Bali / Indonesia

ULTIMATE BALI GUIDE: Where To Stay + Bali Belly Tips

One of the best things about Bali’s high tourism rate is the variety of accommodation options and wide range of prices. From home-stays and hostels to private villas and 5-star resorts, there’s something to fit anyone’s travel budget. From our one week stay in Bali, it was easy to see why travelers opt to stay in a few different places instead of just one. There’s so much to see and do, that it’s just much easier to change locations rather than commute from one hotel.

MULE SAYANA VILLAS

We decided to stay in two locations. The first was a private villa located in the secluded rice fields of Ubud. Living in a place with as much hustle and bustle as Seoul, there are times where we just need to get away. We were looking for some time to ourselves to decompress, away from people, work and stress.

Facilities

Mule Sayana isn’t your basic run-of-the-mill hotel. There are only a few private villas. Not only is it very private, but also incredibly peaceful. The whole appeal of this place is to relax and enjoy Bali from the comfort of your own room. That being said, there’s no gym, restaurant or anything like that. Everything we needed was in our room and if we found ourselves needing anything, all we had to do was pickup the phone and it would be brought to us.

Their room service had a nice selection of local and western style dishes. I’d have to say their breakfast service was the best start to every day. Each evening, they brought us a breakfast menu and we could choose as many items as we wanted to be delivered at whatever time we specified. I’m talking about super juicy fruit, french press coffee, creamy scrambled eggs and, well… I think you get the picture. Oh, and did I mention it’s all part of the package?

For an additional fee, I was able to request a floating breakfast on the morning of our anniversary. A huge tray of food and flowers was carried into our room and placed in our pool by two people. It was so pretty and definitely required some effort to prepare. I’d have to say this is one thing everyone should experience at least once in Bali. Nothing puts you in vacation mode quite like eating breakfast while you float in a pool like an otter.

One other service I recommend taking advantage of is their laundry service. Laundry services in Bali charge by kilogram, it’s incredibly affordable and your clothes will never smell better. The detergent or softener they use in Bali is the best thing I’ve ever smelled in my life. I wish my laundry smelled like that all the time.

Room

Moving on to our actual villa, our room was nothing short of perfection! On one side of our room, we had a nice enclosed outdoor lounge area with a couch and dining area that faced our very own private pool. On the other side, we had a grassy backyard type area complete with a porch, beanbag chairs and small cabana for more lazing about. Our actual room was spacious and came decorated with beautiful fresh flowers for our anniversary (an additional IDR 250,000).

We had all the basic amenities like a tv, air conditioner, blow dryer, shower, a comfy bed and, of course, wifi. An iron was also available upon request, which was perfect because our clothes were super wrinkled. We were given fresh towels everyday, but toiletries were pretty minimal, so we made sure to bring our own.

Of course I can’t forget to mention our room’s greatest feature: the view. We were smack dab in the middle of the rice fields, which means we had a gorgeous view from basically anywhere. We saw beautiful sunrises, romantic sunsets and plenty of ducks waddling through the fields all day long. Pictures honestly don’t do it justice.

Transportation

The downside of staying in the middle of nowhere is that you’re, well… in the middle of nowhere! There really isn’t anything within walking distance of the villa. Luckily, they provided a free shuttle service to and from Central Ubud (30min drive) where there is definitely plenty to do, see and eat. We were even given a private mobile phone to reach the hotel whenever we need to. Unfortunately to travel anywhere else required us to rent a private driver which ran us IDR 400,000 for airport pick-up and IDR 700,000 for 8 hours of service. We only used that option once and found other ways to get around throughout our trip. You can check out more on that HERE.

MAHAGIRI RESORT NUSA LEMBONGAN

After some much needed seclusion, we were ready to rejoin the world for a little fun in the sun. For this, we traveled to the island of Nusa Lembongan where we traded in our private villa for a room in a 4-star beach resort.

Room

Our room was exactly what you would expect from a resort. It was clean and modern with all the basic amenities like a tv, air conditioner, desk, blow dryer, shower, iron, a reasonably comfy bed and wifi. We also had a little balcony with a table and chairs that overlooked this little courtyard area. To be honest, it was a clean comfortable place to sleep and get ready in, but nothing to write home about.

