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Om Shanti

The Yak decided on a mental tune up with Smartminds . . . so we took ourselves off to The Shanti Residence, luxe bolthole to the stars. Sophie Digby checked in.

I am sure we are pretty aware of the existence of the multi-million dollar wedding industry in Bali. Countless resorts, villas, dedicated event spaces supported by wedding specialists, hairdressers, fashionistas and floral wizards lead the chosen ones from singledom into coupledom with the resounding crash of waves, glorious sunsets, fabulously scented by frangipanis and glowing smiles.

One such location that fulfills this true to life fantasy is The Shanti Residence, tucked up in the hills of Nusa Dua in an area lovingly referred to as Millionaire’s Mile, and we gather that more than one hedge fund manager has indeed tied the knot along these very cliffs.

But we’re not here to get hitched. We at The Yak are here for another fabulous use for many of these spacious villas that offer luxury, privacy and intimacy. A small mind gathering is about to take place. A curated immersion, which is set to take our energy, and our business into the next decade and beyond. Our small team chatter excitedly as we arrive. Cold towels, welcome drinks, and a wander around the spacious property with views of the ocean on the not too distant horizon.

Two thousand and sixteen saw a transformative renovation of the property by the late and celebrated designer Jaya Ibrahim, whilst the original 2007 retreat was designed by the award-winning architect Popo Danes. Both giants in the design world of this great country.

Speaking with brand-curator Adeline Quek: “The Shanti Residence lends itself to celebrations of the heart. Whether you prefer an intimate blessing in the garden or a more formal ceremony conducted on our elegant wedding platform, this is the perfect venue to embark on your journey of shared destiny”

She adds: “The Shanti Residence is furnished with designer amenities, a bespoke wine cellar, dedicated spa, gym and spectacular chapel. Each space is functionally brought to life to provide a sense of Indonesia’s rich heritage and cultural diversity.”

We love the venue, the fact that there is a gym, a spa, designer-amenities and of course that bespoke wine cellar. Chapel and wedding platforms are really not why we are here – all the same they are impressive and that platform has a fantastic view for a romantic dinner a deux.

Ambhara, Aruna, Abian, Akhansa, Ananta Aastha and Arian are the five sleeping options for guests. The website states “As the master suite, Ambhara is an adult sanctuary that commands its own separate wing. It is the jewel in The Shanti Residence’s accommodation-crown where a romantic canopied bed lends itself to nights of restful slumber.” Sadly, not one we will be checking in to as our seminar is about teamwork, communication and camaraderie, but it is highly romantic and bridal.

So to the other rooms we go, to drop our bags, express our satisfaction with our sleeping quarters, take note of the very upmarket designer amenities and marvel at the amount of space each room affords. Space is luxury and we at The Yak know a bit about that!

Time to gather the team and make our way to the media room. Perfectly decked out for what we were here to do, white board, massive screen, black-out curtains with tea and coffee on tap – with nibbles.

Smart Minds, led by the enigmatic Mark Copeland and his team, are here to guide us on ‘a personal transformation journey, where you will gain clarity into your business through our diverse tailored techniques to develop self-awareness and a growth mindset, both individually and on a professional level.’ As a team we are less connected than we could be, we share less than we should – thoughts, feelings, beliefs and more importantly values – we are here to “get on the same page”, to listen to each other, and raise the energy of the team. Smart Minds have been organizing a number of seminars, in Bali and internationally, with great success so we thought we would like to delve deeper into the ‘growth mindset’ and bring a change into our business, team and brand.

I won’t go into detail, but even the first afternoon we had shifted a lot, connected a lot and felt pretty good about ourselves. And so to a delightful evening swim, a lovely Balinese dinner spread around a massive dining room table and a couple bottles of wine. (I can totally see how this residence is ideally equipped for weddings).

Day Two, after a vigorous swim in the immense pool, it leads to breakfast served by the charming staff and another mind shifting experience in the large media room.

Our time is coming to a close – our minds have shifted (this is an ongoing project and one that needs regular upkeep just like one’s hair, nails and body) and The Shanti Residences have been part of this great experience, and whether it is for that very special moment of life when one promises to share a life with another, or for a positive and impactful mind-shifting session, these ‘wedding venues’ can be beautifully versatile – and we should all keep an open mind about that.