There is no better place to go for some sunshine than Bali. It’s my absolute most favourite holiday destination for some R&R.
Relaxing looks a little different these days as I have a toddler, but Bali is relatively close so it’s not too far to take the little ones and once you get there, it’s perfect for kids. My little babe, Edie, loves it and I still get a big dose of relaxing (even….gasp, reading!) so it’s a win win!
During our trip last year we shared a villa for the the first part of the trip with Monty, her partner Sam and their two boys in Uluwatu. It was heaven!! I’m usually more of a hotel person but this place converted me. I preferred hotels because I love people watching (aka staring and eavesdropping) but the secret weapon to this villa was having the option of going to the communal pool.
I am going to share all my secret gems with you so you will love Bali as much as I do!
WHERE TO STAY:
Uluwatu is great at the start or end of a trip because it’s super chilled out and doesn’t have the hustle and bustle. We stayed at The Ungansan (formerly the Semara) and it is nothing short of mind-blowing. That is not an exaggeration. Monty and I lost our tiny minds when we walked in here. The villa had an infinity pool that overlooked the beach where we basically camped out at for four days. They had to pry us off the pool step when it came time to check out.
When you want to escape the villa there is an incredible communal pool area as well. Choosing which pool you want to lay at will be your toughest decision.
The Ungansan also has access to Sunday’s Beach Club where you can and will fill your belly at every opportunity and swim in the crystal clear water. Yes please. The restaurant is situated right on the beach and is super family friendly. There are even toys available for little ones to loan while they are there to play in the sand.
Holy moly. The Samaya is my new go-to. We stayed in a one bedroom villa but it was practically the size of my house. Each villa has a stunning private pool if you want to stick close to your room (for us, this was perfect when our babe was sleeping). But the communal pool area is so beautiful we spent most of our time there – huge pool surrounded by daybeds overlooking the beach with a massive grassed area for kids to run around.
The restaurant is also by the pool overlooking the beach and is so delish. Edie became besties with the staff here, they were all so good to her, they were like magical unicorns entertaining the kids. No joke.
You absolutely must have sunset drinks here (and brunch drinks, and lunch drinks, and dinner drinks and after dinner drinks…don’t judge me, it is holidays after all).
The location is perfect too. You’re just out of the craziness of Seminyak but literally across the road from Sea Circus (super yummy breakfast and lunch) and a short stroll to Motel Mexicola (must-visit Mexican).
WHERE TO EAT:
Barbacoa, Seminyak – I am so upset that I didn’t go to this gem until my very last night so I couldn’t re-visit. My mate Chrissie Swan gave me this recommendation and it did not disappoint, it may have been my best meal in Bali. Get yourself here but make sure you book a few days in advance or you won’t get in and ask for an outside table overlooking the rice field.
La Laguna, Canggu – A friend that lives in Bali introduced us to La Laguna and we couldn’t keep away! It’s so stunning, right on the beach and chockers full of cute and quirky vintage antique decor.
One Eyed Jack – Canggu – if Japanese is your thing, then make a booking here pronto! This is the best Japanese I’ve had anywhere for a hell of a long time. I ate so much I couldn’t move and I don’t regret a second of it.
Finns Beach Club, Canggu – Finns has relocated from Uluwatu to Canggu and it’s definitely the place to be. You can go during the day and take advantage of the pool and have some lunch or head there for sunset drinks and dinner like we did. This is a must-do. Great for people watching too.
Sundays Beach Club, Uluwatu – it doesn’t get better than this. Right on the most perfect stretch of beach in Uluwatu with yummy food and a super chilled out vibe. This is what Bali is all about.
Motel Mexicola, Seminyak – this place has been around for a while but it’s still on my faves list. It’s always a winner. Best Mexican in Bali hands down. But these days it’s jam packed so make sure you book.
La Plancha, Legian/Seminyak – this place is super cool and laid back, so much so you can lay right back on bean bags on the beach. The food is yummy and the vibe is perfect. Family friendly too.
WHERE TO SHOP:
Magali Pascal, Seminyak – it’s dangerous how much I love this shop. It’s always my first stop and it never disappoints. This trip I picked up two dresses here and I wore them non-stop, such beautiful fabrics and prints.
State of Georgia, Seminyak – the prints at State of Georgia are not to be messed with! A trip to Bali without a visit here is a waste in my opinion.
Mister Zimi, Seminyak – You can’t leave Bali without checking out Mister Zimi, I’m a long-time fan of this label and the pieces you will pick up here are perfect to bring home with you in cooler climates too – dresses you can wear over tights, amazing jackets etc.
The Seminyak Flea Market – I LOVE the Flea Market! you are guaranteed to pick up a bargain or 349 here. Dresses, jewellery, shoes, handbags – you name it, you can find it here. And it’s not so big that it’s too overwhelming. There are two handbag stalls here and both are always winners for super stylish and beautiful, leather handbags. (On Oberoi, just past Seminyak Square)
Cat Sweet, Legian – the sandals at Cat Sweet are my fave in all of Bali (and yes, I’ve shopped everywhere, trust me!) (Address: Jl. Raya Seminyak, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung.)
Kids-a-go-go, Seminyak – my go-to for kids clothes and shoes. The styles and prints they have here are beyond beautiful, I spend so long in here deciding what to get because I always want it all!
Bali Baby Hire – these guys rock. They only thing I need to pack for Edie when I go to Bali is her clothes. All you have to do it make an order before you go – pram, high chair, toys – even nappies and wipes, and they organise for everything to be there and waiting for you in your hotel room when you arrive. They are like magic baby fairies.
Canggu Club -this is like play heaven for kids. If you have a child over two you need to take them here. There is a waterpark and Bounce Trampoline Centre. There’s even a gym, pool and spa for mum and dad to hang out at while the kids have a play.
Nannies – the nannies you can hire in Bali are seriously sent from God. I have been lucky enough to have been recommended a gorgeous nanny from Bali Nannies and now I let her know when I am coming to Bali and lock her in! It would not be the same experience without her. It’s not easy to leave your most precious possession with someone in another country but when you’ve been recommended a nanny/babysitter by a friend (like you would in Australia) then there’s no reason to feel uncomfortable. It’s so handy to have someone sit with your little one while they are sleeping so you can go out for dinner. James and I went out for way too many dinners and it was bloody amazing. If you would like any recommendations, please let me know in the comments section below.
Massages/Facials – you can’t go past Bodyworks in Seminyak for the best massages and facials. I’m still dreaming of them…
Blow-wave – The Shampoo Lounge – don’t deny yourself of a blow wave…you know you want to! The Shampoo Lounge do the best blowies and they are super quick (20 mins for my length!) and only $19!!! Why not go get one before you head home, if, like me, your idea of washing your hair on holidays is swimming in the pool.
Nails – Think Pink in Seminyak is my new fave. I just discovered it on this trip and they are fab – it’s sometimes hard to find the colour you’re looking for, not here! And are good – and quick – which is a win win in my book!
If you have any Bali questions, feel free to hit me up below! B xx