It is a kennysia.com tradition to travel to Bali every year.
There’s a lot of reasons why Bali is the place I go to do my retreat every year: cheap flights, friendly people, amazingly good food. The biggest attraction for me is the fact that Bali is the only place I know where the range of accommodation options is virtually limitless.
In Bali, you can do home stays for RM15 a night, or rent a luxurious multi-bedroom private villas with your own swimming pool, chef and butler.
I write this blog entry especially for those who had partied through Kuta, done Bali on the cheap before, and are now returning to look for something a bit more.
Although luxury in Bali does come with a hefty price tag, it is not completely out of reach for most people. On average, a very well-serviced, luxurious high-end hotel here would cost around USD200 (RM650) per person per night.
But I think about it this way. Instead of flying to Paris for a supposed romantic holiday then stuffing myself inside a cramped 3-star shoebox hotel, I’d rather fly to Bali, splurge on a beach-front suite and be treated like a king.
Truth is, there not many places in the world that gives as good a bang for buck as the hotels and villas in The Island of Gods. During my most recent trip to Bali 2 weeks ago, I had the privilege of being hosted at some of the most beautiful hotels I have ever experienced personally.
The first was Ubud Hanging Gardens.
If I were a girl and my boyfriend wants to propose to me, this is the place I’d want him to do it. Otherwise, not only would I not accept his proposal, I’ll probably throw the ring back at my boyfriend, scream “YOU THINK I SO CHEAP AH!?” before hurrily taking off and leaving him alone in the dark.
But I digress.
Ubud Hanging Gardens is an absolutely fucking stunning hotel.
Pardon my language, but there’s just no other way to describe it. The road heading towards the resort was narrow, bumpy and ridiculously difficult to find. I spent 4 hours circling the entire Bali island in my rental car and cannot find it. In the end we gave up and requested for hotel pickup.
But once we arrived, it was like clouds have parted and we arrived heaven on Earth.
Words cannot do it any justice.
Ubud Hanging Gardens is one of two Balinese resorts by luxury hotel group Orient Express. It’s called “hanging” because when we looked out into the distance from our room, we literally felt like we were hanging in the air. We were so high up that all we could see were the tops of the trees below.
The view here gotta be seen to be believed.
Despite what its name suggest, the resort is not actually located inside the intensely crowded and touristy Ubud town, but quietly tucked away on top of the hill in the middle of the forest, about 30 minutes away. There was literally nothing at all within the vicinity of the resort.
What they offer instead, is the ultimate in serenity and luxury.
The villa units themselves aren’t particularly huge, but they are well-designed to take advantage of the breathtaking surrounding views, and make us feel as close to nature as possible.
Each unit is located on the hill slope. So instead of taking the lift from the lobby, we have to go to our rooms using this cute little funicular train.
It was the best place in Bali to recharge and rejuvenate. On top of it all they got free internet access, outdoor bathtub and my favourite – the heated infinity private pool.
I LOVE the private pool!
All of them are built in such a way to resemble Bali’s cascading rice paddy fields. It was very relaxing and very romantic.
But the private pool wasn’t the best thing about Ubud Hanging Gardens.
Just outside the restaurant, overlooking the forest, is the resort’s most jaw-dropping feature: the double-storey freeform infinity pool.
It was breathtakingly AMAZING.
Imagine being able to swim right up towards the edge of the pool and do this.
It was pure magic. This is the closest thing to swimming above the skies.
You can see in the picture that there’s a Balinese temple perched on top of the hill in the distance. At night, they light up the temple so it looks as if it was floating in the air.
Overlooking the edge of the infinity pool. Don’t worry, I won’t jump.
After our stay at the Ubud Hanging Gardens, we returned to Seminyak where all the restaurants, shops and parties are located. This time round, we stayed at another equally stunning hotel called Anantara Seminyak.
This hotel is not located high on the hill nor in the middle of a dense forest.
I came to Anantara Seminyak for jaw-dropping ocean views like these.
It’s less “green”, more “gold”. In fact, there’s a million-dollar view right from the balcony of every beach-facing Ocean Suite. I thought sunset at Ku De Ta was amazing. I obviously ain’t seen nothing yet.
Anantara Seminyak is targeted towards honeymooners and those seeking for a stylish romantic getaway.
This is not where you’d come if you want some quiet “alone time” in the forest to meditate. For that, stick to Ubud.
If you wanna impress a date, this is perfect.
Start the evening with a romantic candle-light dinner by the beach.
