Bali, without doubt one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world right now. And rightly so. With so much variety of culture mixed with romantic settings and upmarket hospitality, it has everything required for an enjoyable and memorable honeymoon. But for those travelling from the UK and visiting Bali (and possibly Asia) for the first time, it takes a fair bit of researching to plan your special trip.
So we’re going to give you a headstart.
First of all, how to get to Bali (from the UK)
There’s a few different flight paths you can take to get to Bali and it’s a great idea to stopover for a couple of nights at one of the major cities in South East Asia then, from there, take a budget airline flight to fly to Bali.
For example, you can fly from the UK to Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur then stay in a luxury hotel for two nights while soaking up the city (and getting over jetlag). In Bangkok we’d recommend staying at the Anantara Riverside Resort – a huge hotel resort on the bank of the Chao Phraya River – with easy access to the city. The staff are incredibly welcoming and they even have their own small boat to take you across the river where you’ll find a large outdoor market called Asiatique The Riverfront, brilliant for finding keepsakes and unique Thai goods.
From Bangkok (or Singapore or Kuala Lumpur), book a direct flight to Bali with one of the many airlines on this route. AirAsia operate from all these cities and have many flights each day – they’re a solid option and you should be able to book at under £50 each way – which is a bargain for a 3-4 hour flight! Reserve your seats at the left side of the plane to get an awesome view of the Bali coastline when landing.
Next, where to stay in Bali?
Bali has so much accommodation options ranging from cheap homestays to luxury hotels and villas in many different regions and villages. Our advice for honeymooners is to split your stay to experience two very different sides to Bali.
First, spend a week or so at a secluded beach resort down in Uluwatu – there’s quite a few to choose from. A great choice would be The Ungasan Clifftop Resort where you will experience 5 star luxury living and service within a large secluded hotel resort. These resorts normally have there own beach club and The Ungasan is no different – it has it’s very own lift to take guests 500m down the cliff to it’s own secluded beach and beach club, Sunday’s Beach Club. It’s a brilliant way to unwind while sipping cocktails, soaking in the sun, and taking a dip in the crystal clear sea.
After you’ve chilled to the maximum you’ll probably be ready for a bit more hustle and bustle. In which case we would suggest spending your second week in an area called Seminyak. Here we suggest you rent a romantic private villa in this more touristy area so you will still have your own private accommodation as well as your own personal staff – housekeeper, chefs, driver, security guard etc. Check out the villas at The Residence Seminyak; a strategically located villa resort just a few minutes walk from the main street (known as “Eat Street”). From there everything you need is withing walking distance; from restaurants, bars, and beach clubs, to shops, spas, and markets.
What to do while in Seminyak, Bali?
As obvious as it sounds, you’re not going to go hungry as Bali has a huge range of restaurants – in fact, more than 5000 across the entire island – of all types of cuisine. From cheap local eateries to fine dining with world-famous chefs. For something special, try Metis, a French Mediterranean fine dining restaurant in Seminyak. If you’re just after a big feed of “great food, done very well” we suggest Nostimo – a Greek restaurant that is packed out on most nights, and is very reasonably priced at around £6-£10 per head.
There’s so many spas in Bali – you’ll find one every which way you turn – and they range from the cheap and cheerful to the upmarket wellness centres. We suggest Bodyworks in Seminyak; a top quality and professional relaxation spa with high standard massages and beauty treatments, all set within a traditional style building. While walking around it’s not unusual to stop off in one of the many spa salons for a quick foot massage – there’s so many in the area it’s not even worth mentioning one!
Bali is famous for it’s beaches as it has so many, each offering something a bit different. Don’t be too disgruntled if your first experience of a Bali beach is one of the busy tourist beaches which are bustling with visitors and beach bars and aren’t the picturesque sandy beaches you’ve seen in photos. The most beautiful beaches are located in the southern peninsula, in areas such as Uluwatu and Jimbaran. You can easily take a day trip to these beaches or book accommodation in this area for a while. The beaches of Kuta and Seminyak are livelier and are home to various beach bars.
From local markets and independent designer boutiques to the tourist shops, supermarkets, and your typical brand stores. Bali has the lot. We really suggest having a look at the many designer clothing boutiques in Seminyak – there’s a lot of women living in Bali who have opened their very own clothing line, all of which is produced in Bali. Also check out the art shops and think about taking home a unique piece of local art.
A visit to Bali would not be complete without hanging out at one (or more) of the many famous beach clubs. They are great for all day grazing, drinking, chilling… as well as watching the beautiful sunset come down over the ocean every evening. Sunset in Bali varies from 18:10 to 18:40 all year round, and watching it at the beach is a daily ritual for thousands of tourists and locals alike. In Seminyak, Ku De Ta and Potato Head are the obvious choices.
If you’re planning a honeymoon in Bali we hope this advice helps makes your decision-making more straightforward.
Mark Tulloch is Co-Founder at Asia Holiday Retreats.