There are a lot of reasons to go to Bali- one is to get around and see the garden of eden like island, and the other is to be pampered at 5 star hotels beyond your wildest imagination. The ideal Bali vacation has a little bit of both.
We started our journey in Nusa Dua… The last time I was in Bali was November 2006, which was the year after a bombing and the low season. Also, I was staying in different area, and I did not realize how touristy Bali can be. I was in for a rude awakening when I landed in Nusa Dua. Nusa Dua is one of the most popular tourist areas. In fact, its pretty much JUST a tourist enclave. If you are going to stay there, you might as well just go to Acapulco. It has exactly the same feel. Huge resorts lined up on a gorgeous beach, with people trying to sell you stuff. Each hotel has 4 or 5 restaurants and most guests dont leave the hotel.
That is so not me. I did NOT travel for 30 hours to sit on a beach with a bunch of fat people from around the world.
Our first order of business was to rent our motorbike. Then we chilled for a day or two waiting for my brother to arrive from the Mentawai Islands. (My brother had been traveling for 6 weeks around Indonesia.)
When he got there, we started on a little backpacking journey circling the island on our motorbikes.
Our first nights stop was the Tugu Hotel in the beach and fishing villiage of Canggu. (Side note: a TON of pro surfers surf here… the waves are perfect, its a stones throw away from more touristy areas like Kuta(backpacker heaven: if you are single go to Kuta- lots of sexy young people) but its very isolated and quiet.)
If you want an authentic experience, coupled with idyllic nooks and crannies, silence and the sound of water falling, stay at the Tugu.
The hotel was founded by an avid Balinese and Javanese antique collector. You had me at hello. Every single piece in the hotel is antique and abounds with beauty. Parts of the hotel are a Balinese palace that dates to 1706.
Every doorway is spectacular. Koi ponds are everywhere and the some of the bungalows sit in the middle of them.
One of their famous dining rooms… the marble table is the largest and one of the oldest marble tables on the island. Im drooling over that chair.
Another very famous dining room. The red lacquered walls were amazing… The table seats 20 people!
Another shot of the dining room: An octagonal table in the lobby. Love the red top.
Since we arrived with no reservation, we were lucky to get a room. Luckily it was perfect… and it was also affordable. Some of the bungalows with plunge pools can go for a thousand a night! You can take a tour of our suite HERE.
A famous suite at the Tugu.The pool at the Tugu. All you hear is the sound of water falling and the ocean crashing less then 100 feet away. Those arent my legs. Just FYI.Look at that banister. Holy Crap.A traditional Balinese Warung, or open air restaurant. This one is over 100 years old. The kitchen of the Warung. The Tugu beach at sunrise. Notice how the picture is foggy… thats because its so humid in the morning that the lens fogs up. The gym…I cant get past the floor. Armoires, for no good reason. Just cause.
Fresh spices anyone? You can get cooking lessons there… A Bale…
I hope you all enjoyed my tour of the Tugu… I really really recommend it if you want to stay somewhere spectacular and way off the beaten track but still steeped in luxury… I loved it.
Can you believe I actually left this place to travel into the unknown?
Next up, the interior of the island, mountains, and the black sanded beaches of Lovina.