At the end of my whirlwind summer tour of Bali, I find myself enthralled in a harmoniously chic villa in Seminyak.
The Island of the Gods has numerous villa options ready for you to call your home; opt for one that serves the epitome of Balinese hospitality and fulfils the strong desire to connect with the healthiest version of your wandering soul.
Blue Karma Dijiwa Seminyak is a luxury oasis within the bustle of Seminyak, appealing to boutique resort-style lovers for its combination of elegant accommodation and wellness lifestyle activities. Getting here means succumbing to the endless vehicles and tourists passing by. One particular alley, fitting one car at a time, is beside a pura (temple). Deep inside, you’re far gone from Seminyak’s activities and happenings. It’s easy to spot the property with plants hovering around stone statues alongside a becak (cycle rickshaw).
The homey, quaint, tranquil, private, and quiet 3,000m2 of Blue Karma Dijiwa Seminyak has three room categories; one-bedroom suite, one-bedroom villa with private pool, and two-bedroom villa with private pool. Several of the facilities at this serene haven include a gym, yoga studio, restaurant, and spa.
For someone with an artsy soul, the lobby is surely enchanting. The open-air space is separated by bamboo walls against the lounge, restaurant, and pool. The receptionist greets and escorts me to the lounge to digitally check in as I satisfy my thirst with fresh coconut water adorned with flowers. Visitors fill out a questionnaire regarding dietary restrictions, among others, because here is the perfect place for guests to relax and return to the basics of simply living well through the proposed product, services, and facilities.
My one-bedroom villa for the next couple of days, Sesame, is ready. Each villa is situated around the pool garden and has intricate sculptures and ginormous wooden-carved doors tucked between lush greenery. Meanwhile, the suites are generally on a floor above, accessible by stairs. Sesame happens to face straight to the pool and lounge areas. The dense door pushes back; I internally squeal out of excitement to see the private pool on the left, sun loungers on the right, and a glimpse of the room through the glass windows.
Enthusiastically entering the spacious yet compact villa, I told myself, “When the dream of finally owning my villa comes to fruition, I aspire to have hints of the interior design displayed here.” Blue Karma Dijiwa Seminyak conceptualises “Ethnic in Luxury Style”, combining beautiful ethnic artwork and décor from the island. It was designed by its owner and founder of the Blue Karma group, France-native ibu Alexa, who is also a painting artist and the founder of Lucydream Gallery.
This property emphasises back-to-nature elements such as wood, stone, and bamboo to embellish its space. Sesame, for example, has uniquely shaped wooden tables and an outdoor shower with stone sinks. The grey and lavender walls are enhanced with modern paintings, complimented by a zebra-print rug beneath an earthy-toned comfortable sofa.
Back at the lounge with my coconut water from earlier, I rejoice in the serenity as soothing melodies accompany me while I wait for the complimentary afternoon tea delights; the bursting sweet dadar gulung – a rolled pancake with grated coconut in palm sugar – and the subtly sweet chocolate terrine, alongside a cup of Indo tea.
The moonlight gleams over the pool. Dinner time at BKeto Bali Restaurant approaches. Lively keto-specialised dishes are loaded with vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats to provide the maximum amount of nutrients without unnecessary starches and carbohydrates. Each dish is layered with supremely satisfying flavours. Alexa realised that now a healthy lifestyle has become a trend since the pandemic, which has changed the views and lifestyles of many.
I’ve struggled to cultivate a healthy relationship with food in the past. To self-proclaim that I’m ketogenic most of the time is actual, so I’m game to devour BKeto’s spin on fresh, healthy cuisine mustered by Chef De Partie Agus Juliarta, using only premium, locally-sourced ingredients to support the community. This wellness-inspired eatery, firstly, embraces a person’s need for nature with outdoor seating on a covered patio overlooking the tropical lawn and pool. Impressive black and white paintings of Balinese women in traditional attire and some of Genoyer’s modern art curations elevate the ambience, more so the hand-carved wooden furnishings and swanky cushions make conversations last longer than expected.
