The Place Retreat, Bali

Stunning healing retreat with psychotherapy for short and long-term stays

The Place Retreats is open year-round, offering retreat stays from 7 nights up to 3 months.


An eight day stay including airport transfers, meals and all treatments, yoga and therapy sessions is priced at 5,000 Euros per individual or 9,000 Euros per couple. A 40-day programme costs 30,000 Euros and a 90-days is priced at 55,000 Euros. Tailor-made retreats can also be arranged for any length of stay over eight days with fees depending on the length of stay.
Eight-day retreats include five therapy sessions with Jean-Claude, daily Kundalini yoga, two body therapy sessions, two Balinese massages, one private yoga consultation and daily Yin yoga sessions. Long stay retreats include each week three therapy sessions with Jean-Claude, three group therapy sessions, two Balinese massages, daily Kundalini yoga, two body therapy sessions, one Yin yoga session and a private yoga consultation.


Best for: Those who feel a little ‘lost’ in life or in need of a some of peace and quiet in a tranquil setting

Not for: Anyone who doesn’t enjoy their own company or who feels uncomfortable opening up about themselves

In a nutshell: Housed in two neighbouring villas in the affluent beach resort area of Seminyak in Southern Bali, The Place is a ‘total care’ life changing retreat set up by psychotherapist Jean-Claude Chalmet, who has 20 years’ experience as a psychotherapist and family therapist and specialises in treating individuals dealing with emotional abuse. Everyone is welcome, and the retreat provides a range of daily holistic treatments to tend to both mind and body, from acupuncture and massage to meditation and psychotherapy, all designed to help people reconnect with themselves, discover their true purpose in life, and heal both physically and emotionally. Book a one-week stay, or give yourself the chance of fully benefitting from their transformative programme by staying several weeks - many visitors book a long stay from 40 to 90 days.

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What’s Queenly?

Apart from meal-times, treatment sessions and classes, visitors are pretty much left to their own devices and encouraged to treat the grounds like home. You can come and go as you please, mingle with fellow guests as and when you like, watch DVDs in the outdoor living room, head downtown for some nightlife, or simply stay in your room. There is no pressure to stick to a rigorous regime and staff are on site 24/7 to tend to your needs.

What’s Lowly?

It can get a bit noisy at night as traffic and people from the street below can be heard from some of the rooms. While there is a yoga studio and pools available, there is no gym for those who want to work out during their stay – though this may be a bonus for some, and there is a pay-as-you-go gym available a ten-minute walk away and several in town you can visit.

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Nilufer Atik reviews this transformational retreat in Seminyak, Bali led by psycotherapist Jean-Claude Chalmet and finds true psychological as well as physical healing.

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Retreat Activities

There are numerous activities to chose from at The Place and your programme is tailor made to suit your needs. Guest are asked to fill out a health and wellness questionnaire before arrival so the team can assess which treatment will help them the most. A typical day begins with Kundalini yoga followed by a hearty breakfast then a treatment shortly after such as acupuncture or a Balinese massage. Everyone has a minimum of three weekly one-on-one psychotherapy sessions with Jean-Claude however as these are seen as a vital part of the transformational process.

Founder Jean-Claude Chalmet is a 58 year old Belgian who has lived in Bali since 2015 and has over 20 years’ experience as a psychotherapist and family therapist under his belt and specialises in treating individuals dealing with emotional abuse, past or present. His psychotherapy sessions at The Place are mostly private but long-stay retreaters also have group therapy.
Unlike counselling, psychotherapy here is designed to help people really address the root of their problems, heal their emotional wounds, and learn techniques, such as inner-child nurturing exercises, to enable them to make positive changes in their life.
Held in a room at the main house, the private sessions are integrative and collaborative and last an hour. Group therapy sessions are also held weekly in the main house, helping guests deal with all sorts of issues from depression and anxiety to addiction, relationship problems and sexual abuse.

