While listening to the story behind Bali’s Bliss Sanctuary for Women, you can immediately feel the love and respect that Zoë Watson has for women everywhere. Her passion has helped her to create an award winning retreat, while encouraging women to travel alone and take some time out from the day to day stresses of life. Here is Zoë’s story.
What got you to this point?
Winning the World Luxury Hotel Awards is huge for us as an exclusive yet small boutique travel offering for women and it’s taken 7 years of me moving away from home, starting a new life, feeling the fear and doing it anyway, trusting my gut instinct, finding amazing staff and spending so much time mentoring and training. It’s a 24/7 business and I must admit that takes it’s toll so being recognised in this way is a huge boost. It’s taken a lot of love and energy, a lot of faith but mostly a lot of courage and hard work. It’s so funny, so many people see the beautiful photos on Facebook and think wow what an idealistic life ha! They forget we don’t holiday at the sanctuary hanging by the pool, we work really really hard to create an amazing peaceful space for others to do this. And we all love it! Seeing the women leave refreshed and happy, some with tears who say it was life changing, others who have taken the time to make massive decisions in their lives, that’s what it is really all about for us.
What makes for a healing holiday?
This is different for everyone depending on what they need to have healed in their life which is why we believe in flexibility and freedom as the basis of our offering. We are not like the traditional retreats with a set program as I believe wholeheartedly that creating space in our lives to rest and rejuvenate is all that we need to make great decisions, give ourselves some self love in a way that is meaningful for us individually, having people care for you and not having to make a decision! Those simple things get over looked in our fast-paced world especially by women. So taking that time out for yourself to refill your cup is the Bliss version of a healing holiday. Travelling can be really hard so we’re not just talking about any holiday here, you know the ones where you need a holiday to recover from the holiday haha! Being taken care of is the only way to really create the sacred space to really follow your bliss
How do you make women feel comfortable to travel alone?
To be honest we can’t make women do anything, it is up to them to make this decision which is so empowering from the very start to actually make a decision to do something just for you and face any fears about traveling alone. We further support this by trying to make things as easy as possible, to support our guests from the moment they book until after they leave by being accessible and here to answer any questions. Our website is supportive in the information we give, our people are so loving and caring and authentically care. Indonesian people are so beautiful and loving and caring and kind and we take this to a whole new place at Bliss. It is a place of joy. By creating a women’s only holiday it’s supportive by helping women to relax sisterhood style and by being all inclusive from the way we do the meals, having our gorgeous hostesses there to help organise their personal itineraries and arrange drivers, massages, yoga etc and doing it all in a way where our guests just literally go with the flow all help our guests feel comfortable and supported. And being unlimited in our offering (unlimited massages, unlimited yoga, unlimited food, unlimited sightseeing) means there is no angst in missing out. It is all here for you in your own time.
What do women really want when soul searching?
LOL well this is so different for everybody but I think ultimately people want peace and to be happy. To be happy we are seeking balance, wellness, space in our lives to make great choices. For me personally I have been soul searching in my life for health & wellness as I suffer from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue which is why I started Bliss Sanctuary For Women, as a place to retreat and take time out. But ultimately this is about peace and happiness. The way that looks externally can be different for everybody which is why we are so flexible and tailored. But internally I think this is the same for everybody, it is about self love and acceptance.
Fave brunch spot in Adelaide?
Well this is a hard one as I live at Henley Beach where there are so many! But my definite favourite is 303 on Seaview and they also have OAR not too far away which is awesome. I haven’t tried Acacia yet which has just opened but that looks amazing too. And I love a lunch schnitty at the Ramsgate Hotel, they do awesome pub meals.
Fave bar in Adelaide?
I love the concept of Art Bar by Emma Hack and her partner Justin Astbury. I love art and a gorgeous relaxed place for a drink and I love that it supports local artists and Emma is such a beautiful heart that any space she creates can only ooze love and fun.