Kelapa Retreat and Spa
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A sense of chic tropical seclusion pervades this sprawling resort, which is situated among palms and pandanus trees on a vast – and virtually deserted – beach. Many of the sleek, luxurious villas have private pools, but there are also two large, beautiful infinity pools near two restaurants that overlook the beach.
What's the appeal?
This is the perfect place to pamper yourself. Indulge in treatments at the beachside spa, or simply relax with a good book, stroll on the beautiful beach or max out on poolside tanning-time. The free-standing villas stand far apart from one another, so there’s a wonderful sense of space. For a change of scene you need do nothing more than drift luxuriously from one pool to the next. The retreat is a 10-minute drive from the surf point at Medewi, and yoga classes are held here almost daily.
There are 26 rooms at Kelapa. The standard Beach Villas and Ocean Villas are almost identical, except for position: the Ocean Villas are 80m from the beach while Beach Villas are just 40m away. The four lovely Beach Pool Villas and four Ocean Pool Villas have their own private pools and all rooms have bathrooms with both indoor and outdoor showers. All rooms are equipped with aircon, flatscreen satellite TV, DVD players, tea/coffee facilities, mini-bars and breakfast – a choice of continental, full English/Irish, vegetarian, vegan, halal, gluten-free, Asian or American – is served either in-room or at the beachside restaurant.
Our tip: If two couples (or a family) are travelling together then it can be more cost-effective to opt for the Kelapa Residence, a hyper-luxurious two-bedroom villa. This truly immense villa boasts a large sitting room, an extensive infinity pool and, as it's set at the top of a sprawling private coconut grove, it is so wonderfully private that it is hard to imagine you are on a resort at all.
There’s a beachside yoga shala, a small library and the resort’s own Samudra Spa (with a great range of massages and therapies) overlooking the beach. Tides Restaurant and Bar is worth a visit for a sundowner (or a surprisingly affordable) meal even if you’re staying elsewhere. Transport can be arranged from the airport (or elsewhere) and a shuttle is available to Medewi or Pekutatan village.
Just as its name suggests, Kelapa offers seven-night retreat packages for guests who're wanting to deepen their practise. The programme starts on Mondays and includes two yoga classes per day, as well as one massage.
Kelapa's yoga space ticks all the dreamy-island-yoga boxes: classes are held on the beachfront between the palms. There is usually one class every day, and you'll need to book a day in advance – email if you're not a hotel guest. Classes are $15 each (the rupiah amount varies with currency fluctuations); mats and blocks are provided. Meditation classes are also offered – these cost $20 and also need to be booked in advance.
The secluded and remote location is what makes this spot so special. Sure, it’s a three-hour drive from the airport, but it’s worth every minute of that drive. Medewi is 10 minutes further west and Balian about 30 minutes back east. The beach that fronts the resort is one of the wildest and least-trodden on the entire island. You could stroll 13km along the sand and would be unlikely to see another foreigner. There’s plenty to see in the area yet many people who visit Kelapa Retreat seem to find little reason to leave.