We went on a holiday to Bali – for the first time! People always gape and gasp when I tell them I’ve never been to Bali.. but just never thought of going as I’d always had the impression it was a bit dodgy, a bit dirty, and not very interesting.
How wrong I was.
We went to the Seminyak area in Bali, and left completely charmed with the place. Yes, it’s obvious that Seminyak has been “done up” for tourists.. so the shopping street(s) are all very foreigner-friendly, with lovely little boutiques and gorgeous coffee and brunch cafes.
In fact, the main Seminyak area is so over run by foreigners that almost all the eating and shopping is Westernized… there’s very little local Indonesian options, at least from what I saw.
Normally all this lack of local authenticity deters us. I mean, if I wanted this Western type of experience I’d just stay in Sydney. But, somehow, Seminyak does it right and I adored the strange not-really-local vibe of the place.
We stayed at Alila Seminyak, and I could not recommend it more highly. Every whim and fancy was immediately catered for, the staff-to-guest ratio was really high yet discreet, and it’s all about the location, location, location.
Guests are treated to a cup of chilled homemade tea and a nibble to eat upon arrival. No queuing at the front desk – you’re seated on large sofas and everything is brought to you. Such a nice touch!
We dumped our bags down and immediately headed for their pool. The Alila has three infinity pools, and one of them was directly outside the glass back door of of our villa.
All 3 pools are the same depth – you can see in the photo it goes to about my waist. This means if you have infants or kids who can’t swim, you’ll need to come prepared with floats. My kids both can swim, so it’s the perfect depth for them as they could dive head-first into the water to pick up pebbles and spent most of the day diving away.
We swam from sunrise to sunset ;) The sunset is beautiful in Seminyak and the weather is warm and balmy, so it never gets too chilly to swim.. even at dusk.
Most of my days were spent making really tough decisions, like.. do I have my cocktail lounging outside the pool, or in the pool?
Correct answer: one each.
This was the breakfast served at Alila. Just a sample of their dishes, as they have a large menu. Yes – everything I had was vegan or vegetarian, every day! (except that piece of bacon, which Chris ate).
Actually a lot of the food in Seminyak was vegan/vegetarian, and totally in sync with the whole I-do-yoga-and-live-by-the-beach lifestyle and vibe they’ve got going on. The new healthy me really loved this.
No, the kids didn’t go vegan, but they were pretty much vegetarian (plus fish) during the trip. Their standard breakfast was eggs, toast, fruit selection, and nuts.
Breakfast on the wooden deck by the ocean was pretty sublime. If only we could live like this every day!
And yes, I really was vegan – the coffee I’m holding is with soy milk.
Cocktails by the sand and surf. It’s surprising to see sand so clean and fine, and skies so blue and crystal clear, when Bali is so close to Singapore.
Alila has a kids playroom that the kids went to every day at noon when the sun was too hot. It’s air conditioned and has a baby sitter, which is fantastic for parents that want some time to themselves.
They have a bunch of toys, and a TV with movies and computer games. Would be even better if the organised craft activities were complimentary and not an extra surcharge.
Every morning, Chris woke up at 6AM to hit the gym, and then I went to the hotel’s yoga class when he got back. I loved their classes as it was actually fairly challenging and such a lovely way to start the day.
I’d envisioned Seminyak to be packed with people, and whilst the main shopping district is, the beach was not. The sand is extremely flat so it makes it really fun for the kids to play in. Waves are surprisingly strong, so even though they come ankle-deep (because of the flat beach), it’s enough to knock a toddler over. The kids had heaps of fun ‘jumping’ the ankle-deep waves and they dubbed the ocean “bubble bath ocean” because of how foamy the water was.
So I had all these grand ideas of doing fancy yoga poses by the beach. And… yeah…….. I only achieved the above. The most basic of yoga poses. Between the really strong ankle-deep waves and sinking sand, it was actually SUPER hard to do even this basic pose!
Much respect to yogis that do all sorts of crazy yoga poses in the surf.
Gorgeous (and impressive) fireworks display in our villa’s back garden. So close that I could feel the heat.
One last photo of that gorgeous Balinese sunset. What an unforgettable beach.. I’m desperate to go back!