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Concierge Recommends: Bali’s Best White Sand Beaches

in Destinations/Recreation by

Besides its rich culture and art which sets Bali apart from other island destinations, it is also unique in the variety of beaches it offers. Choose from powdery white sands to rocky cliff-fronts, from unreal volcanic black sand beaches to those with golden champagne hues. With so many options, a single trip can not do Bali justice. But for your next trip to this fascinating island, here’s help.

We’ve decoded Bali’s stunning coastline and put together our Elite Concierge-curated list of the best white sand beaches on the island. Some of these are well known and others hidden secrets that only locals know about. Find your ideal haven on one of these beaches and get ready for a trip to paradise. 

Sanur

With its bohemian vibes, Sanur is favoured by the sophisticated set. Owing to an influx of artistic expats who settled here more than half a century ago, the area has a very laid-back feel with a long beachfront promenade. A great beach for families, it allows for swimming and also has some lovely restaurants right on the sand.

Book a luxury villa in Sanur  and enjoy swimming at Sanur Beach, with its gentle ocean swell and spectacular sunrise views. End each day with a run along the promenade, coming back to freshly crafted cocktails served by the attentive staff in your villa. Allow yourself to get pampered. 

Nusa Dua

The spotless white beach of your dreams lies here, at Nusa Dua. With five-star resorts lining up the coastline, the beach is well maintained and impeccably clean. Enjoy water sports like jet skis and banana boats here, or just walk along the shore, with the waves gently lapping at your feet.

Turquoise water, clean beaches and lack of crowds – Nusa Dua is picture-perfect. The beaches are easily accessible from all our villas at The Bukit , which brings us to the other fabulous beaches in the area.

Jimbaran Beach, The Bukit

From Jimbaran Beach in the north-west to Pandawa towards its southern end and Nusa Dua up along the eastern side, The Bukit Peninsula is a treasure trove of silver sand beaches. Jimbaran Beach is a great expanse, right at the mouth of the peninsula. It is perfect for delicious seafood dinners and photo ops with local fishing boats in the background.

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Influencer of the Day: Maudy Ayunda

in Destinations/People by

We caught up with Maudy Ayunda, Indonesian singer, songwriter, actress, and activist for education and youth-related initiatives when she stayed at an elite haven recently. Maudy is more than just a celebrity. She has played an ambassador’s role in the fight against modern slavery, by sharing the message relentlessly amongst youth, and was also invited to the Vice Presidential Palace in Jakarta as a representative in 2017. Maudy has made it her life’s purpose to ensure women and men the right to live with freedom and dignity. She was also awarded ‘Best Digital Influencer’ at the BUBU Awards, ‘Most Influential Millennial’ at Style Awards.

We sat down with this trailblazer for an informal chat.

Elite Havens: Hi Maudy, what’s keeping you busy these days?

Maudy Ayunda: I’m actually leaving this weekend for Stanford, and I am just so excited. My studies will officially kick off next week.

EH: Wow! Congratulations on Stanford. Do you have any tips to share on how to get into a top international university?

MA: I don’t know if there is one magic formula. It’s really hard for me to pinpoint what about my application got me in. I think the main thing is to speak your truth in the application, and not pretend to be someone that you are not. And make sure you give yourself enough time to work on the application because it is quite time consuming and shouldn’t be rushed through. I spent an entire month working on my CV, and another three months on my essay, followed by a whole month preparing for the exams. Another tip is to sound off your ideas with a lot of people, especially ask them whether the topic of your essay sounds interesting, let them read your essay and let them tell you if your personality is reflected in your words. That’s really important because you have to come off as your true self, to come off as somebody who’s not putting up an illusion.

EH: What can you share with your fans about your next project?

MA: My next release is in December and it’s called Habibi Ainun 3. It is so, so exciting, I just finished dubbing for it. Not to be narcissistic but the movie’s looking good so far. I can’t wait to see it for myself this December.

