Late last year, when the invitation landed on our doormat inviting us to a friend’s wedding in Bali – my husband and I knew we had to make the trip! My lovely mum agreed to look after the kids as they would be in school and with that, our flights were booked! Here are my highlights of our trip:
Be prepared for a slightly hairy car journey inland – everybody travels by moped and think nothing of weaving in and out of the single lane roads! Whole families travelling on 1 moped (mum, dad, brother, sister and baby – yes really!) About 1 hour and 30 mins north of the airport is Como Umo Ubud hidden off the main road is this Balinese style sanctuary. Book a garden suite room with it’s own swimming pool for the full experience – ours also had its own fishpond! Enjoy the delicious breakfast, kick-back by the stunning main pool, have a blissful 90 minute massage and do yoga in the open-air pavilion.
Go for a walk out down Monkey Road and take in the culture – temples, rice paddies and jungle fever! Explore the little shops and boutiques on all the side streets. Oh and a trip to KOBU at Mandap Ritz Carlton for a private dinner on the river is worth a visit! Such a special setting.
As you pass through villages the streets are lined with huge intricate stone carvings for sale, wooden door frames and table tops, the craftmanship is incredible. Balinese religion is hindu and each morning they make a daily offering by filling a palm leaf with incense, fruits, petals – a sign they are grateful for everything they have and being thankful for the day. It’s very humbling.
A couple of hours drive west to the beach resort of Jimbaran, lots of the posh main brand hotels are over this way. We stayed at the Ayana Resort & Spa as it was close to the wedding we were attending. Here it’s all about the beach and one of the most blissful swimming pools you will ever see. Relax in your own beach cabin whilst listening to the waves crash against the rocks and check out the Rock Bar for sunset cocktails. We liked it here but prefer more intimate, boutique style hotels as this place is vast! The wedding we attended was truly magnificent, what a beautiful setting – we noticed some fabulous private villas to hire in this area of Jimbaran!
A must-do whilst over this way is a beach club! Go to Sundays for a day of chillaxing in style on bean bags sipping coconuts – think white sand, crystal clear waters and you have to take a lift to get down there – it’s worth the trip! If you’ve got more party in you then head to The Cliffhouse, Uluwatu for day to night fun with a great snacking menu.
Heading back down south about 30mins drive from Jimbaran lies Seminyak – the best place for shopping, full of surfer brand outlets and home to so many cool Balinese designers this was one of my favourite parts of the trip. Take a walk down Sunset and stop off for a lunch at Mama San restaurant to refuel! If we return to Bali we would stay here in Seminyak as it’s a great base with lots of hip boutique style hotels.
What to wear in Bali?
Bali isn’t a fashion parade it’s much more about finding the inner you, taking some time out to be grateful for all you have and soaking up the positive spiritual energy. Keep it simple with beach dresses and playsuits dressing them up by layering jewellery and swapping sandals for wedges.
Bali you were incredible, some amazing time out with my husband in a very special place. I hope to be back one day to explore you even more.