Lux­ury ona shoe­string

Live roy­ally with­out break­ing the bank - or see­ing a bogan

Warwick Daily News - - WEEKEND - TRAVEL with Bree An­der­son

IF YOU think Bali is filled with bo­gans in Bin­tang sin­glets, think again. My part­ner and I re­cently spent two weeks there and it was the most lux­u­ri­ous and re­lax­ing time we’ve ever had.

Seminyak

Our trip to Bali started with six days in Seminyak. We were pleas­antly greeted by our driver at the air­port. Supra has been a driver for 10 years and his Eng­lish was good. He even came shop­ping with me a cou­ple of times so I got the “lo­cal prices”. We would have been lost with­out him.

I was blown away by our Seminyak re­sort. We were greeted with an iced tea and cool face towel. The Royal Beach Re­sort is on the beach. I wouldn’t call it fancy but it was per­fect for us – two-for-one cock­tails, live mu­sic, large pool and day beds.

Day two started off with me join­ing a wa­ter aer­o­bics class – very Brid­get Jones. It was a good way to make some friends and have a laugh. Bali is all about do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent. Guys, don’t think the man­i­cures and pam­per­ing are just for girls. There’s no judg­ment in this place. The next cou­ple of days in­volved a lot of shop­ping. I sniffed out de­part­ment stores at the Beach­walk Mall in Kuta. Ladies, it’s a must visit. There are also lots of stalls out­side and in Kuta square if you’re look­ing for sun­glasses and hand­bags.

On the food front, wow, there were many hip cafes and restau­rants. One cock­tail ar­rived in a sea shell. Bali knows tourism – rooftop bars, beach clubs, any­thing you want. I had the best acai bowl I’ve ever had in Seminyak. I sug­gest not get­ting a buffet break­fast so you can ex­plore the cafes.

Gilli Is­lands

Af­ter our six days in Seminyak we de­cided to go on an ad­ven­ture to the Gilli Is­lands. Our driver picked us up and dropped us at Padang Bai. From there we were crammed on to a boat like sar­dines for about two hours. But it was worth it.

The unique thing about the Gilli Is­lands is there are no cars or mo­tor­bikes. The only form of trans­port is by horse and cart or bi­cy­cle. We hired a bike for three days and ex­plored Gili Trawan­gan, the largest of three is­lands.

On our bike ride I came across a ham­mock and swing in the ocean. It was like heaven on earth, such a re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to be ly­ing over wa­ter.

Uluwatu

Next stop, Uluwatu. The white sun wrapped around the is­land like salt on a mar­garita glass. The re­sort was, with­out a doubt, the most gitzy place I had stayed. Anan­tara Uluwatu is built on a cliff and has two in­fin­ity pools over­look­ing the ocean. Our ocean suite room was big­ger than our three-bed­room apart­ment at home. We spent the next three days ex­plor­ing the buffet break­fast and watch­ing the surfers from our in­fin­ity pool.

Our re­sort had its own pri­vate beach with an el­e­va­tor so it was very easy to get to and from the pool.

I would def­i­nitely put Bali on your bucket list. You can live like roy­alty over there and it won’t break the bank.

PHO­TOS: BREE AN­DER­SON AND STEVE HENEBERY

The Gilli Is­lands is a se­cluded get­away off the typ­i­cal tourist trail and, be­low left, an in­fin­ity pool at Anan­tara Uluwatu and the best acai bowl in Bali.

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