I’d never been to Bali before and to be perfectly honest, my expectations were not considerably high. When I excitedly told friends where I was going, they would look at me with uninterested eyes and feeble, “Oh?”. I’d heard stories about the throngs of tourism that had ravaged the country, I’d been told that the magic and natural simplicity of the island was gone. No, my expectations weren’t high, but I was about to be surprised.
Bali in its natural state is beautiful. There is still magic in the coves and beaches, and pockets of quietness contain some of the bluest hues and lushest greens I have recently seen. But to me, what made Bali so pleasing was its people. Friendly, helpful and strong in their beliefs, the Balinese who we met on our trip went above and beyond to make us feel like we belonged where we were.
And so here is Bali – a very quick trip, but a worthwhile one all the same.
DAY 1: Le Pirate Nusa Ceningan
After getting our dates confused and showing up a day late, we arrived to Le Pirate with warm welcomes and a deliciously potent glass of ice tea.
The rooms in Le Pirate are compact and are made for what you’re supposed to do in a room – sleep (and other bed-related activities that I won’t go into now).
With a cascading pool that overlooks the gentle shores of Nusa Ceningan; and a bar, restaurant and buffet available, Le Pirate just gets it. They realise what travel and adventure truly mean, and by creating compact accommodation they encourage you to be social, explore, and find true delight in what the island has to offer.
Day 2 & 3: Batu Karang Nusa Lembongan
After a short walk across the ever-famous bridge that connects Ceningan to Lembongan, we were picked up by a shuttle that took us up, down, through and passed the villages of the island. We arrived wide-eyed and in awe.
Batu Karang is ultimate luxury. Three separate pools, a swim-up bar, fine dining restaurants and a luxurious spa on create a world unto itself and was a contrast from what we had come from at Le Pirate – not at all a bad thing. We were greeted like old friends and a cold, fresh coconut eased the heat.
The staff allowed us to check in early and even though it’s technically a resort, I felt we had our own private villa in a world away from anyone. The ‘rooms’ which are nearly as big as our whole house, have obviously been carefully designed with privacy and opulence in mind.
The menu-ordered breakfast was itself an experience – the range of deliciousness that was offered was one of the many attributes to Batu Karang. We swam, had spa treatments, and as I watched my partner surfing from the comfy couches of the in-house bar, I felt like the luckiest person in the world.
Day 4: La Lasa Villa
There’s just something about having your own private villa…
La Lasa staff were so beautifully genuine, the villa so huge (the hugest of them all!), and the privately-delivered breakfast so enjoyable, that we didn’t want to leave. No really, we didn’t…In fact everything about our stay was so pleasing that we begged and pleaded to gain an extra nights stay. We needn’t have been so dramatic, the friendly staff were happy to have us and I was extra happy to spend more time with the resident dog, Wifi.
La Lasa is close to all the hot spots in Canggu, but still faraway enough to make you feel you’re in a spacious, open community. I loved it here; I loved our villa, the staff, and of course Wifi the dog. I wouldn’t hesitate to make this my regular accommodation when visiting Canggu again.
Where are your favourite places to visit in and around Bali? We’d love to hear from you! Join our The Asia Collective – Luxe Travellers group on Facebook and share your adventures with like-minded travellers.