Bali, Indonesia. I will admit that it had never really been on my travel radar – a combination of being utterly obsessed with so many other corners of the world, along with the knowledge that it’s such an incredibly hot party spot (and typical os trip) for Australians and New Zealander’s alike, I didn’t view it as a ‘must see’ spot. At least not until I had made my way further down my growing list of  travel destinations!

This trip all happened after receiving an email from my cousin, who said she was dying to go over the Easter holidays – with the number of public holidays available to use up on a girls week away, how affordable the trip would be and with nothing but cocktails and beaches at the other end I was easily swayed.

Having now experienced Bali for myself, I sit here shaking my head. I find it incredible that I had been so quick to write this beautiful place off as a ‘maybe, one day’.

Our first port of call was Seminyak, where we booked three nights at Mutiara Bali Boutique Resort Villa’s & Spa. It was incredibly humid when we eventually walked out of the airport after spending more than two hours waiting to go through customs. We were greeted by a mass crowd of drivers all waving signs with guest names on them – I’m still surprised at how quickly we were able to spot our guy among them all. But we waved, and he greeted us with a huge smile and waved us over the back of the crowd. While we waited for him to drive his car around to us, we stood with sweat starting to trickle down our arms and backs (despite the rain), our hair fluffed out with the intense humidity and we grew incredibly thirsty. Once he pulled up and helped us get our things into the back, he handed us each a bottle of water (life saver) and we climbed into  the car – it was luxury being able to get into an air conditioned space at that point. Pulling out to the streets, we were able to catch a glimpse of the airport behind us – having undergone recent renovations, the building really is quite impressive and beautiful!

This next part became a lasting experience from Bali. If like us, you are in no way prepared for it, it comes as a bit of a shock. I had heard that scooters run riot and you need to be careful on the roads (especially crossing the street), but I had no idea it was just about any vehicle on the road. Indicators (for those who do use them) are there to let other cars know you’re merging immediately, whether there’s room or not. There are marked lanes, however they’re treated as more of a guideline. Scooters with multiple people, cartons and even ladders weave between cars – it’s utter chaos, but it seems to flow so seamlessly!  After a few minutes of handle holding, we settled into the ride and started to take in the sights.

Arriving at Mutiara we were greeted warmly, our bags carried up and welcome drinks were waiting for us at the front desk. We were then escorted down to our villa, coordinating bags and umbrella’s, and were both given a tour around what would be our home for the next few days.

This villa was like our own private piece of paradise. The front gate opened up to a lush garden and large private pool, complete with tranquil water fountain. The villa sat at the other end, with a sizable open patio and outdoor kitchen, a large thatch roof with one room downstairs and the other up. I took downstairs, my room behind a double wooden door, a large king bed faced me as I walked in, ample storage and a lovely fresh fruit basket by the window. My ensuite bathroom was out the back, open completely at each end to lush gardens and rock beds. We decided to spend our first night in, making the most of our small haven – we took a dip in the pool with some Bintang beers, booked in at the spa for full body massages, ordered room service for dinner and climbed into our white robes kicking back on our patio before we turned in. The next morning, we had our own personal cook come to our villa and cook our breakfast for us! Such a treat.

Where:

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