Facilities

The real draw lies in the location and facilities. The hotel itself is right on the beach, I mean RIGHT ON IT! While we didn’t have much of a view from our room, all we needed to do was come down to the hotel’s open-air restaurant that looks right out onto the beach. Most accommodations in Bali offer free breakfast when you book. If at any point you find yourself paying for breakfast at your hotel, you did something wrong. More on that HERE.

Bali breakfasts are not to be missed. At this hotel they provide a much larger buffet style selection. It was a nice blend of western and eastern style dishes. What was really great is that they changed up some of the main dishes every day, so we always had something new to try. After breakfast, it reverts back into a restaurant and bar that will serve you food and drinks anywhere on the beach.

Which brings me to the beach. The hotel lies on its own exclusive part of the beach complete with plenty of beach chairs, beanbags, cabanas, swings and various photo zones. This was the first time I had ever been to a beach where I didn’t have to hunt or fight someone off for a spot. There were plenty of seats for everyone making it a completely stress free zone. Good vibes only.

The downside of the beach we were on, was that it was littered with HUGE chunks of coral. There was no real way to go swimming in the ocean unless you wanted to come out all bruised up. I got hit with a piece of coral that left my ankle swollen for a week. Luckily, the hotel has not 1 but 2 pools right on the beach. It was the perfect solution to the coral infested ocean. On top of that, the hotel also provides beach towels and aqua shoes if you need them.

At night, local bands give live performances right on the beach. We were lucky enough to catch one of these shows on our last night there. We got to enjoy some tasty seafood and cocktails along with some great music. They even played our wedding song for us, “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur. It was with out a doubt the perfect way to end our trip.

Transportation

The only transportation we required was the speed boat to and from the island, which we arranged through the hotel. Other than that, we pretty much stayed in our area. There were plenty of small cafes, yoga studios and restaurants lining the beach to keep us occupied. To be honest, we spent most of our time swimming, eating and just plain doing nothing. It’s glorious and I highly recommend it. If you want to venture out further, however, we found lots of scooter rental places in the area.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Finding the right place to stay in Bali isn’t hard. There are so many options and a wide variety of price ranges, it really just comes down to what you’re looking for in a Bali vacation. Are you looking for a sweet escape? Maybe some fun in the sun? If you have a few days on your hands, why not do both? Either way, you can’t go wrong.

***BONUS: BALI BELLY***

Though not specifically related to accommodations, I thought I’d share some information on Bali Belly and our experience with it.  “Traveller’s diarrhea or Bali belly can be caused by consuming contaminated food and water. Untreated water can carry pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or protozoans.”

Despite all our caution and efforts to avoid it, we (like so many others) fell victim to the infamous Bali belly. To be more accurate, my poor husband fell victim and I have to admit… it was pretty scary to watch. Many of the symptoms that are consistent with Bali Belly are also found in Dengue Fever:

  • High fever
  • Severe headaches
  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping, bloating and pain

What really had me fearing the worst was his severely high fever and eventually his inability to get out of bed. At this point I decided to start looking into hospitals. After a thorough Google search, I found a clinic with good reviews that did house calls. After a quick email, they dispatched two doctors to come directly to our hotel.

I can’t stress how amazing these doctors were. They spoke great English, answered all our questions, addressed our concerns and diagnosed him almost immediately. It was definitely Bali Belly, though even they were a bit surprised by how high his fever was. They gave him two shots, plenty of medication and walked us through everything so we knew exactly what everything was for.

Many travelers like to recommend taking activated charcoal tablets as a remedy because it flushes out bacteria. The problem with that is that it flushes out the good bacteria along with the bad. Personally, I recommend visiting a clinic. It’s super affordable and way more effective. My husband was walking around just hours after being treated. He was even able to go out for a light dinner later that night. Though he was not 100% better, it was a complete turn around. By the next day he was able to enjoy the rest of our vacation out on the beach.

  • Address
    • Jl. Sukma Kesuma No.37, Peliatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
  • Phone
    • +62 821-8888-2273
  • Website

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