I escaped my family for 4 days and took a solo holiday to Bali. You should do it too.

Four days alone in paradise. Image: Heidi Krause
Four days alone in paradise. Image: Heidi Krause 

"Welcome to the Mulia. My name is Rio and I'll be your butler for the next four days. Anything you need, anything at all, just press this button."

Hold up. Where am I? Is this even real?

I pinch my tired, saggy skin just to make sure.

Sitting on a perfect pocket of sparkling beachfront in Nusa Dua, on Bali's southern tip, I find myself being ushered in to one of the world's most luxurious resorts.

A mere eight hours earlier, I was scrubbing the floors of my bathroom while my 18-month-old pulled at my hair and my three-year-old screamed for another Wiggles episode.

My husband, bless him, has agreed to look after our two little boys while I bliss out in Bali for four whole days. I've barely even been to the toilet on my own in over three years. And don't even start me on the sleep-deprivation.

I'm utterly exhausted and while I know this holiday is exactly what I need, I still feel terribly guilty for temporarily abandoning my tribe. 

Alas, all I can do is make the most of every precious minute alone in paradise.

I'm actually a bit of a Bali fanatic. From family vacations in Sanur as a kid, to backpacking in my early 20s, attending yoga and surf retreats in my 30s and rounding it out with a pretty amazing honeymoon - I've experienced the full range of accomodation options.


But I've never really ventured down to Nusa Dua - the upscale enclave of five-star resorts on Bali's east coast. What an oversight.

If you're going to treat yourself to a luxe mummy-only getaway and completely escape reality for a few days, then this is definitely the place to do it.

I plan to lie unapologetically by the pool, hit up every possible happy hour and make approximately zero attempts to leave the resort.

In fact, my only itinerary objectives are to dive into every one of the Mulia's six pools before I leave and read Lianne Moriarty's latest novel. Tough gig, right? 


Situated over 30 sprawling hectares, the scale and opulence of the award-winning Mulia Bali is really quite extraordinary. There are 745 rooms in total across the three distinct sections of the resort - and yet somehow, it never feels crowded.

My suite features a jacuzzi and daybed on the balcony, a glorious King-size bed (all for me - hurrah!) and not one, but two, Toto toilets - which cost an alarming $15,000 each. I don't even have to lift the lid or flush here! It all happens automatically. I can confirm that it's hard to beat watching the sunrise over the Indian Ocean from my private jacuzzi with a coffee in hand. Heaven. 

As I settle in for morning yoga, I try to still my mind from all the random and harried thoughts that keep popping up - "Did Leo cry at drop-off again this morning? Will Maxie demand a bottle at 2am? Is my husband really coping okay?"  

I attempt to absolve myself of all that painful and relentless mother's guilt. Why is it so hard for us mamas to feel like it's really okay to take a break?

Instead, I eat sashimi and Nasi Goreng for breakfast. 

I sit. I read. I swim. 

I sleep. 

I exist - without someone grabbing at my legs, demanding my attention or yelling "Mummaaaaaa". It's completely liberating.

I visit the spa and am massaged and scrubbed within an inch of my life.

The spa really is something special - it features outdoor hydrotherapy pools plus an aroma-scented steam room, a digital sauna and an ice room (the only one in Asia-Pacific). The idea is to make your way through the different environments and embrace the sudden and extreme change in temperatures. This kind of hot-cold therapy is thought to stimulate body circulation, purify the skin and relieve stress. 

Ah yep, it's working. 

Food is also a firm focus for me when I'm on holiday and let me assure you, the Mulia delivers. In fact, it over-delivers. I eat my way around every buffet and a la carte menu across the resort's nine restaurants. I indulge in long, uninterrupted conversations and I don't have to ask for a high-chair once. 

Image: The cheese station at Soleil's famous Sunday brunch / Heidi Krause

My stand-out meal, if I absolutely have to pick just one (must I?), would be Sunday Brunch at the Soleil restaurant. Tourists flock from all over the island to indulge in the famous spread. We're talking decadent buffet stations of cheese, fresh seafood and spit roasts, the most exquisite desserts and share plates selected by the chef (I didn't even know foi gras brulee was a thing!) plus free-flowing champagne and cocktails. 

Warning - the food never ends. Please arrive with an empty stomach. 

For my final night, I'm transported to a private villa with my own pool, outdoor cabana, jacuzzi and of course, a 24/7 on-call butler. This exclusive part of the resort is where all the celebs and uber-wealthy stay. We are talking A-listers like Fergie, Kate Bosworth, Millie Bobby Brown - plus plenty that can't be named as guests' privacy is paramount. 

The service at the Mulia is flawless and highly-personalised. I'm told there are some 2,000 staff working across the mega-resort on any given day and an army of golf buggies poised and ready to ferry you around. 

As I'm whisked back to my villa after dinner, my butler has run a bath for me before I even realise that's exactly what I need. 

I soak up my final hours of freedom reading by the pool, but can't resist poking my head into the well-equipped Kids Club - and vow to return one day with my little family in tow. 

Look, I totally understand that not everyone can jump on a plane to Bali or afford the ridiculous spoils of the Mulia - I got extremely lucky. However, I implore you to go somewhere, anywhere, by yourself - without your kids, your mates or significant other. Book one night in a hotel in your own city, pack a tent and camp under the stars. 

Just take a break. Fill your own cup. You deserve it. Do it. 

Parents need time away from their children to appreciate them and most importantly, to focus on their own mental and physical wellbeing - psychologists swear by it.  

I come away from Bali a new person, refreshed, relaxed and renewed. Ready to tackle my toddlers head on.

If only I could bring my butler with me.

Prices start from $US380 per night for a suite at the Mulia Resort, but keep an eye out for package deals on Luxury Escapes or TripADeal. 

Heidi Krause was a guest of the Mulia