If I close my eyes, I can feel it working already.
Still, if any of you are headed to Bali, Indonesia, or starting to dream about heading to Bali, I hope these tips might help in your planning.
I was in Bali last summer with my two young sons, and we loved our stay in these two hotels during our ten day visit.
Bali Villa Ubud, Ubud
For this reason, I looked for hotels a little outside the town center – and came across the Bali Villa Ubud… and I’m very happy I did.
My kids and I loved our stay at the Bali Villa Ubud, a small, Spanish-managed hotel at the edge of the jungle to one side and rice paddies on the other. It was a short shuttle bus ride into Ubud, with free, regular shuttle bus services throughout the day.
The rooms were simple, but spacious. The staff was extremely friendly. The pool and grounds were relaxing, and the kids enjoyed walking in the rice paddies. There was a small spa, too, which I used once for a massage. If I’d had more time for myself, I would have been back more often…
It was easy to organize activities in Ubud and beyond. I’ve already posted about our trip further afield to the TreeTop Adventure and the Bali Bird Park. But the hotel was mostly for relaxation – there weren’t activities, which is generally what I prefer.
My only complaint is the sulfur water of the pool made swimming difficult. Even my kids, never easy to drag out of a pool, were never anxious to spend much time under water.
Still, the Villa Bali Ubud is a great place to go to relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet, while still being close enough to get in easily and enjoy all Ubud has to offer.
The Laguna, Nusa Dua
I must admit that this is often not my preferred means of vacation – the all-inclusive holiday resort where you’re never meant to step off the manicured lawns and explore the wider world beyond its elegant shrubbery.
But sometimes I take pleasure in breaking my own rules. A three week Asian holiday with my two young boys and my husband at home led me to think a few days of R&R might not be such a bad idea.
After filling our days in Ubud with lots of activities, and before a return to Taiwan where we would go trekking, the lazier pace of days in Nusa Dua were welcome.
The Laguna resort was comfortable and stunning, with wide, white sandy beaches and a huge lagoon pool that surrounded the entire resort.
Needless to say, my kids loved swimming around it much of the day. I loved dividing my time between swimming and reading – I went through an insane number of books during our stay. Oh, what torture! : )
The pluses of this hotel were the beautiful location, relaxing atmosphere, and friendly service. Breakfasts were wonderful and abundant, with a good mix of international cuisine. We loved the daily tea service each day after all our swimming, and I loved sitting out on the peaceful balcony each night and getting in a few hours of writing time.
The negatives? I’m not a fan of resorts – with the guests and their mad rush to ‘block’ lounge chairs with towels and bags, even when they never show up, the big tourist groups, and the absurd prices that don’t reflect the local economy. Luckily, there was a shopping mall within walking distance, with inexpensive restaurants and a grocery store, which helped keep costs down and got us away from our self-contained little world.
One of the highlights of our time here was taking my kids deep-sea fishing for the day, where they caught two grouper and a small tuna fish. We brought our catch to the hotel restaurant and they cooked them up for us – accompanied by Balinese spices- and we ate our fish dinner on the beach. Here we are – how I wish I were still eating dinner someone else cooks for me while sitting out on a beautiful beach…
So, all in all, a relaxing and enjoyable vacation in Bali. Sigh – how I miss that tropical sunshine in February….