Travel Review: Beautiful Bali
It may be small in size, but this all-in-one island destination really packs a punch. Not many other holiday hotspots can compete with Bali’s combination of culture and history, soaring volcanoes, palm-lined beaches, breathtaking rice paddies and tropical vistas. But when you add stunning hotels, sensual spas, sleek bars and bustling markets to the list, it’s clear why Bali inspires images of a tropical paradise. The only problem is deciding what to do each day...
SEE THE SIGHTS
The Balinese philosophy encourages a balance between mankind, the environment and the spiritual world. So what better way to experience the sights than getting back to nature on foot? Don comfy flats to trek in the rice paddies, Ubud rainforest and Mount Agung volcano, or hop on a bike to peddle past the many enchanting local ceremonies, pulse-pounding surf spots and traditional dance performances. There is SO much to see and do.
The COMO Shambhala Estate is located in Ubud, deep within the rainforest, and enjoys spectacular panoramic views of the valley and river Ayung below. With its secluded setting, private thatched villas and bounty of infinity pools, it’s hard to imagine a more restful rainforest retreat. COMO Shambhala advocates holistic wellness and visitors can seek health advice from the team of experts, who’ll help shake up your chakras with spa therapies, healthy cuisine and yoga and exercise activities. Honeymooners will love bunking up in the private retreats, while soloists can enjoy the activity schedule and workaholics indulge in some stress-easing jungle tranquility.
After downward dogging and sun lounging, head to the hotel’s multi-therapy holistic spa. It offers all the usual beauty therapies using Guinot products but it’s the traditional Taksu massage that comes highly recommended. If you are feeling vitamin deficient, make an appointment with the in-house nutritionist, Eve, or Ayurvedic doctor, Deepak, who can o er useful diet and lifestyle suggestions.
Access to incredible ingredients means that the COMO Shambhala menu has an exotic twist. Produce is sourced locally and the healthy raw food options make detoxing delicious. Outside of the hotel, while top notch restaurants abound, the local open-air street food is a fierce rival. No visit to the island is complete without a casual meal of traditional fried-rice dish nasi goreng while overlooking the paddies.
SHOP THE ISLAND
Shopping in Bali usually means an extra bag will be at the top of your list, with stores overflowing with hand-carved stone statues, wood collectables and batiks that make ideal keepsakes. Clustered around Ubud are numerous craft villages, tiny communities where visitors can see artisans at work before buying their creations. Batubulan is populated with stone carvers, Celuk is renowned for its gold and silversmiths and Mas is the place to go for some of the best wood carving on the island. Clothing wise, Bali-goers would be well advised to stock up on linens printed with natural dyed batik, a Balinese tradition.
INFO: Rooms at COMO Shambhala Ubud start from Dhs1,840per night, www.comoshambhala.com