Ideas to do in Bali on a Rainy Day...

Source: Icon photos

Source: Icon photos

So it looks like you’re going to have some rainy days on your hands during your Bali trip. Bali is a mecca for beaches, nature and outdoor living but here are some activities to save for a rainy day.
 
Cooking Class: Balinese and Indonesian cuisine cooking classes are a great way to enjoy a meal. Bumbu Bali based in Nusa Dua takes you on an early morning visit to local vegetable and fish markets and the host Heinz reveals the answer to the chicken or egg question during the class. Transfers from some locations are included. Further North in Ubud there are plenty of cooking classes to choose from with many of the restaurants on the main streets advertising classes.

Yoga: Yoga is the perfect wet weather activity, with many yoga centres offering open air but undercover yoga shalas. Some of our favourites are Yoga Barn in Ubud, Desa Seni in Canggu and Seminyak Yoga. All studios offer beginner classes, so why not make a week of it.

Spas: Spa treatments at most spas are often more than half the price of what you might pay back at home. Even if you’re not usually a spa person, this is the perfect time to indulge in some guilt free pampering. We love Prana Spa in Seminyak, Cleopatra Spa on Batu Belig, Cozy Spa (multiple locations) and Taksu in Ubud. From body scrubs, hot stone, Balinese and slimming massages- you could easily busy yourself for an entire week.

Scuba: The weather can’t rain on your parade if you’re under the sea. Embrace your inner mermaid/merman and go where it’s wetter. Get in touch with La Manta Diving in Nusa Dua or Aqua Marine Diving in Seminyak. They are both Western run and will happily arrange everything from transport to equipment to first time dives. You will pay much less than at home, the water is warm and there is so much more to Bali than you ever knew.
 
Cinema: Beach Walk shopping center has a large movie theatre called Cinema XXI (http://www.balicineplex.com/2012/10/beachwalk-cinema-21-xxi-kuta-bali.html) showing the latest blockbusters (in English!). The also have a ‘Studio Premier’ theatre where you can watch films in luxury with seat service including food and drinks, blankets and seriously comfortable reclining chairs. All this for around $7USD per person, with the standard theatre costing around $4USD. At such great prices, it’s the perfect activity for the whole family. They even serve Choc Tops!

High Tea: A tower of beautifully presented finger food and cakes and pastries accompanies by tea or even a glass of bubbles. Has anyone ever finished the whole spread? High Teas can be great value for the amount of food you get. Our favourites include; the Métis Le Jardin High Tea, Caramel Patisserie in Ubud and at Biku there is also an option for a kids high tea.

Shopping Centers: For many, shopping is a huge draw card of a trip to Bali. Bali now has several shopping centers, Beach Walk and Discovery in Kuta with some great European chain stores, DFS Galleria offers luxury brands and duty free shopping, The Village Seminyak has many local designer boutiques for the best in resort wear. Equipped with shelter and air conditioning, it’s win/win.

Nail Salons: Not just for the ladies, many a male can be found in nail salons across Bali. We love Amo Spa in Seminyak and Think Pink Batu Belig. Lady Marmalade Nails in Seminyak also do High Tea packages including Biku High Tea and is perfect treat for kids.
 
Get photographed in traditional Balinese attire: For around $35USD you can be photographed in traditional Balinese costume, including make up. Most companies offer free pick up and drop off. It’s another fantastic way to embrace the local culture and have a laugh when you see yourself transformed into Balinese royalty.
 
Waterparks: In Bali there is currently Waterbom in Kuta and Splash at Canggu Club. Waterbom has just opened a number of new rides. You’ll be getting wet anyway so you might as well be plunging feet first into a pool from 16m at 70km an hour!
 
Sunday Brunch: Many of Bali’s top hotels now offer Sunday Brunches, where you can induldge in buffets of everything from fresh seafood, cuts of tender meat, antipastos and Willy Wonka worthy desserts. Don’t be fooled by the name, Brunches are a often a full day affair with most places offering free flow drinks packages including wine, champagne, beer and cocktails and use of their pool afterwards. Nikki Beach in Nusa Dua hosts a party following their Brunch every Sunday.

Canggu Club- Canggu Club is a great option for families, with Splash Waterpark, Bounce Trampolining and a Bowling Alley.
 
Café hoping- There are so many brilliant Western run cafes in Bali. Some serving great coffee, health foods or the latest craze, smoothie bowls. One can easily spend a day hopping from one café to another, with a book or a laptop to wait the rain out.
 
Fine Dinning- The ever increasing number of trendy fine dinging restaurants means you will be swamped for choice. Between Mamma San, Saigon St, Barbacoa, Merah Putih and many more you will fool like a true ‘foodie’. We’re excited for the Grand opening of the newest establishment on the must try list, Shanghai Baby. Grab your ‘bests’ out of your suitcase and order the iron from room service because these aren't flip flop and shorts type establishments.
 
Kecak Cultural Performances- If you want to feed on some culture, the traditional Kecak performances in Ubud, whilst touristy are still a wonderful snapshot of Balinese song and dance. Hotel Tugu in Canggu also does a more intimate performance every Thursday.
 
