So, I just got back from my Bali trip with C. It was 6 days and 5 nights of impeccable service and friendly people all around, plus good food (mmmmm… BBQ red snapper, jumbo prawns, squid, etc) & the inescapable pairing of Bintang Beer… (Mmmmm…) & a lot of people thinking I’m East Asian (again…) because of my small eyes…
Anyway. This was both our 2nd trip to Bali. My first was 3 years ago with Grand Hyatt in Nusa Dua and consisted of 9 days of scuba diving, sightseeing and spa going. This time it’s gonna be more relaxed and less eventful, and Ubud is great for that purpose.
We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort in Sayan (couldn’t get nights in the Jimbaran sister resort, although we got a tour on the last day right before the flight back to S.B.P. (Singabloodypore – to borrow the useful, poignant term). Having been upgraded to a villa from a suite, there was a private plunge pool enclosed by lush greenery and flooding sunlight especially in the late mornings.. So you can basically tan in the nude in privacy although Sayan’s in the hilly Ubud area, if you want to. Not that I did anyway. Lol.
Our “sunken” villa was designed similarly with others to disappear from the environment as British, Cambridge-educated architect John Heah would like it. You’ll see lily ponds as roof-tops, “cascading water features” that run through the few stories of the main resort area. There was an outdoor chill-out area beside the mini-bar cabinet that comes with a coffee press, instant water boiler, complimentary coffee and tea, as well as champagne, wine and juice glasses lined up in case you’d like to pop the bottle for a special occasion.
There was a F.O.C. 2-hourly shuttle between the resort and Ubud shopping area (you can walk to Monkey Forest from the drop off point and see many handicraft and art galleries and shops along the way), so we saved on the IRP50,000 per trip taxi fare for these few days, although the norm was to book a driver for a half day / full day tour for between IRP250,000 to IRP350,000 depending on the driver. Most resort staff can recommend drivers that they call regularly for hotel guests so if you got no contacts for any driver, just ask the resort staff. Even the Spa management trainee had her driver to recommend.
So, on the first day we went to Riverside Cafe for some seriously light, wood-fired pizza with freshly baked breads accompanied with pesto sauce and olive oil.. “The best pizza in Bali” (quote Executive Chef Denny Frederick) was the perfect answer to our starving bellies.. Hehe.
Right after lunch we made use of the shuttle to head to Ubud to buy some snacks and then back to the resort to rent a couple of DVDs for a movie night. (I think throughout the trip, we rented about 5 DVDs in total.. and 2 music CDs.. Jack Johnson’s Sleep through the Static album is great for morning coffees. :))
Bintang beer was on the shopping list of course, and we ended the day with “When Harry met Sally”.. Lol..
On the second day we met our Balinese pastry chef who was on home leave to have a private tour…! Started with spicy chicken rice lunch, then dropped by the art market, where it was pretty apparent that abstract art was enjoying the same popularity as traditional Balinese paintings. Then we headed to Kuta area for some avocado & chocolate (although I’d prefer gula melaka) smoothie & a spot of shopping, finally it’s down to Jimbaran Bay for some seriously smokey BBQ seafood at very affordable prices.
And then it’s back to the resort where our villa was nicely turned down with a mosquito coil lit in the alfresco area.
The following few days were dotted with visits to the famous Dirty Duck restaurant, the Monkey Forest, affordable spa massage at The Bodyworks Centre and trying delicious Bakso (meatball vermicelli in spicy broth) sold by a street vendor… The rainy weather made cycling and trekking activities organised by the resort kinda risky to carry on, so we mostly just enjoyed our villa in air-conditioned comfort (I couldn’t stay outdoors for too long because of the numerous mosquito bites >.< ) and delicious room service. 🙂
Next stop, Lombok! Let’s see when I can do that. Hehe.