Debbie & DNA do Bali
Updated: Sep 3, 2018
DNA have friends and family all over the world who share our passion for travel. From time to time we will feature their insights on our blog - Below good friend Debbie Price who has travelled the world extensively gives us an insight on the magical destination of Bali...
Whether you are looking for an idyllic beach holiday, a 24 hour party destination or simply somewhere to 'find yourself' Bali has something for everyone. In March 2017, TripAdvisor named the island the world's top destination in its Traveler's choice award - and it's not hard to see why.
I was lucky enough to first visit Bali when I was 10 years old with my parents. I was blown away by the culture, the people, the tropical climate, the lush acres of rice paddy fields and the 'exotic' foods (although growing up in South Wales in the 80's, even a banana was exotic!)
30 years later my best friends husband said he was taking her and their two children to Bali for her 40th and asked if I wanted to surprise her, of course I didn't hesitate.
We stayed in stunning Seminyak, only a 30 minute drive from the airport – nearby Canggu is also a very popular destination. The people of Bali are so welcoming and the restaurants and cafes are plentiful and cater for everyone. You can head to one of the beautiful cocktail bars on the beach or you can get a delicious noodle dish and a local beer from a cafe on the side of the road. The great thing about either is that there are no dress codes and no crazy door policies like so many places these days. Everyone is welcome.
DNA’s suggested accommodation Seminyak area:
A short drive from the bustle of Legian and Seminyak, and even closer to the new hotspot of Canggu. This is Bali’s version of a luxury lodge - intimate and bespoke, aimed unashamedly at the high-end international traveller looking for luxury experiential accommodation in Bali. Included with the villa are chefs, butlers, drivers, bar staff, gardeners, maids and spa therapists. There is a pre-arrival guest preference and booking/planning service and a concierge service to arrange all bookings, tours, cruises etc whilst there so you don’t have to lift a finger.
Book the three-suite flagship Villa Sungai or its smaller sister the three-bedroom, couple-friendly Sungai Gold; or for the ultimate glam escape take over both. Exclusive hire brings a sense of relaxation – a tropical home paradise for your stay.
For keen golfers the acclaimed Nirwana course is just 15-20 mins drive from the villa. The Nirwana Bali Golf Club is a visual masterpiece with dramatic ocean views and verdant landscapes. The 18-hole course was designed by Greg Norman with an eye to the island’s natural, tropical beauty. It’s said to be one of the most photographed and challenging in the world—what other courses have rice paddies as hazards? Even the caddies at Nirwana undergo extensive training to offer top level service and assistance on these challenging links.
“Two ridiculously private residences that fuse a traditional village experience with five-star trappings to create a bespoke idyll” – Harper’s Bazaar
‘Amala’ means pure and unspoiled, a small and discreet property which allows you to escape the daily stresses of everyday life. Accommodation consists of 3 deluxe rooms, 6 one bedroom spa Villas, 5 one bed pool villas and 1 three bedroom Amala residence.
Focus is on rest and relaxation and there is a wonderful spa and wellness centre. Open from 10am to 10pm – based on ancient Asian medicine and Western holistic philosophies, it has on-site professionals who carefully assess guest’s health, fitness and lifestyle to provide individualized wellness programs and treatments.
On site BAMBOO RESTAURANT, located pool side, opens from 7 am to 10 pm. The restaurant uses organic produce and raw ingredients wherever possible to help guests detox and replenish. In room dining is available around the clock. Enjoy your meals in the privacy of your own villa and let your butler suggests some of The Amala’s favourite cuisine to surprise you…
For the ultimate cultural experience, you must head to Bali's artistic heartland, Ubud. Here, you are surrounded by lush countryside and rice paddies. You can take a day trip from Seminyak but I would advise to stay in Ubud for at least a couple of nights to make the most of the temples and monuments, the art markets and of course, Balinese massage!
DNAs suggested accommodation Ubud area:
The boutique retreat Amandari lies in the village of Kedewatan, 15 minutes drive from Ubud - Inspired by a traditional village it is framed by jungle and rice terraces in Bali’s cultural heartland. The grounds are both sacred and essential to local families: children attend dance classes here, and religious processions pass through regularly.
Beautiful freestanding thatched roof suites with gorgeous views of rice paddies or the Ayung Valley - some with sunken bathtubs, private infinity pools or if a larger property is required the incredible 3 bedroom Amandari Villa with an expansive two-tier swimming pool will not disappoint .
An elegant open-air main restaurant and adjacent bar enjoy spectacular views of the pool and Ayung River. Both local and international cuisine is available. The upper level provides an ideal space for more intimate dinners, while private dining is available in-suite, 24-hours a day.
There is an enchanting spa comprised of two open-air bales, a beauty room, sauna and a marble steam room. A gym and floodlit tennis courts if lazing becomes too much and private yoga lessons are available in an outdoor setting if you need to find some balance. We have been told that The Beckhams and Mick Jagger have stayed at The Amandari and we know exactly why - it's luxury with authenticity.
The Four Seasons Resort
Just ten minutes from Ubud this hotel will blow your mind, nestled between two rivers in the Sayan Valley: the sacred Ayung River with its holy springs and ancient temples, and the Subak river that is part of Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed irrigation network. 60 units comprising 18 suites and 42 pool villas spread across 18 acres of terraced hillside, offering river-front or elevated valley views and absolute privacy.
On-site herb and vegetable gardens supplying the majority of fresh produce for restaurants and cooking classes which is a must do activity. The Riverside Cafe is a contemporary grill with premium imported meats and local seafood for dinner, and a light poolside selection and salad bowls for lunch.
Ayung Terrace Pan-Asian features Indonesian specialties among the treetops. There are regular theme night dinners include Rijstaffel and Ubud Night.
A deep healing spa, comprehensive wellness programme featuring visiting fitness and yoga gurus – daily classes of anti-gravity, laughter and power yoga and the exclusive full moon yoga once a month which sounds completely dreamy! For the more active there is private river rafting, trekking, cycling and architecture tours, and an on-site Kids Club.
Beach club recommendations - grab a day bed and do nothing all day except eat, drink cocktails and snooze... you know, 'holiday activities'. Potato Head Beach Club, Finns, Sunday's (my favourite), Ku De Ta - to name just a few. At the end of the day, watch the sun set from your day bed and then settle in for the night with cool dj's and live bands.
If you’re looking for a surf haven, a yoga retreat, a party island or a 5 star sanctuary, all with diverse restaurants and warm weather year-round, then Bali has to be next on the list.
Selamat berlibur di Bali!
There are so many incredible properties in Bali and depending on your requirements we can guide you to the perfect holiday. The best time to visit Bali is is April, May, June and September, just before and just after high season so get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02071934165 and we can create an itinerary just for you.