Shop for handicrafts- Ubud has a large handicraft market as well as many Art Galleries. The best way to visit these is to grab an experienced driver like our very own Agus (agus@thebalibible.com). Take an umbrella or poncho so you can stay dry when skipping from one shop’s awning to another.

Grab a cocktail- Potato Head or Sports Bar, watch the rain pass and be glad that you’re not one of the people that got caught out on a scooter!
 
Looking for something a bit more out of the box? Head to a Luwak Coffee plantation and try the famous ‘Luwak poo’ coffee. In Kerobokan there is ‘Escape Hunt’ real life escape game, Totem Challenge in Kuta, Trick Art gallery and a Timezone at Bali mall Galleria. Karaoke is also a brilliant group activity to get you all giggling.

Tragically the Yellow Bridge has collapsed killing at least eight people

Tragically overnight, the iconic yellow suspension bridge connecting Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan collapsed, killing nine people and injuring at least 30, officials say.

The narrow Jembatan Kuning (yellow bridge) was the only connection between Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan and was wide enough for motorcycles and pedestrians. Police officer Arendra Wahyudi said there were too many people passing over the bridge for a religious ceremony when it collapsed at 6.00pm local time Sunday.

Having travelled over this bridge many times, our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to all the family and friends of the victims and those injured.

 

The gorgeous Hotel Tugu - Canggu's first hotel.

On the Southwest coast of Bali, on a long stretch of sand facing the Indian Ocean, Canggu’s first hotel, Hotel Tugu was built. Tugu houses the owner’s personal collection of Indonesian antiques that tell the story of an ancient kingdom and romantic past. A one of a kind destination, The Tugu takes great pride in providing a rich cultural experience for all of its patrons. Tugu is not only renowned for its prime, beachfront location and its beautifully curated antique collection set upon its premises, but also hosts a spectacular and intimate Cultural Evening of Balinese dance. Tugu also offers an Aphrodisiac Sunset Picnic set upon the beach and is also responsible for Batu Bolong’s new buzzy hot spot for original Asian inspired cocktails, Ji at Bale Sutra Japanese Fusion, Fine Wines and Sake Bar and a world class, award winning Spa, The Waroeng Djamoe Spa.

The Tugu group has 4 hotels and 6 restaurants built by Anhar Setjadibrata, possibly Indonesia’s largest collector of Fine Indonesian art. A lawyer turned antique collector, Mr Setjadibrata is the owner of a large and priceless collection of fine Indonesian art and antiques. His fascination with artefacts from Indonesia’s history began when he was young and as he procured more and more priceless items, he realised the first Tugu Hotel Malang as a way of sharing his collection and passion with others. Hotel Tugu Malang houses one of the largest collections of Javanese, Chinese and Dutch colonial antiques in Indonesia and is ranked among the 101 Best Hotels in the world.

Hotel Tugu Bali’s architecture and interior reflect the art, culture and history of Indonesia and Bali in particular. The Bale Agung Grand Ceremonial House, also the hotel’s lobby is presided over by a 4.5 meter statue of Garuda carved from a 120 year old tree trunk which lends itself as the stage for the cultural performances. The performance is designed to revive and preserve the almost forgotten stories from the past using traditional dance, music and costumes every Thursday. Much more intimate than similar cultural performances that can be found in other tourist areas, the performance can be enjoyed over a traditional and lavish Tugu style banquet by both in-house and outside guests. For those looking for something more romantic, the Aphrodisiac Picnic comes to life as the sunsets over the Indian Ocean and the romance comes to life. Lying in an 18th century antique bed illuminated by oil lanterns and the twilight sky, you will be tucked in for a private gourmet picnic which ends with two blindfolds and a dessert tasting plate.

The suites of the Tugu are housed in individual thatched roof traditional style buildings tucked into lush tropical gardens and natural lotus pond. All suits are stones throw from the beach. All ground floor suites have a private pool, with the upstairs suits a view of the ocean and a luxurious sunken bathtub. The Waroeng Djamoe Spa and its menu of exotic, original and exotic treatments are also not to be missed. Treatments range from herbal baths, al fresco treatments to the sound of waves and massages incorporating aspects of Balinese Dance and Hindu mantras. The Waroeng Djamoe Spa acquaints you with the deeply spiritual side of Indonesian history and all treatments are sure to transport you to an other-worldly state.

The Tugu has very recently expanded into dining with the opening of Ji at Bale Sutra, Japanese Fusion, Fine Wines and Sake Bar. The interiors are a fusion of Japanese and Peranakan Chinese, with the building composed of a 310 year old Chinese temple rescued from ruin in Java. The red room creates an electric, exotic atmosphere for dining. In both languages, the word ‘Ji’ translates to temple and the restaurant pays its respects to the history and cuisine of each culture. Their dishes all fit for a monarch’s menu include delectable Maki Rolls; the Crab and Fennel Tsukiji Salad; the most melt-in-your-mouth Pork Belly with ginger & scallion; and the the Smokey Salmon Zaru Soba with home-smoked salmon belly and citrus broth. The Japanese Kabuki theatre inspired bar area serves appropriately oriental and theatrical cocktails, finest Japanese sake and world class wines. JI’s signature cocktail Gin and Tea- a delectable blend of Dragon Tea-Infused Tanqueray, Aperol, Grapefruit and Lemon, is best enjoyed along with some of the finest sushi on the island as the sun begins to set somewhere far beyond the horizon.

