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Interview with Chicco Tatriele and Lahra Tatriele, Founders of Fivelements Bali

In 2010, Fivelements Bali was established by Lahra and Chicco Tatriele to offer an extraordinary authentic healing and wellness experience. I talked with Lahra and Chicco Tatriele about Fivelements Bali.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Chicco Tatriele and Lahra Tatriele - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

Chicco Tatriele and Lahra Tatriele - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh


by Melisa Kaya

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Bali is one of the first places that come to mind when talking about healing and healthy living therapies. Lahra and Chicco Tatriele have been aware of this, and one day, they decided to create the Fivelements concept, where they could interpret the cultural phenomenon differently and add a new flavor to their guests' lives with short and long-term therapies. And since 2010, Fivelements Bali has been welcoming its guests with an innovative transformational healing concept. I talked with Lahra Tatriele and Chicco Tatriele, Founders of Fivelements Bali, about the concept of Fivelements Bali.

Lahra and Chicco Tatriele - copyright Chicco Tatriele

Lahra and Chicco Tatriele - copyright Chicco Tatriele

Lahra and Chicco, before talking about Fivelements, I would like to learn about you. Could you tell us about yourselves?

Our interest in wellness began individually in our own life paths first.

Chicco: It began with an understanding that to heal the planet, we need to look at ourselves first (and continually). During several years of coming to Bali, I felt more and more open and naturally began a deeper exploration into myself and what I was doing with life (and what I could be doing). I had many incredible experiences with the people, the healers and the extremely powerful nature in Bali, and these have greatly influenced what I believe in and who I am today. When I met my wife and life partner, Lahra, we started building our dream together, our family and Fivelements.

Lahra: My path began in my mid-20’s, catalyzed by a personal family situation that allowed me to follow my inner journey to truth and love. I have lived through many extraordinary challenges in my life, and I have always found an angel by my side. My faith and an ever-expanding experience of the magic of life or the magic of love has been the pillar of support and has always shown me the truth - very humbling. I’m sure many people can attest that when we let go (always a challenge), we all have the capability to experience the divine light. This is the most amazing feeling one can ever connect with, and when you do, you understand life is beautiful and anything is possible.

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

How did you decide to establish Fivelements? Could you tell us about the story of Fivelements and the Fivelements family?

Lahra: After my first visit to Bali, I grew an interest in opening a Balinese healing spa, but at that time, I thought it would be in New York or San Francisco. Every time I returned to Bali, I grew more and more intrigued with the people, the ceremony and the energy here, and finally, life came about. I met Chicco and we created Fivelements with our partners…

In 2007, Fivelements was conceived as an integrated wellness lifestyle concept. Fivelements, Bali was launched in late 2010 as the first of a new genre of wellness destinations and services that would bridge the wisdom of traditional cultures with innovative transformational healing concepts.

Why did you prefer to open the first Fivelements in Bali? What are the advantages of being in Bali?

Because of our numerous personal and independent healing journeys through its incredibly powerful nature, the truly amazing spiritual healing culture, rituals and arts, and the beautiful Balinese. Fivelements is also a love story and a story of hope, love, and peace. We hope that by sharing "the best of Bali“ through an authentic healing and wellness destination, people from around the world will experience something truly extraordinary, intimate and life-changing and that they may return home with a deeper connection to themselves and the meaning of life, new tools to use and implement and practices to support a better life and greater personal peace for the "wellness of humanity.”

Fivelements Bali - copyright Chicco Tatriele

Fivelements Bali - copyright Chicco Tatriele

How could you describe the hospitality culture in Indonesia?

Following the Balinese philosophy of wellness and balance through the harmony of spirit, our environment and one another, Fivelements embraces the holistic therapies from this distinct island culture, its healers following the wisdom and perceptiveness that has been passed along to them through generations. Perhaps no other culture has been as recognized for the intensive study of healing that involves close initiation from being chosen from a well-known healer or high priest.

With the guidance of the island’s most revered healers alongside wellness and sacred arts techniques and programs, Fivelements has designed rituals to transform the lives of our special guests that include deep massage therapies, prana “life” energy, water healing, beauty wellness treatments, blessing ceremonies, meditation and yoga, each ritual targeted for purification, balancing and regeneration.

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Ketut Ardika

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Ketut Ardika

Could you tell us about Fivelements and the overall concept?

