A Blissful Escape at Goya Boutique Resort, Ubud


On my latest trip to Bali, I spent two incredible nights at Goya Boutique Resort, nestled in the heart of Ubud. They are a luxurious tropical hideaway, offering modern private villas set in a lush and tranquil environment.

I had such a blissful and relaxing time, I only wish I had stayed for longer!


First Impressions

Goya Boutique Resort is in a good location (not far from the Monkey Forest) and easy to find. I was warmly welcomed and had my luggage taken for me as I walked up the steps into the large and modernly designed reception area.



The check-in process was seamless and I was informed of all of the onsite facilities and daily activities. Because I had arrived slightly early I was taken to Senja Bar, a gorgeous area in front of the infinity pool to wait for my room to be ready.

I was extremely impressed by the eloquent surroundings, and the pool overlooking the rainforest was mesmerising! I couldn't wait to join the other guests lounging around and enjoying the warm sunshine.



I was presented with a refreshing drink and a lovely fruit platter while I waited.
Included was also a welcome 10-minute foot or shoulder massage and I opted for the latter which was most relaxing.


Not long after, my room was ready and I was shown to my incredible Private Pool Villa.


The Room

It was my first time having my very own private pool and it blew my mind! As I was shown around the features of the room I couldn't stop saying, "Oh my God" and "Wow!"


Through the door was a beautiful outdoor area surrounded by lush greenery. The pool was most inviting with its own comfortable double lounger set in front of it.


The outdoor entrance was modernly furnished with a large sofa, table and chairs, to fully maximise the experience of being outside, which I loved.


Through the front door, the large four-poster bed was an impressive central feature.
The entire room was tastefully decorated with wooden furniture and decorative art.



On the bed was the loveliest welcome with hand-written leaf notes, beautifully displayed flower petals and towel art.


The room was well-equipped with everything you could want for including a flat-screen TV with cable channels, and underneath, a refrigerator and minibar with a kettle, and tea and coffee making facilities.


In a corner sat a wooden desk and chair with complimentary mineral water and a jar of cookies.


Through the sliding doors was a stylishly decorated bathroom with a double vanity.
A double wardrobe was located at one end with a safety deposit box, robes, slippers and a pool bag to use.


I loved the round mirrors above the sinks and the luxurious Bvlgari toiletries provided, all of the highest quality.


To the right was another lovely surprise, a beautiful white ceramic bath filled with fresh petals - I couldn't wait to have my first flower bath! It was set with a view of the pool if you chose to have the blinds up, to make it an ultimate relaxing experience.


The large rain shower at the end was also a delight to use. Other features of the room included excellent Wifi and air conditioning, room service, daily housekeeping, laundry service available, unlimited free bottled water and a nightly turndown service.

I especially loved how secluded and private the villa felt, and how spacious, artfully decorated and cosy the room was. The bed was extremely comfortable and the sleep quality was excellent.



Other types of rooms available include two-bedroom private pool villas and deluxe suites with balcony and views overlooking the rainforest.


Beyond the Room

Goya is a resort that has it all; so you don't ever have to leave if you don't want to.
There is an incredible infinity pool overlooking the lush rainforest below, surrounded by plenty of loungers to relax on.

At each ends of the pool are luxurious cabanas with a table and comfortable seating to enjoy the surrounding tranquil views.


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Onsite, Goya Spa offers a sanctuary of solitude and an enriching spa experience.
From a traditional Balinese massage to hot stone, aromatherapy and acupressure, there is something to suit everyone's needs and wants. There are a range of luxurious spa packages to indulge in.

There are also complimentary wellness activities including Yoga available at certain times.


The 24-hour front desk can assist with vehicle rentals and airport or hotel transfers.
Free bicycles are also available onsite to use.
You can also book through them a Balinese Cooking Class and a local Ubud ricefield experience. They are happy to help arrange any other tour you might like to do.

Furthermore, there is the lovely onsite Senja Bar & Resto where you can enjoy lunch, dinner and a cocktail, beer or wine in an elegant setting. This is also where breakfast is served each day.


The Food

A daily à la carte breakfast is included in the room and offers an impressive selection on the menu. You can choose anything you like including made-to-order barista coffee, teas, juices, and a range of hot and cold breakfast options.


Savoury waffles, tasty omelettes, fresh fruit, fluffy pancakes and acai bowls; breakfast every day at Goya was absolute #goals.


The lunch and dinner menu offered a good mixture of European and local specialities.
I highly enjoy eating Indonesian food and I particularly loved their Beef Rendang.


There is a daily complimentary afternoon tea at Senja Bar from 3-5 PM, which is a thoughtful touch. Each day they have a range of delicious Balinese cakes and treats to enjoy, as well as hot, fresh coffee.


My stay at Goya was absolute perfection and I cannot wait for the day when I return again.


The Details

Resort: Goya Boutique Resort

Location: Jl. Bisma, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali

Reviews: 5/5 stars on Trip Advisor from 488 reviews

Price: Starts at $200 USD for a Deluxe Double Room with balcony, depending on the season

Final Thoughts

I absolutely loved my stay at Goya Boutique Resort and wished I didn't ever have to leave!
It was such a memorable experience staying in a private pool villa and enjoying the delightful facilities of the resort.

The staff are all incredibly warm, generous and friendly. Any minor request was taken care of straight away; the service was impeccable.

As it is quite a secluded resort, this is a wonderful retreat to refresh, rejuvenate and relax.
It is the perfect place for couples, families and friends for a special occasion or luxurious getaway.

If you do wish to leave the sanctuary of your villa, there are a number of nearby attractions such as the Monkey Forest, Ubud Palace and plenty of shopping and eatery spots.

Goya is without a doubt, my favourite place I've ever stayed at in Bali and it was a highlight of my recent two-weeks there.

I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Ubud, it was a real treat to stay there and one not to be missed!

Happy Travels,
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See more: Check out my Bali 2018 Photo Diary to see more photos from my trip. 

Bali 2018 Photo Diary


It's been some time since I've written anything personal here and updated you on my latest wanderings. I've been super busy for the last 6 weeks, travelling New Zealand's South Island with Stray and I've just returned from a relaxing holiday in Bali.

There are a bunch of new blog posts coming your way very soon from what I've been up to, but for now, I wanted to share some of my favourite photos from my most recent trip.

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As most of you probably know, I absolutely love Bali and ever since my first trip in 2015, I've consistently gone back every year (this latest trip was my fourth time).

Every time I go back it has grown more and more in tourism, but what I love most about Bali is that the people and their beautiful culture remain the same.

As mentioned, this trip was more of a holiday for my partner and I, to spend some time together in our favourite place, as he is going away for six months very soon for work. 

As we've been so many times we have already done many of the main temples and waterfalls etc. some more than once, in case you may be wondering why we didn't do them this time.

We enjoyed some well-deserved relaxing and soaked up the warm sunshine, being mid-winter back at home.

For the first four nights, we stayed in Ubud and then spent one week in Seminyak, where we also did a day trip and hopped over to Nusa Penida, the island next door to explore. 

Here are some photo highlights, first up:

UBUD

Monkey statue, Ubud
Lunch (and a beer) with a rice field view
At the Sacred Monkey Forest



Relaxing at Goya Boutique Resort
Tegalalang rice terrace

Beaut morning spread
Mojito's are always a good idea (love the art)
A beer for him (I made him pose like that)
Can't get enough of rice fields
Or the local food
Balinese :)
Amazing infinity pool at Goya

SEMINYAK

Checking in at The Breezes
Nice to be back at an old favourite
Time for happy hour and pool bingo
Seminyak street
Mojito bar down the road yasss
A fancy Balinese feast at Bambu



Cultural dinner and show at The Breezes
Traditional dancing
Healthy lunch at popular Sisterfields
Delicious vegan ice cream to finish off at Mad Pops
Balcony view :)

NUSA PENIDA

View of Mt Agung in the background (the volcano that keeps erupting)
Swimming with Manta Rays!
They are super friendly and a lot bigger than they look - at least 5 metres wide
Such an incredible experience!
We also did some great snorkelling in Crystal Bay
Huge bucket list tick - Kelingking Beach
One of the most epic views I've ever seen
Beautiful Broken Beach
A huge Manta Ray swimming in there
Amazing day trip!

I hope you enjoyed seeing a snippet of my 2018 Bali trip. Feel free to check out my Bali Guide for tips and top things to see and do (although I really do need to update it!).

Next time - because we all know there'll be a next time - I'm really keen to check out North Bali and more of the East.

Have you been to Bali or wanting to go? What are some of your favourite things to do there if you have?