Owner Mr Setjadibrata was a friend of Belgian painter Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merprés who made Bali his home in the 1930’s and shared a passionate love affair with his muse and lover Ni Polok. Many of the artworks that were a product of this passionate romance are iconic to Bali’s history over the past 100 years and have been inherited by Mr Setjadibrata. Much of the romance of The Tugu can be attributed to the true stories of Indonesia’s past that have been brought to life by priceless antiques, carefully curated over decades. If you are looking to scratch beneath the surface on your next stay in Bali, choose The Tugu Hotel.

See more at https://www.tuguhotels.com/hotels/bali/ or check them out on facebook at:

Ji Restaurant: https://www.facebook.com/jirestaurantbali

Tugu: https://www.facebook.com/tuguhotels

 

AND that's a wrap - A Sunnyside Up 2016 Review.

They came in swarms, they danced to the music, they sang to the songs that flowed though the air by the artists who performed, over the two magical days for Sunny Side Up Tropical Festival  – presented by Potato Head and Ismaya Live at Potato Head Beach Club.
 
It seems only yesterday we were lucky enough to experience both jam-packed days of world class performances in a world class venue under perfect blue skies and starry nights. Dance party meets pool party – who wouldn’t love it!
 
Day one had a line-up of some incredible artists to get the crowd moving and very excited such as Blonde an English deep house duo from Bristol, French DJ Breakbot, Ta-Ku an Australian musician, Indonesia’s Kimokal and Dipha Barus and UK DJs Matty Wainright and Phat Phil Cooper. Headlining and to complete day one was extremely multitalented British native Mark Ronson and boy did he have the crowd coming alive and together, playing all his hits.
 
Day two’s line-up featured Australia’s Hermitude an electronic hip hop EDM duo, Sam Feldt, a dutch DJ and electronic producer, the beautiful George Maple an Australian singer/songwriter, and a collection of great DJs to complete the day with Stars and Rabbit, Stevie G, Adriano Giordano and Stuart McLellan. But to complete day two and what was one fun packed weekend of music was British DJ duo Disclosure with which words can’t describe the excitement they brought among the crowd who was busting at the seams to see these Brits do what they do best.
 
The final song was ‘You & Me’ - arguably Disclosure’s greatest hit to date….and what a way to finish…Experiencing the crowd all sing and dance together with passion, enthusiasm and energy was the exactly how a festival like this should close.
 
2016’s Sunny Side Up Tropical Festival sure brought the good vibes to the island and we cant wait to see what 2017’s event will deliver.

Written by Jesse Kirley & Charlotte Piper

Double-Six Luxury Hotel offers a one stop vacation with stylish beachside living...

Double-Six Luxury Hotel offers a one stop vacation with stylish beachside living...

How do you define living it all? At Double-Six Luxury Hotel, Seminyak, a new chapter in stylish beachside living comes to life right in front of your very eyes. Enjoy your vacation in style in a Double-Six suite, your home away from home. Take in the sunset, ask the butler to pop open a bottle of champagne, chat with our chef or do nothing at all. The choice is yours.

Looking for quality cuisine in the Seminyak Region? Look no further than Barbacoa Bali!

Looking for quality cuisine in the Seminyak Region? Look no further than Barbacoa Bali!

Looking for quality cuisine in the Seminyak Region? Look no further than Barbacoa Bali who have established itself as one of the finest eateries in Bali over the last 12 months, attracting a food savvy crowd who flock through doors daily for the sumptuous flavours, super cool crowd, warm décor and service. Open from 12 Midday to 12 midnight for Lunch, Tapas or Dinner, Barbacoa is located on Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan. 

It's Sunny Side Up Time again!

It is that time of the year. The crowds pour in, the sun is beaming across the tropical island, and Bali vibes pulse through our veins. But there is one thing that we have all been waiting for and it has finally arrived.

This August 13th and 14th, the infamous Potato Head Beach Club and Ismaya Live presents one of Bali’s most anticipated events, the 3rd Annual Sunny Side Up Tropical Festival.

It's back and it's bigger, with world renowned artists, an awe inspiring venue and a perfect excuse to let loose and dance the night away. This two day festival is not one to miss.

Ismaya Live a young dynamic group who are passionate about lifestyle and entertainment have been behind some of the biggest musical festivals such as Djakarta Warehouse Project, We The Fest, Electro Run and Love Garage not to mention brought some of today’s biggest music artists to Indonesia for concerts for One Direction, Katy Perry, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Fat Boy Slim and David Guetta to name a few.

