Last week I headed over to Bali with my mum, to meet up with my sister, girlfriends and relatives… to attend a girlfriend’s wedding.
It was my first time in Bali! (I know. I may have been the last woman in Australia to visit Bali.) Anyway, despite having a million friends who have visited Bali, I did my own research on places to stay.
We were in Bali for 6 nights; we stayed 2 nights at an eco-sustainable boutique resort, 1 night at a moderately cheap and cheerful hotel and 2 nights at a inner city 9 bedroom villa (which we shared with the wedding party).
The venues were not sponsored. I wasn’t planning to write about any of them, but my mum and I had SUCH an amazing time in the eco-sustainable resort that I just had to share :)
We stayed at the Suarga Resort at Padang Padang
I had never heard of this resort before. No one recommended it to me. I found it on Trip Advisor, because it was close to the wedding venue and it stood out with its amazing photos and super-high ratings and reviews on Trip Advisor.
Suarga combines modern luxury of a resort with an environmentally sustainable ethos. It’s about 35 – 40 minutes drive from the airport, near Uluwatu, on the south west coast of Bali.
Perched on top of a cliff, the whole lounge, pool, and restaurant area of the resort had spectacular views of the ocean!
The main pool was gorgeous. I had a swim in the morning, afternoon and night time :)
The main structure was made out of recycled wood and bamboo – it was architecturally stunning.
In the hottest part of the day, we sat in the open-air, shaded lounge area. With fans and the gentle breeze from the ocean, we hardly felt the tropical heat and we were very comfortable. There also seemed to be no mosquitoes.
There were only ever 5 or 6 other couples in the lounge area. Maybe there were more, but it was always so deliciously quiet.
The whole place felt very secluded, peaceful, calming and relaxing.
We read novels, we had a cup of tea, had cocktails, had an afternoon nap on the lounge, ordered some nibbles, my mum did some tai chi on the balcony, I did a bit of wonky yoga – which my mum managed to snap before I lost balance!
All the other hotel guests did the same; they just chilled out quietly and calmly.
(At the other accommodation we went to, there were bus loads of tourists dropping in to gawk at the clifftop views, or huge wedding parties with camera men and people with walkie talkies – it was so noisy and it felt like a theme park. There were so many guests and strangers around that I felt I had to keep watch and stay on edge all the time.)
Breakfast was included in the price at Suarga and it was pretty damn good. There were a choice of eggs, and a whole spread of locally sourced fruits and homemade organic cereals, breads and jams.
We also had some tea and cake for lunch, and ate dinner in the resort for both nights. It was really good quality, restaurant level, fresh, local dishes.
My mum and I booked some in-room massages, which were excellent.
The ladies who did our massages were definitely more skilled and experienced than the massage salons we went to in Seminyak.
Unfortunately for our first evening, our air conditioner ran poorly, so it was a bit warm in the room.
So for the second night, the management upgraded us to a larger room, which was brand new and had a private infinity pool!
I woke up at 7am to have a dip. It was divine.
One morning we took a walk down to the beach. I discovered that I had booked at the Suarga Resort not knowing that it was right next to the beach featured in the movie, Eat, Pray, Love, with Julia Roberts.
The beach is called Labuan Sait Beach, or Padang Padang Beach, and it seemed like every person and tour group wanted to visit this place. It cost RP 10,000 (AUD 1) per person to enter the beach and the actual entrance to the beach was cut through rock and you had to walk down some steep steps.
We went there early, around 10am. It was a 2 minute walk from Suarga. It was a good idea to go early, because by 2pm I saw three buses pull up and huge groups of people were trying to get onto the beach.
I had a swim out into the ocean. The water was lovely and warm. There were seaweedy bits floating on top, but that was fine. The gentle ebb of the water was soooo relaxing.
The beach was actually quite small. And by noon, it was rather crowded that I was almost stepping on other people’s beach towels to let people pass me.
Even the cocktails (I mean, mocktails) were delicious! What an amazing view!
My mum and I had a fantastic time. I would LOVE to come visit again with my husband.
Personally, I wouldn’t bring my three kids here because they are too active and jumpy (they would want to do bombies in the infinity pool, play basketball on the wooden platforms, throw a football across the garden beds)… and they would spoil the peace and quiet for everyone else. I wouldn’t bring toddlers here either, because there are lots of wooden steps and I would spend all my time nervous and edgy that they might fall over.
We paid AUD$380 per night for a Muso Pentroom, with two single beds, and it was totally worth it.
We also paid an additional AUD$200 for 2 evening meals, 2 cocktails, several cups of tea and cake, 40 minute drive from the airport, and 2 one hour massages.
A humungous thank you to the staff and team at Suarga!
Of course, there were tonnes of other places I wanted to stay in Bali, which all looked equally amazing all with great reviews, interesting features and near different locations around Bali.
So if you need a few places to start your research (or a few quick pointers) I found a list of 7 Best Value Hotels to Relax in Bali, which you might find helpful.