Teuila Fuatai finds herself relaxing in a Balinese paradise and considers relocating.

Banana pancakes doused in palm sugar syrup will forever remind me of my time in Bali.

All that sugary goodness combined with fresh slices of ripe banana in scrumptious batter is as delicious as any breakfast will ever get.

Washed down with a cup of coffee, it makes for a pretty perfect start to the day - especially at the Bliss Sanctuary for Women: Bali.

Staying at the retreat, which is nestled among the rice paddies in Canggu on the island's south coast, was almost like being in a parallel universe.


I headed to Bliss after a whirlwind two days in the bustling and dusty streets of Bali's capital Denpasar. Exhausted and ready for some much needed R&R, Bliss seemed to be a promising destination.

Greeted by the bubbly hostess Char, I eagerly gulped down a fresh fruit smoothie and eyed up my home for the next five days.

Bliss had six villas, four of which were contained in the main compound where I was staying.

Frangipanis from the charming garden decorated the cosy space around the pool.

A large outdoor dining villa also added to the homely feel.

To mark the beginning of my stay, Char had booked me in for my first daily 90-minute spa treatment - a poolside Balinese massage.

After nodding off completely, I took a dip in the pool and found myself entertaining thoughts of relocating to the island.

It seemed Bliss had worked its magic on me fairly quickly.

My next activity, which had to be done before any pancake consumption took place, was a visit to the Desa Seni Yoga Village.

About five minutes' drive from Bliss, the Desa Seni centre runs classes throughout the day.

On arrival, I was completely taken with its open-air villa setting.

Needless to say, I ended up returning several times during my stay in Canggu.

In addition to the yoga and daily pampering sessions, which ranged from various types of massage to body scrubs and facials, I also made the trip to the famous Tanah Lot temple.

Built up from a large rock accessible by foot only at low tide, Tanah Lot is a major drawcard for foreigners and Indonesians.

Among the thousands of tourists, I still managed to find a quiet spot to enjoy the sun setting over the rocky temple.

I took a day trip up to the mountain town of Ubud, testing my bartering skills at various stalls in the market - which sold everything from tourist knick-knacks to handbags and clothes.

But I found some of the best island cuisine right under my nose at the Bliss kitchen.

Each night, Char picked a range of dishes for all the guests to share and we were treated to an array of fresh seafood and tasty Balinese dishes. My picks were the green beans with chilli and garlic, and salt and pepper squid.

Getting there: Air New Zealand flies to Denpasar from Auckland.

Teuila Fuatai travelled courtesy of Bliss Sanctuary for Women in Bali.