Ismaya Live believe it’s all about the whole experience, right from the moment they announce that your favourite artist is playing to the fireworks at the end of show. It’s all about the unforgettable experience and Ismaya will sure be delivering this at Sunny Side up festival. 

Each year expats and tourists alike wait for the line up. With this summer's festival filling up over two days of epic music and good vibes, you won’t be short on entertainment… You might end up having to go both days!

Let’s get you excited for day one with an amazing line up and headlining day one is the incredibly talented Mark Ronson, an English musician, DJ, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is best known for "Uptown Funk," featuring Bruno Mars. The song earned Ronson the 2015 Brit Award for British Single of the Year. Day one also features Blonde a English deep house duo from Bristol, French DJ Breakbot, Ta-Ku an Australian musician, Indonesia’s Kimokal and Dipha Barus and UK DJ's Matty Wainright and Phat Phil Cooper.

Day two will be just as huge and exciting with the UK’s Disclosure headlining. Disclosure are an English electronic music duo consisting of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence. Their debut studio album was nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. They are known for their hot singles "White Noise" and "You & Me".

Playing with Disclosure on day two is also Australia’s Hermitude an electronic hip hop EDM duo, Sam Feldt, a dutch DJ and electronic producer, the beautiful George Maple an Australian singer/songwriter, and a line up of some great DJ's to complete the day with Stars and Rabbit, Stevie G, Adriano Giordano and Stuart McLellan.

Hurry and grab your tickets before they are all sold out!

Introducing ‘WED YOUR WAY’ by W Bali

Introducing ‘WED YOUR WAY’ by W Bali - A wedding concept that sets the scene for couples to say I do in style for all of your celebratory moments.  A one-of-a-kind comprehensive wedding experience that encompasses the brand’s signature style, sophistication.

Your bespoke wedding will be planned to perfection with a W specialist designated to make the most of your experience and tend to all of the details. From playlist curation by the W Music Director, to a social media concierge to capture all of the finest moments or perhaps the W Insider to help deliver hangover kits the next morning –W has thought of it all.

Couples can abandon the expected, amplify every special moment and say ‘I do’ in Bali, one of the world’s most romantic islands and have the ultimate retreat destination wedding experience – all without lifting a finger. Why settle for something ordinary when the special day is so much more?

A ‘WED YOUR WAY’ wedding consists of the following programs:

1.        Vows with a View

The ceremony package includes a beachfront ceremony, the latest floral trends from the in-house W team, commemorative certificate and more.  Add on signature touches that only W can deliver.

2.         You & I

You can tell your compelling story through unique multimedia platforms. No matter what the you have in mind, W Bali will bring the most romantic visions to life, whether a grandiose gala or a more private affair. By working closely with preferred photography and video vendors, it will be certain that your moments are captured against most iconic and impressive backdrops.

3.        Set the Stage

What happens at W stays at W! Throw all inhibitions to the wind, you can partake in the ultimate stag night and hens/bridal party, making your last hurrah a memorable affair. Let the W Insider make the plans and paint a ‘night on the town’ for the wedding party, while W personal training packages offer invigorating, unconventional workouts to keep the bride and groom at the top of their game. Not to forget, you can experience spa treatments to rid yourself of that party under the eyes and look your absolute best for the big day. 

4.        The Beat Goes On

The real party begins with access to the famous WOOBAR featuring resident and international DJ’s. Make it memorable in true W style with late night W Bites. Afterall, everyone loves a good after party, especially when it is at one of Bali’s iconic venues. 

5.        Over the Moon

When the dust settles, the newlyweds can be whisked away on a fabulously fresh honeymoon adventure, complete with a spectacular suite and tailored itinerary. Looking for private helicopter transfer to explore the island or have lunch on the Gili’s after some snorkeling? No problem. Just ask.

For more information visit www.wbaliwedding.com and follow along #WEDYOURWAY

The Club @ The Legian - one club you'll never want to leave.

THE ENTRANCE

Experiencing The Club at The Legian was special to say the least.

Entering through an exclusive looking alleyway directly opposite the main resort, you are met with a romantic and warm lobby, and then some of friendliest staff in Bali. The Club at The Legian Bali is a real gem – an exclusive hideaway set opposite the shores of beautiful Seminyak Beach.

With both one and two bedroom options, their two bedroom villas have been updated and redesigned with friends and families in mind, a two-in-one tropical estate with pool allows guests traveling together to luxuriate in their private time too. Their one bedroom villas are occupied with a lush private garden and gorgeous traditional Balinese villa, that opens onto large 10-metre swimming pool and shaded balé.

You couldn't ask for much more at The Club, and with 24-hour butler service from 'personality filled' staff, and prime stretch of golden sand adjacent to the island’s best shops and Asia’s most stylish nightlife all at your doorstep. 

THE FACILITIES

Facilities too are thoughtfully designed to exceed your imagination, from the indulgent details within The Club’s exclusive haven to the dining, spa and business amenities of the adjacent Legian Bali.

Seminyak’s most private and intimate villas are set generously apart amidst thriving tropical gardens and alluring swimming pools, swaying coconut palms and stunning sunsets the Indian Ocean.

