Honeymooning in paradise
10 days, 3 hotels, 1 island
All about the location
The Hanging Gardens of Bali is all about the location. After arriving in torrential rain in the middle of night, it wasn’t until the following morning that we got to experience the true beauty of the Balinese Jungle. With the sunrise came the monkeys – one-by-one jumping across our terrace and onto our private cabana before disappearing again into the trees.
And then of course there’s the infinity pool ‘voted the best hotel swimming pool by Conde Nast Traveller’ none-the-less. The pool itself was beautiful and the view was breathtaking, but our entertainment came courtesy of the many hotel/spa guests looking for that perfect Instagram shot – I’m talking outfit changes and a whole catalogue of poses – all whilst balancing (literally) on the edge of the jungle.
After three incredibly lazy days at the Hanging Gardens, it was on to the Viceroy, Ubud. Upon arrival we were immediately whisked from the car to the bar for a welcome drink, followed by lunch and then into a golf cart to be driven to our room. By room, I do of course mean luxury, private villa with its own terrace and (heated) infinity pool. Whilst the Hanging Gardens was all about the location, the Viceroy was all about the luxury (although the location was pretty spectacular too). The hotel was just a short drive to the centre of Ubud where we spent an afternoon getting lost in the art market and evenings enjoying the local cuisine.
Walking with elephants
A short drive from Ubud is the village of Taro, home to 31 Sumatran elephants. The Elephant Safari Park is an incredible place to get close to nature’s gentle giants and it was the most wonderful experience. It’s clear that the elephants are treated well here in a controlled environment that prioritises the protection and well-being of its residents – 27 of which were rescued from Sumatran ‘elephant camps’ and a further 4 young elephants who were born at the park.
On to the beach
Whilst we were sad to be leaving the beautiful Viceroy behind, it was time to move onto Seminyak for a few days by the sea. We stayed at the Seminyak Beach Resort where we spent our days watching surfers from yet another infinity pool. Seminyak is more heavily populated and definitely more ‘touristy’ than Ubud with lots of bars, restaurants, shops, mopeds and oh so many spas – it seemed rude not to book in for a traditional Balinese massage (or two).
Seafood and sunsets
One evening whilst staying in Seminyak, we jumped in a taxi and headed south along the coast to the Ayana Resort, in Jimbaran. Not to be missed for lovers of sunsets and seafood. Unfortunately the sunset was a little too grey and cloudy to be photo-worthy and I don’t eat seafood (Gary more than made up for the both of us), but the experience was wonderful none-the-less. The food was delicious – both the steak and the seafood, the serving staff were beyond helpful and the location was so peaceful and idyllic. After dinner we were encouraged to move onto the Rock Bar where we enjoyed delicious cocktails whilst watching (and listening to) stormy waves crash onto the rocks.
And that just about sums up our 10 days on the beautiful Indonesian island.
Thank you Bali…we will return.