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Have Your Dream Wedding in Bali

in Destinations/Weddings by

If you have always dreamed of a destination wedding, look no further than Bali, the Island of the Gods. Picture exchanging vows with your special someone on a clifftop, against the backdrop of the shimmering sea, with the sound of the surf crashing below. Or go barefoot bohemian and declare your love on the beach, with the sand between your toes and the setting sun sending flames across the sky. Or perhaps enveloped by the seclusion of a rural oasis, on the rim of a mountain ravine, surrounded by rice terraces. Sounds unbelievable that so many options could exist on one island, doesn’t it?

Visualise the details – delicately woven palm frond decorations and penjor flags framing the ceremonial space; three-tiered temple parasols and tropical blooms; flaming bamboo torches and candles amidst a garden of colossal foliage; the hypnotic sound of Gamelan music; a lattice of party lights strung like pearls illuminating the darkening sky. And amid that enchanting setting, imagine being in the arms of your partner, dancing together for the first time as husband and wife.

If you want a magical Balinese wedding, the first step is to pick the ideal villa as the venue. Once you have your perfect elite haven, the rest is easy from thereon. Here’s a glimpse of some of our favourite wedding villas in Bali. Which one would you pick for your special day? 

Noku Beach House

Noku Beach House is considered to be the glamorous queen of Seminyak’s beachfront. Its chic all-white aura and lavish living spaces make it a favourite with youngsters, and those with a taste for the finer things in life. If you have an eye for design, you will absolutely love the avant-garde art pieces that dot this celebrity-style villa.

Made for the stylish set favouring outdoor living, Noku has a cosy entertaining bale, a great spot for sunset-watching, as well as decks and lawned gardens stretching alongside the sparkling 27-metre pool. Its fabulous beachfront location makes for an idyllic wedding venue, with rooftop gardens overlooking the ocean and covered terraces offering spaces for smaller set-ups.

The lush lawns are large enough to accommodate 150 people for a formal wedding breakfast, lunch or dinner.

A beautiful wedding ceremony can be held at the beachfront deck, right in front of the ocean,

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7 Things To Do in the Bukit Peninsula

in Culture/Destinations/Families/Recreation/Weddings by

The majestic clifftop Uluwatu Temple lies in the Bukit area of Bali, which is also home to the best beaches and surf spots on the island. The Bukit is actually a large limestone peninsula and would be a separate island if it weren’t for the small sliver of land south of the Bali airport. The ‘Bukit’, which means ‘hill’ in Indonesian, is – unlike the rest of the island – arid, stony and dry. The west coast is particularly popular, with accommodations perched above Balangan Beach offering stunning clifftop ocean views.

The best way to explore the Bukit Peninsula  and visit all of its gorgeous beaches is via motorized transport.  Many elite havens have a driver and vehicle available to guests.  Simply check with the Villa Manager on availability and special inside tips on local attractions.  Alternatively, you can hire transport via the dedicated EH Concierge service.

There are many exciting things to do in the area. Here are our top 7:

Visit the Famous Uluwatu Temple

Go to the famous Uluwatu Temple, one of Bali’s nine key temples and part of its spiritual legacy. ‘Ulu’ means the ‘top’ or the ‘tip’ and ‘watu’ means a ‘stone’ or a ‘rock’ in Balinese. The astounding temple has been sitting on the same spot – 70 metres above the ocean – for thousands of years. Two sages are credited with creating and enlarging it: Empu Kuturan in the 11th century and Dang Hyang Nirartha, who they say achieved moshka or samsara (liberation) here. Temple anniversary celebrations are held every six months according to the Balinese 210-day Pawukon cycle.

The forest by the temple is full of monkeys who grab items such as sunglasses and cameras, so be careful. They can be bribed with bananas and peanuts to get your items back. 

Watch A Kecak Fire Dance

A popular dance, the Kecak fire dance, is performed at the Uluwatu Temple every day at 6pm, around sunset. It is a spectacular sight to behold. The dance is famous for its use of voices in lieu of instruments, which lends a powerful accompaniment to its drama. You can also watch it in the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park.

See the 120-metre statue of Lord Vishnu and Garuda

The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park has a humongous statue of Lord Vishnu riding his mount Garuda,

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