Holistic practice meets healing food and indigenous art at our luxury, eco-minded Balinese boutique hideaway. Curated with comfort and creativity, The Asa Maia’s speaks to the conscious and mindful traveler…
Breathe in that Uluwatu energy
A home from home in paradise
Marrying the best of both worlds, our verdant resort is secluded, yet in striking distance of Uluwatu’s blissful beaches and cliff-top day clubs. Our ten suites encircle an airy central pavilion that’s fanned by a saltwater pool, contrast therapy baths, fire pit and infrared sauna. Threaded by wooden walkways, the resort’s sinuous layout is a metaphor for the mantra of The Asa Maia: to help you forge new paths and build connectivity between the mind and body. Life moves at an unhurried pace here, so inhale, exhale and breathe in that Uluwatu energy.
Be reinspired - As written by Ariel Leve
Everyone has a story. Here’s mine.
Raised in Winston Salem, North Carolina, I had a sense of dislocation early on. The limitations of being landlocked incumbered freedom. Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of international travel but every so often, I would go to the British Virgin Islands with my family. Warm weather, clear water, blue skies … I recall thinking, “Why don’t we live here?”
As soon as I learned where California was, I was on a mission to get there. It finally happened when I was nineteen, after Hawaii, hitchhiking around, learning to surf – it was a carefree and adventurous time with no boundaries; free of responsibility.
Surfing became my greatest passion. It led me around the world and was also the main reason I chose to live in Bali.
The first time I got to Bali it was the early 1990’s and Bali was an exotic, intoxicating location.
I went there with my boyfriend so we could surf. Bali in the 90’s was the only place I wanted to be. There was bustling tourism but the expat community felt like a private party – a secret we’d all been let it on. Relevant. Special. There were no cell phones or house phones until the mid-90’s, and everyone gathered every evening in the same place. It was a tight community.
I was always industrious and started a clothing line. Things were going well, the business took off and I built a house. And then the bomb happened. I didn’t feel safe with my son so we moved to Brazil.
It’s almost comical that I moved to Rio de Janeiro because I no longer felt safe in Bali but thinking back…the idea of a bomb was much heavier than a bullet. I had other pulls too. My young son’s culture (his father is Brazilian), being closer to his family, and exploring the expansion of my swimwear line. For many years, I went back and forth. It was a bifurcated existence – living between Brazil and Bali.
There were two seminal events that changed the course of my life. The first was that in 2014 when I found out I had breast cancer. The second was that I reunited with my birth family. When I discovered that my biological father is a designer, it made sense: the desire to create is in my DNA.
Having a medical trauma made me realize I had a lot of time left and it renewed my lease on life. I’ve always been drawn to wellness and health and gravitated towards it because of the power that clean and healthy food has. In 2016, I was cancer free but I believe the first treatment gave me a second cancer. Conventional treatment for it with medication and radiation was intense and I vowed that if I survived this time, I would commit to my dream.
It was like a clarion call. The dream was to build a wellness center.
The idea to embark on this journey was conceived from my hospital bed but the dream was first conceived in a breathwork session I’d done years earlier. I wanted it to be an oasis of health that implemented the Will Hoff breathwork and ice bathing that I’d done in Poland. As I lay in my hospital bed in Singapore, I decided this. And once that happened, I never looked back.
I’d moved back from Brazil to Bali and was wavering on what to do with my life. I wanted something more fulfilling than designing swimwear. The project began in 2018. Of course, my vision evolved over time. It was a thoughtful and careful endeavor with a tremendous amount of fear and a steep learning curve.
I had the lot beside my house to build on and I knew I had to get the Gladaks. I’d always wanted to build something with traditional materials and my land partner was an antique dealer so I had been exposed to them early on and developed an appreciation for them.
Gladaks are the traditional Indonesian teak wood houses that would be lovingly restored. I spent the year hand-picking and buying art work, antique houses, gladaks and limasans in East Java, all in their original locations. I stockpiled a lot of the materials before I even knew what they would be used for. The gladaks were disassembled, loaded into small trucks to get out of the villages, transferred to bigger trucks, transported by ferry and then stored on a piece of land in giant woodpiles. There are many days I would look at this giant woodpile of undone houses and think, “What have I done?” How will it ever be inhabitable?
It became, without question, a labor of love. I was involved in every aspect The bridge is recycled wood from Kalimantan. I bought Belgian blue stone for the counters and bathtubs. I was involved in all of the details. Learning along the way. It was scary to be building during Covid – I had no idea what would happen – but as it turned out, after the pandemic, people were really looking for small properties and a wellness related experience.
As the project evolved, I became more and more confident with my decisions. As a woman in charge, I learned how to stand up for what I wanted. I learned how to say no. I also learned to allow my vision to change and grow. The dream expanded and deepened and became so much more than I could have imagined. Initially, I had the principles of what I wanted – sauna, ice bath and breathwork. But as the vision grew, I grew with it.
I built Asa Maia for myself and so it feels like my home. When I have guests, they are guests in my home. I’ve overseen and curated all of the details, the food and the books and the art – and sharing what I’ve created gives me unfettered joy. My dream was for peace and calmness to permeate everything. Including me.
Hope beyond illusion
Your journey, your way
Create a bespoke programme that works for you
What’s in a name? Well, since you asked, The Asa Maia is a fusion of two Sanskrit-derived words which translate as “Hope” and “Illusion appearing as real.” Combined, it means ‘hope beyond illusion.’ Whether you want to take a deeper dive into spiritual awakening, commit to a structured wellness regimen, or simply check out from the stresses of modern life for a few days, The Asa Maia strives to work around your personal needs and goals. A place without pressure or pretence, daunting detoxing menus or strict vows of silence, we pride ourselves in elevating guests’ comfort and privacy rather than curtailing it.
Our beloved island home
A temple to wellness and design
A design and wellness sanctuary, The Asa Maia fosters a cultural as well as a spiritual awakening. As for our love of bespoke, that transcends everything from our tailor-made breathwork, to the resort’s custom-built lobby library. Rooted in holistic healing, our practices – hosted in the full-service yoga and meditation shala – are designed to help you build healthier habits for your mind and body, supported by cleansing cuisine that’s created with love. Meanwhile, the hotel’s interiors are enriched with authentic Indonesian art and artifacts that doesn’t just beautify, but tells a story too; deepening your connection to our beloved island home.