Bali is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed, rolling mountains, lush jungle, volcanic beaches and one of the most beautiful sunrises you will ever lay your eyes on.
Explaining the feeling of peacefulness that radiates off the Island is near impossible so instead of trying I’m going to tell you where to stay in Bali and the items that should be on everyones travel wishlist. We headed to Bali on our honeymoon and it was one of the most idyllic & beautiful places I’ve ever been.
A place to lay your head.
The Santai is basically your own slice of heaven. We stayed here for the first 5 days and to be honest I didn’t want to leave. You have a villa that includes a private pool that you can walk into from your bedroom! The service here was amazing, nothing was too big or small a job. When you book you are asked to fill out a welcome form, included in this is a shopping list where they will go to the local market & get whatever you want! The food at the Santai is amazing so don’t buy too much. I can thoroughly recommend the banana pancakes, the cashew nut hummus & the vegetable tempura. Your mini bar is constantly restocked & room service is another level. We ate most meals in our villa but taxi’s to Seminyak centre are booked via the front desk & are really cheap. Everything about our stay was perfect, from check in to check out we were treated like royalty & I would go back in a heartbeat.
My top things to do at the Santai;
* Arrange a candle lit tasting dinner beside your pool * Hire a Bali Floatie – who doesn’t love a pegasus/flamingo/swan to play on? * Get an in room traditional Balinese massage *
The Royal Purnama is on the other side of the island & is a little more remote, sandwiched by black sand beaches & rice fields you really do feel like you are removed from everything. The design of this hotel is beautiful, they have built a mini homage to stonehenge over looking the black sand beach and it creates a beautiful view. The Villas are built like flats, one on top of the other, perfect for holidaying with friends but private enough to not hear or notice your neighbour. We stayed in a top villa with an outdoors jacuzzi bath, & balcony over looking the treetops. The food here was beautiful but could have done with more vegetarian options, the chef is more than accommodating & will whip up most dishes into a veggie delight, breakfast had to be my favourite meal of the day…but that’s nothing unusual! Venture out of the hotel for some art shopping or head to the nearest town to wander down the stone jetty & along the beach, stopping for cocktail breaks obviously!
My top things to do at the royal purnama;
* See the sunrise over the black sand beach * Get your morning yoga on with free classes * Head to the hotel library to relax & take photos of the beautiful decor * Grab a couples massage at the traditional spa *
Royal Beach Seminyak is the place to stay if you are looking for something in the heart of Seminyak. Right on the beach this hotel is popular for a reason! The hotel caters to families so is a lot busier than the pervious hotels, we stayed in a private villa for half & a suite for the other half of our stay and to be honest you can’t hear anything from either, it’s just whether you want to share the pool or not! With a 15 minute walk to Seminyak centre we did a lot of exploring, the walk is down the beach front so sandals are a must during the day unless you plan to walk down the waters edge, the sand gets hot! The beach is busy, especially at sunset but you can book into Ku De Ta & sip some cocktails whilst watching the sun set in style.
My top things to do at the Royal Beach Seminyak;
* Grab a bite at the Teppanyaki restaurant for beautiful Japanese food * Take a wander round the beautiful gardens * Take a walk down the moonlit beach *
The Hanging Gardens was the hotel I was most looking forward to staying at and it was the hotel I was most disappointed in. When we checked in we were given an upgrade to a jungle view villa, the view was amazing but to be honest that was about it. Our room was tired, the bathroom was in serious need of a repaint, the mosquito net had holes in it and our sun loungers outside needed replacing. Now I know what this sounds like “oh my god my diamond shoes hurt” type thing but when you have seriously splurged for a hotel that’s rated as one of the top 10 IN THE WORLD you really expect to be completely blown away. The pool and the temple were the only positives from the hotel if I’m completely honest, the food was lovely but insanely overpriced, one glass of prosecco was more expensive than a bottle anywhere else on the island! There are plenty of amazing places to stay in Ubud.
Temples, Cocktails & Beaches.
There are no shortages of any of these in Bali so the best thing to do is ask your hotel to arrange temple visits for you. Make sure you walk instead of getting cabs when you can as you’ll come across really cool shrines, most of Bali is Hindu so there are shrines everywhere, in the street, in peoples gardens & the temples are breathtaking. We headed to the Pura Taman Saraswati Temple in Ubud & saw the Tirta Empul temple, I wish we had gone to see the Ganesha temple on Manjangan Island but I had no idea it has existed until I got home, it’s on the list for our next visit though! For cocktails & beaches all you need to do is take a walk down the coast, I promise you won’t be disappointed! If you are looking for a day club vibe head to potato head, ku de ta or Jungle fish.
Bali is one of those places that has to be experienced, we went in September & the weather was perfect, so grab your swimmers & I’ll see you on the beach!