The first time experiencing Bali is like the first time experiencing ice cream. It’s something to really do right and make a special moment out of because it’s something one will remember for the rest of one’s life. When staying in Bali, the two most important spots to see first are Canggu, pronounced chang-goo, and Ubud, pronounced ooh-bud.
Canggu is a fun and happening surfing and lazy Café destination located on the beach. Ubud is a tranquil and relaxed yoga destination in the jungle. Whether you come for a month, or just two nights, you must experience both. And what better way to experience them than to stay in a local luxury villa.
Best Places to Stay in Canggu
Canggu has many villas that reflect the region’s chill surf vibes, but with the energy of the young and fun area that it is.
Villa Camilla 2 Is a three bedroom private getaway located in the heart of Canggu. With a beautiful private pool, lush garden and bright, tropical living area, you’ll feel right at home on the plush furnishings, bathed by the cool air-conditioning. Each bedroom has a spa like ensuite bathroom and garden views.
Villa Kami is another stunning villa in a serene area in the quiet village of Padonan. This one is just minutes away from Berawa beach and Echo beach. An outdoor living space connects you with the warm Balinese nature. The timber pool deck of your private pool leads to excellently furnished bedrooms with king-sized beds and en-suite bathrooms.
Last but not least, Villa Desa Roro Estate is a fabulous seven bedroom traditional Indonesian wooden house. Each bedroom has its own ensuite decorated in a clean and modern style. The master bedroom even has a massage room. Some other features of your luxury accommodation include two swimming pools and three living areas to entertain your lucky guests. The villa is walking distance to yoga studios, restaurants and cafes.
Things to Do in Canguu, Bali
When you’ve settled into your villa, it’s time to explore the area. Why not take a walk along the beach or even take some surfing lessons? There are many companies along the beach that offer affordable lessons with experienced guides.
After you’ve had enough of the beach and have fully relaxed, then check out the many cafes and restaurants Canggu has to offer. At La Brisa, a chill rustic cafe by the sea, you get to live those dreams of being a hipster pirate.
If you’re looking to party like you’re in Ibiza, then Cafe Del Mar is the exciting place to be. For anyone who wants to live like the millionaire that you aren’t, on the yacht that you don’t have, then Mari Beach Club is the super-cool place for the super-chill people. It’s a lounge all day and spend daddy’s money style atmosphere.
Finally as evening comes, don’t go to sleep just yet. Grab some friends, or people who could be friends, and head to Echo beach to watch the incredible gigantic sun slip below the waves. The sunset here is the best in Bali.
Best Places to Stay in Ubud
Ubud is a special place, which despite the tourism and the western style yoga culture has retained its traditional Balinese ways of life. Staying in a villa here among the rice fields and jungle trees is something only found in this part of Bali.
Villa Amrita is in a scenic spot in Ubud that gives you fantastic views of the rice fields and the main volcano. It’s a short drive to the centre where all the restaurants from Italian to local Balinese are located. Each bedroom has its own terrace and a view of the twelve metre deep infinity pool.
This one is the ultimate in luxury, anything you can want, just ask. The private chef, on call masseuse and driver are available for your convenience. They even stock homemade ice cream in the freezer.
Villa Candi Kecil Tujuh Is the perfect place to stay if you want peace and quiet, but also to be close to the centre. With two spacious and peaceful gardens, and two swimming pools, there won’t be a shortage of relaxation space. The master bath even has a large bathtub in the en-suite bathroom. This hot spot is close to everything, being only thirty minutes to the Monkey Forest and close to the Goa Gajah Temple.
Villa Lora is perfect if you just want to get away alone or for an intimate honeymoon. It’s a one bedroom loft style villa with its own private pool and large bathtub. This intimate space features artwork from local Balinese artists and really brings the outdoors in with its large windows.
Places to Eat in Ubud, Bali
After choosing the perfect villa and unpacking a bit you must be hungry? Contrary to what it might seem, this jungle village is quite international. Ubud has many fantastic restaurants. To satisfy that craving for sweets and a really elevated dining experience Room For Dessert (R4D) is the eatery not to be missed in Ubud.
Internationally renowned chef, Will Goldfarb, has created a spectacular menu of uncommon ingredients and flavour combinations that will intrigue your taste buds. Be sure to stop by their grab and go shop for some handcrafted mars bars, homemade iced cream, and other one of a kind, made in house, treats. Everything both these establishments make is made from scratch with ingredients from their garden.
While in Bali you must try the local food since Indonesia is a country of many countries, each with their own dialect and food styles. There are beautifully delicious dishes like Nasi Campur, Mie Goreng, Soto Ayam, and the best one is Babi Guling.
After lunch, or really any time at all, (hey you’re on holiday) it’s highly recommended not to miss this Ubud institution for some incredible handcrafted cocktails made by master barmen. At Kawi Ubud they don’t just make a really good gin and tonic (actually you can’t even order basic cocktails) they have a special menu of local ingredients and flavours that sing beautifully together in creative and inventive new drinks.
Things to Do in Ubud, Bali
Ubud is known as a cultural hub for Bali, as with the royal palace, many museums and art galleries, there’s no shortage of things to do. One activity that’s great alone or with a group is to try your hand at making handmade Batik.
Batik is the traditional pattern that Indonesians wear and every region has their own design, sort of like their own flag. It sounds easy enough, however making Batik takes many years of practice because the patterns are made by drawing with small amounts of hot wax. It’s definitely worth checking out a class while you’re here.
For some exercise to burn off all this eating and relaxing weight Ubud uniquely has the Campuhan Ridge Walk. A stretch of path through the forest along the river where you can see the whole valley. It ends at an imposing temple. A perfect place to rest and take some photos.
About the Author
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About the Photo
The photo in the header above is of the epic Tegenungan Waterfall, Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. Photo by Ivor Tichonow.
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