All in The Bali Issue

A Guide to Navigating Travel Recommendations

Everyone has different expectations when they travel. We all come from different backgrounds, prefer different things and have unique ways of how we like to see the world.

This became obviously clear to me during my recent trip to South East Asia. I spent a considerable amount of time researching cafes, restaurants and hotels, reading Google and Tripadvisor reviews, marking them on Google Maps, and then spent even more time trying out all the places. Over the course of 2,5 months travelling I became pretty good at researching and assessing places.

The 5 Best Bali Experiences

While all the places I stayed at in Bali were special, and all the massages, spa treatments, and food I’ve had were great, a few experiences stood out in particular. It’s hard to choose, but the ones below are some of my very favourite places and experiences I’ve had in Bali that I would 100% come back for and 110% recommend.

Bali Pros + Cons

Everyone I talk to seems to absolutely love Bali. I spent three weeks there and found some things I loved just as much as everyone else, and a few things that I wasn’t quite so fond of. In hopes of helping you decide whether Bali’s right for you, and in addition to my Guide to Navigating Travel Recommendations, below are my pro and con views on Bali.

Relaxing and Tropical Dream Vibes at Boho Bingin Beach

I spent my last two night in Bali at Boho Bingin Beach. Boho has such a nice, relaxed, light, and calm vibe. Maybe not such a big surprise, seeing it’s only a few minutes walk from one of Bali’s most beautiful and secluded beaches. I picked Boho at Bingin beach exactly for that reason - as I was researching beautiful, less well-known beaches in Bali I came across Bingin, and Boho looked like the perfect boutique hotel in the area. (They also have Boho Hills Dreamland and Boho Hills in Canggu opening soon).

Hydrangeas, Coffee, and Infinity Mountain Views at Munduk Moding Plantation

It wasn’t hard to fall in love with Munduk Moding Plantation (MMP). Being located high up in the Balinese mountains, the drive there was beautiful. Just before we arrived at MMP, we drove past numerous hydrangea fields - possibly my favourite flower ever. Hydrangea farming is the main business and source of income for people living in Asah Gobleg, the closest village to MMP. Seeing the flowers everywhere got me excited.

Villa Sungai - a Luxury Home Away From Home

Sungai isn’t just another hotel. Sungai and its little sister Sungai Gold are a unique version of luxury villas, located in Cepaka, a secluded area of Bali’s inland, yet only a 20 minutes drive away from Canggu. They come with everything you could ever ask for - elegant interiors, an intimate and bespoke experience, extraordinary service, and a luxury atmosphere. Sungai really takes a five star hotel experience to the next level, especially if you’re travelling with friends, family or a partner - it’s the perfect place if you want to spoil yourself in a private setting. You can either book either one of the two villas on their own, or the entire resort if you’re with a bigger group of people.

Hideout Beehive - a Bamboo Adventure in the Midst of the Balinese Jungle

Hideout is absolutely stunning! There’s not much more to say than that. It’s impressive, different, unique. Definitely unique. Hideout is a group of three individual eco, all-bamboo houses. They’re built by a small group of very talented Balinese workers, two of them bamboo specialists. The houses are situated right in the middle of the Balinese jungle, in Selat, just east of Sideman. It’s a hidden (not so secret anymore) retreat, perfect for anyone from solo travellers to couples to families or groups of friends who want to escape the crazy Balinese traffic, and experience an authentic, sustainable, connected-to-nature adventure.

Indonesian Food Explorations at Nusantara by Locavore

My trip to Bali was quite a spontaneous adventure, so most of my planning happened last minute. I was hoping to visit Locavore for their famous 5 or 7 course dinner, but being so popular all the days that I was in Ubud for were of course fully booked. Instead I tried Nusantara by Locavore, which must have been at least just as good. I went for lunch on a weekday, which was a great time. It wasn’t empty, but it wasn’t busy either.

Vegetarian and Italian Dreams come true at Dumbo Ubud

Just like The Elephant, Dumbo strives to be an ethical, clean, green and earth friendly restaurant. They use fresh ingredients, serve free osmosis filtered water, good Italian wine. All the fresh ingredients are grown in compost enriched, spring fed soils on the shores of Lake Bedugul and the slopes of Mt. Batukaru, and their permaculture garden next door provides fresh herbs for the meal and garnish for cocktails.