Happy Travels,

Vila Lumbung, a slice of Ubud in Seminyak


My final night in Bali was spent at the luxurious Hotel Vila Lumbung in Seminyak, which was the perfect way to finish my wonderful time here.


First Impressions

This secluded boutique Seminyak resort was like walking into a slice of Ubud. Tucked away from the streets, away from any noise, it instantly felt relaxing. I was warmly greeted in the grand open lobby by the friendly staff and presented with a refreshing welcome drink.




The check in process was smooth and I had my bags taken for me and shown to my room.
The lush tropical grounds are beautifully maintained and there is a two-level swimming pool as an impressive central feature which made my eyes pop when I saw it!


The Room

I was very excited when I was shown my room. The villas are made in exotic 'Lumbung' style with Balinese wooden roofs. Located on the far right end of the resort, I had the deluxe family room and it was incredible. Outside was a front patio with table and chairs, through the sliding doors was a large and comfortable double bed.




The room was tastefully designed and decorated in exotic Balinese decor. It was fitted with air conditioning, good wifi, a safe, seating areas, a widescreen tv, a fully equipped kitchenette with tea and coffee making facilities, an attached sunroom that could be used for an extra person, wardrobes with gowns and slippers, and probably my favourite feature - an outdoor garden bathroom!




I have never had an outdoor bathroom before and it was absolute goals! The garden was very private, with extra shades to pull down if you wish. There is a large shower and bath and the vanity cabinet was equipped with every toiletry you could possibly want for. It was a surreal experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed!



The sun room
There are many other types of rooms to choose from to suit a variety of needs, including Superior and Deluxe rooms, perfect for couples, and even grand 3-bedroom villas, perfect for family vacations.

The upstairs master bedroom in the 3-bedroom villa
The downstairs dining and lounge area in the 3-bedroom villa

Beyond the Room

A large beautiful swimming pool surrounded by loungers, umbrellas and lush greenery is my ideal way to relax! Connected by walk-over bridges is the swim-up pool bar with daily drink specials, a waterfall, cave, outdoor chess set and whirlpool.









The resort offers many facilities to make your vacation perfect including a beautiful spa studio with many beauty treatments and a convenient fitness centre.



The couples massage room


There is also laundry and dry cleaning services, a 24-hour on-call doctor, money exchange, a tour desk, meeting room, children's playground, babysitting services, wedding packages, restaurant and bar.


The beautiful grounds would be the perfect location for a destination wedding!

The Food

The Lumbung Restaurant offers both Western and international cuisine in a very delightful setting under the big wooden roof alongside the pool.
I happened to be there on Barbecue Night where you could pick a selection of fresh fish, sate meat and seafood kebabs to be fan-barbecued directly for you. There was also a large buffet with many choices of sides including soup, rice, bread, vegetables, salads and desserts.
A live quartet band was pleasantly playing music and singing which made for a wonderful dinner atmosphere. The food was delicious!



There are even two private dining areas surrounded by lotus ponds if you wish to have a romantic date.



A daily buffet breakfast is also included in the room with a large variety of options to choose from. You can have eggs made to order, fresh pancakes, juices, fruit, cereals, pastries, tea and coffee and further hot and cold food choices. It was an excellent way to start the day!






The Details

ResortHotel Vila Lumbung

Location: Jl. Raya Petitenget no. 1000x, Seminyak 80361

Reviews: Certificate of Excellence and 4/5 stars from 1040 reviews on Trip Advisor.

Price: Starts from $100 AUD a night for a Superior room.



Final Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. Being surrounded by the lush tropical environment and away from the busy streets was so tranquil. The generous staff were all very friendly and helpful and looked happy to be there.
The resort is in a great location, only a 10-minute walk to the beach and to the popular hotspot Potato Head Beach Club or a 5-minute drive to Seminyak Square, and there are plenty of good cafes and shopping in the area.
My room was perfectly comfortable and I could have happily stayed there for weeks!
With the gorgeous pool, great restaurant, spa and pool bar, Vila Lumbung is the ideal place for a relaxing vacation and would be an excellent choice for every type of traveller from couples looking for a romantic getaway, to friends and big family groups.
I highly recommend this resort and would definitely stay again.




If you would like to see a bit more I show around the resort and my room in the second half of this Bali travel vlog for Youtube:



Disclaimer: My stay was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are as always my own.

The One Legian, a Party-Goer’s Paradise


After an amazing week in Bali with my friends, it was the start of my solo adventure.
My first night was spent in the popular area of Kuta at The One Legian.


First Impressions

Stepping away from the busy streets up an escalator is the large modern and elegant reception area. The check in process was quick and smooth and I was shown to my room. The hotel is larger than I thought, with over 300 rooms.
The downstairs pool is a central feature, with many guests lounging next to it and enjoying the party music coming from the pool bar.





Upon arrival, I was given a voucher for a welcome drink. I took this to the upstairs bar area with many comfortable seats that look over the street below. I saw there was a happy hour on and decided to take advantage of that. They have 2 for 1 cocktails for 100K IDR ($10 AUD) so I ordered two mojitos and enjoyed them while the sun went down.






The Room

My deluxe room was located on the second level to the right of the pool. Through the door was the comfortable large King sized bed, a desk and chair workstation with tea and coffee making facilities and a small balcony overlooking the pool below.



The One Legian is conveniently located right next door to Starbucks!
The view from my room's balcony

Opposite the bed was a TV set on the wall and to the right was a small wardrobe with bathrobes, slippers and a small fridge. Unfortunately, the fridge didn't seem to be working properly as it was not cold at all, but as I was only staying for one night I didn't feel the need to complain about it.

The room was fitted with a small bathroom with basic amenities, air conditioning, wifi (although extremely patchy and slow at times), large mirrors, a shoe rack and a safe next to the bed. The bright and spacious room had everything you could need for a comfortable stay.



There are many other types of rooms offered to suit different needs including large family suites and deluxe pool access rooms.


Beyond the Room

The hotel offers an impressive range of facilities to enjoy at your leisure. As well as the main ground pool with plenty of loungers, umbrellas and a convenient bar, there is also an open-air sky pool and bar which unfortunately was closed for renovations during my stay. They also host pool parties up there every weekend. 



All throughout the hotel, it is beautifully decorated and well-maintained. I was impressed by the number of cozy spaces they have for guests to relax in.
 



There is a very nice spa offering many treatments and a mini gym with basic equipment to keep up fitness in a nice air conditioned room with drinking water supplied.


The couples massage room

There is also 24-hour reception, a tourist information and transportation corner, basement parking, meeting rooms and their own restaurant and bar facing the street.



 The Food

The food at The One Legian was the highlight of my stay! I had dinner at their De Basilico Kitchen and Bar restaurant and ordered the sate campur. While I waited I enjoyed a Bintang and the complimentary bread sticks with dipping sauces. The presentation of my meal was really impressive and it tasted fantastic!




Breakfast is included with the room and there was a wide range of choices available. Set in a wide open upstairs area, it was very pleasant to enjoy. You can have eggs to order how you like, pastries, cereals, fresh juices and fruit, tea and coffee and a selection of many hot and cold choices.


I was also kindly invited for a lunch review at their De Basilico restaurant during my stay.
I was given a delicious welcome cocktail 'Red Warrior' to enjoy before my first course was presented.



The first course was a Thai beef salad which tasted so light and fresh and had wonderful zesty flavours.


The main course was a pan-seared chicken breast with pesto rice and a creamy basil sauce. The chicken was so tender and the flavours complimented each other so well.


The dessert course was a layered chocolate cake which tasted like it was straight from Vienna or Paris! The layers were sponge, chocolate and cream with a hint of rum and it was so decadent and divine, the perfect way to end such a fabulous meal.


I was extremely impressed by every single course and honestly blown away by the presentation. Each dish was lovingly prepared and it was a treat for all the senses.
The freshness and flavour of each plate made every single bite a pleasure. The chef is highly talented and you can see how passionate he is about his food.  Even if you are not staying at The One Legian, I highly recommend visiting this restaurant if you are staying around the area in Bali!

10/10.


The Details

Hotel: The One Legian

Location: Jalan Raya Legian 117, Kuta, Bali 80361

Reviews: 4/5 stars from 2,278 reviews on Trip Advisor.

Price: Starts from $40 AUD a night for a Superior Room.



Final Thoughts

I do believe that this is a great hotel for the price. The rooms and facilities offered are excellent value for money and there are even further great deals on their website including free room upgrades if you stay for a certain number of nights.
However, I would recommend this hotel for party-lovers and those looking for budget-friendly luxury who do not mind the noise.

