Revel or Relax? You can do both with 48 hours on Bali, says the Rainbow Rambler who went there to refresh.
Recently, I had a weekend escape set aside to rejuvenate my travel-weary body, mind and spirit. As a frequent visitor to Bali, I sought somewhere new to try away from the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak shuffle, yet close enough to my favorite healer, healthy cafes and happy hour sunset-watching beaches.
I was extraordinarily lucky to have booked into a quiet corner of Kerobokan, lodging at Balinea Villa & Spa, a quick scoot to two of my all-time favorite raw, organic and vegetarian eateries, and also two popular gay beaches at Batu Belig and Double Six.
The biggest decision I had to make was to revel or relax. I did both during my 48 hours, having found similar minded guests at the villa interested in swimming, sun baking, and sipping cocktails at sunset.
I spent Day One like a Lazy Buddha. (Balinea has many Buddha sentries, each room having a guard painted a rainbow colour, and there’s a huge reclining Buddha by the gorgeous pool.) After a jet-lag-be-gone massage and gulping fresh coconut juice in the rainbow-pillowed bale, I scootered to Bali Buddha Café for lunch with a friend to celebrate his birthday. After purchasing some healthy snacks and drinks in their deli (if you can label an onion bagel pretzel and cold-pressed coffee that way), I dashed back to open a book on the private deck in the back garden.
My Superior Suite consisted of a large bedroom, ensuite, outdoor Balinese shower, outdoor kitchenette and lounge area, and an octagon-shaped mini pool for splashing. What a great area to sip a coconut n lime or quintessential Bintang. (Or the other local favorite combo – Arak, and a clove cigarette.)
Balinea is a newly-opened boutique villa with two superior suites and six deluxe rooms surrounding the central pool. The gaily-appointed rooms are quiet, and the only noise you hear in the night are geckos and roosters in the morning. You awaken to the smell of fresh flowers in your rooms and blooming Frangipani in the back garden.
Day Two was comprised of a second “healing” massage, shopping at Folk Art Gallery, and revelry with friends till the eleventh hour and my departure loomed.
The highlight of this short visit had to the sundowner at the gay hangout, Sunset 66. We found the gay flags in the middle of Double Six Beach, and the gay staff fed and watered us for just a few rupiahs. As the umbrellas and cabanas came down, we were treated to yet another sensational sunset for a picture-perfect postcard from Bali.
When you go: Ask about Balinea’s opening specials and airport transfers. The villa is just 30 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from the gay strip of nightclubs. Location and rates make this a definite pit stop.
The Rainbow Refresh Package
- 3 days/2 nights at Balinea Villa & Spa
- from USD $169 per 2 guests
- Your refresher begins with complimentary transfer from the airport and a welcome drink.
- 2 nights deluxe room with private bath, garden and terrace
- Daily Breakfast in the Rainbow Café
- 60 minute traditional Balinese massage per person
- 1 spa product package per couple
- Unlimited use of gym for fitness freaks
- Refreshing dips in the lap pool
- Plenty of poolside sunbeds and a relaxing gazebo area
- Daily Afternoon Tea (coffee/tea/beer/soft drinks) This package is available now, but not valid 15 Dec 2013 to 15 Jan 2014.
Bookings and website: Balinea Villa & Spa
Indonesia is exceptionally popular with gay and lesbian visitors who find the laid-back locals and accommodation operators refreshingly friendly and open minded. The tiny island of Bali packs a big wallop for however long you can stay.