Special thanks to the Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa for organizing this trip and The Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay for their utmost hospitality.
I decided to travel to Bali exactly eight hours before my flight would take off. Making a hotel reservation, booking air travel and securing any necessary entry permits, all done within that eight hours from my Kuala Lumpur Renaissance Hotel room.
When the Air Asia flight landed on the airstrip of Denpasar, Bali – I looked out of my ten by five windows and had a genuine feeling of being exactly where I should be. One of those rare, beautiful moments you simply cannot wait to get off and go exploring like a kid all over again. The doors of the plane opened and lowered where a stretch of stairs before a little walk that took me to airport customs – filled with mostly European tourists and then onto baggage clearing.
At this point, I would have my first ‘interesting’ encounter. There were little shops ‘shacks’ really of the friendliest people waving and calling out -”come, come” ”money exchange.” It was the local currency exchange bureau before me in the middle of the airport. I smiled to myself and knew from that moment I was going to have a wonderful experience. The simplicity of the Balinese traditions filled with harmonizing smiles and musical instruments filled the air and immediately me. My Four Seasons Hotel transfer was ready and awaiting my arrival. I was greeted by a Balinese gentleman with the warmest smile as he said – ”good afternoon Ms. Persaud, I am Ketut and will be your driver to the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay. The air was humbling and the villages we drove through were bushy and low-key with motorbikes and roadside shacks filled with trendy clothing and shoes as we passed on by. Nothing seemed to fit, yet everything made up the charm that I fell in love with. The lightness in every breath that I took, the relax of my mind and sweet anticipation of what awaits me.
”Welcome to the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, Bali” was the immediate greeting as the doors to my private car opened and a beautifully charcoal eyed young woman, secured with a pink frangipani flower neatly held in her tightly pulled-back hair. A slight shudder of the shoulders, complimented with a smile as I was offered a refreshing welcome beverage. The architecture of the resort was elegant.
The decor was simply ‘Four Seasons,’ a grander of opulence merited with local inspirations. Inviting traditional Balinese instrumental tunes could be heard throughout the resort as I was taken to my suite. My eyes widened with delight as I entered large garden doors to not just my room but my own private oasis. An attached day room alongside an infinity pool overlooking the bay. I was in heaven, no I was in Bali.
The food was excellently curated. With an emphasis on wellness and nutrition, culinary flare and oh-so-delicious. Spa treatments are made here and done not only with authenticity but the healing of the traditions it was built on.
While I would have loved to do so much more and see the treasures of Bali, my time was limited as the true point of my trip was to have a much-desired getaway and so it was. A marvelous long weekend meeting great friends, shopping, probably having too much to drink and dining from some of the world’s finest chefs.
I’ve outlined a few tips to consider if planning a trip to Bali. Times have changed but if there’s anything you will still get is great service, food, resorts, and prices.
Best luxury resort for a Quiet getaway: Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran Bay
Best Shopping Tip: Don’t be afraid to check out those ‘roadside shacks’ there are a lot of really great fashion choices and bargains. It’s a local favorite and I can tell you ‘Balinese women’ in particular are sexy and wonderful for their fashion eye. There are a lot of local designers that just exude the beauty of the island in their apparel.
Favorite Lounge/ Party Spot: Karma Kandara Resort leads clubbers down a rock face via an inclinator to an enclosed beach where Karma Beach (formerly Nammos) awaits. This chic beach club features a bamboo-decked kitchen and pavilions, serving Mediterranean cuisine and a wide selection of cocktails. Karma Beach provides a secluded retreat on the island’s southernmost edge.
Things to tip: Don’t over plan. Bali is very unconventional in many ways. You’d never want to feel rushed since its idyllic and beautiful and must be taken in one breath at a time.
What to pack: Swimsuit, sunblock, sunhat, sarong, short short, sunglasses – ticket, wallet and off you go.
I do plan to do an extended trip with less partying and more exploring the great wonders of Bali, but until then I hope you enjoyed this number and it has inspired you to book a ticket to this unbelievably beautiful destination.