For me personally, I like to be able to relax around the pool or even in my room and I couldn't do that from the afternoon to night. The music blasting from the pool vibrated the walls of my room. The walls also happened to be paper-thin and I heard some very disturbing things coming from the rooms on either side of me that did rather taint my experience.
But if you are looking for a good time, a place to sleep that has good amenities while looking for a party, you've come to the right place. Just bring earplugs if you plan on sleeping at all.



The staff are very friendly and helpful and as mentioned, the food is great and it's a great price for what you get.
Overall, The One Legian is a great choice for young-at-heart travellers, couples and friends, and as the title suggests - it is a party-goer's paradise!

If you would like to see a bit more I show around the hotel and my room in the first half of this video:



Disclaimer: My stay was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are as always my own.

The BEST week in Bali | Travel Diary


My four best friends and two of their partners from New Zealand met me in Bali and we all had the greatest week ever! We were celebrating a milestone birthday for Angela, plus we all wanted to holiday together again as it had been six months since our last trip to Rarotonga!
Here are a few favourites of the million photos I took and snippets of what we got up to in a fun-filled week:


Day One. 17.05.17

My friends arrived and we checked into The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa in the late afternoon. I had stayed there once before during my first visit to Bali and I absolutely love this resort. After being shown to our rooms and a small tour we hopped straight into the inviting pool and took advantage of happy hour! We also joined in the pool bingo game that runs daily at 6 pm which is always a fun time.

In the evening we wandered down the road for dinner at a local favourite Mades Warung. Many of us ordered the Babi Guling, which I recommended to try (as it was their first time to Indonesia), which is a traditional Balinese spit roast pork dish. We also got to watch a bit of Indonesian dancing which is on in the evenings at 8 pm.

We've arrived!
At the entrance of The Breezes
I shared a comfortable deluxe twin room with my friend Anita 
Beautiful welcome flowers and fresh fruit platter
We had our own private balcony in front of the pool!





Day Two. 18.05.17

Today us girls took a taxi to Legian where we first stopped into Bali Tattoo Studio to book in our tattoos for our last day there. I got a tattoo with them the last time I was in Bali and I highly recommend them. (We booked for our last day as you can't swim with fresh tattoos). We then wandered down the road, past the memorial site where the Bali bombings happened in 2002, to Smart Spa and Salon. Two of us wanted a hair cut and I, again had been there before and recommended them. $16 for a good hair cut, not bad at all considering at home it can be upwards of $60 in most places.
Also in the area we had a delicious lunch at Kopi Pot.  I had sate lilit which is minced fish on lemongrass sticks that comes on a charcoal grill. So delicious! Also, obligatory Bintangs, of course.

Before returning to The Breezes we popped into Spa Bali which is just down the road from the resort. I got a mani-pedi, because when in Bali - treat yo-self! We then hopped back in the pool and rested for the afternoon.
That evening we had dinner at the hotel's own restaurant. We ate there at least four times, the food is always delicious and in-house guests get a 20% discount so it's a very good price too. Afterwards, we had a booking at Frankenstein's which is only a 10-minute walk away. It's a fun monster laboratory themed bar with entertaining cabaret shows on every night, awesome themed drinks (like eyeball martini, 'injection' shots and iv bag cocktails) and good music. It was a very fun night!

The memorial site
Lunch time Bintangs at Kopi Pot
Delicious sate lilit
Pool time!

Amazing cocktails at the swim up pool bar
Fun at Frankensteins


Day Three. 19.05.17

Today was our friend Angela's birthday! We had a fun day planned starting with water sports at Nusa Dua. We booked with a highly rated company called Bali Jetpacks & Water Sports which included transfers. We picked from a wide range of activities including parasailing, banana boating and jet skiing. I got a little seasick, so if you're planning on doing water sports take some sea legs with you! It was a really fun time though and also included in the price was a professional photographer so we got a tonne of photos at the end of it which was such a nice surprise!

After a late lunch we got dressed up for the evening and had celebratory champagne before taxi-ing to Potato Head Beach Club, one of my favourite spots for sunset! It was as always very busy, but we eventually got seats and had a nice cocktail to enjoy the sunset and tropical vibes. We had a reservation at Bambu for dinner, a very nice restaurant just a five-minute walk from there. I love the setting over the water and the food is absolutely delicious.

The Breezes surprised Ange with a birthday breakfast treat!
Water sports fun



Birthday celebrations
Arriving at Potato Head Beach Club



Bambu restaurant


The beautiful birthday girl

Day Four. 20.05.17

Today we all had a well-deserved lazy pool day, as we had been quite busy up until then.
We enjoyed the 2 for 1 cocktail happy hour special that runs at The Breezes from 11 am - 1 pm and then ventured out for lunch back to the local Mades Warung. We got a bit excited when we saw there was a beer tower on the menu so we all pitched in and shared! 3 litres of delicious. Then a stop for ice cream and more relaxing around the pool and that was the gist of our day!

Not a bad way to start the day at all


Cool street art in Seminyak
Beer tower!

The sate dish was my absolute favourite from The Breezes own restaurant

Day Five. 21.05.17

Today we had a second lazy pool day which was again, so nice and relaxing. One of our party had a full-day motorcross tour, but the rest again enjoyed happy hour before venturing out for a walk. This time we went to Seminyak Square and had a nice lunch at Naty's Restaurant. I had my fave, Nasi Goreng and a refreshing Bintang radler.
We browsed in one of the coolest shops I've ever been in called Skull, where everything from clothes, bags, accessories and memorabilia are skull themed. I wanted to buy so many things! After a shopping fix we walked home via the beach which was nice to see again. Aaand cue more relaxing!


Lunch at Naty's
Coolest shop ever!
A random figure in front of Seminyak markets
Back to the pool bar!

Day Six. 22.05.17

Today four of the seven of us had a tour booked to climb Mount Batur for sunrise. The rest of us three (including me) decided to see Tanah Lot, a famous temple on the coast that is a rock formation with a Hindu shrine perched on top. We were a little scammed by our taxi driver, but that was bound to happen sometime.
Tip: Hire a driver for a fixed price and don't take a taxi, he rigged the meter and tried to charge us 7x more than we should have paid. Never mind, I still really enjoyed seeing it and I was even blessed by a holy Balinese Hindu priest which was a special experience.

A typical breakfast for me from the delicious daily buffet


Tanah Lot Temple





My favourite towel animal!
Another day, another happy hour!

Day Seven. 23.05.17

Today all of us did a full day trip to Ubud. We booked a driver easily through The Breezes tour information centre for 8 hours, but we actually went overtime for 10 hours! We had so many things we wished to see and ran out of time. You definitely need at least two days in Ubud to be able to see everything. But we prioritised and had a great day visiting the Tegalalang rice terraces, Bali Pulina for Luwak coffee tasting, Pura Tirta Empul - a holy water temple and my favourite in Bali.

We had a nice lunch before visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest where most of us had a cheeky monkey on our shoulders for a banana. I love seeing them roam around freely, as they should be. Just watch your belongings! Lastly, we visited the Tegenungan waterfall where we went for a brief dip. It was so great to visit Ubud again and get out of the main touristy hub for the day. Next time I will definitely stay the night there.

Tegalalang rice terraces


Pura Tirta Empul




At the Monkey Forest!



This sign was so funny!




Day Eight. 24.05.17

Today was sadly our final day. The others did some last minute souvenir shopping before checking out at 12 pm. We all jumped into a taxi back to Legian where we stopped first at Warung Padmasari, another of my favourite local places to eat.
Next up it was tattoo time at Bali Tattoo Studio. We all got them done one after the other and it was smooth and painless (for me!). Afterwards, we waited outside with a beer for the boys to return who had gone shopping and one of the tattoo artists joined us playing guitar and singing for us. He was so talented and it was such cool vibes! A great ending to our trip.
We then had to say our goodbyes as they were leaving back for New Zealand that night and I had to be off for the next part of my adventure.

Sad to say goodbye to the beautiful Breezes



With our tattoo artists
Aaand one last group shot sporting our new friendship tattoos!

I truly love Bali so much and enjoyed it just as much as ever. I honestly wish I could live there! I love walking down the streets and seeing the colourful Hindu offerings, I love the temples and the smell of incense. I love the flowers everywhere and how lush and green it is. I love the food and mostly how warm and inviting the Balinese people are. I cannot wait to return again for the fourth time, no doubt soon enough!

