Soulshine Bali Is Ubud’s Destination for Yogis, Music Lovers, and Travelers Seeking Authentic Indonesian SpiritAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: It’s hard to go wrong when you’re in Bali (just ask designer Jonathan Rachman). The Indonesian island is famous for its lush landscapes, inviting ocean, and breathtaking sunsets, not to mention rich cultural experiences and killer food scene. But if you’re going to travel halfway around the world, it’s worth booking a truly special place to call home for the holiday. And that place is definitely Soulshine Bali.
The hotel and yoga retreat center was co-founded by musician and Bay Area native Michael Franti, so the property is infused with California vibes, but the warmth and attentiveness of the team is pure Bali. Located in the upland town of Ubud, often considered Bali’s cultural center, Soulshine’s stunning grounds flow with the natural curves of the habitat, featuring a river, tropical gardens, several ornate ponds, and accommodations for up to 25 people. The space feels simultaneously expansive and intimate, making it an ideal location for yoga retreats or family vacations.
Let’s talk about yoga for a second. The view from Soulshine’s open-air upstairs studio is a surreal backdrop for morning sun salutations and evening savasana. One side of the room overlooks the surrounding rice fields, while the other faces a stunning jungle canopy. And while yoga seems like a natural fit for the space, the retreat center also hosts Pilates, raw food, vegan, writing workshops, dance, family gatherings, weddings and more.
But whether you’re on retreat or just on an epic getaway, the air-conditioned resort rooms and indoor/outdoor lounge spaces will instantly put you in chill mode. If you’re a diehard music connoisseur, definitely book a stay in the Sound of Sunshine luxury room — this is where Franti wrote and recorded his song of the same name. The room offers magnificent views of the jungle and gardens with floor-to-ceiling windows, two double beds, and a private bath. The Firefly room features a private terrace and the Sunset room includes a rainfall shower head in the ensuite bathroom. But no matter where you stay, you’ll be steps away from the nine-meter infinity pool or the upstairs spa.
Ubud is full of must-try culinary spots (shout-out to Locavore‘s unreal seven-dish dining experience!), but Soulshine’s food and drink menu is hard to beat. The fresh, organic food blends Balinese and Western cuisine prepared by local chefs who incorporate organic produce grown right on the property. Vegetarian, vegan, raw and non-vegetarian options are all served alongside a mouthwatering array of colorful juices, smoothies, beer, wine and tropical cocktails, and guests can even sign up for an onsite cooking class to learn the art of recreating the dishes at home. Don’t miss the Balinese pancakes — you will regret it.
There’s even more to love about Soulshine, though. Franti and his co-founders have a deep appreciation for Bali’s local community and culture, and they’ve staffed the hotel with team members from the neighboring local village. Since 2007, Soulshine has also organized fundraising events for Bumi Sehat Natural Birthing Clinic, which provides free maternity and family health care, and since 2013, they’ve helped support The Green School, a kindergarten through high school dedicated to educating the next generation of environmental leaders. Plus, Franti and co. are responsible for staging the Soulshine Bali Festival, a music yoga, sustainability and arts culture building event uniting international and Indonesian artists.
Soulshine Bali is located at Jalan Ambarwati, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. Ph. +62 (085 333 499 499).