As night falls and temperature drops, take her in to your hotel suite for something a little bit more cozy.
She will be impressed as soon as she opened the door.
First, she sees a nice walk-in wardrobe.
Further down the marble corridor, she sees a spacious bathroom area, complete with aromatherapy soaps, a Jacuzzi bathtub and a rainshower with three different options for massage.
You can’t help but to grin…
…because you know the bathroom is see-through.
Next, THE BEDROOM (oh yeah, baby).
The bed is built-in, oversized, sexy and extremely comfortable.
She’s in awe. She knows she wanna spend the night here.
So you put on some music on the Bose Sound System.
Hopefully something more Barry White instead of Owl City.
And the rest… is up to your imagination. Heh.
The suites at Anantara Seminyak is my idea of the ultimate bachelor pad.
It’s not exactly where I’d bring my mother to, because let’s face it, who wants to see their mother in the see-through bathroom?
The suites at Anantara may not have their own private pool, but who needs one when you can sit in the outdoor jacuzzi soaking in the ocean view?
A night’s stay here cost USD450 so it’s really for those who have a bit more in their pockets.
Without spending that much to sleep a night at Anantara, it’s still possible also to enjoy the famous sunset over Seminyak at their stylish rooftop lounge. Lots of jet-setting, mojito-sipping, good-looking people to see here.
You can’t help but to be one of them.
Besides, there’s nothing quite like sitting on a plush daybed, sipping designer cocktail, listening to cool chill out music playing in the background while watching the sky changes colour as the sun goes down.
It’s my third trip to Bali, and still it ranks as my favourite holiday destination in the world.
Yea, it’s true that Bali can be done very cheaply. A lot of first timers stay in Kuta because it is cheap. But Kuta is possibly the worst possible place to stay in Bali.
The problem with Kuta is that the dodgy nightclubs, the drunken Australians, the overpriced souvenir shops, the traffic jam and the drug pushers all ended up making me more stressed than I was before I left for holidays.
I go to Bali to recharge my batteries and to forget about work for a while. Places like Ubud and Seminyak did the trick for me.
Last year, I stayed in this hotel in Kuta. We arrived so late that the reception counter was closed. In the end, the person checking us in was actually the hotel’s security guards.
These two muscular guys were not just the hotel’s security guard and receptionist, they were also the hotel’s housekeeper.
When we called the reception and asked to put in an extra bed for us, guess who came to our rescue?
Yes, the same two security guards.
Made my Bali holiday looked like an episode of CSI.
CSI BALi starring kenny !
i will watch that 😛
thats fucking scary kenny,standing at the edge of the infinity pool,what if u were to slip? head-dropping stunt,bone-cracking! lol
Will be going to Bali next year. The two hotels you reviewed were very nice but definitely way out of my budget.
LOL. Nice. Will have to go to Bali at least once in the next few years.
WOw..Ubud Hanging Garden is sooooo romantic..hmm, it is a-must-go place..Thanks Kenny..your blog is much help..
or made you feel like Mr Obama (the securities are the Secret Service)
Are there many nyamuk up at Ubud since its forestry? What about Seminyak? Thanks! I’m coming!
how much do you need for a cheap trip to bali?am planning to go to bali for the first time
how much did u spent on the two hotels?
I am definitely going to Bali … but before that i will head to Taiwan 1st .. at the end of this year! 🙂
Hi Kenny, it’s awesome, thanks for sharing !)
man! Ubud Hanging Gardens is really something..lovely
Wow, Bali is a really awesome place. That pool is just plain cool.
I miss Bali!
I visited the Anantara once, friends I was travelling with stayed on while I had to leave. Damn jealous.
I have to try your Ubud hotel next. I love Ubud, my fav area in Bali.
Think I have to make a visit later this year.
wow…. nice place!
This is such a beautiful post. Bali is absolutely my next trip.
Gorgeous Photos u’ve Taken Kenny! Been always wanting to go Bali for both land tour and diving, hope to do it by September..btw the last pic of “CSI” really gave me a good chuckle! ^_~
ps: always enjoy reading ur blog!
shud visit Bali as u mentioned… worth the money spent!
Yep.. Stayed in Kuta this time.. The clothings were damn expesive. for 5 pieces of bottoms and tops (quality not good either) they charged me rp2.4mil (around RM1k)When I heard the price I almost jumped out of my skin and would better prefer to sit in a nice cozy room watching 10+ gory horror movies. Those who go to Bali make sure to nego before giving in to their pricing. =X
lol the last line was hilarious
really nice entry. 🙂 made me feel all warm and happy inside planning on going there myself.