I can guarantee I will be staying again at The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa, who are outstanding. The resort is absolute perfection and the small touches every day in our rooms, including a different towel animal and personal note, the friendly staff, amazing pools and services, restaurant, cocktails, everything about them is top-notch. I have written a hotel review of them previously on my blog, if you would like more information here is the review.

I also made a video for my YouTube channel of all the fun my friends and I got up to during our week together in Bali:


It was a fantastic week and all of us left with some great memories (and polaroids) that we will treasure forever. Next up will be my Jakarta travel diary which was a lot more challenging than Bali! Coming soon.

For more information on Bali check out my Bali Travel Guide & Tips post and Top Places to Eat & Drink near Seminyak.

Happy travels,
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The Akmani, an oasis in upbeat Legian


My travel adventure around Southeast Asia kicked off to a great start with my first night spent at the wonderful Akmani Legian in Bali, Indonesia.


First Impressions

Centrally located in downtown Legian, a lively upbeat area, walking into The Akmani Legian was a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the busy street.
I was warmly greeted at the reception by the friendly staff and offered a welcome drink and refreshing towel. The reception area is elegantly decorated with Balinese artwork and cultural decor.
I had my bags taken for me and was shown to my room, whilst taking in the beautiful tropical setting. The large downstairs pool is a grand feature with lush greenery surrounding it (see header image!).

Next to the reception desk in the lobby

The Room

My deluxe pool access room was located on the ground floor and it was everything I had imagined. Through the door was the enormous Super King bed (which was very comfortable) opposite a desk, seat and TV set on the wall.




The room was fitted with air conditioning, good wifi, a fridge, tea and coffee, mineral water and a wardrobe with a safe, robes and slippers.
To the left was a spacious wooden style bathroom with every toiletry you could possibly wish for.


My favourite feature of the room was the sliding door which leads straight to the pool, it's something I have never had the pleasure of experiencing before and I was very impressed! Your own little balcony comes with a big comfortable lounge seat.


In the morning



Beyond the Room

The hotel offers a wide range of facilities including the large swimming pool with a side children's pool and plenty of umbrellas and loungers to relax on.
There is a convenient spa, a gym and a rooftop pool bar which has drink specials, a large area with loungers and sofas, lively music and great sunset views.



Rooftop pool bar area




Perfectly relaxed
All lit up at night

There is also 24-hour reception and room service, tour desk information, airport transfers, meeting rooms, wedding packages as well as a popular roadside restaurant at the base of the hotel which I enjoyed dining at.
A large daily buffet breakfast is also included in the room. There is a good choice for breakfast, with hot cooked food options, an egg making station, cereals, fresh fruit, pastries, juice, tea and coffee. Set upstairs and outside, it's a very pleasant setting with peaceful music and it's an excellent way to start the day.

Breakfast buffet


The Details

Hotel: The Akmani Legian

Location: Jalan Legian No.91, Kuta, Bali 80361

Reviews: Certificate of Excellence and 4/5 stars from 876 reviews on Trip Advisor.

Price: Starts from $50 AUD a night for a Classic Room.



Final Thoughts

My time here was superb. It has everything I would want in a hotel for an enjoyable stay.
The staff are fantastic and very helpful. All around the hotel you are warmly greeted with big smiles and a friendly hello.
The location is only a five-minute walk to Legian beach or to Ground Zero and the Sky Garden in Kuta if you like to party. There are plenty of convenience stores, shops and good restaurants nearby. It's a very lively area so it really is an oasis amongst its surroundings.
With the comfortable rooms, services and tranquil pool all for a very decent price, The Akmani Legian is an excellent choice for couples, families and groups.
I would highly recommend this hotel and can't wait to stay again.




If you would like to see a bit more I include a room tour and show around the hotel in a Bali travel vlog for Youtube:



Disclaimer: My stay was complimentary in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are as always my own.

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Top Places to Eat & Drink near Seminyak, Bali


One of my absolute favourite things about exploring a new country and culture is trying the local cuisine. I've had the pleasure of visiting Indonesia's most popular island twice (and will be going back for the third time in May) and I can't get enough of the rich and bold flavours of Indonesian food.
I've previously written a Bali Travel Guide & Tips post if you're heading there for the first time yourself and would like more information on Bali.
This post is specific to places near Seminyak as that is where I have spent the most time and where the majority of my favourites happen to be. I have only spent two full days in Ubud and less than that in the Canggu, Uluwatu and Nusa Dua areas.


About Balinese food

For visitors, finding Balinese food that's done well isn't always easy. The heavily Westernised southern parts of the island have swapped most of their local eateries for Australian-owned beach bars and fast-food chains. You can be sure to not miss out on your smashed avocado toast or flat white if that's what you're after.
There is also a large influence from all across Asia so you can easily find really good Indian, Vietnamese and Thai food for example, as well as plenty of other options such as Italian and Mexican.
While there are a few restaurants bringing traditional Balinese flavours into a fine-dining setting, for true authenticity you need to venture beyond the popular tourist haunts and into the traditional warungs (small family-owned restaurants) to explore the local delicacies.


Bali is Indonesia's last remaining Hindu island and its cuisine is unique and laden with ceremonial significance. The spice pastes that form the base of most Balinese dishes- loaded with coriander seed, galangal, turmeric and candlenut- are echoes of India and Java, remnants of the Hindu-Buddhist Majapahit kingdom that ruled the island from the 13th - 16th century.

Pork, chicken, duck and fish take the centre stage, cooked over wood fires, grilled over coconut husks or slow-braised. Being Hindus beef is never or rarely consumed.
Fruit and vegetables are usually raw, chopped with coconut in dishes such as lawar, or pan-tossed in coconut milk and stirred through broths and light curries. Rice is almost always the centre of the meal, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a Balinese person who doesn't fire up their plate with some form of sambal (spicy chilli sauce) or fresh chillis.

As I have only visited twice, I am no expert and I am sure there are a hundred delicious places I haven't yet tried. Below, however, are a few places that are absolute gems and I would highly recommend to others, as I have thoroughly enjoyed the food there and each place I have gone back to at least twice.
Starting with suggestions of traditional dishes that are a must-try that I personally love, followed by top places to eat and then places to drink- as there are some fabulous spots to enjoy a cocktail or two as well.


Must try foods:

Nasi Goreng

One of the most popular Indonesian dishes- Nasi goreng, literally meaning "fried rice" in Indonesian and Malay, is simply a meal including stir fried rice. But it's so much more than a typical rice dish- the flavours are so bold and tasty. I particularly love mine with freshly chopped chillis added. Usually, you can choose it to be stir fried with seafood, chicken or just vegetables. A typical Indonesia meal comes with all sorts of extra accompaniments, as below- prawn crackers and a side of vegetables are very common. 


Sate skewers

Sate or “satay” are marinated, skewered and grilled meat and served with a spicy or peanut sauce. Bali’s own speciality is sate lilit, made from minced beef, chicken, fish, or pork which is mixed with coconut, coconut milk and a strong blend of vegetables and spices.
It is wrapped rather than skewered around bamboo, sugar cane or lemongrass sticks, then grilled. It is so incredibly delicious and one of my absolute favourites.


Babi Guling

Babi guling is a local favourite- a spit-roast pig stuffed with rich traditional spices and vegetable mixes and slowly rolled over a coal fire. Once a communal treat served only during special celebrations and ceremonies, it can now be found widely served at many local warungs specialising in this dish. Served on top of rice, the meat is juicy and tender and the crispy brown skins are prized.



Pepes and Tum

Pepes is an Indonesian Sundanese cooking method using banana leaves as food wrappings. The small package is sewed with thin bamboo sticks at both ends, and either steam-cooked, boiled or grilled. It is most commonly used to prepare fish, chicken, tofu and vegetables. Tum takes on a different form, with the wrapping folded and stitched at one top end, and usually steam-cooked. The banana-leaf wrapping provides a special flavour which is incredibly aromatic and tasty.
Below to the right is a grilled Pepes of fish from a Balinese cooking class I did.




As mentioned, there are so many other delicious Balinese and Indonesian dishes, these are just my particular favourites that I would highly suggest others try while in Bali!


Top places to eat

Warung Padmasari

Technically in Legian- the area between Seminyak and Kuta, Warung Padmasari is still very close to Seminyak, being only two kilometres away. Friendly and fast service together with all local and traditional Balinese food is the emphasis of this little warung and the prices are unbeatable. There are some great selections on the menu including traditionally fried and grilled chicken with sambal varieties to go with them, as well as spring rolls, samosas and curries.
My partner and I ate here three times in a week, it was that good- and the average price for a two-course meal and two beers and water each was literally around $12 AUD all up... we gave them a very good tip!



