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Reviewed September 5, 2012

Surf Goddess retreat = Fantastic!!! I had such an amazing week, leaving feeling completely relaxed, de-stressed and excited about visiting the new retreat in Sri Lanka!!! Everything about the week was a 10 out of 10. Food, amazing! Accommodation, beautiful! Spa treatments, truly bliss! Adventure day, to much fun!!! Surf lesson, great!!! The absolute high point of the week was the great people I got to meet from all over the world, all with like minded values and sense of adventure. Thank you to the Surf Goddess team for a truly amazing week! I couldn't be more grateful!!! xx

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank TeashaEdwards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2012

We had dreamed about doing this holiday for a long time. We had looked at other surfing and yoga retreats and Surf Goddess really just felt right. As a 51 year old who has visited twenty countries (so far) the idea of surfing and yoga with my two daughters sounded perfect for us. What a wonderful week, Chelsea, Raine and Melinda must really work so hard to make it seem all so easy, from the airport to the surfing , food (wow the presentation, taste ) beautiful rooms . I could not say " that could have been better" for anything. I really loved the inspirational cards on our beds every night, what a lovely touch. Being a "little" older than the rest of the women in the group I was never made to feel uncomfortable. I really enjoyed meeting such a diverse and happy group of women. I must say the rafting was such fun and was a truly memorable day. Thank you to all the team at Surf Goddess. (I have started planning and saving for a return to Sri Lanka to experience their newly opened retreat).

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Leigh G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

My mum, my sister and I booked this trip as a girls week to celebrate a significant birthday, the (almost) completion of a Law degree, and to relax and have some fun together. From the start, Chelsea was more than accommodating, such as putting an extra bed, mosquito net and bedside table into a double room so that we could share.
From the start, the week not only met, but exceeded all my expectations in every way. From the moment we stepped, tired and sweaty, over the threshold of the villa, we found ourselves in an oasis of calm, with every need catered for. The 'magic ladies' as we dubbed them, ensured our room was spotless, that our meals were both healthy and delicious and were generally lovely in every way. Raine, the retreat manager and yoga leader was also wonderful. She immediately made me feel welcome and relaxed, and she has a wonderful sense of humour. Her yoga sessions had to cater from the absolute beginner to the more advanced, which I think she did very well. Some of the movements and poses were a bit too much for me, but that didn't matter - my yoga improved quite a bit.
To the surfing - Rip Curl School of Surf was excellent. Our instructors were extremely professional, engaging and seemed to genuinely like watching us improve over the week. Their style of teaching and pacing of the lessons was designed to maximise our confidence without exhausting or dehydrating us - this meant that we could surf every day without being too drained, and it gave us a chance to practice before learning the next stage. Melinda, the surfing manager also inspired our confidence with her yells and cheers on the beach and, like Raine, made the week seem incredibly easy and fun.
Bliss Day - White water rafting was INCREDIBLE. Rita, our guide was amazing, she was extremely professional, with an infectious and cheeky sense of humour. She is the only female guide and I think she is the best one (but then again I am biased). Some of the ladies did mountain bike riding and they all said it was great.
Spa Treatments - Don't think, just book as many as you can!
Bali - we were incredibly lucky in that the weather was lovely, sunny but not too hot and a gentle breeze at night. The Balinese are wonderful people - everywhere we went we were greeted with nothing but politeness and friendliness. In all of the shops, cafes and restaurants we went to the service could not be faulted - take note of the recommendations in the 'Bali Bible' at the Villa!
In short, Chelsea has worked extremely hard to create the perfect week for women with her balance of activity, relaxation and pampering, and her staff share her passion for life, love and surfing.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Jess O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012

This retreat is all about the wonderful women you meet. The structure around the activities allowed just the right amount of time together to allow relationships to form and people to get to know each other. This type of retreat attracts women who are physically active keen to meet others and out for a challenge. Like another recent Traveller the expectations set by previous reviews were probably not met this time. We may have been unlucky in terms of the week we chose as casual conversations among fellow travellers all seem to agree it was different than expected and something was little missing. I chose a single room with private bathroom largely because I didn't want to disturb a fellow traveller if wakeful during the night. The extra tarrif for a single room is high, despite that important things are missing eg a bedside table or bedside lamp. The decor is attractive the surroundings equally appealing however I would agree with another reviewer some maintenance in the rooms and perhaps a little better care around housekeeping would be ideal. I did make my comments directly to the retreat in regards to these issues and they probably don't need to be repeated here. Nonetheless this is not an inexpensive holiday and Bali is not an expensive destination, it felt like staying at a friends villa with their housekeeper with some rough edges, noticed and accepted if a guest, but less acceptable as a paying guest. The food was nice, healthy and fresh. the beach is not an easy stroll across the road., it is down a road and via a busy intersection. Bikes provided on the property made it a shorter journey. The yoga was enjoyable with a mixed group perhaps difficult to met all needs but 12 people were squeezed into a tight space. Raine the yoga instructor and retreat manager is a warm and generous spirit. Surfing was fun and yes, is outsourced and well managed. melinda the liaison person between the retreat and surf school is encouraging and open, again a delight. As someone who has travelled a bit and at least a dozen times in bali, I did not feel as much of the glow about the villa, or food , expressed by others in the past, or by the younger members of the group. I went here to see if it would suit women who may bed support in stepping out into the world of travel as a solo for the first time, or after separation etc. The answer is yes, I would recommend it, but perhaps prepare them for the fact that like most experiences it may not meet all your expectations, but you can still feel good about the experience.

Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
12  Thank Celeste M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lightfootwanderer, General Manager at Goddess Retreats, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2012

Dear Celeste M,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience on the retreat. We are very happy to hear that, while we may not have met your all your expectations this time, that overall you enjoyed your experience and would recommend it for solo travelers who wish to have a fun and safe way to experience Bali with a group of amazing women.

Indeed over the 10 years we have been running the retreats we believe that our guests are one of the highlights of our experience as we continuously attract outgoing, adventurous and inspiring women from all around the globe looking to expand their horizons and challenge themselves by trying the sport of surfing!

Certainly one of the most challenging parts of running the retreats is creating a space, and organizing a program, that fulfills everybody's needs and expectations, as we acknowledge that all of our guests are individuals who all bring their own different levels of need, expectation and perception.

This is why it is our standard to be totally transparent about our retreat offerings so that all our guests can make an informed choice about whether our trip is suited for them. With this in mind I would like to thank you for your feedback and use it as an opportunity to clarify some of our services so that those considering us can make an informed choice.

Shared Vs. Private Rooms: With regards to the price difference between our shared and private rooms, at the time of writing (2012) for our 8 day surf, spa & yoga retreat the rate difference works out to be an additional fee of around $50 / day to have your own private room, rathe than sharing with another person.

Room Decor: All our rooms have bedside tables and lamps, except for the one room you were in, because of its unique shape we decided to make a built in desk that is within 50cm reach from the bed for guests to use as a beside side table. Also there is a wall lamp that is positioned directly 1 foot above the head of the bed that guests use as a "bedside' reading light.

Surfing: As you noted our surfing is 'out sourced' to the Rip Curl School of Surf. I would like to take this opportunity to note that we have partnered with the Rip Curl School of Surf for the last 10 years to offer an exclusive all female surf program that has been tailored especially for Surf Goddess Retreats and is not available as part of their regular public program. Our exclusive program offers our guests a higher instructor to student ratio than found in the public program which allows for more individual feedback and instruction . We also ensure our class times are at the absolute best tides for the day, so that our guests get the best conditions possible, also our program is tailored so that individuals in our group can break off and work at their own speed and level of comfort each day, rather than just following along with general lesson plan found in the public lessons. Also in the public lesson it is mandatory that all students wear a surf helmet, while our Surf Goddesses have the choice to wear a helmet or not.

Also unlike the regular public surf program, our guests surf day begins each day with Mel (our Surf Goddess Retreat Leader and surf coach) going over surf theory at the villa after breakfast. Here Mel reviews the previous lesson, she also offers one-on-one short instruction on any techniques our guests wish to work on, plus answer any questions and then goes over the days conditions and up coming lesson plan. Mel then accompanies our guests to the beach, and is there in addition to the Rip Curl instructors to be on hand to cater to any needs of our guests and make sure everyone has a fantastic time learning to surf .

Location: Regarding the comfortability of the walk to the beach, the villa is located 750 meters from the closest access to the beach. Also while the villa is located down a private lane way and is generally a quiet oasis, we are conveniently positioned right in the heart of Bali's chicest area of Seminyak / Petitengit. This means that a few minutes walk from our door is Bali's most popular shopping, dining and 'beaching' district. For those looking for a retreat located in a remote area, we would not be the right choice of trip. We are the best choice if you are looking for a balance between relaxation with the fun of being around a lively holiday energy.

Thank you for this opportunity to clarify what our offerings are on the retreat. For anyone considering to join our retreat we are always available to answer any questions as it is our standard to be fully transparent about what we offer so that potential guests can make an informed choice to join us. Please feel fee to contact via our website.

Thank you again for joining us!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

I researched for about 3 years for the perfect active and spiritual trip and I kept coming across Surf Goddess. Thank goodness I followed my intuition because it lead be to an oasis of relaxation, spa treatments, beautiful landscapes, amazing women with incredible stories, shopping galore and food I still crave every day!! I learned how to surf for the first time here and I could never imagine doing it with a better group than this. Any age-any stage in life-this is the place for you! Just go. You will come back with a whole new perspective of who you are and of what you are capable of achieving. LOVED it all and especially the women who organized the retreat as well as those that traveled to share in the experience. Miss it every day...

Room Tip: The private Villa shared with another is magnificent!! It has it's own pool and is private! Just gorgeous...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank LaurenBaligirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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