When escaping reality becomes a necessity, as the body craves for a long breath of clean fresh air; to savor that classic coconut under the palm trees, while the sounds of crashing waves hands you back your long lost inner peace — old clichés, but can you recall the last time all of your five senses truly experienced paradise? So, like every other overworked individual, I concluded that I needed a retreat. I needed to find this “Zen” that everyone hypes about finding.
And, I found mine. Every day, while facing the ocean from the rustic, wooden huts of my retreat last month. For this one getaway though, I told myself I needed to do something different. I wanted to be adventurous, explore new things. Most importantly, I wanted to find a nice spot somewhere I wouldn’t be tempted to accept invitations for social engagements. A place where all of my five senses can rest, and experience paradise.
Already popular to surfers and yoga enthusiasts, both locals and expats alike, is Balian Beach’s no more hidden secret, Pondok Pitaya: Hotel, Surf & Yoga. Deemed as a surfer’s paradise, Pondok Pitaya has hosted a number of international surf competitions in Balian Beach. The online reviews were right to give a rookie like me a fair warning that the waves should strictly be for intermediate to advance surfers only. While on the yoga front, the hotel has hosted numerous international yoga workshops with quality instructors. Even though I wasn’t too much of a yoga enthusiast to be able to enjoy their very attractive yoga retreat packages, the beauty of the sceneries in that area definitely became the main selling points to me. So I contacted them, booked my rooms and flights, and next thing you know, I was on my way to paradise.
But like they say, the journey to paradise is a long one, and the journey here quite literally, was. I landed in the afternoon on a weekend, and it took a three-hour trip by car to finally get there. Despite the long drive however, the inner adventurer in me certainly didn’t mind – it was just a daunting reminder of how enormous the island is. The charm of Pondok Pitaya comes from a different kind of luxury. The luxury of a perfect setting — facing the calmest beach that I have ever came across so far in my life. There is something about the way the sun and the wind hits Balian Beach, that envelopes the whole area in positive-energy. If you were in awe of beaches with pink sands before, Balian’s humble boldness comes from its magnetic black sands. Yes. The beach has black sand, and gives you the most majestic sunsets; social media likes guaranteed. Locals believe, this is the perfect place to be, if you ever need an aura cleanse. I daresay that there is a lot of truth to that, and from Pondok Pitaya, you get front row seats.
The clean rustic wooden huts with open- air bathrooms, comfortable beds with mosquito veils remind me of the cabins by the beach in old movies. In a sense, the hotel is designed for its visitors to wonder at and find their Zen within mother nature’s grand design — as if sleeping and waking up to the sound of the ocean didn’t give that experience already. On top of that, with internet connection only provided at the main restaurant and many phone reception blank spots around the area, Pondok Pitaya really sucks you in further into the Zen bubble – forcing you to connect to every moment presented to you. The resort also provides guide packages, with visits to see the a waterfall or a popular bat-cave.
In the end, I chose to take the road very much less travelled, and was rewarded during my stay in here. I had everything I needed. From quality budget friendly food coming from a menu so full of options, to a friendly staff that were always helpful. Perhaps what optimized my stay was my research; even though I knew exactly what I signed up for, in the end my expectations were blown away. If a quiet retreat by the beach literally far away from your reality is what you are looking for, whether solo or with your loved ones, then Pondok Pitaya is the perfect place to choose. I believe that anyone can find their inner peace here — surfer, yogi, or not. If you decide to stay in Pondok Pitaya, you will be drawn into a cocoon so naturally comfortable, you’ll be reluctant to let go of.
Pondok Pitaya: Hotel, surfing, and Yoga
Jalan Raya Tabanan, Br. Pengasahan
Desa Lalanglinggah, Tabanan
T: +62 361 831 1118