Tonya Colson United States
I have been to several surf and yoga retreats in past years. This July I made my first visit to A to Zen Retreats. I will never go anywhere else! Absolutely everything about this retreat was perfect. Stunning accommodation, gourmet (and healthy!) food, and great scheduling kept us comfortable throughout our stay. That was all perfect. But the highlights were definitely the people. The surf instruction was the best I've found after 10 years of occasional surf lessons. The instructor to student ratio made sure that everyone had constant feedback, and the photos of every wave really helped us to learn. The yoga instruction was top notch- I wish that A to Zen could be my local yoga studio! The instructor was very knowledgeable and dedicated to helping us get the most out of every class. I felt challenged, restored, and inspired after every session on the mat. A to Zen was all I could have hoped for in a retreat, and much much more. I can't wait to return. Thank you for everything, A to Zen!
Alice Jurjens Netherlands
I simply loved the combination of yoga and surfing! Never imagined I would go on a surf and yoga retreat, but I did and will certainly go again! We were spoiled rotten during the retreat week: the accommodation, food, attention to detail (little presents on our bed!!) and hosting were immaculate. And the massages....heaven!
August 2014. A-Zen Retreats website
There are experiences and then there are EXPERIENCES.When I first signed on for an A to Zen retreat I wasn't really sure what to expect, and frankly, whether I would really enjoy all aspects of the retreat. I can now say, the retreat descriptor isnt a drop on the real experience. The sense of camaraderie you build with your retreat peers, the attention to detail, the fantastic food, the warm and very huggable surfing instructors, the professional yet extremely attentive retreat leaders and the uber friendly staff at the A to Zen villa really have to be experienced to be believed!Let's dissect this further now:The stay - we stayed at a stunning seven bedroom villa tucked away through a small gangway off a busy shopping street. Perfectly located, we had the benefit of being close to everything, yet feeling cocooned from the hustle and bustle once in the sanctuary of our luxury home for the week. It was also extremely convenient for last minute gifts for family and friends. The villa came complete with its own yoga shala, tropical garden, beautiful 25m swimming pool, stunning bedrooms and interiors that you may normally see flicking through the pages of Conde Nast Traveller. The outdoor showers were my favourite feature and the cosy mosquito nets were a close second. The staff were super attentive and met all of our needs, from providing extra pillows to taking care of an exotic fruit craving over breakfast. With the exception of a few meals that we ate off-site so we could explore the local nightlife, the meals provided at the villa were fantastic and put together by our personal chef. Just the right mix of leafy, wholesome and bordering on decadent (the home made coconut ice cream and apple crumble I still dream of every night).The spa and wellness part - anything that starts with a beautiful Balinese prayer blessing can only keep you in a constant state of zen! The massages by the magical hands of in-house masseurs Vincent and Maria were perfect! Possibly the best I have ever experienced and much called for after a few days of being out on the surf! The morning yoga taught by one of the retreats lovable leaders Saffron Fitton was a great way to start the day.The surf - as a novice and someone with poor balancing skills, I really enjoyed being out paddling away and attempting to stand up on my board. The activity was a great ice-breaker for the group and more than anything I really appreciated the encouragement and sense of purpose embedded into us by Wayan Santika and his team of enthusiastic instructors. Our two 6am surfs were a great way to experience a stunning sunrise over some beautiful Balinese beaches.Other bits and bobs that really made this memorable for me - the cute notes of wisdom and small gifts left on our pillow every evening. The scenic trip to Ubud and above all the very personal family-esque vibe that you leave this retreat with! You can't help singing to yourself - "we are family!"I cant recommend an A-Zen Surf and Yoga retreat enough. I think I speak for both myself and my fellow retreaters when I say that it really was an experience of a lifetime one that we wont forget in a hurry and totally worth the money. I would go back in a heartbeat.
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