With the icy cold grip of winter fully ensconcing my home town, my boyfriend and I made the popular pilgrimage to the eternal summer of Bali, Indonesia. Below are my top locations to visit, as well as places to see, eat and stay whilst visiting.
Any self-discerning individual who desires a central hub of luxe accomodation, boutiques and beach clubs knows that Seminyak is the place to stay. Centrally located, yet conveniently far away enough from the family tourist-saturated Kuta, Seminyak is heaven on earth for those who like to eat, shop and play in style.
Stay in your very own one-bedroom villa at Hu’u villas , complete with loft-style living and private pool. Hu’u villas are beautifully decorated and only a short walk to Seminyak village.
Eat and dance the night away at Seminyak dining institution; Motel Mexicola. This taqueria is a colourful, kitsch wonderland. Pro tip: eat late and stay after 9pm for the real fun to start (manager pouring tequila down ones throat? Yes please!) Dancing and margaritas guaranteed.
For a more intimate, upmarket dining experience, look no further than Chandi. Think indonesian food seriously elevated. Order the seafood platter and any sate platter and leave with a seriously satisfied stomach.
One of the many perks of being beachside in Seminyak are the countless beach clubs. For sunset cocktails and pizzas to share, Ku De Ta is an absolute must. Spend the day in your poolside Cabana at Potato Head Beach Club (just make sure to venture into the pool to sip on cocktails at the swim up bar too) and head to Mrs Sippy in the late afternoon for poolside antics (they have diving platforms!) before lounging the night away to DJ sets and ice cold drinks.
For the shoppers, Seminyak village has an array of gorgeous fashion and lifestyle boutiques. Visit Wanderlust Swim to pick out a chic new one piece that come in the most gorgeous array of colours, Magali Pascal is a lace lovers heaven, and Gooseberry Intimates is the ultimate in treat yourself spending, with exquisitely crafted lace intimates as well as swimwear. For homewares, you cannot go past Kim Soo Home. A boutique interior store with attached cafe, this place is serious interior porn. I can almost guarantee you will leave wanting to redecorate your entire house with everything Kim Soo.
For a lush jungle retreat away from the endless barrage of scooters and street stalls, visit the idyllic Balinese town of Ubud.
Touted as the world’s first seven star resort, Hanging Gardens of Ubud is a luxurious rainforest getaway twenty minutes away from Ubud centre. With fernicular access to private villas equipped with infinity pools that offer unhindered rainforest views, you will truly feel as if you have been swept away to your very own Jungle Book. The hotel’s crowing glory is its pool – two layers of curved infinity pool sit in the centre of the resort and offer sweeping, panoramic views of the Jungle landscape. Whilst there, sure to cross the rushing river and hike across to the temple situated directly across from the resort. Visit in the morning before the temperature is too warm to really appreciate the traditional Balinese beauty that emanates from the structure as well as the views of the resort from the other side of the ravine.
Whilst visiting Ubud, head to the Tegalalang rice paddies. The sheer beauty of the seemingly neverending, undulating rice fields take your breath away and make the perfect backdrop for unique photograph opportunities.
Travel to the majestic Tegenungan Waterfall for scenic views of the waterfall in the traditionally lush jungle setting. The shallow bathing area beneath it as well as the optional climb to the top make for some amazing photo opportunities.
Touted as the centre of the Artisan community in Bali, shopping in Ubud can reap beautiful handmade treasures from Ubud and surrounds. Visit the Ubud Craft Market to find gorgeous silk scarves, wooden carvings, woven bags and a plethora of other hand crafted goods.
For animal lovers like myself, witnessing the amount of stray dogs in Bali is deeply saddening. If you would like to contribute to the welfare and adoption of these animals, I strongly urge you to visit Bali Animal Welfare Association in Ubud centre. For just 30,000 IDR, you can supply 900gr of cooked, natural dog food for animals in need. To find out more or make a donation, click here.
From the jungle, to the coast. For our final three days in Bali, we headed to Uluwatu, an approximately two hour drive from inland Ubud. This seaside town is perfect for the keen surfer and beachgoer. The vibes here emulate its visitors – chill, sunny and salt sprayed.
We stayed in Hideaway villas. Whilst not beachside, these villas offered the perfect retreat in Uluwatu, with the open-air style villa brimming out onto a private infinity pool.
Wander beachside to Sunday’s Beach Club. Hidden away in the Ungasan Resort, you can access this beach club via fernicular, taking you all the way down the steep cliffs that encase it to a turquoise lagoon. Go in the morning to nab the best cabana / beanbag spot, and spend the day truly enjoying the sparkling waters on free kayaks, stand up paddle boards and snorkle equipment. Lunch on pizzas and seafood and sip on cocktails under an umbrella as you revel in the beauty of this place. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get to play amongst the local wildlife (monkeys!) as they come down for an afternoon dip.
Finn’s beach club has arguably the best sunset views in all of Uluwatu. Visit on a Sunday for their Sunday Sessions and enjoyed live music, a lively crowd, and (in my opinion) the yummiest and most affordable cocktail jugs and food. Spend the day surfing or sun baking at the beach below before wandering to Finn’s to enjoy the picture perfect Sunset views.
These were my favourite places and memory makers from my (not nearly long enough!) Indonesian holiday. What are your favourite places in Bali? Let me know in the comments below!