For the first time, I now understand why people flock to Bali to unwind and relax. We spent six days in Bali recently doing just that and I have to say it doesn’t get much better if you need to de-stress and rebalance.
We stayed at the Bali Niksoma, a new boutique resort on Legian Beach offering deluxe rooms and villas. It’s located between the Padma and Jayakarta with great views of the beach. It has two pools including an Infinity pool, fully equipped gym, spa, great food and half price cocktails at sunset. It’s close to everything and a short walk to get a massage, do some shopping and eating out.
Confessions…I spent 5 days straight getting pampered, total bliss! Joined by friends, the only agenda we had apart from all being there to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday, was to relax and unwind and take in everything that Bali had to offer.
Here are some must haves for the girls to do:
- Visit the Shampoo Lounge in Seminyak – great service and pricing on haircuts, colouring, blow dry and treatments. We did a mix of hair treatments, collagen eye masks and some of the girls in our group had false eyelashes applied for the 40th birthday celebrations. Funky, cool vibe and great staff (www.shampoolounge.com).
- While in Seminyak – pop into the Blue Glue Outlet and check out the stunning bikinis, one piece bathers and beach accessories. The store alone is worth a look, with a water feature running under the floorboards and exquisite detailing (www.blue-glue.com).
- Shopping in Seminyak – is more upmarket though worth a look. Expect to pay $40 – $100+ USD per item.
- Shopping in Legian – there are plenty of street stalls where you can bargain for sunglasses, bags, women’s wear, children’s wear and menswear from $5 to $30. Great if you want to pick up some casual summer gear.
- Shopping in Kuta – you can’t go past Matahari’s department store in central Kuta for ladies handbags, women’s wear and menswear.
- Budget Beauty stops – we couldn’t go past a daily massage priced from $7 AU for one hour. Both the guys and gals on our trip tried out the massages, facials and reflexology. The girls went a bit further with foot scrubs and nail treatments. Two and half hours of pampering will set you back about $25 AU. You can see why I totally wigged out for five days in a row on beauty treatments! Here are a couple of decent budget spas we found in our travels – Boreh Bali Body Work (Jln.Werkudara 523 in Legian) and Luna Spa (Jl.Padma Utara) in Legian. Best advice I can give you is to get there before 2pm, because it gets pretty busy after 4pm and you may not get in. Testament is the number of thongs out the front.
- Yoga by the Pool – Sunday morning 8am at Bali Niksoma for guests. We stretched, saluted the sun and found parts of ourselves where we could let go. For guys and girls…doing yoga with a beachfront view is something else!
For everyone, some great places to eat and drink coffee at are:
- Cocoon Beach Club, Seminyak – is walking distance from Legian Beach Road. The architecture is very cool, amazing service and great food. Half price cocktails, well priced and regular functions happening.
- Gloria Jean’s Coffee, Jalan Pantai – is located about halfway along the main road into Kuta, walking from Legian end. The décor is amazing, fresh white with cold towels handed to you on arrival. Fabulous service, great staff and a good place to stop in if you need a classy toilet stop. Good coffee and well worth the visit.
- Teba Sari Bali Agrotourism – offers locally grown organic coffee (including Lewak coffee) and herbal teas. It can be found halfway to Ubud in Br. Kelingkung, Lodtunduh, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali. With generous free tastings and tour to see how everything is made, it was well worth the look. My favourites which I brought back to Oz were the Red Ginger Tea and Rosella tea. We grabbed a driver for the day (costs $50 AU) who drove us up to Ubud to take in the sights including this coffee stop, Ubud markets, the best Nasi Goreng lunch in Bali overlooking the rice paddies and waterfall on the way down.
For the socially conscious, I was quite affected by the condition of the Bali street dogs. I just wanted to gather them all up and rescue them with a good feed and a bath. So much so, that after arriving home I investigated how I could help out. I discovered the Bali Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre (BARC) who rescue and care for suffering, starved, abused and neglected dogs in Bali. I made my first donation of $100 this week to help them out and will continue to support them every month. It’s one of my new mantras since coming back from Bali. If you are interested to see what they do or would like to donate visit www.balidogrefuge.com. You can also sponsor a neglected dog or critically ill dog from as little as $10 a month. Follow BARC on Twitter @barc4balidogs or Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/BaliDogAdoptionRehabilitationCentre.
The other mantra I came home with was to rebalance and de-stress my life. The stark contrast from my everyday life and pausing to stop and take care of myself in Bali, opened my eyes up to how much stress we carry. Until that point, I hadn’t realised how much it was affecting my health and wellbeing. Having been diagnosed with ‘Cluster Headaches’ four and half months ago (which was an obvious sign) and yet here I was, still in denial about stress being a major cause.
So I have signed up for regular yoga classes, gotten back into the pool to swim laps, I’m eating green and finishing work at reasonable time (no work on the weekends). It’s amazing what a little time out can do to raise awareness within ourselves of what needs readjusting, to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Finding the places where you can let go.