to increase my energy and productivity but I usually draw the line when it comes to healing crystals and chanting in circles. So naturally I was a touch skeptical when Morgan asked us all to create a Sankalpa (like a personal mantra) and repeat it at the end of our yoga practice. I was like ‘Okaaaaay…’ but I went to this retreat with an open mind, so I started repeating my Sankalpa every day and I swear the power of positive thinking is extraordinary. Not only did my body come back restored and repaired but my mind is clear and strong too. I totally drank the yogi Kool Aid… and it was DELICIOUS!


On the last day of my retreat drinking what we dubbed Crack Tea. It was a sweet ginger tea made with shite loads of honey and there were only a few staff members who knew how to make it. I’d walk back to Bali to a cup of Crack Tea. 

Detox retreats are a different kind of holiday

The important thing to remember with a detox retreat is that they’re not your typical sleep until midday and crack open a beer at lunch time kind of getaway. Whenever I go on holidays I never, ever spend enough time resting. I run around trying all the food, visiting local attractions, climbing up mountains and generally sleeping very little. This leaves me feeling a bit like I need a holiday from my holiday. Spending 5 days nurturing my body was one of the biggest indulgences I’ve ever allowed myself and it was the most relaxing and rejuvenating holiday I’ve ever had. It totally beats a week of cocktails and greasy food on a tourist beach.


The infinity pool in the Chintamani villa


The beautiful walk to Finn’s Beach 

You can train yourself to become a morning person

Every single day while I was there, I participated in sunrise yoga. As in I got up in the dark. My body clock was completely reset and I found myself gently waking at 5.30am every day, feeling rested and revived and ready for the day. I’ve worked hard to maintain my sleeping schedule now that I’m back at home and I’m seriously a new woman. I now consider myself a morning person which is utterly insane because I’ve always been a night owl.


This photo was taken at 6am and I’m not stabbing anyone. Am morning person now. #sototallyzen

The retreat I went on was with Luxury Retreats Bali at Semara Resort in Uluwatu. It’s an about an hour away from Seminyak and it is breathtakingly beautiful. Fun fact: Jennifer Hawkins got married at Semara Resort so that’s how super fancy it is. The girls have created the perfect 5 day detox program, in the most amazing location with some of the best staff in Bali. They’re running retreats in June, July, September and November so if you’re interest in making over your mind and body just email Nadine through Luxury Retreats Bali. I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough. My skin is clear, my eyes are bright, my brain is focussed, I had these strange little white marks on my toenails that totally went away and I lost 3 kilos. Amazing.


Have you ever been to a Bali detox retreat? Is it something you’d consider?

If you any questions just ask away in the comments. I’ll tell you anything! I’ll even talk about ‘eliminations’ if you’re dying to know about the number 2 situation while on a detox.

This post was co-ordinated by The Remarkables Group



  1. Deb_BrightandPrecious 10 years ago

    Wow. Loved reading about your detox, Carly. Very inspiring. Looks like paradise.

    • Author
      Smaggle 10 years ago

      It was RIDICULOUS! Like I look at the photos and I can’t even belive I was there.

  2. Mrs Woog 10 years ago

    What a perfect review. You almost have me convinced. Do they serve wine with dinner?

    • Author
      Smaggle 10 years ago

      No my darling. But the pre-tox we did before I went was definitely hard-core enough to last me the five days!

  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 10 years ago

    LOL at the 6am not stabbing photo! I did a detox once and I learned a lot from it. Great review Smaggle! 😀

    • Author
      Smaggle 10 years ago

      Thank you love! I’m not crazy hard-care super cleanse girl now or anything but I did learn some great stuff about productivity, rest and digestion. It was awesome.

  4. Mr and Mrs Romance 10 years ago

    Wow that looks amazing! I’ve never done a detox retreat and didn’t think it was for me but you have changed my mind. I want to go to there.

    • Author
      Smaggle 10 years ago

      It was actually spectacular. Some nights having a glass of wine would have been nice but I actually really didn’t miss it and I was so tired I was asleep by 8.30 most nights!

  5. Careeragogo 10 years ago

    Wow – I am feeling quite
    calm and relaxed on just reading your post! No mean feat considering I am in
    the middle of school holidays with three kids re-creating Armageddon in the
    next room.

    • Author
      Smaggle 10 years ago

      Oh my goodness! It sounds like you need to do this desperately. I think there should be government subsidized yoga retreats for any one who has been in the work force/been a parent/ both for over ten years.

  6. christiechildhood101 10 years ago

    Wow, I am convinced. As soon as we can travel without the two small people I will be totally talking hubby into a luxury detox!

    • Danimezza 10 years ago

      I’m in!

      • Author
        Smaggle 10 years ago

        Actually it would be great to do as a group. Like even a bride/bridal party situation? That would be amazing.

    • Author
      Smaggle 10 years ago

      Yeah… this detox is SO not designed for kids. But it’s fabulous to do as a couple. It seriously reset me. I’m a new woman.

  7. Danimezza 10 years ago

    It’s currently 3:30am… I can’t sleep… I’ve just read this post three times… heaven. I’m so happy for you, I can feel your zen state in your writing x

    • Author
      Smaggle 10 years ago

      I honesty cannot put into words how amazing it was. I got up at 5.30 this morning to go for a run and it wasn’t even awful. I’m so much more productive and clearer. I’ve been back weeks and still going strong with my new mind set. LOVE IT!

  8. Simone 10 years ago

    You should do a big ‘Smaggles Detox Together’ cause I would totally come. Definitely saving up for one, you convinced me!

    • Morgan 10 years ago

      Love this idea! We’d all be laughing through our neti pots!

  9. Leonie 8 years ago

    Is it possible to take a 10 year old child. Not for the detox, just because I can’t get away without her at the moment.

  10. Erin Bender 7 years ago

    Is this retreat no longer open? Links are broken.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      They must have stopped doing them. It’s been a few years!


  1. A New Identity, a New Lifestyle | Luxury Retreats Bali 10 years ago

    […] participants report this practice to be the most transformational. One of our last guests even blogged about how skeptical she was and how powerful this practice turned out to […]

  2. […] April I went on a yoga retreat to Bali and I can honestly say that the experience changed my life. One of the yogis that runs the retreat, […]

  3. […] between eating a meal or a snack and actually set a timer. I started doing this after a trip to a wellness spa in Bali and it was a game-changer. I try to go five hours between meals but if I’m really struggling […]

Leave a Reply