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“Be prepared to be alone (and miserable)”

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Golden Rock Retreat
Ranked #46 of 92 Speciality Lodging in Amed
Reviewed 27 November 2012

A detox by nature isn't an easy thing to do, so the trend now is to go to a destination spot where temptation is out of reach. That is certainly true here - Golden Rock is 3 hours from the airport and in the tiny village of Amed (where there's not much on offer, so don't think of popping out to shop, distract yourself, etc). There's NO cell service or internet - another detox of sorts in this day and age.

The other reviews are true - you gradually get used to the staff coming in/out with various drinks and tonics for you, regardless of if you are sleeping, naked, on the toilet, etc. They don't seem fazed and after a day or two, you won't be either. The retreat is small, so there's a BIG chance that you may be there alone. This isn't as exotic as it sounds. You feel terrible and there's no one to talk to. The staff sit and watch you exercise or eat and you end up going to bed around 6pm.

Very little information is given out by the staff. They are smiley and try to be helpful but the English is very limited. Pin (resort manager) is kind and an excellent reflexologist BUT he is hard to understand and it's frustrating not to get more information on questions such as, "Why am I vomiting? When will it stop? Why isn't anything coming out? What is the benefit of this treatment or that one? How long will this headache last because it's been 18 hours?" He often repeats the phrase, "It is because of the Western diet of alcohol, sugar, meat. It is because of alcohol, sugar, meat." Okkkaaay.

Given that the average guest at the retreat is interested in fitness, healthy living and detoxes (given their choice of holiday), that's too basic of an answer. If the majority of the customers are women (and they are), they need to realize that we want more info and to talk about the experience. As there's no internet, you can't rely on any 'searches' until you are back home.

Alan, the British owner/manager, flitted in and out during my stay. He boasted about being a crystal healer and that we would do some 'work' on it later in the week but that didn't evolve. Instead, I was scolded for not going to morning chi gung after a night of vomiting. Thanks but if I can sleep, I'll take it. Alan seems to have a lot of knowledge about fasting - it's a shame he's not there more often to dispense it. People who are going through detoxes shouldn't be totally alone. Alan ended my visit with a "God Bless" which was a bit odd, given the Hindu location and Buddhist nature of the resort.

I was strongly encouraged to stay until the liver flush (usually day 4). I was ready to pack it in after day 3 and go stay with a friend/use my holiday in a different way. I was told, "It all happens in the liver flush." For me, nothing happened. I followed the instructions to the letter, drank the epsom salts, then the glass of olive oil/lemon juice, lay flat, etc. Nothing. I had hoped for more weight loss and it was very little.

The lack of outside communication is a bit unnerving, especially when you are puking your guts out. I actually wondered about leaving to call someone and it just seemed to be very daunting. There's the option to go and check email/make phone calls yet when I expressed a need to go to the internet cafe to transfer money, no one followed up on that. Credit cards are "accepted" but only Mastercard/Visa and only if there's a decent signal. You may read this and think, "Yeah, yeah" but when it's you who has to go to several ATM's to take out large sums of money to pay the bill, that's a different matter. Your bank will be alerted to someone taking about the maximum withdrawal amount (usually 3 million rupiah) and may 'halt' your card. You may then have to go home and do a bank transfer for the rest of the amount, adding up lots of time at the bank, the question if they will get it, etc. So, "yeah", that signal is pretty important when paying by credit card.

The villas are lovely and grand. You may end up sleeping downstairs as it's near the toilet. The outdoor bathrooms are a treat and the view over the ocean is amazing.The sauna is new, the pool is refreshing and the two guys who teach yoga and chi gung are lovely and friendly. I returned home with more energy, no coffee addiction and desire to eat very healthily, so I certainly reaped the rewards of the week. However, having been to retreats in Thailand, I would encourage people to go there - more information is given in the form of speakers each evening, reading material and sharing with other guests. The location is better in Bali but the detox is more supported in Thailand. I'm torn between hating the experience (I did) and chalking it up to another travel adventure.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank SingaporeGo_Girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 34 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 5 July 2012

Interesting to read everyone's feedback having stayed at the retreat for the week. The location cannot be beaten. It is stunning and the sound of the waves, fabulous and unique. I wanted to learn more about detox. It was difficult to learn alot because nobody speaks much english. I would not be staying here if I had a health concern. It is very steep and if you weren't fit/prone to fainting it could be quite dangerous. I did not complete the fasting. I did enjoy the healthy food they gave me instead. Once I stopped fasting I was able to explore the area of Amed. The people are very friendly. I can recommend the local guide Wayan Wani. wayan.wani@yahoo.com or +62 237 055 625. There is no real reception or much email though so I would recommend just asking the Yoga instructor Made where he lives, it is just up the road. This is a good way to see the sights on the back of a moto and meet some local people. We had an amazing time on the beach, beach fire, with their friends and local kids playing some music and enjoying some fresh fish. Really wonderful. All in all interesting experience to stay here. It would be much more professional if it were managed by experienced Westerners (I hate to say it) or medically trained Indonesian people.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2012

I spent 7 days at the Golden Rock in 2011. The location is amazing right on the waterfront, and the 4 large villas are really beautiful and well kept. As another reviewer has said, this is hard core detox - but the constant sounds of the ocean, the daily massages and the great staff all made it worthwhile. Everything was generally well organized, and Manager Pin was a delight, as was Wiwit in the office. The first few day or two I was a bit put off by the constant entry of staff with juices and pills etc but I soon got into the swing of it. The daily massages were really top-class and a highlight in the day, as were ´dinner´chats with the other guests. Oh - and the lovely pool as well, I did spend a fair share of my time hanging over the edge of the pool stirring onto the vast ocean.