Made's Warung

Another excellent warung we loved was Made's Warung which is located in both Seminyak and Kuta (although in my opinion, the Seminyak location is much bigger and better).
We also ate here three or four times over the two trips we've done so far and I'll certainly be going back for the next trip!
It's one of the most established warungs on the island and is frequented by the prime minister as well as a global range of clients. The kitchen is enormous and when you see the menu you'll see why- it covers every single taste from traditional Indonesian to Thai, Malaysian and Western and they have dedicated chefs for each.
We only went during the day for lunches, but in the evenings they have free shows of Indonesian dance for you to enjoy.
In particular, I recommend trying babi guling here, the red and green Thai curries are the best I've had outside of Thailand and a freshly squeezed watermelon juice always goes down a treat on a typical sweltering hot day.

Babi guling
Thai red curry

Kopi Pot

Again in Legian, but still near Seminyak, Kopi Pot "coffee pot" is one worth dining at.
Set in lush Balinese gardens, it offers a retreat from the bustling Legian main road.
On the menu you can find a selection of tasty dishes from around the country together with international selections if you prefer. Besides having delicious food for a good price, it's also a great place to sip some Balinese coffee or an ice cold Bintang.
In particular, I highly recommend the deep-fried spring rolls, the sate lilit (charcoal lemongrass fish skewers) and the tongseng kambing (spicy lamb stew originating from Java). Prepare for flavour explosions in your mouth!





For a special occasion or those wanting a more upscale dining experience, there are plenty of highly impressive restaurants, especially found around the Seminyak area.
The following listed below I especially enjoyed the experience of each. The menus offer traditional Indonesian dishes in a fine-dining context as well as fusions of other Asian cuisines.
There is a dress code and you have to usually book in advance by at least a couple of days. Each place has a fantastic atmosphere and stunning surroundings, so it is of course, a lot more expensive than you would find at a local warung (but still cheaper than you would find in the likes of Australia and New Zealand). However, for the great service, cleanliness, top quality food and experience, it's worth it and it's always nice to treat yourself if you're away on holiday and to have at least one fancy meal out in my opinion.
If you're after that the following are all fantastic options:

Ku De Ta
(Also a great cocktail, sunset and nightlife venue).

Ginger Moon

(One of the top rated restaurants on the whole island).

Bambu

(Amazing food and service with an incredible ambient setting).

Sarong
(You have got to try the ginger espresso martini- it's to die for).

Delicious feast at Sarong

Top places to drink

Potato Head Beach Club 

One of the most popular spots to catch the sunset with a cool cocktail- the Potato Head Beach Club has fast gained popularity as one of the most happening venues in Seminyak. The signature main venue resembles a stadium, it's home to three restaurants, two bars, an infinity pool and an enormous lawn perfect to view the infamous sunset overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Get in early to bag a lounger or beanbag by the pool or head to the second floor with plenty of table and chairs available. Sip on unique cocktails from a coconut husk or a giant shell and sit back, relax and enjoy the tranquil views.




Frankenstein's Laboratory

The latest addition to the ‘most unique’ bars in Bali is Frankenstein’s Laboratory, where you can experience the Halloween atmosphere throughout the year- not only in the month of October. Zombies, vampires, monsters, mummies… and humans, all mingle together in this ghoulishly themed spot for fun. It's decorated like a freaky lab and has nightly entertainment by the Dancing Dead Cabaret which is always amusing.
It's a whole lot of fun where you can enjoy 'eyeball' martinis, cocktails that come in IV bags, and shots in the form of injections.




Motel Mexicola

Motel Mexicola is a colourful and quirky Mexican bar and restaurant which hosts regular house parties with live Latin music that will transport you ‘south of the border’.
There’s a laid-back upstairs area where you can take a cosy seat, sit back, and enjoy the view over the courtyard below. If you're craving a margarita, a lively atmosphere and even a taco or two before (or after) some tequila shots- this place is for you.



Mirror Bali Lounge & Club

This place is especially cool as the venue’s interiors and overall design is like a Gothic cathedral, but with glittery mosaic-like wall decor. Mirror Bali Lounge and Club is a hip place to party on Seminyak’s main Petitenget route. The stained glass windows and towering ceilings along with the laser lighting all add to a fun party vibe to dance the late evenings away to industrial, deep bass, house and hip-hop music.
Recommended for party-goers and night owls.




There we have my top places to eat and drink near Seminyak in Bali, and particular foods to try while you're there. I hope you found this post helpful and do let me know in the comments if you have any top places of your own to add- I'd love to read them!
Writing this has got me so excited for my next trip to Bali, which I have no doubt will be filled with more new excellent places and delicious dishes to try.

Happy travels,
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B A L I | Travel Guide & Tips


I've been meaning to write this post for quite some time and I finally had a great excuse to get around to it - I'm heading back to Bali for the third time! I've booked a one-way ticket and I'm going with my group of very best friends for a special occasion so I'm super excited.

I absolutely fell in love with Bali the first time I visited. It's a stunningly beautiful island, the culture and people are so lovely, there is so much to do as well as being a perfect place to retreat and relax if that's what you're looking for. Not to mention the shopping, weather and food are all amazing!
It's my absolute pleasure to write this Bali travel guide overview and tips for top things to do and be aware of if you're heading there for the first time.


WHEN TO GO?

The first thing to decide is what time of the year to visit. There is no right or wrong answer for this, but May, June and July are generally considered to be the best months in terms of weather. The dry season is May to October with the wet season being November to April.
July and August tend to be the peak months where prices will usually go up due to the high volume of tourists, therefore April, May, June and September are good months to aim for. However, I went late November once and the wet season hadn't started as it was late, but it was very very humid. The plane tickets during that time though were extremely cheap!



WHERE TO STAY?

Where to stay depends on what type of holiday you are looking for.
The three most popular and main areas to stay in are Seminyak, Kuta and Ubud.

Seminyak, being the more upscale choice of the three, is spilling with high-end boutiques, restaurants, spas and luxury accommodation. This relaxed area is great for couples, families and those wanting to be near the beach, great food and shopping.
I personally enjoy staying at The Breezes - a mid-range 4-star resort and spa, which is a bit more affordable that those dreamy beachfront villas!

Kuta is generally popular for the surfers and younger, party-centric crowd. There are a lot of raging nightclubs and has a noisier party atmosphere. I stayed there the second time and didn’t enjoy that area nearly as much. However, there are still plenty of nice beachside accommodation resorts or cheap hostels if that does happen to be your thing. There's a big waterpark in Kuta if you have kids and the beach is a great spot to catch a wave.

Ubud is for those looking for some real peace and quiet away from the touristy areas and shops, loud drinking people and so on. Ubud is often referred to as the heart of Bali.
Not only a paradise for yogis, vegetarians and vegans, it is also the island’s cultural and spiritual centre- thanks to the movie Eat, Pray, Love. It's a lot quieter and there are less food choices, but there's still plenty to do and it's where most of the amazing artwork is made.

The Breezes Resort & Spa in Seminyak

TRANSPORT

From the airport
How to get around Bali? The only way I would recommend is by the official Bluebird Taxis (Taksi). Even from the airport. Don't do what I did the first time which was book a package that included hotel transfers. The transfers cost over $50 each way... but we had no idea at the time that price was five times more than what we would pay if we just hopped in a taxi at the airport!
It should cost you no more than $10 AUD to Seminyak, which is about a twenty-minute drive away depending on the traffic.

Official Bluebird taxis
Around town
There is no shortage of taxis anywhere in Bali and you will know this from the incessant honking they do to let you know their taxi is available (annoying at times until you actually need one!).
A short trip from one end of town to the other can take up to half an hour in bad traffic, but it will still cost you less than $4. Always ask beforehand if they will run the meter; only hop in if they say yes (most will). Never accept a fixed price or get into a taxi that is unofficial as they will charge you a lot more.

Day trips
You can hire your own personal driver for the day if you want to do a full day trip somewhere. Many taxi drivers will outright ask you if you need one and will offer a fixed price for a certain amount of hours.
I have used this method three times and all have been great experiences. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you wherever you wish to go, and if you're not sure - they know plenty of popular hot spots to go to. You get dropped at each place and they wait for you however long you take and then will drive you on to the next place.
I have done two day trips north to Ubud and a trip south to Uluwatu and it cost between $30-$50 for 7-10 hours which is an extremely good price. We always gave them a very good tip because their service and friendliness have always made that trip all the more special.


