We’ve dreamed of going to Bali for years, and so after a few months of hard saving and a lets just do it attitude, we bit the bullet and booked a 5 night stay in Seminyak over the Easter long weekend.
Admittedly, it was overwhelming to decide which area to visit as there’s just so much to see and do in Bali! As Seminyak is a beach resort area with plenty of activity, the decision was made. After trawling through travel websites and Trip Advisor reviews, Asa Bali Luxury Villas and Spa was the lucky winner within budget. It’s a little further out from the busy tourist strip, but it worked in our favour for the peace and tranquility it offers.
Our one bedroom villa had an elegant, open-air theme, with a fully equipped kitchen, spacious living area and private pool. I think it’s safe to say that this is the most luxurious place I have ever stayed! The bathroom had a rainfall shower and the bedroom opened out into the pool area, all of which just added those extra special touches. The highlight was how friendly the staff are – they all go out of their way to smile, say hello and ask if there’s anything they can do for you. The receptionists and room staff would ask us what we’d been up to that day and were always happy to give recommendations. Our stay here included a daily buffet breakfast in the dining room, with a chef on hand to cook your eggs whichever way you like.
Asa Bali is split over two sites 500m from one of each other, with the reception and breakfast area on one side, and the villas at the other. To help in traveling between the two (that 90% humidity…), they have a complimentary buggy that can transport you. I loved this buggy! It was great cruising though the streets with a very welcome breeze on you. They also run a free buggy ride to Seminyak beach every day at 10am and 2pm, which saves you a walk/taxi trip.
After landing in Bali at 9pm Friday, night one was a write-off, but on Saturday we launched right in with a day at Waterbom, voted the second best water park in the world. This place is not what I was expecting; I’ve been to my fair share of water parks, but the layout and vibe of this one is completely different. It has a relaxing, tropical feel, where as well as going on the many rides, you can spend just as much time laying in the sun, eating, and drifting down the lazy river. I was hoping to get a bit colour after today, but alas I am destined to stay pale!
On Sunday, we visited Bali Zoo to enjoy the Breakfast with Orangutan experience. It was an early start, but on arrival it felt like we had the zoo to ourselves. You’re given a table and a number, and you can help yourself at the breakfast buffet. Our table looked out onto the elephants bathing in the river, so it pays to get there early! When your number is called out, you are invited up to meet the orangutans and to take photos. They have very cheeky personalities, and I’m pretty sure Joe held a staring contest with one of them throughout the entirety of breakfast. Afterwards, we met the elephants and the birds, and took our time wandering around the rest of the zoo. That evening we went to Potato Head Beach Club as anyone who visits Bali always says to go here. It was a nice meal, but in all honestly, it was too loud and crowded to enjoy it properly. I feel old and cranky, but I think it’s designed for a younger crowd!
On Monday we were ready to take it easy and took advantage off the free buggy ride to Seminkyak Beach. We strolled along the beach over to Legion Beach and settled in on a sun bed with a couple of coconuts. After this we wandered the streets soaking up the atmosphere, and of course, no trip to Bali is complete without a ridiculously cheap massage – we got a 60 minutes full body for the equivalent of $7.50! Coincidentally, my sister was also on holiday in Seminyak, so we met up for lunch at Biku for a traditional high tea – also very cheap!
On Tuesday, we ventured over to Ubud Monkey Forrest where there are around 700 monkeys in 12.5 hectares of forest. It’s a fun experience to be surrounded by so many monkeys, and a beautiful place to escape the city scene for a leisurely stroll. If you are calm and sit quietly, the smaller ones will come over to sit on your lap… quite cute really! That evening we went to Urchin Restaurant for the Jimbaren seafood platter filled with slipper lobster, prawns, Lombok scallops, fish cutlet, shrimps and seaweed, grilled with garlic butter. It was as tasty as it sounds.
And before we knew it, our last day on Wednesday had arrived and we were kicking ourselves for not booking longer. As we had to check out at 12pm, and our flight wasn’t until 10.25pm, we had quite a few hours to burn. We had planned on going whitewater rafting, but then thought, we can do that anywhere, how often will we come to Bali? So instead, we explored by foot, shopping at the many market stalls along the way. Mine and Joe’s bartering skills are very different – I’m quite ruthless in trying to get the lowest price, whereas Joe is his usual lovely self wanting to pay the asking price and more. In hindsight, when you compare the currency values, I should have followed his lead more.
We ended the trip with dinner and cocktails at La Plancha, a vibrant Spanish beach bar and restaurant. With colourful bean bags, fairy lights and a beach view, this really is the perfect place to watch a beautiful Bali sunset.