Well hello beauties!
I recently went to Bali with my boyfriend and I wanted to share with you all some of the highlights from the trip eg, things I saw, what we did and where we stayed. And to share some more exciting news, I came back to Australia as a Fiance! I also wanted to use my blog as another way to share the beauty of Bali, it has really blown our minds and we can’t wait to go back!
Staying in Seminyak was not part of our original plans, but we were so glad we did. We actually left two days earlier than planned, and the decision was last minute so we wanted to book a quick two-night stay somewhere different to where we originally booked in Jimbaran, so Seminyak was the choice!
We stayed at the Ramada Encore which was a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of central Seminyak but who offered free shuttle services there. Everything is super close in Seminyak so getting around is easy (around $4 to get around in a taxi). It was a cheap and cheerful hotel which had daily free breakfast and a fantastic pool and bar (cocktails were $5.90!). Food wasn’t that great but we were okay with that as we wanted to explore busy restaurants and bars that were popular in Seminyak.
Food & Drink
We visited places like Sisterfields and Ku De Ta in Seminyak, but my absolute favourites were Mexicola and Potato Head Beach Club!
We literally spent a whole day and night at Potato Head. The vibe is so chilled and laid back, a modern coastal atmosphere but still a party place.
Plus, they had some of the most interesting cocktails I’ve ever had! Cocktails here are more expensive (around $16-$17) but I’d happily pay that again for what we got.
They had the coolest swim up pool bar (I had slightly too many cocktails to take my camera to the bar) and I still dream of it. Food was ace, they know how to please their customers. And the staff were incredibly friendly and professional. We watched a gorgeous iconic Bali sunset on our pool-side bed while sipping on more cocktails (you guessed it). Loved Potato Head and would go back for sure!
Mexicola satisfied me on so many levels. I absolutely adore Mexican food so I knew I couldn’t give it a miss. Plus, we knew that the bar owner has this habit of going around and spilling tequila in people’s mouths around the bar and we definitely wanted to
participate see it. Early in the night, it’s a restaurant but as time goes on the music gets louder, people drink a little more and start dancing on tables and it just turns into the coolest party joint. It was one of the most fun places I’ve gone to eat dinner and I SO wish we had a place like that here!
We chose to stay in Jimbaran for the majority of our trip because it is still tourist-y but out the way of the central party district of Bali and more calm. It’s also earned the moniker as the ‘Beverley Hills of Bali’ as it’s home to some of the most luxurious 5 star resorts and world renowned bars, along with some of the most relaxing spas you’ll ever see!
We chose to give the Jimbaran Bay Beach Resort & Spa a go, because of the resort vibe, it’s location (it’s right on the beach), the day spa and of course the swim up pool bar and sunset rooftop bar. The price was super reasonable at about $85 a night and it was well worth a visit.
For our last night, my partner decided to book us a room at the world famous Ayana Resort and Spa, home to the iconic Rock Bar, secluded Kubu Beach and a cliff day spa, where you can get spa treatments in huts that sit over the Ocean and hear the waves roll in. Heaven!
Our room was upgraded (now I know why), and it was one of the nicest rooms I’ve stayed in, on par with The Venetian in Vegas.
I can honestly not recommend a stay at Ayana enough, I have never seen a resort like this, I was completely blown away. I think in all the places I’ve stayed at around the world this was the most impressive resort. It’s HUGE, an integrated resort with over 20 restaurants, multiple rooftop bars, shops, 19 pools collectively.
It was just completely surreal, I was so upset to leave! There was a free buggy service every 10 minutes to transport you around different resort stations across both Ayana and Rimba, where our room was, and they had monkey feeding! Bliss.
We decided to hire a scooter in Jimbaran and it was the best decision we ever made! The traffic in Bali is nothing short of hectic, we had some scares but I fully trust my partner with all things automobile and we had so much fun on that thing. It was incredibly cheap ($7 a day, with fuel at $1 to fill it up) and it allowed us to get around and visit places nearby. We visited Nusa Dua, drove through Kuta (even though we were hesitant to visit) and took it through some of the mountains and cliffs of Jimbaran Bay. I would highly recommend you hire one if you visit Bali!
Food & Drink
Most days we had breakfast and lunch by the pool at our resort. The food was really good at their restaurant and actually really cheap! Breakfast buffets were included in our booking, but lunch was on average about $8-$9 a meal. They made amazing Nasi Goreng, that was my favourite dish! Cocktails were around $14 here. One night we decided to have dinner on their rooftop bar as the sun went down and it was just so beautiful.
When we ventured outside of our resort for food, we visited Sundara bar at the Four Seasons resort for a sunset dinner and cocktails. This was one of our favourite places we visited, they had live music during the sunset dinner and the vibe was just paradise.