“What do you recommend for me for tonight’s appetiser?” I ask the waiter. He suggests the Keto Caesar Salad or Energie de Champignon soup under the “Composed and Liquid” section of the menu. “What about the main course?” I ask again. “Try a ‘Comfort Bowl’ or a ‘Pleasurable’,” he points out. B-Buddha Bowl, Pan-seared Tasmanian Salmon, Tenderloin Steak, Smoked BBQ Pork Rib… Without hesitation, I order the Keto Caesar Salad and Tenderloin Steak. Sticking to the health grind is the pungent, refreshing Cleanse under “Healthy Juices”, composed of beetroot, carrot, apple, and ginger.
Slices of grilled chicken, boiled egg, and tempe crackers over baby romaine soaked in creamy caesar dressing are lighter than usual caesar salads. If only a past version of me could indulge in this because no sense of guilt stirred when I cleaned the dressing off the bowl. Diet culture commonly disses Caesar dressings for being unhealthy – not this one.
A hefty grilled beef tenderloin cooked medium-well smothered in mushroom sauce alongside grilled tomato, mushrooms, and stuffed zucchini is my star of the night. Chef Agus is a master at his craft with the strikingly white, umami-flavoured sauce – I genuinely give props to him in person, and he grins.
Another star glimmers in my night. The Chocolate and Almond Torte with vanilla ice cream is divine. The almond flour acts as the base, mixed with chocolate sweetened by erythritol sugar – a sugar alternative friendly to diabetics or metabolic syndrome sufferers because blood sugar levels don’t elevate. Sometimes, healthy desserts diminish the joy of pleasing a sweet tooth like me. But this? I want another!
I rest my body as the midnight sky cries out. BKeto Bali is open for breakfast and lunch, too. I order my first-ever floating breakfast. Still half-conscious in my swimsuit, I dip in the private pool and get ahold of the savoury, gratifying Avocado Smash on Toast with fried eggs, tomatoes, and sauteed rainbow vegetables. Breakfast at Blue Karm Dijiwa Seminyak comes with a la carte selections comprising sets of tropical fruits, a bread basket – featuring one of the best croissants I’ve had – juice, water, and tea or coffee. Cold and scrambling to eat this way, I divert to the sun lounger listening to chickens clucking. “Am I still in Seminyak?” I marvel.
Soothe the body
Half of a fine Saturday is embracing Seminyak’s energy outside the walls. “Welcome back home,” greets the receptionist. The other half is poolside, streaming to a newly discovered song as I move back and forth between sunbathing and drenched in the cool waters like other guests are. Planning to hit Seminyak’s party scene fails, overpowered by the heavy rain. The lounge calls me once again, and other guests too. Smiling; I’m content.
The activities and products here embody a wellness experience. Yoga classes, a gym, keto cooking classes, and traditional cooking activities such as making jamu (An Indonesian herbal drink) and traditional Balinese scrubs can be executed. My take, on sadly my final day, is the full-body, deep-tissue, holistic treatment known as Balinese Traditional Massage available at Mudara Spa. This combination of gentle stretches, acupressure, and reflexology invigorates blood, oxygen, and qi (energy) flowing throughout the body as well as bringing well-being, tranquillity, and relaxation.
Mudara is “to adjust”, thus representing the sensation after a spa day. “Please apply more pressure,” I ask Dyah, the spa personnel. The Cananga oil coats my body as she works her magic. An hour passes. All the tensions from my head to my toes diminish – I feel well-rested and well-rejuvenated. At Mudara, awaken the natural forces of transformation through holistic treatments following ancient medicinal methods complemented by specialist therapies, such as colonics and hydrotherapy, which aren’t available anywhere else in Seminyak.
Sophisticated travellers who value destinations, products, and services through relaxing vacations are invited to Blue Karma Dijiwa Seminyak. I’m manifesting for my return, whether I’m with my family, friends, future partner, or embarking on a Julia Roberts-style Eat, Pray, Love mission to feel like me again!