Well said, I think Kuta is over-rated.Should have scout around for better places for my honeymoon last time.
i saw ur pic n i feel it was awesome.. in bali, do you actually just stay hotel for few nights or some other outings? n how was does it cost? 🙂 hope u do reply.. tq..
Railay, Krabi is a good place for retreat too 🙂
btw, are u aware that ur wikipedia page has already been deleted?
Those are super sweet suites. but I still think Bali is still overrated..
Anyways, I’ll def look it up if I ever plan to go there
hey kenny, wat are the names of all the accommodations that u have stayed in bali? may i know the names of the place of photo 3&4 from the top?
WOW!!! amazing is an understatement to describe Ubud hanging garden!
been to Boracay, Philippines?
I like Bali, but not most of their overpriced shit.
Well, well, well! I knew it! I saw those cheapsy stuff. I knew something was off about them. I didnt report to police. I let someone else do the complaining. maybe the complainer was a real trademark owner. Who knows!
Too bad the security guards didn’t have the words “FBI” written over their T-shirts. It would’ve been cool. XD
Bali is very very nice. You went there alone?
Thanks for sharing. The pictures makes me want to go there sooner. =)
On the other hand, isn’t it nice to remember that you had a CSI Bali trip? =P
wow….that place was such a perfect honeymoon… me want to be there also.. 🙂
come on Kenny… Spill It!
Who’s the girl?
Cool review. Now I feel like going to Bali for a short break! You look like you had a fantastic time in Bali!!!!
What a comprehensive and long review. Loved the photos taken and the hotels’ facilities certainly look very tempting. No wonder Amber Chia chose Bali to get married! So romantic!
woah..really nice place!
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thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures and your immaculate and humorous account ^_^ I really, really love the outdoor dining table with a heart encircled ~
Although your posts are now fewer and farther in between, they are still as entertaining. Keep it up, dude.
We had so much fun that night. Wanna fuck you again so bad!
HAHAHAHAHAH! CSI LOL! but they are so nice!
Can’t wait to take a plunge in that infinity pool ^_- looks real cold to me..hehehe
i just saw the Bali doccumentary on plane. Bali is mix with traditional and modern architechure, Balinese got present more of their own thing then being endangered by the modern one. those moden architechure are built by people from Europe like Greece and so on. nice to have modern facility but not over. great photos. tranquil…..
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wow.. really nice pictures..
Yes indeed.. the last picture really looks like a CSI episode.. lol..
thanks for the good reviews.. didt know bali is this exciting … but i am still too paranoid to go unstable countries with recent bombing histories..
hope to see u review some nice luxurious hotels around peninsular… with the damage too if possiblee
Wow, seriously a Heaven on Earth. Beautiful.
shchoy, kenny went with cheesie. On cheesie’s post she posted about her trip to Bali.
Kenny, dun beat around the bush la….this is clear as day that you’re a couple! What’s with the crap nonsense about you staying in seperate rooms while in Australia and all! LOL!
Is it a coincidence or what that Cheesie and Kenny posted about Bali trip in the same month! On top of that they both posted on the Ubud Hanging Gardens!
hm….i noticed each time you said ‘we’ instead of ‘i’ 🙂
The view from swimming pool was stunning and err..scary to. hehe
Very nice hotel and extremely beautiful view…
Next time I go to Bali, I’ll go to Seminyak rather than Kuta.
I love Bali so much nice & try to be there at least once a year
hi there kenny! very nice version, i like the stories.. mostly the security guard all in once as a HK and Reception hahaha…. two thumbs up! 🙂
Wow..amazing!!! enjoyed two different world..Ubud with serenity, calm, quite place to stay whiles with Anantara Seminyak with spectacular sunset..fasionable street to enjoy…Thanks for the info
You’re right kenny and thanks for recommending Ubud Hanging Garden. It was awesome and the sceneries were so jaw dropping. Just back from staying 4 days 3 nights there and I’m so rejuvenated now!!
I m going to Bali in 2 days and the pictures so going to make me sleepless before I got there!
ur so lucky ur a partner now and i am so happy for u .
Hmm lucky me to have wonderful nights stayed at http://hanginggardensubud.com/villas/suite/ and plan to go back the upcoming year.
Hanging Garden Ubuds is a very interesting hotel. With the Infinity pools make this resort became one of the very unique resort. I really want to visit. but it did not fit into my budget. hopefully I can visit him. nice post. thanks.