I have a confession to make.
I’ve been a bit of a Bali snob and here’s why – When we lived in Australia, the idea of joining the thousands of other Australians on the annual pilgrimage to Bali simply didn’t appeal to me. I had this vision: Drunk sunburned Aussies, wearing Bintang singlets and Ripcurl boardshorts, sprawled out on rows of sun beds yelling profanities at each other. It just wasn’t my cup of tea and if I was going to take time off, then I might as well travel further… So Europe always ended up being the final destination.
My opinion of Bali started to change after mum travelled to Bali with a friend on a business shopping trip. To my surprise, Mum came back raving about the food, the people, the villas, the service and last but not least, the beauty and affordability of daily reflexology and pamper treatments. Heaven.
Fast Forward A Few Years…
The move to Singapore has meant that we’re within a couple hours of flight from some of South East Asia’s best countries – Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos… To help you understand how close some of these countries are to Singapore, many folks fly to Bali on a Friday night, and return Monday morning before work! Amazing.
So when Oliver’s mum came to visit us from Houston, we decided to treat her by taking her to Bali for a long weekend… a first for all 3 of us!
Where did you stay?
In Bali, I’d been told that the most economical accommodation was in a villa as they offer more space than a hotel room, private pools and simply more bang for your buck. Often these villas are serviced by a full-time team of staff – from gardeners and the pool boy, to daily cleaners and even private chefs if you so desire. However for this trip, I wanted to be waited on. Sounds snobby I know… but we all needed a serious VACATION that involved lazing by a pool, drinking cocktails and doing absolutely nothing, and a villa meant we’d have to do SOMETHING. I had this vision of swimming in an infinite pool while staring at the ocean… I crave the ocean, and although not all beaches in Bali are exactly “swim-able” this trip had to have that view!
As always, Oliver scored us this incredible deal at the one and only Alila Resort in Seminyak, HOLY WOW. Plus, it had that view. I would honestly give Alila 5 stars for it’s service, location and facilities. Everything we needed was there. We did leave the resort a couple of times to explore… but the sun was scorching on our shoulders and soon enough the pool was calling our names only a few short hours after we’d been out.
Situated at the quieter end of an eight-kilometre beach that stretches north from Kuta and Legian, Alila is in the heart of Seminyak, which has evolved into one of Bali’s hippest scenes. Close to taxis, some of the best restaurants and bars (Ku De Ta, Potato Head, Bambu etc) and right on the Indian ocean, the resort truly has something for everyone.
If you’re a foodie, go to Bali. In fact, Oliver and I strongly feel that we need to go back to Bali purely on a food trip. Honestly, the dining scene is world class with any and every cuisine you could want. From hipster, boutique coffee shops to edgy Mexican taquerias, to chilled beach bars and high-end gourmet restaurants, Bali is a place where it is impossible to starve.
We ate at Bambu and loved the decor, service and atmosphere. While the meals didn’t blow our minds, we certainly enjoyed our evening! The restaurant is breathtaking – imagine eating on a pontoon surrounded by a gorgeous pool filled with koi. It felt so tropical and lush!
We also ate dinner at Potato Head’s Indonesian Restaurant (located upstairs), and this was the meal that surprised us all! The flavours were bold and bright, the food cooked to perfection, and the service and decor was fantastic. Downstairs there is an awesome little cocktail bar which I’d recommend you try before dinner. The crew are so much fun and asked Oliver if they could curate a cocktail for him using his spirit of choice. How cool is that!
So, I guess you could say my concerns about Bali have peacefully sailed away deep into the Indian Ocean. It was a magnificent trip and although we only just scratched the surface, I look forward to going back and exploring more of this peaceful little place.
Please note that none of these photos are my own. Thank you to the talented folk out there for your beautiful shots!