Kundalini classes are on offer each morning, Yin yoga once a week, and a private session once a week too. Kundalini classes – otherwise known as the Yoga of Awareness - are a return to the grass-roots yoga that was intended as a form of meditation and a way to strengthen the mind/body connection, using a combination of breathing techniques (pranayama), deep relaxation, chanting and various exercises and movements designed to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity, and enhance awareness. Every session is different and teacher Manuela Herreros also holds private sessions. Find out more about Kundalini yoga here.

Tantra workshops are taught by guest teacher Angela Perez three times a week for couples and occasionally for others, to help you better connect with yourself and others. Held in the outdoor yoga studio, participants are paired up and then encouraged to perform a series of exercises such as looking deeply into each other’s eyes or holding hands whilst saying how they interpret the other person. This way, you learn to let your guard down and be more open.

Guests are given regular Balinese massages to relieve physical tension and offer a little pampering. These are traditionally full-body, deep-tissue massages, using a combination of gentle stretches, acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy to stimulate the flow of blood, oxygen and energy. Techniques used include kneading, stroking, skin rolling, and pressure-point stimulation, combined with the aromas of essential oils and soothing hot towels. If you’ve never had a Balinese massage before you’ll be amazed at how light and soothed you’ll feel afterwards. There are two massage therapists, both female and local.

Led by Spiritual Healer Elisa Senese, these hour-long, private one-on-one sessions are a form of bodywork in which gentle touch is used on the head, neck, spine and pelvic bones to reduce stress in the body and build up underlying energy. Craniosacral Therapy is said to regulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and aid respiration as well as help the body to restore and heal itself. The idea is that the practitioner senses tensions in the body and helps to release them, leaving the recipient calm and energised, with increased clarity of mind and a feeling of wellbeing.

If you arrive at The Place suffering from any aches and pains then Andy Taylor is the man to see. Combining Chinese osteopathy with Japanese acupuncture, Dr Taylor uses age-old bone and joint maneuvering that predates Western medicine, as well as acupuncture and moxibustion - a traditional Chinese medicine therapy which consists of burning dried mugwort on particular points on the body - to heal all manner of ailments from acute pain and headaches, to bloating, insomnia and depression. Sessions usually start with half an hour of osteopathy followed by the application of acupuncture needles and moxa cones, which are then lit to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body. The heat is meant to improve circulation, relax tense muscles, relieve pain and promote relaxation.

Between treatment and classes, there’s plenty of time to relax, digest and rejuvenate. The villas are only a ten-minute walk from the beach – a long, sweeping stretch of sand with plenty of bars and eateries set far enough back so you can still sunbathe in peace and quiet. The beach is spotlessly clean and the sea is lovely and warm by evening but it can get very busy on Sundays when the locals are off work. You can also try some scuba diving or go horse-riding during the day if you enjoy beach activities. It’s also just a 12-minute walk from the bustling town centre of Seminyak where boutique fashion stores, top dining spots and stylish bars spring to life in the evenings. There are also numerous day spas where you can go for facials and treatments, gyms and health food stores and private yoga studios.

Personal spaces

Bedrooms: There are six double rooms at The Place – four in the guest accommodation area, and two in the main house. They all have king-sized beds, a seating and desk area, and private outdoor bathrooms with stone baths and powerful showers. The rooms are all decorated in neutral colours with Balinese rugs spread out on the floors and huge heavy beige curtains on floor to ceiling windows that open up to reveal a beautiful outdoor seating area with a sofa lounger, coffee table, and exotic plants. With the curtains open it almost feels as though the bedroom and garden are open plan.

The rooms are split into two, with the second partition comprising built-in wardrobes, a safe, and a selection of books with heavy ceramic bookends holding them up.
The desk has a large lamp at one end and paper and a pen at the other, in case you want to do some journaling or feel inspired to write. There is no TV or radio here, for the idea is to relax in between therapy and treatment sessions and, when it does get too hot outside, the powerful air-conditioning in each room is a godsend.

Personal spaces

Other spaces to be: You can hang out at the yoga studio in between classes if you want some real time alone or sit in the garden area at the main house where there are plenty of seating areas hidden away in shaded areas under trees and among colourful plants and flowers. The resident puppy Bella might come over for the odd cuddle but otherwise you won’t be disturbed.

