If you are looking for the perfect girls getaway retreat in Bali look no further than Mondo Surf Village. Located in the heart of Canggu, this resort is a great place to stay with friends, or visit solo during your trip to Indonesia.
In September I moved out to Bali and We Are Travel Girls co-founder Vanessa Rivers joined me here for a couple of weeks. Whilst we had alot of work to do, we also knew we wanted to take some time out to go on a surf and yoga retreat. With a little research we came across Mondo Surf Village and immediately agreed this was the perfect place for us. Here’s 10 reasons why we loved Mondo, and why you will too!
1. THE PEOPLE
OK, so reviews often say this, that the staff are great, friendly and attentive and whilst they most certainly are at Mondo it’s actually the owners that really make this place special. The founders are three friends Quico, Arvid and Bruno, who enjoyed Bali life together, and were all avid surfers, and decided why not create a place where they could share their passion with other travellers.
We had the pleasure of meeting with Quico and Arvid and hearing all about what they want to achieve with Mondo and how they are seeking to make it unique and different from other retreats, largely because the main focus of the resort is surfing, rather than the typical yoga retreats you will find in Bali. They also explained that they want people to feel at home when they are at Mondo, like they are part of the family, not just guests.
2. THE DOG
Before we get into the details about the resort we need to take a moment to appreciate their dog, aptly named Mondo. Before the guys took over the land to create Mondo Surf Village the property stood empty for two years and the previous owners had left their dog behind. The dog never left the property and lived off meals brought to her by local villagers, whilst spending her days waiting on top of a table in the area that is now where breakfast is served. When you arrive, Mondo will be the first one to give you a warm welcome!
Upon entering Mondo you quickly see that this is a place where you will make friends. First Antonio, the manager, greets you with a smile as you arrive, and as you wander down into the lush green space you will see small groups of people chatting at the pool, the bar and the communal dining areas. Every aspect of Mondo is designed to encourage you to meet other guests, but if you prefer some alone time there are plenty of little places and hammocks to relax in.
4. THE VILLAGE
The resort is like a mini village. There is a beautiful large pool to practice your paddling, an honor bar area where you can help yourself to cold beers, and where you can also eat your meals, and a large dining area which doubles as a great place to chill, read or work. There is also the group activity space for yoga and martial arts, as well as an outdoor massage area.
The resort is home to several room options: 2 share mixed (dorm style) rooms, 2 deluxe rooms that sleep 3 people, and 2 private bungalows that sleep 3 people. Mondo is looking to expand the village to increase occupancy in future, but the smaller number of rooms means that there is a small group of guests who get to know one another during their stay.
Surfing is the main activity on offer at the resort. There are several different retreat packages, including a 7 night Surf & Sun package which includes accommodation, 5 surf lessons (including equipment, instructors & travel), 6 yoga sessions, breakfast and free use of scooters. Other packages include photography lessons, martial arts, yoga, massages or a mix of all the above if you select the Lifestyle package.
Your daily surf safari starts at 9:45am when you meet the group to travel to a local surf spot. The location will change each day dependent on the surf and the experience of the group. Whilst you are close to the beaches of Canggu, you may find that you go a little farther afield to find the right break. Due to some very large swells we went down to Jimbaran Bay, which is over an hour from Mondo.
You will usually surf in the morning for two hours, break for lunch for one and half hours and then have a second afternoon session for 2 hours, before heading back to the resort for a much needed rest! Whilst Mondo can accommodate surfers of all experience levels, the majority of guest are new or relatively new to surfing which means you are likely to go to beginner breaks on the surf safari.
6. YOGA & MARTIAL ARTS
Yoga is big in Bali, and after a day in the ocean you will probably need some stretching. Every morning there is a yoga class held at 7:30am followed by breakfast. I was surprised to find that everyone staying at the resort whilst we were there got up to participate, even a guest’s 9-year-old son, and of course Mondo the dog makes a regular appearance – although she typically sleeps whilst you work up a morning sweat!
In addition to Yoga, Mondo also offers afternoon martial arts. One of the owners Arvid had a background in martial arts and decided to add this to the daily activity options for guests, whilst most people opt to spend the day surfing you may find yourself having dedicated one on one lessons. The option to do this activity makes Mondo truly unique and separates it from other retreats.
A delicious assortment of breakfast options are served under a grass roofed canopy at the communal table after the morning yoga session. You can choose from healthy smoothie bowls, to a range Asian and Western breakfast options.On Saturdays you can sign up to join the barbeque night and I highly recommend that you do. Mondo bring a feast of tradition Indonesian cooked, meats, fish and vegetarian options to enjoy in the company of the other guests. Add a Bintang, or other drink from the honesty bar to complete the meal! Throughout the rest of the week, they have a kitchen open until 7pm for lunches, dinners and snacks.
8. TRAVELLING SOLO
Mondo is the perfect place to go if you are travelling solo. As I mentioned earlier it is incredibly welcoming, very social and in addition feels safe if you are a solo female traveller. You will meet people throughout the day during one of the many activity options or at breakfast or dinner.
9. THE PRICE
Mondo Surf Village definitely offers value for money. The weekly packages start at EUR 264 for the Holidays package which offers the main amenities and yoga sessions, with the more activity packed packages starting at EUR 454 in the shared rooms. Check the site for latest prices and offers at the time of booking.
10. GETTING CLOSE TO NATURE
Surrounded by rice paddies, and lush tropical greenery, Mondo is a tranquil spot to feel close to nature. However as you would expect in any jungle type setting, expect to see a few creepy crawlies. If you prefer to be away from the bugs, I would suggest opting for one of the Deluxe rooms where Vanessa stayed, which was free of animal visitors, over the wooden bungalow where I stayed which had a couple of frogs finding their way inside! However, if you have been in Bali a little while you will know the occasional frog or gecko is not unusual, and to be expected!
As you can tell we loved our stay at Mondo, and would highly recommend selecting one of their 7 days packages for a girls getaway, or solo adventure!
We were welcomed as a guests at Mondo Surf Village, as always, my opinions are my own.