TOP 5 THINGS TO DO

1. Visit the temples

There are so many incredible temples to visit and all are unique and beautiful in their own way. Some favourites well worth visiting include:

Uluwatu Temple - an 11th Century cliffside temple in the south where you can watch a traditional 'Kecak and Fire Dance' sunset show.
Entrance fee: 40,000 IDR.
Optional show fee: 100,000 IDR.

Uluwatu

Pura Tirta Empul - a beautiful and sacred water temple in central Bali said to have holy water with healing properties. (Also pictured as the header image).
Entrance fee: 15,000 IDR.

Pura Tirta

Goa Gajah - or 'Elephant Cave' is a 9th Century archaeological site in Ubud of significant historical value that once served as a sanctuary.
Entrance fee: 15,000 IDR.

Goa Gajah

Tanah Lot - is an ancient Hindu shrine and one of Bali's most important landmarks, famed for its unique offshore setting and stunning sunset backdrops.
Entrance fee: 30,000 IDR.

Tanah Lot

2. Take a day trip to Ubud

If you decide not to stay in Ubud, then you at least have to visit for a full day as there is so much to do there and getting away from that main tourist hub will show you a more authentic side of Bali. About an hour's drive away, here are some top places to visit:

Tegalalang Rice Terraces - this is a must-see in Ubud, famous for its beautiful scenes of vibrant green rice paddies and terraced rice fields.
Entrance fee: 10,000 IDR.



Monkey Forest - it's one of those places you have to see once in your lifetime.
A nature reserve and Hindu complex, it is filled with monkeys of all sizes roaming freely.
You can buy bananas there to feed them if you wish and get a picture with them but watch your things because they will try to steal from you!
Entrance fee: 40,000 IDR.



Bali Pulina - there are a number of Luwak coffee plantations you can visit in Bali, but this one is by far my favourite thanks to the incredible scenery of rice paddies you have while you sip on different tea and coffee tastings. The tastings are free but if you are brave enough to try the Luwak coffee itself (also known as cat-poo coffee!) that costs 50,000 IDR.


Tegenungan Waterfall - if hiking through a jungle to a hidden waterfall is your idea of paradise, then this is a beautiful and scenic place to visit and come for a dip.
Entrance fee: 15,000 IDR.



Also, as mentioned above, be sure to visit the Goa Gaja and Pura Tirtha Temples while you're in central Bali!


3. Enjoy the beaches

The beaches all along the coastline are very nice and perfect to relax on a lounger, go surfing or do some fun water activities.

Lounging
Along Seminyak, Legian and Kuta beach you can find loungers and comfy bean bags with umbrellas dotted everywhere. Pay 50,000 IDR to hire one unlimited for the day and you can enjoy swimming and can purchase and be served cold drinks as you please.
You will constantly be hassled by sellers however, so it might not be as relaxing as you’d like it to be and the toilet situation isn't the greatest, but it's still a great activity to watch the surfers as the sun sets.


Watersports
If fun and adrenaline-rush activities are your thing - then get stuck into the watersports on offer in either Kuta or Nusa Dua. You can go banana boating, donuting, jet skiing, parasailing and snorkelling just to name a few.
Balitobali.com is a company that offers packages, for example you can go parasailing, on a banana boat and jet ski all for 300,000 IDR ($30 AUD) which is an excellent price for so much fun!
I haven't been snorkelling myself yet in Bali but here is a good website which shows the best beaches to do that: bali-indonesia.com. I remember looking at snorkelling full day trips and they are still quite pricey- at least $120 USD each.
If you're keen to give surfing a go prosurfschool.com has a great reputation. Open year round, they are located at Kuta Beach and teach anyone of all levels from beginners to pros.

Watersports in Nusa Dua

Beach Clubs
There are some very nice beach clubs along the coast of Seminyak where you can lounge, enjoy infinity pools, delicious cocktails, food, listen to local DJ's and of course watch the epic sunset with a drink in hand!
The most famous in Bali is the Potato Head Beach Club. It's a very popular spot for sunset drinks so arrive early in the afternoon if you want a seat with a good view! Bring your swimwear to enjoy the infinity pool, they have changing rooms and full facilities to use.
Cocktails go for $10+ AUD, so not the cheapest but you're paying really for being in an awesome place- it's great to do at least once.
Other notable sunset venues include Ku De Ta (also a fine-dining restaurant), and Double-Six Rooftop (atop a luxury hotel).



4. Treat yourself

Spas
It's always nice to relax while you're away on holiday, but for me - I tend to still wear myself out as I like to explore everywhere on foot and get out and about every day.
I'm not normally one to get my nails done or get a massage or facial (too expensive), but when I discovered in Bali you can really pamper and treat yourself for such a good price - I am all over that!
There is no shortage of beautiful spas all over Bali, so there is plenty to choose from.
One that I particularly like is Bali Spa, which has stores in both Seminyak and Kuta (both are great). The service is wonderful and the cost even better. A full mani-pedi costs $10 AUD, an hour long facial is also $10 and an hour traditional Balinese massage costs $15, and there is a huge range of treatments and types of massages to choose from. If I were to get all three of these at home it would cost me over $250 - so definitely make the most of it!

Fresh nails done at Bali Spa

Hair & Beauty
If you're in need of a haircut and colour or any beauty services then get it done in Bali!
A place I went to last time and loved is Smart Salon and Spa in Legian/Kuta.
I have been getting blonde foils in my hair for years and I have never had such a good job done on me - I was so pleasantly surprised! The hairdresser was immaculate in his attention to detail and spent so much time on my hair- which turned out perfectly and cost half what I would normally pay ($80 AUD).
They also offer plenty of beauty services including makeup, lashes and brows, massages etc so you could make a full day out of it if you wanted to!

Happy with my new hair
Tattoos
If you are thinking about getting a tattoo - Bali is renowned for it. There is a tattoo parlour on practically every corner, but do, as always be careful which one you select. Do your research and find a parlour with a great reputation and perfect reviews.
One that I can highly recommend is Bali Tattoo Studio which is located in Legian/Kuta.
I got my sixth tattoo done with them last July and it was as good as any other I had gotten from my most trusted tattoo artist back at home (except it was half the price!).
They are global award-winning artists, highly professional, talented and most importantly perfectly hygienic.
As a tip: try to book in for your final day there, as you can't swim with fresh tattoos. You don't want to miss out on the pool in such hot weather!

Loved my tattoo done by Bali Tattoo Studio

5. Food & Shopping

Food
Along the same lines of excellent prices - enjoy the delicious food and the shopping too. There is a large range of food options as well as a price range, but if you mostly stick to traditional Balinese food in local places you can eat like a king for little to nothing!
Local family-owned restaurants are called Warungs and that is where you will find delicious and well-priced meals. I have written a post on Top Places to Eat & Drink near Seminyak, Bali so check that out for more information.
But quickly, one of my favourite places to eat is called Warung Padmasari which always has exceptional local Balinese and you can get a three-course meal and a drink for literally $20 - it's astounding and so yum! I've been there three times for both lunch and dinner.

One of my all-time favourites - nasi goreng and satay skewers

Being quite westernised in Seminyak and Kuta there are a lot of Australian-owned cafes and restaurants as well where you can find any kind of food from Mexican to vegan and there are plenty of Asian food options like Thai and Indian if you get sick of Balinese!

Shopping
There is also a variety of shopping you can do from thrifty markets to high-end fashion stores. There are some really amazing art, antique and homeware shops selling locally made goods that go for a decent price. You can pick up plenty of knockoffs in street shops and stalls if that's your thing, from 'Gucci' handbags to 'Nike' runners. Make sure you barter in the streets and don't accept the first price -  knock it down by at least a third.
If you prefer real labels and designer clothes there are heaps of legit Australian owned surf shops selling Roxy and Billabong for half the price you would pay back in Australia and there are many unique boutique stores in Seminyak that any shopper would love.
You can find really nice souvenirs for yourself or gifts all over the place for very cheap prices.

One of my favourite stores in Seminyak- sold only skull things!

HANDY FACTS & TIPS

  • As of June 2015, 30 more countries were added to the free entry list - New Zealand included. Which means we don't need a visa or to pay the $35 USD fee hooray! (Australia was added in 2016).
  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the day you plan on leaving Indonesia.
  • The currency is Indonesian Rupiah - 10,000 IRD is around $1 AUD which is easy to remember.
  • Balinese people are highly religious and practise Balinese Hinduism, which is why there are so many beautiful temples and offerings laid daily on the streets.
  • Only use bottled water, even to brush your teeth. You can pick up large 1.5-litre bottles for around 50 cents so stock up whenever you get the chance and carry around a refillable smaller bottle during the day.
  • Bring or buy a sarong, you’ll need it - even males. Whether it’s covering up for a temple visit, using it as a beach cover-up or as a seat cover.
  • Do stay somewhere with a good pool. It's really hot year round with average temperatures of 32॰C and daily dips are necessary!