Nestled alongside the Ayung River, Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, is an eco-conscious wellness retreat deeply rooted in the ancient traditions of Bali. At Fivelements we are influenced by the Balinese way of life which encourages us to nurture a greater harmony with spirit, the environment and one another. Our wellness team guides and nurtures clients to tune-in on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels. Our overall aim is to co-create a trusting connection and gently guide our guests through a highly personalised programme, while providing useful tools for them to return home with. Our core retreat clientele is composed of diverse, forward-thinking, eco-conscious ‘Changemakers’ who are actively a part of a positive transformation in their lives, their communities and the world around them.

We are inspired to create healing sanctuaries and services around the world that will truly make a human impact and convey:

- Our vision for Love and its power to transform

- Our aspiration for bridging the wisdom, philosophies and healing practices of traditional cultures

- An eco-consciousness linking our mission to inspiring design

...thus, Fivelements' mission: Creating the space for life transformation and love in action.

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

What kind of accommodation services do you offer to your guests to make their travel experience unforgettable?

Our destinations and programmes are not trend-driven. We aim to build high impact wellness programmes and timeless experiences. We have 9 suites, and expansion plans for 2019 are underway. We also adopted a sustainability program that is governed by the spirituality of its surroundings. It was an essential criteria for its builders who worked in close consultation with local priests and the community during the construction phase (even until today any refurbishments or minor changes to the property require a blessing ceremony).

Built with primarily natural materials in an unprocessed (or minimally processed) form including bamboo, rattan, local stone, recycled timbers, and coconut wood, many buildings were designed to utilise passive cooling systems to reduce air-conditioning.

Other initiatives include the use of LED lighting technology and low-level wattage resulting in a 95% reduction in electricity for lighting and highly efficient fan design called “bio-mimicry” that effectively cuts electricity use in half. Sustainable attributes are found above and below ground such as recycling grey water and rainwater for irrigation and 16,000 litres of recycled water stored on site, part of its enviable Resource Management System (Energy, Water, Waste).

The property’s commitment to sustainability and the environment has earned it a multitude of awards since opening in 2010, including honourable mentions for Sustainability and Public Amenity at the Arcasia Awards for Architecture and the Emerald Medal from Tri Hita Karana three consecutive years running from 2013. Tri Hita Karana is a Balinese Hindu philosophy that embodies the belief that physical and spiritual wellbeing is achieved through balanced existence.

Fivelements Bali - copyright Chicco Tatriele

Fivelements Bali - copyright Chicco Tatriele

When it comes to “wellness” I don't want to ask too many questions, I want to hear from an expert. Please tell us about wellness at Fivelements, Bali.

Fivelements is an integrated healing and wellness destination blending the wisdom of traditional cultures with innovative wellness services, combining:

- Balinese healing rituals for purification, balancing, and regeneration

- Epicurean raw living foods cuisine for health, beauty, and longevity

- Sacred arts practices for inner strength, alignment, and dedication

- Sustainable living and design

At Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, “living well” is inspired by Balinese culture, which encourages us to nurture harmony with spirit, nature and one another. Our holistic integrative approach is designed to tune in on the physical, emotional and spiritual levels, allowing an organic healing process to naturally unfold. Our overall aim is to co-create a trusting connection and gently guide you through a highly personalized program, while providing you with useful life tools to return home with.

We are committed to designing spaces and programs that truly deliver a body-mind-spirit integrative experience aimed to generate positive results and real-life transformation.

Executive Chef Arnaud Hauchon - Photo by Djuna Bewley

Executive Chef Arnaud Hauchon - Photo by Djuna Bewley

Please tell us about the award-winning Sakti Dining Room. Could you tell us about the gastronomic experiences that your guest can experience at Fivelements, Bali?

The retreat’s award-winning and lauded Sakti Dining Room provides an incomparable level of nourishment in its tasty menu items packed with vitamins, minerals and live enzymes that help to strengthen and rejuvenate retreat guests physically, emotionally - even spiritually. The retreat is centred on a plant-based philosophy with a specialty on living foods that maintain fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, seaweed and whole, fresh juices, which should be consumed in their natural, un-heated state. When prepared uncooked or with a special dehydration process at less than 48’C, living foods retain its vital life force replete with nutrients and living enzymes required to digest properly, repairing cellular damage and assisting in healthy cell renewal. As a leading healing destination, Fivelements well understands food is more than simply fuel; vegan and raw living foods actively support one’s journey to greater wellness, raising energy levels and mental clarity and encouraging positivity with the opportunity to reach one’s highest potential. The retreat integrates regenerative plant-based cuisine as a core component toward wellness treatment, prevention, and mitigation.