THE SPA AT THE LEGIAN

With dark teak timber and soft creamy interiors, the spa at the Legian feels soothing and timeless. With your own private stretch of Seminyak Beach in front of you, you are able to drift away amidst a verdant garden where talented and well trained therapists deliver timeless Balinese healing traditions.

THE RESTAURANT

The Restaurant showcases the finest products found in Bali and is a combination of French and Southeast Asian techniques, emphasizing on robust flavors. The Restaurant offers appealing indoor and outdoor dining for guests and with Executive Chef, Luke Macleod creating culinary masterpieces every time! We had a tour of the kitchen with the very friendly and talented Luke, who showed us the extensive preparation, care and love that goes into every meal!

For more information on the Legian or to make a booking email them today at reservation@thelegianbali.com

INTRODUCING Sunday's Beach Club!

YOUR FAVOURITE BEACH CLUB HAS A NEW NAME...

Introducing THE UNGASAN CLIFFTOP RESORT AND SUNDAYS BEACH CLUB!

Previously managed under the Semara brand for five years, the resort’s current in-house management team remains unchanged, and will focus on not only continuing the resort’s legacy of excellence, but also enhancing the award-winning destination.  

With some exciting new upgrades to the already popular Beach Club, the renamed 'Sunday's Beach Club' will bring a new Sunset Deck, food and quality service, while The Ungasan Clifftop Resort is rolling out an attractive new rate restructure for all seven of its private villas. 

To better reflect the resort’s distinctive qualities and rich cultural heritage, the resort’s new name honours surrounding Ungasan Village, which is home to most of our staff and their families.

Inspired by everyone’s beloved ‘day of rest’, your favourite beach also has a new name. Sundays Beach Club makes every day feel like Sunday. Staff will wear smart new uniforms, inspired by surrounding hues of sapphire, turquoise and sand, complementing the club’s relaxed, yet upmarket ambiance. In-house and visiting day guests are invited to ride The Ungasan’s gentle cliffside inclinator down to the beach, where a picturesque coastline, framed by limestone cliffs and the Indian Ocean, never fails to make a memorable impression. 

The beach club’s focus is to not only provide guests with the island’s best selection of water-based activities, including snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming in the lagoon, but also to continue the fun on through the evening with cosy bonfires and marshmallows at dusk, live music and scrumptious dinners beside the sea. 

Loyal guests will be happy to reconnect with all of their smiling old friends, as the on-site management team remains unchanged. First time guests have the opportunity to meet many of the island’s friendliest and most knowledgeable team members, always ready to assist in creating an unforgettable holiday experience.

To enquire about The Ungasan Clifftop Resort’s newly revised villa rates, or to reserve your spot at Sundays Beach Club, please feel free to contact reservations@theungasan.com.

To celebrate the rebranding, we're offering you an extra 10% discount off your final bill at Sundays Beach Club by mentioning Bali Bible upon paying their bill for the month of June!Get on down and checkout this stunning beach club!

Introducing The Ungasan Clifftop Resort, Uluwatu

Introducing THE UNGASAN CLIFFTOP RESORT - Uluwatu, previously managed under the Semara brand for five years, the resort’s current in-house management team remains unchanged, and will focus on not only continuing the resort’s legacy of excellence, but also enhancing the award-winning destination.  

To better reflect the resort’s distinctive qualities and rich cultural heritage, the resort’s new name honours the surrounding Ungasan Village, which is home to most of their staff and families. 

Perched high on the clifftops in Ungasan, Bali's primed real estate - The Ungasan overlooks the Indian ocean, and has everything you would need for a spectacular wedding, event or getaway for groups or families.

There are 7 x 5 bedroom villas with Villa Tamarama and Villa Ambar suitable for larger weddings. The Ungasan Clifftop Resort is rolling out an attractive new rate restructure for all seven of its private villas. 

To enquire about The Ungasan Clifftop Resort’s newly revised villa rates contact us below.

Name *
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La Finca - Delicious Spanish Cuisine

Welcome to Spanish fusion heaven, La Finca where they have nailed food, drinks and atmosphere. A cocktail cart stoked full of exotic gins, a flurry of romantic fairy lights, plants cascading from the ceiling, eye catching flatware that makes the food that much more delicious and a huge variety of tapas dishes made only from the freshest organic ingredients. From the quality of food to the super attentive and intuitive staff, The La Finca crew obviously know a thing or two about hospitality. The authentic, rustic Ibizan, Spanish and Mediterranean food is made  alimenta el alma or with soul, to feed the soul…

All great meals are preceded by an Apertiff and La Finca have nailed it with their custom cocktail cart that will make a gin lover’s jaw drop to the floor. Try a cocktail mixed with The London no.1 or Bulldog gin. Both so tasty, you could drink them straight. The gins are spiced with a touch of herb and fruit flavours making for a perfectly curated original cocktail served over a large ball of ice. For Sangria lovers, La Finca do red and white sangria pitchers in two sizes. Our favourite is the Sangria made with sparkling wine. We’ll take the large pitcher every time, obviously. 