I loved the morning meditation and chi gong, and the afternoon yoga on the seaside yogadeck. The snorkeling trip to a nearby shipwreck right is an absolute must and maybe the best snorkeling you will do in Bali.

Any room for improvements you might ask? Well, on two occasions did the yoga teacher not turn up in the afternoon, nor where we notified by the staff about this or why. And the outside lightning could be better, as it gets pitch dark really early. But in total, can´t really complain.

If you are traveling on your own, please do bring enough to read as evenings can get long if the other guests retreat early. There is a DVD collection there as well, but consider bringing some of your own favorites if you know you get bored easily!

And the verdict: if you are serious about detox, this is the place. Really.

Room Tip: The villa to the left (ie when facing the sea) is very near local life with its chickens and pigs. S...
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled solo
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2  Thank HanneG72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2012

The Golden retreat was the ideal place to reconnect with my inner body!! It is a fantasic intimate retreat with only 4 villas so personnal service is garanteed. I did a 7 day detox and cleanse and it is definitely value for money considering food is not on the menu. I was lucky enough to have 3 other great women to spend time with around the pool in the afternoons and chat with if I was bored at any time. They have a great DVD collection which i reccommend you have especially on the Liver flush.
The staff are very friendly and are always around to ensure that you make it to all the treatments. Mangu who provides the healing massages is absolutely amazing! All the staff are great and gentle especially Pin and Wewit who will assist you with anything.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Tara J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2012

It is right that Golden Rock is reviewed as a retreat/detox venue, rather than as an hotel or resort. Nevertheless it is relevant that the compact, four room facility has a glorious setting on the edge of one of the many mackerel fishing villages in East Bali. Ones exercise, massage or treatment is accompanied often by the view of returning fishing boats unloading their catch and the noise of many happy fishermen whooping news of their catch to waiting families.
I had not really understood the rigours of a 10 day detox or how bored I would be of clear soup and many varied juices. But I was delighted to have done it and now the taste of even the simplest of foods is a double pleasure following the abstinence.
The staff are unfailingly helpful, willing and professional. Pin, the manager, trained in nutrition and related disciplines, and himself an expert reflexologist seemed to work 24/7 and earned the respect of us all. The quality of the daily massages puts to shame anything that Europe has to offer.
Cameraderie amongst our fellow inmates, (from Germany, Australia and Singapore in our case) was an important element of the success of the visit.
I will readily recommend Golden Rock to anyone who wants this sort of retreat. My wife, who has much greater experience of such places, ranked it at the very top in its category.
My only small points of recommendation for the management would be: improved lighting around some of the difficult steps and staircases; wifi throughout (maybe this collides with the policy separating guests from the outside world during treatment).
We will be back....but in the meantime will try to follow the guidelines given.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank billcolegrave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2012

The golden rock is an extremely, well organised, good value for money retreat. No issue with intermediate bills to sign, all inclusive ( including laundry service) and a warm helpfull staff.

The only minor detail is, there is absolutely no doctor or whatsoever in the neighborhood, so while i was staying there, myself and another participant had ear problems ( possibly from the pool), the only solution is than a 3 hour drive to Kuta.

Regards

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Ronflonflon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

Even though I read the reviews for Golden Rock I had no idea what to expect, but after my 7 day program I feel like a new person and definitely achieved my goal of getting as many toxins out of my body as possible.

One of my friends could not believe I had booked a retreat over the internet and transferred money in advance - attention all Doubting Thomas' - it really exists!

The three hour drive was a surprise - if I did this again I would stay in Khandidasa which is half way. On arrival the retreat exceeded my expectations. The accommodation was great and included a shower with an open roof. The daybed on your balcony got plenty of use as did the infinity edge pool. I would gaze out at the view for hours watching the fishermen.

The program was explained every step of the way and if you completely submit to it and follow it through you will get a lot out of it. There is plenty of time to do your own thing - I read a book a day; and there is a large selection of movies to watch in the restaurant.

I have to agree with the other comments in relation to the Yoga and Chi Gung instructors - they were kind of average and the language barrier didn't help; mind you the meditation sessions were great.

The steam room was working, the staff were wonderful, there were no insects - I didn't even get a mozzie bite!

If you are looking to completely clense (mind and body) I would highly recommend.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Ang73Melbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Golden Rock Retreat

Address: Aas, Bunutan | 10 km southeast of Amed, Amed, Abang, Indonesia
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Abang > Amed
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #46 of 92 Speciality Lodging in Amed
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in a remote spot on the north east tip of Bali, Golden Rock Retreat is an exquisite and innovative detox and healing centre that provides our guests with a unique opportunity to take part in our carefully prepared health programs, whilst experiencing the peace and tranquility of local Balinese life. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Golden Rock Retreat Hotel Amed
Golden Rock Retreat Amed, Bali

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