Having a place with a pool bar- even better! 

  • You’ll probably experience a case of 'Bali Belly', so bring Imodium. Consider yourself warned! Also be sure to bring panadol, tissues and hand sanitizer.
  • You can find free wifi in most cafes and restaurants.
  • The island of Bali looks like a chicken... just a random fact!
  • You can hire a scooter really cheaply and you don't have to wear a helmet by law - but you'd be mad not to!
  • Beer and drinks such as coke are very cheap from local stores. The local beer is Bintang which are around $1.50 for a large bottle from the stores, so take a bunch back to your hotel room to drink if you have a nice balcony for example. It’s probably a third of the price at least than buying it from your hotel.
  • You are also allowed to drink in public places such as walking in the streets and at the beach.


  • The local people are very friendly but the sellers on the streets and in public places can be very pushy at times. This is their job though so do just ignore them if you aren’t interested and keep walking or just say no thank you.
  • Both the locals (mostly men) and every second tourist smokes because they are dirt cheap in Bali, so you might get a bit of a shock if you're used to smoke-free zones. It's not surprising to see young boys smoking or children selling cigarettes either.
  • Do get as much cash out that you think you'll need before you arrive. There are ATMs available but I personally was the subject of credit card fraud the last time I went (and I only used an ATM machine once in a convenience store). Better not risk it!
  • You're not expected to tip, but it's a nice gesture if you receive a good service. The Balinese people are lowly paid, and yet extremely generous and hospitable.
  • I highly recommend seeing a cultural performance of traditional Balinese dance. It's a very ancient dance tradition that is beautiful and unique, and is closely connected to religious rituals. Many places offer 'dinner and a show' and they are well worth experiencing at least once.

Balinese dance performed at The Breezes in Seminyak 


Once Bali gets under your skin, don't be surprised to find yourself returning again and again. Some Australians holiday there annually; others never return back home (Bali is full of Australian ex-pats). There's something magical, ethereal and beautiful about Bali.
Be sure to get out beyond your hotel to find it!

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Sublime stay at The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa



After my fiance and I decided were in much need of a nice and relaxing getaway together, we excitedly booked our first trip to tropical Bali, Indonesia.

The Breezes: First Impressions

Centrally located in Seminyak- the heart of the island's most vibrant holiday scene, arriving at The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa was instantly relaxing.
Just a five-minute walk to the golden-sand Seminyak Beach, the flowing sea breezes were lovely in the warm heat.
Warmly greeted with big smiles from the reception staff, we had our luggage taken for us and we strolled towards our room taking in the magnificent resort as we went.
The wide open and modern lobby opened through to a stunning pool area surrounded by welcoming loungers and a pool bar where holiday-makers were enjoying the late afternoon sun.









The Room

Our room was located on the second floor and there is a lift available for those that do not wish to take the stairs. Through the door to our room, we saw our large and modern bathroom to the left, kitted out with all the toiletries you could possibly wish for.
Ahead was our very large King bed in a spacious room fitted with a tv, safe, air conditioning, good wifi, plenty of drawer space, a big chair in the corner and a wardrobe with fluffy bathrobes and slippers.
My favourite thing about the room was the large balcony leading off it offering two comfortable chairs and a table, with a view overlooking one of the pools and the tennis court above the Beach Restaurant.
We saw many fabulous sunsets from the comfort of our balcony enjoying a Bintang (local beer) or two.







Beyond the Room

The resort offers a wide range of facilities including a well-equipped air-conditioned fitness centre, a tennis court, Kid's Corner, Travel Information Centre, a Departure lounge, just to name a few.
They have a road-side restaurant and bar called d'Base which is one of Seminyak's popular dining and entertainment venues with nightly live music and performances.



There are two large pools which I found so great. The lagoon-style four-tiered swimming pool has a sandy man-made beach with red and white candy-striped beach loungers and shady umbrellas- which gives it that ultra relaxing feeling and may have been the reason why we didn't even bother going to the real beach except for a quick look and walk along on our first full day there.
The second pool, closer to the lobby is surrounded by comfortable white loungers, is deeper in the middle and has a bar attached.
Titled 'The Sunken Pool bar' it has a daily fun bingo game with prizes for the winners and pretty good drink specials for beer and their signature cocktails. You can even order casual poolside tapas and snacks if you're feeling peckish.





We arrived on a Friday and discovered the resort puts on a traditional Indonesian buffet feast and dance performance show every Friday evening, so we happily booked this at once.
We were excited to try real Indonesian cuisine for the first time as well as experience Balinese culture.
From start to finish the atmosphere, attentive staff, food and performance was a highly enjoyable experience.
We were greeted with a frangipani flower each and shown to our table which came with insect repellant- a very thoughtful touch!
The buffet offered a huge range of mouth-watering Indonesian dishes and I had to stop myself from going up a third time to get more!



While we were enjoying our dinner and dessert we had a glass of included wine and listened to the pleasant live traditional music.
We then ordered a bucket of Bintangs which came on ice and watched the Indonesian dance which told a story through performance. It was very captivating and entertaining and encouraged the audience members to get involved.
At the end we were invited on to the stage if we wished to get a photo with the actors in their costumes. We were very glad to have booked this dinner as it made for the perfect start to our time in Bali.




The daily breakfast served at The Beach Restaurant was an international buffet with a wide range of both Western and Indonesian cuisine with everything you could want to start your day. Pancakes, croissants, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, cooked breakfast options including made-to-order omelettes and eggs how you like, I enjoyed everything with the exception of the coffee which I couldn't quite stomach (I am a coffee snob).

The Spa, located to the right of the lobby is beautifully appointed with private treatment rooms and offer many different pampering treatments.
We enjoyed an hour-long Balinese massage in the middle of our stay which included delicious refreshments beforehand. We both highly enjoyed it and left feeling very relaxed and rejuvenated!


On our final day, we booked in for a Balinese cooking class the resort hosts daily.
We were taught in a small group by expert chefs how to make many delicious traditional dishes. We donned our aprons and paper hats and learned about the ingredients and helped to prepare and cook each dish.
A recipe book was also included with all of the meals and instructions inside which we could take home along with our printed apron.
Enjoying the food afterwards was, of course, the best part and it was so delicious and a super fun and interesting experience on the whole.




Fantastic Staff

Every single member of staff we encountered were highly professional, warm and friendly and made our stay that little more special.
From the special touches in our room every day after it had been made up- a different towel animal each day and a lovely personal note, to the incredible service when you are poolside.
The staff at reception and the information centre were all very helpful in recommending tours and the best places for us to eat, they are more than happy to help you with anything.
The greetings and smiles around the resort, the funny pool bar staff, the room service (of which the food was very good!) were all brilliant.
We even by a stroke of luck had to stay an extra night due to the nearby volcano erupting and our flight being cancelled... and they accommodated us with no hassle at all.
We were very impressed.



The Details

Hotel: The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa

Location: Jalan Camplung Tanduk No. 66, Seminyak - Bali 80361

Reviews: Certificate of Excellence on Trip Advisor and 4.5/5 stars from 1537 reviews and a 9/10 on Booking.com.

Price: The rooms are generally from $150 AUD a night for a superior double room which includes breakfast and free wifi.


Final Thoughts

Overall it was a truly incredible stay and so pleasant we were very sad to leave- even after 10 nights! The location was excellent with many eateries, bars, the beach and shops in close walking distance.
The rooms were clean and the grounds and pools were immaculate and well-maintained, and the staff always went over and beyond.
The resort would suit a wide range of people from those wanting a romantic couple getaway, groups of friends and families with children.



A nice comfortable hotel really makes such a difference and the next time we go back to Bali which will probably be in 2017- we will undoubtedly book with The Breezes again and I highly recommend this hotel to anyone wanting to stay in Seminyak.
We both thought The Breezes Bali Resort & Spa was sublime and we can't wait to go back!



If you have any questions at all about the hotel or have any other suggestions for fantastic places to stay in Bali then please let me know in the comments below!

This post is not sponsored; it is my genuine thoughts and opinions.