From drinks to the bread basket, the La Finca experience will exude attention to detail. The extensive tapas menu features a huge variety of ingredients and cooking styles and everyone is bound to be faced with the challenge of not over-ordering. Those in big groups will have the advantage of trying more. We loved the buffalo mozzarella and green pea ham salad with Iberian ham vinaigrette, zucchini-feta-mint-fritters, wood fire grilled octopus and the beef carpaccio and the juicy and hearty snapper fish. We’ll definitely be back before too long to sample what we couldn’t fit in this sitting. We recommend the full tapas meal with all the bells and whistles every time but for those on the go La Finca serves burgers- for a deliciously European twist, try the beef and chorizo patty burger.

After being spoilt with a fabulous meal of course we were excited for dessert. We were more than full, but as everyone knows dessert goes to a different place. La Finca’s take on this Hispanic classic Churros con Chocolate Fundido (that's churros with molten chocolate as if it didn’t sound delicious enough already)  was rich but also light in all the right ways.

La Finca ticks all of our boxes. It’s the perfect spot for romancing or to enjoy with a group of friends, or maybe we just want any excuse to go there. Just make sure you bring someone because La Finca is too good to keep to yourself. It’s more than just the food that will have us going back. From the ambiance to the authentic vibe, La Finca should definitely be your go-to for a fabulous night out in Bali. 

A Serene Oasis for your next family holiday

Villa Suar, located in the perfect location of Seminyak is the perfect location for your next holiday.

Built and managed by William Kernot‎, Villa Suar was a passion project that grew from one to 3 villas to become an outstanding, luxurious Seminyak Villa Complex.

After spending a lot of effort in searching for the perfect land, William finally found the right block in 2010 and started the process of designing these villas and sourcing the materials with a common objective being, to build something unique, that would make these villas stand out from the rest.  William researched designers and architects that suited his style and could create something special, he eventually came across the same architect that designed the Karma Resorts in Bali therefore attention to quality and design has not been overlooked. 

In 2012 William started the build and the end result, luxury villas show casing a fusion of tropical and modern design along with the fine selection of materials and décor have all been combined together to enhance your experience in the Villas. No expenses were spared, only high end materials were used.

These new villas consist of a 5 Bedroom Villa, a 3 Bedroom Villa and a 2 Bedroom Villa. All 3 villas are located in the most fashionable and trendy area of Seminyak, Bali, yet they still offer the seclusion, privacy and tranquility one would desire. The villas are located within short walking distance from the beach, fashion boutiques and interior design stores as well as a variety of health spas and a selection of restaurants offering international and local cuisines.

In recent years, Wiliam, the owner of Villa Suar has expanded his successful hospitality business to beyond Bali by offering the same concept of luxury villas in other exotic locations such as the Mamanuca Islands, Fiji and the famous North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Why not check out Villa Suar when planning your next holiday?

For more information, visit www.villsuar.com

Exclusive Access to MY BALI BIBLE [beta site]

Exclusive Access to MY BALI BIBLE [beta site]

The brand new site is a platform where anyone can create their own 'Bali Bible' or rather their 'favourites list' from thousands of Hotels & Villas, Cafes & Restaurants, Things to do, Bars & Clubs, Shopping and Health & Beauty listed on our new website. For those looking for something specific you can search for any venue in Bali on My Bali Bible here and if it doesn’t exist you can add them in yourself.

Authentic Indonesian takes a contemporary twist at this year’s Ubud Food Festival

The Festival Hub @ Taman Kuliner starts stirring early; coffee carts warming up their machines to catch yoga-goers drifting past from an early morning ‘om’ overlooking Ubud’s Campuhan Ridge. In the Joglo, eager language students roll their r’s over sweet and steamy bowls of bubur (rice porridge) in Bahasa Indonesia, as stall vendors begin preparations for a full day of frying, sautéing, simmering and smoking. Next door, at Indus restaurant, Festival volunteers set up the open-air Kitchen Stage, as chefs prep their ingredients in the galley below. Welcome to the 2016 Ubud Food Festival: a three-day culinary adventure with Indonesian food as the star.

After winning the Yak Award for the Best Event in 2015, it’s clear that the Ubud Food Festival has found a welcome home amongst chefs, restaurants and food-lovers alike on the island. Returning from 27-29 May for its second year, the Ubud Food Festival program has swelled with considerable enthusiasm, now spanning more than 90 events and 60 culinary personalities. From free forum sessions exploring food heritage, sustainability and modernisation, to special events held across some of Ubud’s most-acclaimed dining establishments, the Festival is designed to suit any budget or culinary inclination, be it babi guling (suckling pig) paired with local craft beer, or raw-food fine-dining overlooking an organic vegetable garden. The only pre-requisite is to come with an empty stomach!

