While cooped up in a house on maternity leave, one can’t help but get travel fever – dreaming of beautiful far away places like Morocco, Cape Town, and Bali. In doesn’t help that this time last year, our Editorial Director shared her incredible Balinese vacation and I was living it up on Mykonos! Since we’re homebound this year, dear friend Jaclyn from Blog Society kindly offered to share her breathtaking Indonesian island retreat. Hosted by Natalie of Eat Read Love, some of Australia’s top bloggers, stylists and photographers set out on a journey together that would change their lives! Warning: the following is likely to induce severe wanderlust!

Taking place at Villa Sungai – an award winning luxury villa in Cepaka, Bali, a group of amazing creative ladies joined forces on an international retreat to talk business and collaboration, creating a truly inspiring experience. The recounts of this magical trip will surely help you get through a lackluster Monday in the office! Jaclyn, take it away!


First off, Natalie is no stranger to hosting gorgeous events and our trip to Bali was no exception. She hosted a once in a life-time adventure – a complete ‘pinch me’ getaway that I was so grateful to be part of. Myself, Natalie, Lisa, Nadean, Luisa and Sophie were speechless when we arrived. There we were in the most luxurious villa we’d ever seen, surrounded by close friends and in a culture that is rich in tradition and history.


Over lychee martinis by the pool, we shared stories of success and failure – talking openly and passionately in the kind of freeing environment that only travel can offer. Walking through lush rice paddies, we created the ultimate picnic spot and sat while sipping on rosé and taking in the local surroundings – almost in silence, each of us reflecting on the impact that travel has on the soul. We watched the sunset together while talking about what the future holds and laughed until the wee hours. We explored the countryside and enjoyed balmy mornings that were hot and humid, with still air that was was laced with incense.


Looking back it was the small moments of luxury – being surrounded by exotic flowers, fresh cuisine and indulging in a relaxing massage that made these incredible few days such an escape from reality. But the true adventure was bonding with my soul sisters over cocktails, a new culture and endless conversation – the ultimate trifecta of blog travel!


This trip that Natalie planned was just the beginning. She plans to create more international retreats coming up this year complete with gorgeous setting, brilliant company and a magical culture. Talk about dream getaway. It doesn’t get much better than that!

And if you’re planning an escape to Bali yourself, here what you’ll want to pack to get that perfectly chic island style!


Get Your Shop On:

> 1. Illesteva Round Mirrored Sunglasses
> 2. Ryan Roche Crushable Straw Hat
> 3. The Net Bag
> 4. Dolce Vita Nude Sandals
> 5. Koza Elyse Dress
> 6. Rag & Bone Gracie Scarf


images c/o Luisa Brimble

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  1. I’m going to Bali for my honeymoon and already couldn’t wait – now after seeing these beautiful pictures I’m even more excited! It looks like the perfect blend of beauty, relaxation and culture – the perfect trip!


    1. Thanks so much for commenting Melissa! It’s been a bit crazy being in the newborn/new mama haze but we’re hanging in there! Hope you’re well too 🙂

  2. Thank you very much Jaclyn for sharing this….I am the owner and just came upon it on Instagram. At Sungai Jungle Villas, we are taking the new year as an opportunity to re-establish our difference and reiterate our position in the world of luxury private villa experiences in Bali.
    Our brand/name refresh from Villa Sungai Bali will better reflect our unique, sufficiently remote jungle location, just 20 minutes from the Canggu surfing, dining and shopping precinct. It also reinforces our commitment to facilitating healthy and responsible indulgence for our guests.
    Traditionally luxury and sustainability have been perceived as incongruent concepts. We are trying to blend the two concepts to arrive at a responsible luxury ethos. Our message to our guests is that you don’t have to compromise on your luxury standards and yet you can leave a positive footprint, owing to the initiatives that we are taking at the back end, for you. Our responsibility extends to hygiene, food (we aim to offer healthy food experiences that are fun, engaging and memorable) and of course the environment and community. However, it is not just the environment that deserves to be treated with respect: the success of our villas is only possible because of our staff, all Balinese locals, several with us for the 20 years.
    The Jungle Villas have chosen to roll out their reimagination at a time when exclusivity in destination and intimacy in numbers are the ultimate travel luxuries.
    Our two x 3-bedroom villas will now be called Jungle House I and Jungle House II, rather than Sungai and Sungai Gold. Please discover our new website that addresses the changes and reinforces that these exclusive villas are tailored to cater equally well to couples, families or friends wishing to holiday together in endless privacy and personal space.
    Our flair and unique value remains unchanged: the exceptional service levels that complement fabulous experiences that are unforgettable. However, we ARE reshaping to match the changes in the travel world. We recognise that our guests’ expectations post pandemic are evolving and we must act agilely to address in particular their hygiene and flexibility concerns. We are leveraging emerging technologies because we understand that guests may want to come in physical contact with fewer staff during a stay. This doesn’t mean guests want a less experience-driven stay so it’s key for our staff, departments, and technology to work together seamlessly.
    The behavioural changes that have resulted from this pandemic are now habits that will change what our guests want from their travel experiences. We are in stride with this appetite shift including moving from ‘aesthetically clean’ to ‘clinically clean’, and the introduction of world’s best practice protocols.
    And it is predicted that people will travel less often, but more lavishly.
    After carefully assessing every risk and tailoring preventative measures that ensure the health and safety of all our guests and staff, Sungai Jungle Villas is ready to welcome you back at our two villas as soon as travel bans and lockdowns are lifted, offering opportunities to rekindle connections.
    We can’t wait!