Thanks for reading,
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Travel Diary | Bali, Indonesia 2016


I recently got back from an awesome holiday in Bali, Indonesia. It was a really spontaneous trip- we only booked 2 and a half weeks before we left which was so exciting and fun!
It was our second time there- the last time was only in November last year, but we liked it so much we couldn't wait to go back.
We had 9 nights and 8 full days and this time stayed in Legian (last time was in Seminyak).
Here is a little summary of what my fiance and I got up to while we were there:

Bali from Brisbane is only a 5 and a half hour flight away. We arrived at our hotel- The Akmani at about midnight our time, so we were pretty tired. We went out for a quick dinner of Nasi Goreng and Satay chicken skewers (my favourite) along with some mandatory Bintang (beers). We took a short walk to explore the area and then pretty much went straight to sleep after that.


Day One. 

Due to a few unfortunate problems with our room, we were quickly upgraded to one of their finest suites with its own private rooftop garden which we were more than happy with!
We found an Indonesian gem for lunch just down the road from us called Kopi Pot.
The food and prices were so incredible we went back there two more times during our stay.
I ordered the charcoal fish on lemongrass skewers and it was so delicious!
For the afternoon we decided to check out our hotel's rooftop pool bar. We had a cocktail each for happy hour and a couple of Bintangs and sat in the pool until the sun went down.





Day Two.

In the morning we headed to Seminyak to get massages at Bali Spa. One of the great things about Bali is that basically everything is at least half price. Pampering services are even more so, with massages here at around $15 (Australian). So it's a really great opportunity to indulge and treat yourself, especially as I would never get a massage (or a facial or mani-pedi etc.) at home as they are usually more than four times the price there.
We enjoyed a traditional Balinese massage which was very firm but it makes you feel so good afterwards! After that we went to Mades Warung, and each had the 'Babi Guling'- a traditional Indonesian suckling spit-roast pig dish. It is so delicious and a must-try if you come here yourself!
We browsed a few shops on our way back to the hotel; there is really great shopping here and many unique boutique clothing stores.
We chilled for the rest of the afternoon and at dinner time went back to Seminyak to one of our favourite restaurants from our last trip- Queen's Tandoor which is an Indian restaurant, and seriously the best Indian food we've ever had in our lives! (As we haven't yet been to India obviously!).
After stuffing ourselves silly we went just down the road to Frankensteins which is a fun lively bar in the theme of a laboratory. The entertainment and live music is very good.
That evening the lead was dressed as Beetlejuice and they even performed to some songs from the movie which was awesome! We had quite a few drinks there including an 'eyeball' (lychee) martini and a cocktail for two that came in an IV bag. It was a very fun night!




Day Three.

We decided to venture to Kuta town centre which is only about a 20 minute walk from Legian. Again we browsed shops along the way as we pleased and I bought a cool new tie die dress. We walked along the beach and then found and browsed the Discovery Mall- the largest in Bali.
After a Nasi Goreng lunch, it was back to the hotel for the rest of the afternoon and we chilled by the pool and had a couple of drinks on our balcony which was nice.
For dinner we discovered another gem- probably our new favourite restaurant Warumg Padmasari as the prices were ridiculously cheap ($20 for a 3 course meal each and drinks) and the food was so delicious and authentic (we also went back there another two times during our stay!). After our great feast we decided to go for a nightcap and went to the Bali Sky Garden.
It's a really well-known and popular club but there was a really good live band that was playing awesome rock songs so we ended up staying for hours and had quite a few mojitos...
We were sitting with a view over the Ground Zero- where the Bali bombings happened back in 2002. It was quite surreal and so sad thinking of the hundreds of people that died in that spot- many of them Australian tourists.







Day Four.

We had a really relaxing day today. Gareth got another massage at Bali Spa while I got an hour long mani-pedi (both for less than $10!).
I also decided to get my hair done in Bali (blonde foils and cut) as I saw the prices for that were half the price than in Australia, so I did a little research and Smart Spa had very good reviews. I'm really glad I did because this hairdresser did the best job on me that anyone has ever done! He took so much care and my foils have never looked so perfect!
The downside was that it took twice as long as it normally does- but the results were absolutely worth it! I was so happy with my hair.
It was great timing as well as that evening we had pre-booked quite a fancy restaurant for dinner at Sarong. It was one of the top rated restaurants on Trip Advisor and the place was very nice- just, of course, a lot more pricey than you would normally spend on dinner in Bali. But we thought we should at least have one dressy-up nice meal out while we were here.
I started with my very first ginger espresso martini and it was delish! The food was very nice, and it was a lovely evening.
On the way home in a taxi cab, we met Mr. YoYo (our driver) who was to become our personal driver for two full day trips over the next week. He was quite a character and a very funny and interesting person to meet.






Day Five.

Spirituality is one of the central vibes of Bali and temples are dotted practically everywhere you look. The main religion here is Balinese Hinduism and they have many large beautiful and ancient temples I was keen to see.
Seeing the Uluwatu temple during sunset was a must-do, so we arranged a nice trip to the south of Bali and decided to make a day out of it. Mr YoYo picked us up after lunch and first took us to a beautiful beach in Nusa Dua. We then went to a Luwak coffee tasting place.
It was our second time trying it, and I don't really like the Luwak coffee (also known as 'cat-poo coffee'- seriously!) but I was all over the other tea and coffee tastings. My favourites were the coconut coffee and the lemongrass tea.
Next up we spent an hour on a popular beach, enjoying the sun and drinking Bintangs. There was even a monkey nearby in a tree eating a cob of corn!
We headed to the stunning 11th Century cliff-side Uluwatu temple for the sunset and to watch the traditional 'Kecak and Fire' dance. It was such a beautiful temple and a pretty entertaining show.
Lastly, our driver took us to a delicious fresh seafood restaurant right on the beach for dinner at Jimbaran Bay. We had freshly caught snapper and prawns we picked ourselves and it was fantastic eating before the waves.











Day Six. 

We had a very chill and relaxing day. We hung around Legian and went back to Warung Padmasari for lunch. We then checked out Legian beach that was very nearby and walked along it.
We spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool before heading to a close by Thai restaurant where I had a delicious Pad Thai and mango sticky rice for dessert.



Day Seven. 

Mr. YoYo picked us up bright and early this time for a full day trip North of Ubud. He was with one of his older sons this time to keep him company which was sweet.
We started with another traditional Indonesian dance show in the morning called 'Barong and Kris', followed by a visit to Batuan temple.
We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking rice fields in Ubud and it was so picturesque!
Our next stop was Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, a 9th Century sanctuary.
Our final temple was Pura Tirtha Empul, known for its sacred spring water with healing properties, which dated back to 926 AD. It was the most beautiful temple I've ever seen. Everywhere I looked felt like I was looking at a painting!
We had a big drive around the north of Ubud, and saw so much of authentic Bali.
It was really nice to see the real side of it- away from the big tourist hubs of Seminyak, Legian and Kuta. We got to see children coming out from school, their houses and a glimpse into how they live. It's such a different life from our own so it's really special to learn about other cultures and different people's way of life.
Lastly, we had a quick stop at the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, before heading home early evening. It was a long day but I think the most enjoyable I had on this trip.












Day Eight.

It was our last full day in Bali and I had booked in- my 6th Tattoo! I did a lot of research prior and found an excellent Tattoo studio with great reviews.
To be honest, I was a tad nervous in the days leading up to it as all of my tattoos were from the same artist, and being in a foreign country and all. Also, there are tattoo parlours on practically every corner, so I didn't really know what to think of that. But a couple of days before I did go in to Bali Tattoo Studio to check it out first- and it looked great so I was very reassured.
My appointment time rolled around and it only took 10 minutes of actual 'needling' before it was all done! He said he did it extra fast as the spot I was getting it (ribcage) makes you twitch as it's very tender (oh yes). So I was grateful for that!
It was a brand new packaged needle that they made sure to show me and the whole process was 100% professional, as good as my previous artist. The tattoo was perfect and I'm so happy with it!
I washed down the pain with a much needed Bintang at lunch and then Gareth and I had another appointment at Bali Spa! He got another massage and I had a lovely hour long facial which was so relaxing I almost fell asleep.
We headed to the beach for the rest of the afternoon and enjoyed a few beers on a lounger and eventually watched the sun set. It was very enjoyable watching the many surfers catching the enormous waves and a great way to end our trip.






On our final morning, we went out for a bit of last minute souvenir and present shopping before checking out of the hotel. We both had an absolute blast and were very sad the holiday had flown by so fast. We are already planning ideas for our next trip to Bali and will certainly be back sometime soon!

Thanks so much for reading, leave me a comment if you enjoyed this kind of post and stay tuned for a 'Bali Travel Tips' post coming later this month!

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