Headlining this year’s event are a mouth-watering line-up of international names, including recently named Asia’s Best Female Chef (World’s 50 Best Awards) Margarita Fores, owner and chef of MoVida Sydney, Melbourne and now Seminyak’s Frank Camorra and YouTube sensation and fish sustainability champion, Bart Van Olphen. National culinary icons include the ibu (mother) of Indonesian cuisine Sisca Soewitomo, popular TV personality Farah Quinn and long-stand food experts William Wongso, Petty Elliot and Bondan Winarno. The program also focuses heavily on culinary entrepreneurs helping to reinvent Ubud’s food scene at the local level, including including Indonesian chefs Agung Nugroho (Arang Sate Bar), Made Janur (MOKSA), Arif Spings (TAKSU) and Gede Paskara Karilo (Mr Wayan)", can you change Made Janur to "Made Runatha. 

Centring on the theme of Go Local, this year’s program challenges chefs to embrace the context of Indonesian cuisine, whether that’s heading to the early morning Ubud markets to source ingredients for a special event, working alongside some of Indonesia’s best and brightest in steamy kitchens, or getting inventive with hot coals and a bamboo fan in front of a live audience. Farmers and producers also feature heavily throughout the program; part of the Festival’s mission to improve linkages within the industry and solidify the island’s growing culinary reputation abroad. In short, it’s not just an event for the tasters – it’s for the growers, makers and innovators at the heart of Indonesia’s evolving palate. 

Most importantly, the Ubud Food Festival poses one of the culinary industry’s most pertinent questions: how can Indonesian food join the ranks of world-renowned cuisines, evolving and modernising while also staying true to its heritage and authenticity? It’s questions like these that drive initiatives like the Ubud Food Festival; bringing the archipelago’s leading culinary players to unite in their passions and aspirations, and creating a platform for them to share it with the world. Indeed, at the heart of the event is a pure celebration of Indonesia’s culinary achievements; from the humble yet succulent sate lilit (chicken sate) served from a street-side vendor, to the growing recognition of Indonesia’s chefs and restaurants in the world’s ever-expanding kitchen stage. 

More Information:
The Ubud Food Festival’s full program, line-up and tickets are now available via the website, at www.ubudfoodfestival.com. The event will take place from 27-29 May, at the Festival Hub @ Taman Kuliner (Jalan Raya Sanningan) and various venues throughout Ubud. 

Piece written by HOLLY REID

Introducing Bisma Eight, Ubud!

The super stylish new Bisma Eight property in Ubud opened it’s doors in February 2015 and is ready to welcome you. It’s the perfect place to check into for those who are looking to make the most of what Ubud has to offer without missing out on trendy Seminyak style. Located on Jalan Bisma just behind the buzziest street in Ubud, Monkey Forest Road, it is one of the best locations in Bali. It’s a peaceful and tranquil escape making the most of the Ubud area’s natural beauty yet only a stone’s throw from some of Bali’s best shopping and dining spots. Bisma Eight is set to become the go-to for holthe fidaymakers who crave the best of both worlds.

Bisma Eight is the concept of independent Jakartan owners who are passionate about bringing a wholesome experience to high-end accommodation. The family has had a house for many years in the Ubud area where they grow fresh, organic produce which is used in the Bisma Eight flagship restaurant, Copper Kitchen & Bar. The property makes a perfect first impression with the lobby a contemporary design mixed with just the right amount of ‘Bali’. The vibrant orange of Marigolds used throughout Bali for offerings and ceremonies pop against the subdued and modern furnishings. The welcome drink, a mix of rosemary, clove, star anise and rosella tastes somewhat strangely but exactly as the property smells which seduces you into a higher state of relaxation as soon as you enter. You are greeted by staff dressed in relaxed linen uniforms who seem as happy to be there as they holiday go-ers. It’s hard not to feel at peace when surrounded by wide open spaces and lush green gardens. 

In-house activities offered include daily yoga classes, master mocktail mixing classes, cooking classes, The Gardens by Bisma Eight organic farm visit, kite making, cycling, and canang making. Other facilities include The Library Café, the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or catch up on emails, the Fit Space and Copper Kitchen & Bar restaurant. Outdoors an infinity pool hangs over a deep valley of multi-layered green jungle, a dramatic backdrop to an already stunning deck decorated with minimal and modern furnishings. Sun loungers are perfectly positioned for soaking up the sun all day followed by a stunning Bali sunset. There is The Pool Pavilion serving cocktails and a bar menu, with their lobster Nasi Goreng being a clear favourite for guests grazing pool side or ordering room service.

Indoors the rooms impress on entering, with sliding, geometric screens separating the living and bedroom areas. Each and every room comes with a Japanese style sandalwood bathtub, the scent of which wafts through out the room and adds to the earthy feel of the property. For added luxury, the forest suites located near the pool offer sweeping panoramas of the Ubud jungle evoking the feeling of being in a tree house with the sunset visible right from your suite. 