But, considering this is Four Seasons, food was definitely on the more expensive side, we ordered a few different tapas dishes (so delicious!) that were around $16-$20 each some of which were seafood. Cocktails were reasonable, they had a 2-for-1 happy hour which we were lucky to catch.
We also visited a restaurant called Cuca, voted as the best restaurant in Jimbaran bay. It is a modern tapas restaurant, really experimental with their food which I absolutely love. Here I decided to take the risk and eat raw fish, a ceviche with chilli lime dressing and watermelon ice. The thing I loved most about this restaurant was that they placed us at a table that overlooked the restaurant and we could see how the chefs all operate and I just couldn’t take my eyes off them! So methodical, organised and professional, and it meant I could really trust the food here which is why I decided to try raw fish here. My favourite dish was the Snow White dessert though, with strawberries and sauce encased around a tiered cake of frozen yoghurt and dried rose petals. Love, love, love.
A trip to Bali isn’t complete unless you get relaxing massages right? Lucky for us, our resort had a day spa that was pretty damn reasonable in price. We had a couples full body one hour Balinese massage for $25, sooo cheap! Balinese massage is really interesting, but still relaxing and I’m really happy I tried something a little more traditional.
I also opted for a one hour traditional facial as I definitely thought my skin was getting neglected on the trip! I think this one cost me about $18? And came with a foot massage, ridiculously cheap!
During our stay in Ayana, we wanted to try the Aquatonic pool treatment. Apparently this is the largest one in the world, featuring 12 hydromassage stations over 2 hours that are meant to increase circulation, massage all the muscles through your body and relax your mind. A super interesting approach to a spa treatment and it was a really cool experience. This was a little more on the expensive side, costing about $60 with a 2 course lunch included which isn’t really that bad at all by Australian standards.
The Night It Happened
Ayana was our last night in Bali, we definitely saved the best for last. I knew it was going to be a special night for us, but I didn’t think it would be THIS special. Sam kept the details slim for dinner that night except telling me I had to be ready for nice dinner by 6pm. Just before 6pm, a bell at our door rang and we opened it to find one of the Hotel employees at our door.
I was anxious and confused as he lead us through a long trail around the resort. I repeatedly looked at Sam to see if he was giving anything away but he kept his poker face on. When we finally arrived to the secret destination, I walked around the corner to see a single table which looked as if it was floating on the lake, with water lanterns distributed through the water. ‘I love you’ was written with rose petals below the table, with a long stem rose placed on the table setting. There was a wooden carved menu with the date and our names on it for a keepsake which I found super sentimental.
Now I’m always one that knows exactly what’s going on at all times. I’m in control, organised. So when something like this is sprung on me I get anxious and nervous and Sam could definitely notice that. He kept telling me to relax because it was making him nervous, when I then said, ‘Your not going to propose are you?’ He laughed it off and said no, but minutes later he got down on one knee and popped the question. He was super nervous, I was balling my eyes out. But the answer was simple. I’ve been with Sam for nearly seven years and despite some bumps in our relationship, I’ve always been so happy to be with him.
So I know some people wanted to know the juicy details of the ring, so I’ll spill the beans. I’ve always said to Sam that I wanted something simple for my engagement ring, nothing too blingy or big and I preferred solitaires. I have slender and petite fingers so I wanted a ring to match. I also said I loved classic gold. Now don’t get me wrong, white gold can be breathtakingly beautiful but considering it can go quite dull and show some yellowness fairly quickly I wanted to avoid it. Plus, you have to get it re-plated with rhodium every few years to keep it looking white and polished, not only can this become expensive, this can actually decrease the quality of the gold after every plating treatment. I know I will always love gold too so I’m glad Sam got the memo!
I think he did a fantastic job! Designed and manufactured through a custom process at an independent jeweller. It’s a brilliant cut 3/4 carat solitaire, two-toned ring with a solid 14K gold band and four platinum square claws. The diamond is F in colour, with a clarity of VS2. Overall, quite a good quality stone and the sparkle is incredible in the light! The ring is literally perfect for me, I’m obsessed.
Overall, my time in Bali was nothing short of memorable and I guess now it will always hold a special place in my heart. We were only away for a week, but we did so much and saw so many things and I have really learned to love the beauty of Bali despite some negative opinions I’ve heard on it. Of course, some of the poverty and unclean environments can put you off. One thing that did really disturb me was the number of abandoned dogs I saw, so sad! But, we have never been treated with such respect and consideration like we were by the Balinese and we can totally understand why it’s a popular travel destination!
That completes this post! Somewhat of a life updates post, but I hope you enjoyed hearing about Bali. If you’ve been considering going, I will say that you NEED to try it out. I can’t wait to go back!
*Photo prints were gifted by Printiki