Balance Your Mind, Body and Soul on the Island of Bali
Uttering the word alone seems to increase one’s presence. Bali is an experience unlike any other on this planet. The pristine beaches, the proud culture and the spiritual elegance is the beautiful portrait that makes up this Indonesian star. Whether you decide to voyage to a nearby seaside temple, piggy back on an elephant or ride world-renowned killer waves, your experience will be one that refreshes the soul.
Bali can be a lounger’s paradise, an adventurer’s playground or a spiritual seeker’s haven. But no matter your goals while walking on Balinese soil, you cannot easily avoid the mystical powers that enhance every experience. Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, is a seaside treasure overlooking the Indian Ocean from a 70-meter overhang. Known as one of the six spiritual pillars of Bali, the scene is picture perfect when the sun dips as you are able to experience the daily Kecak dance performance. Immediately head to Pura Tahan Lot Temple. The architectural structure of the temple screams “unsteady” yet the rock formation placed in the middle in the shallow waters of the Indian Ocean is as steady as they come, being recognized as one of the most stunning places in Bali to watch the sunset.
If you are looking to take a day trip, there are many Balinese options on the map. Jimbaran is a fishing village that mixes luxury with hard work. Many of the top resorts open their doors in this area. Dreamland beach is a top spot to lounge and drink. Kutu is a former fishing village turned popular destination for tourists. Known for the long sandy beaches, this beach district in southern Bali gives diners many delights to choose from. Wanting a mountainous escape? Journey up to Kintamani in north-east Bali where views are jammed with flashes from an active volcano, Mount Batur and Lake Batur. Before you climb in elevation make sure to grab a jacket as the climate is typically 15 degrees cooler in the hills.
Visitors opt for several reasons to strut their stuff on the Balinese turf but for the guests looking to leave with more than they came with, sign up for spiritual retreats to ensure a lasting imprint as they venture back home. Bali Soul Adventures is a unique way to get exactly what you want out of your experience. There is a four to seven-day custom made retreat that accommodates both singles and couples. Who doesn’t like to be picky with their spiritual enhancement? “Meditation, Yoga, Prayer and Restful Contemplation – in Silence” is the motto for Bali’s Silent Retreat. If you are looking to really tap into your inner workings, carve out your whole self and ‘master the art of nothing’ during your stay. Voted the best detox retreat in Bali, The Retreat Bali is located at the northeastern point of Bali. Designed to cleanse the body on a deep level, meditation, yoga and clean food choices work to balance mind, body and soul on these grounds.
Street food commonly peppers the thoroughfares of Bali. Anthony Bourdain raves about Ibu Oka warung in Ubud for its pure Balinese taste; however, there is no website and the joint is only open for lunch but worth every step to reach. Nearly hidden across from the former Royal Palace, the joint is known for its babi guling, or rather roasted pig. The vendor goes through nearly 30 pigs each day; It is what everyone orders and for good reason.
Chef Will Meyrick became inspired during his travels through Pacific Asia to create a restaurant that added the elegance to street food-inspired cuisine. Sarong opened its doors in ‘08 and has since made a name for itself big enough to reach multiple locations. The award-winning restaurant keeps street food cool yet classy and provides tasty Asian dishes.
Mama San is the sister restaurant to the beloved Sarong. The vision for the eatery was seen by chef Meyrick as a place that is more than a restaurant but rather a setting where diners can eat comfortably or chat at the bar with friends about the local happenings. The air-conditioned establishment adds a bit of relief from the Bali sun yet still invites an open atmosphere with a kitchen easily viewable by those dining. They are open for lunch and dinner and include both vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Chandi Bali is a sophisticated option for those looking to splurge on dining of Indonesia. The food is delicious, made with local and organic ingredients ensuring eaters get the full Balinese experience. Happy hour at Chandi Bali is a steal and people know it. Come ready to drink and order off of the reduced price menu.