Copper Kitchen & Bar restaurants is a must visit when in Ubud for in-house and outside guests. It has a buzzy, young and hip feel, and is perfect for the style conscious foodie. Located on the top floor it takes full advantage of the Bisma Eight views which can be enjoyed through a complete glass fronting which can be opened completely for an alfresco feel. The restaurant serves a fusion of modern Asian comfort food, with a dash of refreshingly Indian influence with items such as butter chicken on the menu. Executive Chef Duncan McCance's signature dish is Miso Beef and Sea Bream which he serves to you with great love for the wholesome philosophy of Copper Kitchen & Bar restaurant. The ingredients are sourced from The Gardens by Bisma Eight as well as from the owner’s private gardens to ensure quality and wholesomeness reaches the table. 

As the name suggests, Copper is featured highly in the design of the restaurant and bar with everything from the cutlery, to the bar and even the bar tools made of copper. The drinks are equally as alluring as the food, with Indonesia's top mixologists serving the most original cocktails around for miles. Try one of their barrel aged cocktails, they have Negronis, Manhattans and Old Fashioneds cocktails barreled for 40-50 days for the perfect oakiness to develop in the flavour. 

Bisma Eight is easily a destination resort. The entire property invites you to spend your entire holiday within the property with the option to take trips to enjoy Ubud’s offerings. For more information on your stay at Bisma Eight visit www.bisma-eight.com and follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest news

Mt Agung Trek – Why you should experience this spiritual and very steep mountain trek in Bali.

With any road travelled in Bali you’ll need two things; an Alexander Supertramp passion for adventure and two packets of Oreos. You’re going to get lost, you’ll be told to go in the opposite direction and Google maps isn’t really a map so much as a rough guide. It feels very cliché to say the adventure lies in the journey, but it really is.

Mt Agung is the highest and most spiritual point in Bali and because of this, all Balinese must take this pilgrimage once in their life. It’s home to the Gods. I have figured out why the Gods live there – because it’s SO HIGH and there is no reception therefore no one really bothers them (these Gods are smart). It’s also about 20 degrees colder than anywhere else in Bali.

My solo adventure started out as friends bailing on the trek at the last minute however my spirits were not dampened and I decided I would carry on with the climb. Seemingly hostage style, I get into a car with two men at 10pm and off we go up into the mountains. We stopped on the way to “pray” at which point I thought I was a goner. It turns out they really were praying. It’s about a 2.5 hour drive…so be sure to take headphones and a sarong to wrap around your face if you want to nap.

Arriving in a deserted carpark, I am dropped to what I am convinced is a rural version of Bate’s Motel with a single lightbulb swinging from the roof and all men sitting out front. Cue Wayan, an insanely fit guide who takes on the climb four times a week. It’s no wonder his calf muscles are bigger than me! His two dogs “Blacky” and “Whitey” join us on the pursuit. Wayan says the dogs pick and choose the mornings they join him on the trek so I feel quite honoured.

It’s 20 minutes in and I am sweating up a storm. As we stop for some water and a snack, I ask Wayan if it gets much steeper. He laughs hysterically and explains that we haven’t yet cleared the tree line and that once we reach the base of the summit I will be crawling on my hands and knees. At this point I am not sure if he is joking… but he said summit which sounded really mountain-y.

It’s a test of not only your physical ability but will power. I’m the girl that eats a whole block of chocolate and forgoes a morning alarm to “run” which in actual fact is just walking briskly snap chatting. So at this point it’s a godsend when I meet a girl, Liz from Sydney, at the very spot she gave up four years earlier and waited for her group to return. All of a sudden there are forces joined and it’s a “get Liz to the top” campaign. I would have made signs if I had a texta.

Be aware that Mt Agung is not your friend if you give up easily. You are your own worst enemy on the climb. I think a few times I fantasised about breaking my leg so that I could have been airlifted out. However it’s worth all the sweat, as no words or photographs will prepare you for how mind blowingly beautiful life is at 3031 metres.

I breathe in the crisp air and incense as the guides around us bless our safe arrival. We drink hot chocolates waiting for the sun to wake up. Liz looks euphoric. I have a moment where I want my unborn children and their unborn children’s unborn children to do this climb. I feel alive as I watched swirls of colour I have never seen before perched quite literally above the clouds.

The road back down is hell and maybe that’s because I’d eaten all my Mentos, but I promise by the time you get to the car Mt Agung will be back up from two to five stars on your own 'My Bali Bible' guidebook. It took 11 hours in total. But if you have a moderate level of fitness it would be less. Anyone will return from this experience with a stronger passion for adventure (and sweet glorious sleep). Next trek (yes I would do this again) is the bad boy of Lombok, Mt Rinjani sitting at a Godly 3726 metres.

If you feel like a challenge hit up Wayan via wayan.idguides@gmail.com or browse the link below. A guide, breakfast, head lamps and trekking poles are provided. There are three treks to choose from, with the newest way up only being found a few years back and taking you higher than the rest. The treks run like clockwork every day (dry season favoured) and are shared between 28 guides. Prices start from 750,000k and don’t forget to tip your guide.

Written by Laura Buck, a good friend of The Bali Bible.

Enjoy more of our up and coming articles written by Laura Buck. Each post features Laura and her travelling companions heading to various parts of undiscovered Bali, to relatively unplanned and beautiful locales – experiencing the sights, sounds, and culture of the Balinese people.