Insider Tips

Bring a couple of smart casual items of clothing with you in case you do end up eating out as some of the more high-end restaurants will expect you to dress up a little – The Place usually arranges a night out for the guests at the retreat once a week during the staff’s day off where everyone goes to a local restaurant to dine. And don’t forget to pack some strong insect repellant and anti-histamine cream – the mosquitos come out in force at night and those prone to getting bitten can really suffer.

When to Go

If you want to avoid high season in July and August the best months to visit Bali generally are April, May, June and September when it is still dry and not too humid. Temperatures reach an average of 27-28 degrees Celsius.

Shared places

The villas:
The Place is separated into two buildings by a large wooden door and a small pathway. When you enter the main door, you are greeted by a large garden with an outdoor living room and kitchen to the left, a swimming pool with sun loungers at the far end, and rooms behind wood panelled sliding doors that encircle two thirds of the garden.
Behind the living room is a pond and a door which opens to a pathway leading up to the second building, the main house. There’s another pool here with more sun loungers scattered around and a large wooden dining table with chairs in front of glass-fronted sitting rooms where therapy sessions are held. The main house is where Jean-Claude lives and is full of ornate vases, ornaments and local artwork. There are extra rooms here for guests when the other building is full.

Shared places

Inside spaces:
The living room features a curved sofa large enough to seat at least ten people, scattered with soft pillows. There’s also a large TV here with a bookcase beside it containing several copies of psychotherapy and personal development books guests can help themselves too, and a music station with speakers in case anyone wants to use it during their stay.

Shared places

Outside spaces:
The perfectly manicured lawns encircled by each building are full of lush blooms and mango and coconut trees. They have both shaded and open areas where you can sit in the sunshine with a good book or recline on one of the super comfortable sun loungers and sip fresh coconut water. There’s even a pond where you can marvel at the exotic fish on display. The marbled pools aren’t Olympic-sized but long enough for a satisfying dip when the sun gets too hot and the water is always tepid.

Shared places

Yoga spaces:
The yoga studio is on the roof of the guest accommodation building and overlooks the gardens and swimming pool. It features a large Buddha statue at one end and a gong with incense burners and candles surrounding it. Mats, bolsters, blocks and straps are all provided for yoga sessions and there’s a nice breeze blowing through the airy space which makes it cooler than the rooms below.

Shared places

Treatment/workshop spaces:
The treatment rooms are situated to the right of the main house and are small but comfortable with a massage bed in the middle, a velvet chair in the corner for foot baths, Balinese rugs on the floors, and various oils and potions lined up on bamboo shelving units along the wall. Dimly lit and very quiet, the atmosphere is one of serenity and peace.


Three generous and delicious meals a day using locally sourced ingredients are served. Both breakfasts and evening meals are eaten together with other retreaters at the main outdoor table in the guest accommodation area, which looks out onto the central garden. The table is simply decorated with a vase of fresh flowers in the centre and candles in the evening, while lunches are served individually between 1.30-3.30pm, depending on when you want to eat, in your room or at a table.

All of the meals are freshly cooked by in-house chef and staff manager Harrison Johnson and comprise both Asian and European dishes. Breakfast is a huge buffet of toasted bread with various condiments, cheese, omelettes, frittatas, fruits, yoghurt, porridge and, on Fridays, a special treat of pancakes.

Lunch is kept light to accommodate late afternoon Yoga or Tantra sessions and usually consist of tasty vegetable soups or salads such as quinoa and feta cheese or tomato and rocket.

Evening meals come in buffet style again, with an array of dishes laid out on the main table for guests to help themselves at 7.30pm. Fish features heavily on the menu but pork and lamb are served too, accompanied by side dishes such as sautéed potatoes, aubergine salad, and fragrant rice.
They use organic products, and guests can help themselves to fruit and yoghurt from the fridge whenever they want as pudding or a snack. Vegans, vegetarians and those with allergies or food intolerances can also be catered for. Wine and beer is given on request, as are fruit juices, coke, tea and coffee, but meals are all served with water and coconut water.

