I’ve heard of the nature, wildlife, beaches and famous welcome so I was excited to experience Bali for myself! My first stop is Seminyak, a city full of life and known for restaurants, nightlife and shopping.
The Alila Hotel is located right on the beach; a beautiful modern property with three infinity pools, two of which are adults only and overlook the Indian Ocean. A Hindu temple is located in the middle, which made me feel like I’d fallen right into the Indonesian lifestyle.
My room was beach front with glass doors which seemed to open into the ocean. Inside: a gorgeous modern bathtub. Outside: a covered terrace, open spaces and customized Alila-branded products for him and her.
Seasalt Restaurant at the hotel offers phenomenal upscale cuisine with fireplaces and a beach terrace. I enjoyed the grilled Baramundi and other creative concoctions like the hot lava cake! If you venture out of the hotel there are many great choices. For Asian and modern cuisine among towering trees, I recommend Merah Putah. The vegetable dish with tuna sashimi appetizer was delicious and I followed it with Nasi Goreng (a dish indigenous to this region made with noodles, vegetable, spices and coconut lemongrass rice).
For Japanese, sushi or Asian cuisine try Dahana, a restaurant with an outside pool nestled inside a little palm tree forest. Ask for the seat underneath the lighted trees on the outside terrace. If you're up for drinks visit the Champagne Bar, a cute casual spot playing fun music and games. If you can guess the song you can win a free bottle of Champagne. Ask for a floating breakfast made famous in Bali at any hotel you choose - what a cool experience!
Most historical sites are quite far from this area. If you want to see waterfalls, ride with the elephants, or visit a monkey forest, you would be better off visiting the area of Ubud. I'll be sending an update shortly on the jungle region which approximately 1.5 hours drive further north.
You can still venture out to some islands nearby for a day trip with ferry ride or visit the monkey forest like I did!
These monkeys are used to humans and quite determined to get what they want, so be sure to keep your belongings in sight at all times. If you’re wearing anything dangling, they might make a jump for it.
The forest has many walkways and temples to discover. If you tip the locals working here, they’ll let you feed one of the monkeys so be prepared to hold your hand up strong, like me so he can jump on. Try not to be afraid of the monkeys! They certainly aren't afraid of you - in fact mine even crawled over my head. I enjoyed the scenery here, it feels like an adventure in a long lost forbidden city.
Shop till you drop! Everything here is ridiculously inexpensive. From flip flops, jewelry by local artisans and nice handwoven, linens or the softest high quality cotton materials, you will find so many products at great prices. You can even find nice shorts, breezy pants or dresses in cool styles for your wardrobe.
Bali has great coffee, too. It's ideal if you need an authentic Balinese souvenir.
_Please follow my adventures on Instagram @island_natalie _