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Flora Howard, Country Life Magazine visits Bali

Flora, Country Life Magazine‘s features editor recently traveled with us on a romantic tour of Bali. Here she shares her travel experiences…

Beautiful Bali – the island of 1000 temples

It was a long journey, but good things come to those who wait. As we stepped out of the air conditioned car that had navigated us safely for the hour long drive though cities, villages and paddy fields to Alila Villas Soori on the south west coast of the island, we were met with a blast of warm, sweet ‘frangipan’ scented air coming off the ocean. In one direction there was a view of the Indian Ocean and rice terraced mountains in the other. It was a welcome change from London and the beaming faces and generous waves of the Balianese were a friendly welcome.

To start our trip, we spent two nights at the Alila Soori, near the Tanah Lot Temple, where we indulged in some serious relaxation.

Days where spent swimming before breakfast in the beach side infinity pool, lounging on the day bed beside our private plunge pool, or beneath vast umbrellas looking out over the black volcanic sand beach and crashing waves, or feasting on the best of local ingredients and exploring the local village by Segway. In the evenings we experienced the best of Balanese spa treatments followed by cocktails and dinner.

From Alila Soori we drove inland towards the artistic and spiritual center of the island—Ubud. The Como Shambhala Estate combines the very best of luxury travel with an approach to healthy living and improvement to lifestyle that is irresistible.

On arrival we discussed a personalized itinerary designed to relax and rejuvenate. To my husband’s great relief this involved not the early mornings and colonic irrigation he was anticipating, (although this is available!) but breakfast on the balcony of our pool side villa looking out into the rain forest, yoga and pilates in a studio with a view across a mountain river landscape, aqua-therapy in the mountainside pool, spa treatments beside holy springs, some of the best food we had ever eaten and last but by no means least—mountain climbs with resident monkeys.

After three days of rainforests and private waterfalls it was difficult to leave, but with the prospect of another Alila to go to—not impossible. With the aid of our personal assistants from Como Shambhala, Mika and Dika, we arrived at Alila Villas Uluwatu, on the Bukit Peninsula, in time for a light lunch by the pool.

Alila Uluwatu is situated high on the cliffs looking out across the Indian Ocean on the Southern most tip of Bali. As I write I am in a ‘birds nest’ cabin suspended out over a cliff with a view only of azure blue sea, birds wheeling around and below me and waves crashing against the cliff.

The pace of life is relaxed and the attitude the same. Stylish villas with their own plunge pools—needed as the heat is intense—perch side by side looking out over the ocean.

It’s been an amazing ‘2nd honeymoon’ and would highly recommend Bali to anyone for their first…

Read more about our luxury customized vacations to Bali.

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