Nothing but blue skies. And the occasional cloud, but we’ll bypass that and keep singing Ella Fitzgerald whilst sipping on coconuts…
Bali, in Indonesia is an island that draws you in and leaves a little bit of it’s Azure heart in your own. From the extraordinary people, to the cuisine and laidback lifestyle, it’s a place you’ll visit and never forget. Having been twice now, I fully intend on going back within the next year and exploring the nearby islands too (Gili T and Gili Air are just a few I’d like to visit), there’s just still so much more I want to see…
WHERE TO STAY: KARMA KANDARA, ULUWATU
The most stunning resort I’ve ever stayed at, you can choose from roomy 3 bedroom villas to a 1 bed, and ours came with a little plunge pool to enjoy a cheeky glass of bubbles in on your arrival (and during of course). Everything about the stay there was outstanding, from the simplistically stylish décor, to the breakfast (the ricotta hotcakes, holy wow!) and the beautiful beach club, set high up on the cliffs of Uluwatu, so you HAVE to take a cable car down. Enjoying a Bintang on the sandy bean bags and watching the sunset made for a killer Instagram shot – in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever uploaded so many posts to the social media site as I did during my stay at this gorgeous spot.
Our villa itself was all marble interior, tropical showers and a mini-bar large enough to feed a small army, whilst the private plunge pool was definitely the highlight. Beyond luxurious, you can’t forget to watch out for the occasional monkey creeping down onto the terrace though, and snapping up your sunnies! (Yes this happened!)
Outside of your villa, where it is indeed tempting to stay holed up and order room service (also guilty), there is a spa that better belongs in a Danielle Steel romance novel and treatments that quite simply blow anything I’ve ever trialled in London totally out of the water. Even stepping into the Spa is an experience in itself – you step across stones strewn throughout a mini stream that runs around the wooden exterior and arrive inside an Amazonian rainforest-esque hut. Request a massage in the sea-facing room and doze off with a view of the crystal clear turquoise sea in sight.
Food-wise (most importantly), the Di Mare restaurant is where you’ll breakfast and as I already mentioned, the Ricotta Hotcakes are a little bit naughty (but very nice). If sweet isn’t your thing then the eggs benedict is also a winner, whilst the coffee there is outstanding too. Right on the edge of the cliff face, the views are nothing short of spectacular and an instant hangover cure for the night before…
Appetite satiated, head down to the Karma Beach Club. Beyond beautiful waters to paddle board in, a DJ who knows how to spin a tune, and sushi that rivals my favourite Nobu. The ultimate luxury beach experience, but without the pretentiousness of it’s neighbour club Sunday’s (and far better service too). We spent most days whiling away the hours on bean bags, Kindle in 1 hand, Bintang in the other, and couldn’t have asked for a better spot.
WHERE ELSE TO GO: CANGGU, JIMBARAN
Canggu is where I stayed for the majority of the trip and is where I felt the most at home. From the unbelievable brunch spots to the bars and boutiques, I wanted to stay here longer. Definitely not the most beautiful of locations, Canggu is more about the people, atmosphere and sense of community. Smile at any of the people here, and across the whole of Bali, and they smile back even wider.
Top Canggu Spots:
- Canteen: Get the Spinach & Potato bread
- Café Vida: Get the full English – OMG!
- Crate: Order the Sweetcorn fritters with a side of Chorizo and an Acai bowl
- La Laguna: Go for sunset drinks and take a camera
- Wanderlust: Don’t pack bikinis. Buy 10 here!
- Blood + Bone: Gorgeous sun dresses and surfer girl inspired outfits
- Old Man’s: Head there just before sunset for Happy Hour, grab some beers and get boozy!
Jimbaran is a mix of 5 star hotels and resorts and backpacker hostels. It’s also where the seafood restaurants reside right on the beach – pick your fish and they’ll cook it infront of you! A scooter is my top tip for ensuring you make the most out of your stay though, as everything is so spread out everywhere. Also catch some of the amazing live music playing in the bars along the beach, the talent is off the scale and they’re beyond humble about it.
Top Jimbaran Spots:
- Single Fin: For cocktails, sunsets and serious tunes
- Mango Tree: for Mexican food with a Balinese twist
- Menega Café: right on the beach, order the seafood platter for dinner and arrive starving!
PLACES I DIDN’T SEE BUT NEED TO:
- Gili Air: one of the 2 Gili Islands, this is the quieter one you visit for the beauty, serenity and recovery from the other.
- Gili T: For a party you’ll never forget
- Lombok: Much less touristy than anywhere else you’ll go, but the wildlife, beaches and local people are apparently beautiful
- Waterfalls: there’s too many to name but GO to one, if only for the Instagram shot you’ll get
And to wrap this up, I’ll end with “Suksma’, which means thank you in Balinese. Thank you for reading my incredibly long post, if you made it to the end, and if you do go to Bali, let me know if you visit any of my recommendations…
MY BALI BEAUTY ESSENTIALS