The Indonesian island of Bali lies less than six hours by plane north-west of Brisbane. It’s an easy day flight up (although a slightly more painful night flight back) – a very manageable journey for a short escape.
The last time we had been to Bali was eight years ago, and I was worried that the peace and tranquility that we were seeking for our mini-break would be harder to find this time around. The traditionally quieter areas of Seminyak, Jimbaran Bay and Nusa Dua are now often choked with traffic and crammed with new developments and construction. Were we dreaming if we thought we’d be able to enjoy deserted beaches, perfect sunsets and shaded spots by the pool?
Luckily for us, despite all of the tourism growth that Bali has experienced over the last decade, these pockets of paradise still exist if you know where to look for them. One of these spots is set on the beaches of Tabanan, about an hour and forty-five minutes by car north of Denpasar airport – it’s called Alila Villas Soori.
Luxurious. Ambient. Rural. Peaceful. Magical.
Their website states that Alila Villas Soori “might just be the very definition of paradise” and I couldn’t agree more. The attention to detail is extraordinary; the quality of the finishes excellent; the facilities fantastic; the cuisine diverse and delicious; the service impeccable; the beachfront and rice paddy backdrop breathtaking.
The pool, Alila Villas Soori
The view from reception, Alila Villas Soori
Afternoon Tea is served!
Sunset from the beach in front of Alila Villas Soori.
While its location means that you can’t pop into town to go to dinner or do a spot of shopping, there is still so much on offer for guests to enjoy here during their stay. Like the idea of going to the local market with the chef, picking out the ingredients and then coming back and cooking with him in the Alila kitchen? Or perhaps you have a hankering for Kopi Luwak (think of Jack Nicholson in “Bucket List”) and would like to watch the unique coffee-making process and taste some coffee-based delights? Or are you more interested in village life, with visits to a blacksmith, local artists, rice paddies and hill-top temples more your speed?
Maybe you are there simply to unwind – yoga on the beach at sunrise, horse rides through the surf, or just a good book and a cocktail under the frangipani while you dangle your feet in the pool. As much or as little as you want – the Alila experience is personal and flexible. That’s why I love it so much.
Ideally you would want three or four nights at Alila Villas Soori to fully enjoy all that is on offer and to truly relax and unwind. A stay here also combines beautifully with one of the other Alila Villas properties at Ubud or Uluwatu.
We only had two nights at Soori before we had to say goodbye to paradise and head to the busy streets of Seminyak. We were lucky that we still managed to find a little tropical retreat in the midst of the construction and honking car horns, tucked back off the main street of Jalan Petitenget just near the exclusive W Retreat and Potato Head Beach Club. It’s called Tony’s Villas and is a great little three star property on the Kerobokan/Seminyak border.
Deluxe 1 Bedroom Villas, Tony’s Villas
The pool at Tony’s Villas
Tropical garden surrounding the villas, Tony’s Villas.
The purpose of our stay here in Seminyak was to have massages, try different restaurants and bars and to do a little shopping. We had a great time, especially trying out the food and beverage options that fill the streets of Seminyak. Ku De Ta, Potato Head, Petitenget, Drop Coffee Spot, The Decks and Bali Bakery were all sampled and enjoyed. For massages and beauty treatments, Bodyworks is a great option – it is very professional and well-priced. You can book via their website before you get to Bali.
So after four blissful days and a final cocktail by the beach, it was time to head home on that overnight flight and back to parenthood and daily life.
Sunset from Potato Head Beach Club, Seminyak.
I’m already planning our return…