Ocean Sunset Panorama, Bali, Indonesia

Bali – An Island Retreat

Bali is the perfect island retreat, with plenty of luxurious accommodation secluded in lush nature and lots of great art in its cultural capital, Ubud…

Bali is everyone’s favourite South-East Asian destination for a week long break. It’s popular and easy to get to from anywhere in the region and flights from further afield are affordable and frequent. The island is a tropical paradise perfect for both a relaxing retreat and a weekend of hardcore partying.

bali island retreat
View overlooking the Bali Sea

There’s plenty of great accommodation on Bali, for really reasonable prices. On the eastern coast, nearby the town of Amed, we stayed in Blue Moon Villas, which overlook the Bali sea.

bali island retreat
Fishermen out on the open sea

We got a two storied suite all to ourselves, with a private pool, which was fantastic. Most of our stay here on the east coast was spent drinking gin and tonics in the pool, to cool off, and eating fantastic Indonesian food from Blue Moon’s restaurant and tuna tataki served up in the café of the adjacent guesthouse.

bali island retreat
A statue of the Hindu holy cow

We also took a day trip to the Tirta Gangga water palace in Amed. It was kinda interesting, with its maze of large fountains and pools built in the very specific style typical of the island. However, it was a very hot day when we went, and to be honest, I’d have rather spent it chilling out in the pool.

bali island retreat
A statue overlooks a large pool, part of the Tirta Gangga Water Palace

Wherever you are on the island, there are a few day trips you should take, to really soak in Balinese life and culture – which they have in abundance.

bali island retreat
A waterside villa in the Tirta Gangga water palace complex

Ubud is the cultural hub of the island, the centre for both traditional and contemporary Balinese art and dance. I’ve been here many times, and the choices of restaurants, bars and shops never fail to amaze me. There’s so many of them, all of them good (as long as you keep off the main tourist track).

bali island retreat
Motorists on the roads of Bali

The level of craftsmanships in the art galleries and clothing boutiques are unparalleled in South East Asia. I’ve seen some very original pieces here – sculpture, clothing, you name it – and at reasonable prices too.

bali island retreat
Panorama of a paddy field

Around Ubud are many rice paddy fields, and taking a drive through them is a must. Luckily for everyone, they are unavoidable, especially if you’re coming to Ubud from Bali’s coast.

bali island retreat
A local resident collecting water from a spring

As you do, you’ll notice how the tacky bars, restaurants and malls soon peter out and the verdant Balinese countryside takes over – a welcome change, if you ask me. Inland, nature stretches out on, and on, and on.

In this natural paradise, we found the perfect retreat – to this day, one of the most amazing and memorable places we have ever had the pleasure to stay in – Amori Villas.

bali island retreat
The epic infinity pool overlooking the valley Amori Villas are built upon

Located in the heart of the island, a twenty minute drive from Ubud, this place is the perfect heaven. With only a handful of villas, it never really gets crowded.

bali island retreat
The verdant forests that covers a large part of Bali

We had the entire place, including its infinity pool, mostly to ourselves the entire time we were there. Although we did leave to ‘do the tourist thing’ on occasion, we mostly stayed put, enjoying cocktails and Balinese fishcakes in the lounge overlooking the valley below. We would return to Bali in a hearbeat – I suppose everyone would, and many do. It’s the perfect destination when you simply need to get away from it all.

bali island retreat
The sun casting its last golden rays onto the clouds as it set behind the horizon