True health, longevity, and vibrancy come from eating wholefoods that, without saying, also need to be satisfying and flavourful. Sakti Dining Room has received widening praise over the years for refining its own distinct gourmet approach and has curated a menu of exquisite tastes enjoyed in a naturally luxurious, eco-conscious setting. Each flavourful dish is prepared in a professional kitchen by master vegan chefs, serving high-energy, plant-based nutrition aimed to nurture the body, mind, and soul. Retreat guests and day visitors often opt for the Fivelements Signature Tasting Menus, carefully prepared artisanal gastronomy comprised of three, five and seven course options, as well as an array a la carte items from various menus: lunch, dinner, afternoon snacks, tea, dessert, and a menu for children.

For raw food neophytes or connoisseurs, Fivelements features its integrated Cuisine for Life Retreats, combining live food philosophy with hands-on culinary training to learn and appreciate invaluable skills for preparing plant-based meals at home, blending flavours and textures with seasonal ingredients. The Fivelements Culinary Team takes guests through key preparation techniques including juicing, sprouting, sweet, and savoury blending, fermenting, as well as low-temperature baking and dehydration.

Fivelements, Bali has won numerous awards, could you tell us about these awards?

Fivelements and its unique approach to wellness has been recognised worldwide, winning over 45 international awards, including AsiaSpa Awards: Eco Hotel/Resort of the Year 2018, Destination Retreat of the Year 2016, Spa Cuisine of the Year 2014, 2015 & 2017, Spa Retreat of the Year 2013, Eco-Spa of the Year 2012 and Destination Spa of the Year 2011.

Other accolades include annual awards for the World Luxury Spa Awards; Indonesia’s Best Wellness Retreat 2017 and Indonesia’s Best Wellness Spa 2015 for the World Spa Awards; Luxury Eco-Friendly Hotel of the Year 2018 for the Luxury Travel Guide Awards Asia & Australasia; Most Outstanding Eco-Friendly Wellness Retreat - Bali 2018 for the Health & Wellbeing Awards, Luxury Wellness Retreat of the Year 2015 for the Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards; Best Wellness Retreat in Indonesia 2015 for the LUX Hotel & Spa Awards; Gourmet Vegan Cuisine Global Winner in 2016 for the World Luxury Restaurant Awards and more.

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

How can your guests spend time at Fivelements, Bali?

Our overall aim is to co-create a trusting connection and gently guide you through a highly personalised programme, while providing you with useful life tools to return home with.

Fivelements’ integrative wellness retreats include:

- PancaMahabhuta for regeneration, replenishment & alignment; http://www.fivelements.org/en/retreats/wellness-retreats/11-healing-retreats/28-panca-mahabhuta

- Tri Kaya Parisudha for detoxification and transformation; http://www.fivelements.org/en/retreats/wellness-retreats/11-healing-retreats/148-trikaya-parisudha

- Cuisine for Life, an inspiring raw food culinary retreat for health, beauty and longevity; http://www.fivelements.org/en/retreats/wellness-retreats/11-healing-retreats/177-cuisine-for-life

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

Fivelements Bali - Photo by Djuna Ivereigh

Do you have any advantage packs that you offer to your regular and long-term guests?

Fivelements’ Signature Retreats are available in 3, 5, 7, 10, 14 & 21-night stays and for individuals, couples and small groups.

We have regular events and special packages.

What is next for you? What kind of plans do you have?

We have plans to launch Yoga & Sacred Arts city destinations, with the first one in Hong Kong. This ‘urban retreat’, which will open in June 2019, marks the start of Fivelements’ expansion into city wellness destinations.

The Yoga & Sacred Arts city destinations will feature a rich collection of holistic practices aimed at fostering self-exploration, mental and physical health, and general wellbeing. Designed to cater to the growing corporate wellness clientele and the “urban wellness tribe”, Fivelements at Times Square in Hong Kong will offer a diverse array of yoga and dynamic sacred arts practices, plant-powered nutrition, and integrative wellness programmes in various formats, ranging from classes to private sessions, corporate groups, workshops, events, and day retreats.

In addition to plant-based cuisine, the Yoga & Sacred Arts destination at Times Square will feature a collection of holistic practices aimed at fostering self-exploration, mental and physical health and wellbeing. The integrative practices are guided by a team of multi-disciplinary experts in yoga, meditation and mindfulness, movement, martial arts and dance, somatics, visual arts, and sound healing. The holistic wellness programmes will also offer bespoke therapies, including bodywork, intuitive healing, and energy work, natural beauty treatments as well as Fivelements’ distinguished personalised wellness coaching.

Thank you Chicco and Lahra for this enjoyable interview.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of Fivelements Bali

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