Most of us are back at work by now and flying full steam ahead into 2016. We’re sure plenty of you who are sitting at your desk thinking I just had a holiday and now I need a holiday to get over my holiday. If that’s the case, read on and discover villa hopping in Bali and start planning your next escape.
It will take you a total of two minutes after your arrival to Alila Villas Uluwatu before you are launching yourself off the diving board (the living room couch) straight into the pool. Villa life is all about an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. They articulate this concept at every step of the design. You can see nature from the bath, the dressing room and the giant living area. This is now an almost expected design detail of your luxury private villa experience. Alila take it one step further by offering a private butler for the entire occasion.
You will find this deluxe establishment perched on a panoramic limestone cliff top with 600 stairs sweeping down to a hidden volcanic beach. It is truly a superior location. Down one of Alila’s famous Basil Lychee Martini’s while watching the sunset in the cabana that hangs directly over the cliff. It’s unparalleled luxury fused with the most spectacular natural setting. With regards to the restaurants at Alila, my tip is not to eat at the Western restaurant Cire, the food is nothing special. Lucky for you the traditional Indonesian restaurant The Warung is a place where you can savour authentic wholesome Indonesian and Balinese cuisine. I am still trying to work out what on earth was in the mini sambal bowls (a delicious home made Indonesian condiment platter that comes with every dish) but it delicious.
You must make time to see a sunset at the 10th century Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple which is perched on the cliff top 250ft above the roaring ocean. This is a place for divine worship and somewhere to a test your reflexes. Hold onto your sunnies and even watch your thongs! This little guy (see monkey below) was gormandising on some poor tourists shoes as we were all watching the sun set over the Indian ocean. Another cheeky monkey took someone’s hat but we managed to swap it back for a chocolate bar with the help of one of the guards before heading off to watch the daily Kecak Balinese dance performances. Historical, spiritual, beautiful and hilarious all in one!
Temples is also the name of a famous surf spot nearby which marks where the Balinese surf scene began. For beginners like me, you can stick to breaks like Padang Padang and ride a pretty cruisy 300m wave in past the reef. Balangan beach, Dreamland beach, Padang Padang beach, Suluban beach and Nyang Nyang beach are all only 10 – 15 minutes away, but you might decide the view from the main pool will suffice. Alternatively indulge your body in one of the many spa treatments or take part in a daily outdoor yoga session.
Jl Belimbing Sari, Banjar Tambiyak, Desa Pecatu 80364, Bali, Indonesia, Tel : +62 361 848 2166
NUSA LEMBONGAN ISLAND
Alila Villas Uluwatu was really something special. You simply must put it on your Bali bucket list. If you don’t have any honeymoons coming up to use as an excuse or your budget just doesn’t cut it then my recommendation is to catch a 45 minute boat ride over to the island Nusa Lembongan and stay at the beautiful resort Batu Karang which is far more lo-fi yet you get a more traditional Balinese style thatched roof villa. It’s very charming and overlooks the water and the giant volcano ‘Agung’. Consider it a restorative island oasis with loads of casual style dining options. The Deck is our favourite local restaurant where you can waste hours watching the boats rock on the crystal blue water. They make all their own breads and pizza bases from scratch and also have some killer nachos on the menu.
Grab a scooter for $7 a day and head out to explore the island. We discovered a little gem called Villa Trevally at Secret Beach which had the best pizzas on Lembongan. Owned by a cool Italian dude it’s on a sweet little squat on a deserted beach with nothing to look at but wild surf, cliffs and sand while you laze about and drink your pina colada out of a pineapple. You feel like you’re at the edge of the earth.
Make sure you stop off at Sandy Bay for the sunset. Get there early to nab a good table as it can get pretty packed at times but is well worth it, particularly if you order the Islander Pimms.
Batu Karang Nusa Lembongan Island Resort & Day Spa
Lembongan Island Tel: +62 366 559 6376, +62 828 970 01771
Villa Trevalley Eco Resort
Secret Beach, Nusa Lembongan, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +62 81239 621 008
Seminyak is the last place you want to be nowadays. As the city beats further and further up the coast you will find yourself pretty happy in up and coming Canguu. It’s close enough to get into Seminyak to go to all the old hot spots, but also boasts a happening restaurant scene itself. You may have assumed your time with private butlers and home made cookies was over when you left Alila but Ametis Villa is an absolutely unexpected tranquil cocoon of luxury set in a tropically landscaped compound. You would never imagine it to be right near the beach and all the hustle and bustle of Canguu town.
The Villa has a complimentary stocked mini bar, you get a free massage during your stay (this was hands down the BEST massage we had the entire trip), in-villa breakfast, afternoon tea, sunset canapés and cocktails are all included. They make it very hard to leave. However, if you do decide to skip down to the beach I recommend you try to find this guy (see below) at Batu Bolong by the beach to take you for a surfing lesson or just hire a board. After you’ve had enough sun, head to Old Mans to have a beer and some tacos.
If you are looking for that perfect last sunset afternoon meal before your late night flight then go for an afternoon beach walk up to La Lucciola. This is your final resting place. They serve chilled light rose and the Italian morsels on the menu are delicious. If your experience is anything like ours then you might even stay just a little too long and almost miss your flight. If you did – I’m sure you’d say it was worth it!
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu – Kuta, Bali, Indonesia, email@example.com Tel: +62 361 844 5567 | +62 828 9719 1888