Quick Getaway in Bali
Bali is a beautiful escape from Singapore. There are multiple flights throughout the day (Scoot, Tiger, AirAsia, KLM), be sure to score a deal for flight. On average it is about SGD200 return flight. The flight duration is only 2.5 hours - load up a movie on your iPad and you can complete it during the movie.
Arriving in Bali
You will be swamped by touters who wants to drive you to the city. I prefer not to deal with them.
Grab & GoJek are used here. You can grab to the city for about 65k. It is easy to get one, proceed to the carpark outside of the airport.
Everything is transacted in Indonesia Rupiah. It is good to have some at hand prior to arrival. (SGD10 = IDR100,000) making it easier to remember.
Where to Stay?
Ubud/Canggu are for those who seek quiet and peace. If you are on a getaway where you just want to seek your inner peace, you have found the right place.
Nusa Dua if it is a family retreat. There are plenty of big brands there such as the Westin that would provide a comfortable stay.
Kuta if you are young and on a budget. There are plenty of good 3-4 stars hotels in Kuta at very good rates. Kuta is bustling with many restaurant, bars and street stalls. Even if you are not staying here, venture out to check out Kuta.
Personally, I prefer to stay in Seminyak. It is a little more upscale than Kuta and still not too far away from the airport.
You would find nice Villas and restaurants in Seminyak. It gives you the hype of Kuta but also the retreat that you need.
I have stayed in many hotels in Bali and not one have disappointed me. Depending on your budget and what you seek, here are some recommendations:
Daun Seminyak: A 4 star hotel slightly away from the restaurant street. Superior Room starts at SGD 40++.
IZE Seminyak: You are right in the middle of the restaurant street. Decently priced hotel, you will escape the horrible traffic in Bali and walk everywhere.
Four Points Sheraton: One of my favorite. It has an excellent pool and a roof top bar with live band. Just a nice way to spend the evening when you are in the hotel.
Icon Seminyak Villa: If you are willing to splurge, this villa is just awesome. It is well maintained and with excellent staff. Have your breakfast in the villa by the pool and they serve high tea as well throughout your stay. The Villa is also very generous in their unlimited bottled water and free minibar. I must say that it is value for money.
Restaurants, Bars & Cafes
I have too many to list here. So lets get started. Do not wear Beer Branded shirts, you will be disallowed in many restaurants.
Livingstone Bakery: Start the day well, go to Livingstone. The people at Livingstone are experts at making a good brunch. For juice, brunch, pastry and juice, it will be about 200k per person. The glasshouse setting, good music and comfortable seats, I just want to start my day at Livingstone bakery.
Potato Head Beach Club: Of course, every folks that are in Bali would end up being in Potato Head. Come early if you wish to get the day bed with min spend of 500k. They have a good range of exciting cocktails for about 120k. Yes, eat the burgers, they are good for about 160k. Head to the pool and watch the sea and people as you enjoy the pool bar. Music is great as well and it is easy to spend hours here till sunset.
Ku De Ta: Another beach club with more flair to it. KuDeTa is more upscale but overall has the same price as most Beach Club. There’s a restaurant in the beach club which serves decently delicious food. I enjoy coming here after the sun sets and watch the flood lights light up the sea with a cocktail in hand. High chance, you could get a day bed there in the evening too.
Mamasan: Bar and restaurant, Mamasan serves Indonesian food. A 3 course meal with a drink will be about SGD50 per pax. There’s just a nice vibe around it and you could have many dishes to share. Always make a reservation prior as they are always full. Mamasan closes after lunch and start at 6pm again for dinner.
Bambu: One of my favorite. Local Indonesian food in a colonial architecture house. Price range is similar to Mamasan. You can choose to sit outdoor, admire the water feature surrounding the restaurant. Food is delicious and the local desserts is a must try
Hotel Mexico: Love the vibe of this Mexican place. There is a dance floor and your can also enjoy authentic Mexican food while watching everyone having such a good time. Per taco is about 40k which is a little pricey. They are known for the tequila of course and when the bell rings, free shots for everyone!
Other Beach Clubs & Restaurants
Potato Head Beach Club
Finns Beach Club
Omnia Beach Club
I realize there are just too many to go through in details. Some other which I will recommend: Corner House, Kilo, Merah Putih, Char Char, Ayu and W Bali.
There are also too many Day Spa in Bali. I found an excellent one which I just revisit. It is called Jari Menari (Dancing Fingers). They only have male masseurs in here. Male and Female are welcomed in this Day Spa. Make a reservation, save the trial and error and just go to Jari Menari. Usually I tip about 10% of the total bill.