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The Place is big on recycling and staff make sure they recycle all packaging daily. Food is never wasted – any left overs from mealtimes are given to staff to eat on the premises or take home. The retreat provides filtered water from a water station in reusable plastic cup and all food is locally sourced. All staff are locals.


Coco Grove, Jalan Sari Temuku, gg. Sangat, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten, Badung, Bali 80361

Airport: Bali

Transfer time: 30 minutes

2 Reviews
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29 days ago
How many stars would you give this retreat? :

I wanted a retreat to take time out for myself, to renew physically and emotionally after leaving a full-on senior consulting role to go freelance for the first time. I work as an executive coach and leadership development practitioner so know about human growth and change, yet the challenges of the previous 18 months had stretched and stressed me far more than I anticipated. Having come through phases of fearing failure, intense over-working and striving for sustainability, I wanted an opportunity to reflect back, to take care of my body as well as my mind, and to look forward in life. I wanted something that was holistic without being hippy, with psychological depth and human authenticity, led by experienced professional practitioners and without having to survive on raw juice for the duration of the programme! The search was a long one, however when I discovered The Place I quickly felt I had found what I was looking for.
An initial conversation with JC confirmed my decision. Even on the phone, he radiates warmth and wisdom and I was immediately confident about working with him. During our sessions, JC worked boldly and kindly, helping me reassess my past, re-connect with lost parts of myself and encourage my vision for the future. He is an astute and compassionate therapist. These sessions were truly complemented by the programme of yoga, massage and treatments, enabling me to access and process emotions and physical responses during my retreat in a very holistic way. Each individual part of the experience adds value to the whole, beyond what I can put into words.
Kundalini yoga was a new experience for me, and so different from the ‘exercise yoga’ that is commonplace in the UK. Manuela led our daily programme with such grace and commitment to each participant’s individual journey and potential to go further, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Working with her opened my eyes to a new realm of personal insight and growth.
Every practitioner at The Place brings their gifts to you, healing, revealing and releasing different aspects of yourself to support your personal development journey. The whole experience is set in the beautiful and tranquil villas and gardens, with space for privacy when you wish it as well as moments to connect with other guests. At mealtimes you will have the opportunity to enjoy Mr Johnson’s outstandingly delicious food… body, mind and spirit are all cared for and nourished during your stay.
Since returning from my retreat I have noticed my anxiety drop away, moved with ease through the busiest time of year in my business without feeling stressed, and started a new phase of aligning how I live and work with what matters most to me. I feel more optimistic, courageous and open about the future. I believe we are all ‘both a masterpiece and a work in progress’ and I will return to The Place in future to continue healing, growing and discovering more of my potential.

1 year ago
How many stars would you give this retreat? :

From the moment I arrived I felt like I was at home. I was greeted at the airport by Jolly the friendly driver who took me straight to The Place. The villas and the rooms were absolutely gorgeous! From the friendly staff and lavish meals to Mela and Daisy, the beautiful dogs, it’s like staying with a friend who just happens to live in a 5 star hotel. A special mention must go to Mr Johnson, the Head of the villa, who took care of everything and looked after me so well, even arranging to hire a scooter for me so that I could go off and explore the island.

The work of the retreat is intense. At the beginning JC and Manuela explained to us that the combination of Psychotherapy and Kundalini is powerful mix that opens both the heart and the mind. Having never done Kundalini before I was nervous, but JC and Manuela held me very well throughout the process and I always felt like I was safe.

During my time on retreat I was brought face to face with the biggest fears that have held me back all my life. It wasn’t always easy, in fact at times it was very difficult, but I can’t imagine another place where I would have felt safe enough to identify and confront my inner demons and to come out the other side victorious.

I’m writing this testimonial some two years after completing the retreat. I look back on the retreat as a pivotal moment in my life and I’m a different person now than I was before I went. I’m very happy that I made the decision to go.