In the popular nearby beach town of Jimbaran, filled with luscious eating spots, one stands out above the rest. Cuca entices the locals with a ‘casual sharing experience all about taste.’ The ingredients are always local while chef Kevin uses each and every Indonesian ingredient giving guests the ultimate cultural dining experience. The menu keeps the portion size light so you can dabble in a list of options including Honey Baked Pumpkin Salad, Mushroom Fritters and their unique ceviche.
La Favela is a restaurant and bar that will be an instant favorite as soon as you step through the wooden doors. The décor is wood coverings coating the inside with charismatic chandeliers dangling in all their glory while splattering insanely perfect light on everyone. Once you are finished marveling at the stunning decorations, order a drink from the skilled bartenders ready to work for your delight.
The Bistrot Bali is a vintage-style bar, restaurant and lounge that is subtly placed behind a temple in the Seminyak neighborhood in southern Bali. The industrial feel has an open atmosphere complete with sky-high ceilings and enormous chairs, splashing a bit of New York recognition into your Balinese time slot. Dubbed as a ‘fairytale adult’ experience, the drinks are poured in a creatively crafted approach in the upstairs bar while the guests can soak up the retro vibes lacing the scene. Food is served all day so there’s no need to interrupt your drinking time to find a suitable meal.
For the true Bali experience, hop into Hu’u Bali where the open air and views of the star-filled sky is only a portion of the appeal. The famously colorful roof is a staple in the area as everyone knows it to be the house of Hu’u. The live music and ever-flowing alcoholic beverages keep carousers coming back with a smile on their faces. The mix of luxury and fun is perfect for those who hope to sidestep dive bars but keep the pleasurable element of the night.
The beachside party scene at Potato Head Bali promotes day drinking well into the night. If the salt water life is not for you, take a dip in the infinity pool as it is open as long as the bartenders are mixing between the two bars. When the sun falls, the lights rise adding a special allure to the already attractive setting. Three restaurants also reside on the property so you can keep your stomach full as you dip into various drinks.
Recognized as a ‘retreat for change,’ COMO Shambhala is a spiritual experience notable to anyone stepping foot in Bali. Their holistic wellness approach adheres to an exceptional method of unique modern science mixed in with ancient healing. Complete with yoga centers, strength classes, energy healing and spa treatments, there is something for everyone to increase their relaxation techniques and soul building during their trip. The cuisine features a comprehensive menu of both raw and cooked options. With an aim to enhance energy and cleanse the body from the inside out, the chef delivers for the purpose of growing as an individual while shrinking in physical size.
Ayana Resort Bali is located in the luxury seaside town of Jimbaran and boasts a tropical elegance to the lucky guests who choose to stay. With 14 restaurants, three bars and 11 pools placed throughout the establishment, guests are bound to stay full, buzzed and wet during their time at Ayana. However, if you can make it to one attraction and one attraction only, run to the Bar on the Rocks as the outdoor picturesque drinking hole is positioned perfectly on the rocks to get bombarded by crashing waves with nearly every drink served. Wi-Fi, mini bars and 24-hour room service are available in all 368 rooms; however, please note in-room Wi-Fi is an additional charge while common areas provide the service for free. For the athletic type, a tennis court is on site and bike rentals are available to all guests. Spa on the Rocks is an enchanting experience where treatments are carried out on a villa on a rock formation walled by the Indian Ocean. Opt for the Chakra Dhara if your hope is to be pampered in a traditional signature Ayurvedic indulgence.
The Zen Resort Bali overlooks the Sea of Bali with a commitment to enhancing the Balinese culture through their natural surrounding environment and bringing inner peace to all who walk through their sanctuary. With 14 astonishing villas, each include a private terrace and sun-soaked day beds. Maitri Restaurant offers a modern placement of cuisine and décor while sticking to the belief that healthy is the best food, offering local and organic fare. The poolside garden at Aruna Restaurant at Zen is a special place to perch your body and soul as it overlooks the vineyards, rice fields and the Sea of Bali. The first-rate spa at Zen’s Amaris Spa will speak to your soul as you dive into the various Ayurvedic body treatments, or if you are craving a balance between mind and body, meditation, yoga and pranayama (controlled and cleansing breathing) are offered in the Zen Yoga center.