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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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The Great Uluwatu: Nature’s Best Friend

in Culture/Destinations/Dining/Recreation by
Uluwatu, Bali

Uluwatu is part of a large limestone peninsula in southern Bali called ‘The Bukit’. Literally meaning ‘the hill’, The Bukit offers stunning clifftop ocean views, where you can visually feast on spectacular sunsets over the blue waters. “Glorious blue ocean, glistening white sandy beaches and dramatic clifftop vistas are inescapable in Uluwatu,” says Andy Grant, Head of Concierge at Elite Havens.

A Finely-Curated Tour of Uluwatu

Explore Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

A special inclusion for guests staying at select villas in the region, our signature Uluwatu tour allows a relaxed start and begins with a stop at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. Look up and gaze in awe at a huge statue of Lord Vishnu riding his mount Garuda, standing at about 120 metres – taller than the Statue of Liberty. It is an unexpected surprise to find such a mammoth display hidden away on a tiny island in Indonesia.

Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue

The park includes an amphitheater, an exhibition hall, and a large area called the Lotus Pond, where many famous rock bands have performed in the past.  Your personal tour guide will be happy to capture this moment for you, should you want a photograph at the spot.

Enjoy Pandawa Beach

He can also give you the lowdown on the history of the park and of Pandawa Beach, a glistening spot a short drive away. “From start to finish, you are escorted by our experienced driver, who is also your guide for the day, sharing local knowledge and insights into each area,” says Andy.

Pandawa beach

Dine at Roosterfish Beach Club

Pandawa Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali; the fact that it’s also less crowded than Seminyak and Kuta adds to its draw. After some beach-time, you have the option of having lunch at Roosterfish Beach Club, where the smell of wood-fired oven pizzas and grilled local seafood wafts in the air. The beach club is right on the sand, so get ready to have some fun!

Kecak fire dance

Watch a Kecak Fire Dance

The build-up is appropriate to set the tone for the most important stop of the day – the majestic Uluwatu Temple.

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The Magic of Nyepi: Bali’s Unique Day of Silence

in Culture by
Villa Zelie - Staff praying

While most cultures celebrate the new year with rowdy celebrations, revelry and fireworks, in Bali the dawning of a new year is ushered in with a unique day of silence, known as Nyepi.

This year Nyepi falls on 7 March and for 24 hours shops and restaurants will stay closed, the streets and markets will remain empty, the beaches will be deserted and the waves un-surfed. Even the airport is shut down as Bali falls under a magnificent cloak of silence.

Ocean Temple - Tanah Lot

In order to understand Nyepi, is it necessary to briefly dip into the dualistic world of Balinese Hinduism which is woven into the very fabric of life on the island. Imagine a cosmic dance in which the forces of good and evil are in constant play. Order is represented by the gods, known as dewa and dewi, while disorder is represented by the earth demons known as bhutas and kalas.

Balance must be maintained so that evil doesn’t get the upper hand. Through a myriad of religious offerings and rituals, the gods are thanked and asked for blessings, while the forces of darkness who seek to upset the equilibrium are appeased. Of all the ceremonial days on the island, Nyepi is one of the most important.

Des Indes I

Why the silence?

Theological explanations vary. Some say that by staying hidden the evil spirits will think the island has been abandoned and will pass by, thus bringing an auspicious start to the new year. But Hindu scholars say that the noise and revelry of the preceding evening, Nyepi Eve, wakes up the demons so that they will see the offerings, including blood sacrifice that have been laid out for them. In this view, the silence is a symbol of contentment and gratitude that the demons have been appeased for another year. Regardless of theological explanations, Nyepi is a day reserved for quiet contemplation and self-reflection and Balinese Hindus are prohibited from work, entertainment, travel and lighting fires. Priests and those with a higher spiritual calling will also fast, observe total silence and pass the day in prayer.

nyepi ogoh ogoh bali art

How does Nyepi effect visitors to the island?

Even tourists must respect Nyepi and stay within the grounds of their accommodation and keep noise and lights to a minimum.

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BIGBANG in Bali: K-pop star misses fans

in News by
Elite Havens host Seungri Big Bang in Bali 2018

If you’re rich and famous and travelling in Asia, then this is true: Bali, Indonesia is on your itinerary.

Why?

Because this idyllic island has something for everyone − tropical beaches beloved by surfers and sandy babies, scenic highlands for the eco-traveller, a unique vibrant culture to experience, modern shopping malls, Asia’s #1 water park and the list goes on. After dark, a diverse nightlife scene lights up the southern coastlines and beckons the young (and young at heart).

seungri in bali

There’s quite a lot to miss out on around here, and more or less year-round equatorial weather makes the appeal ever-present. Given the chance, who wouldn’t make time for a holiday at a luxury villa in Bali?

After a stint in the Philippines, where Korean pop megastars Big Bang scheduled several performances for June 2018, the group’s 27 year-old singer/dancer sensation Seungri made a very expected yet secret next move. He went to Bali.

This picture of Seungri horseback riding on the beach comes straight from his Instagram account.

Where did world-famous K-pop star Seungri stay in Bali? Much to our delight, he stayed with us.

Sohamsa Estate - Ungasan Villas Bali

Sohamsa Ocean Estate

Two magnificent cliff-top villas on the southernmost tip of Bali’s Bukit peninsula, 5-bedroom Villa Soham and 4-bedroom Villa Hamsa offer spectacular ocean views, stunning living space, large swimming pools, shared gyms and massage rooms, and a sauna and steam room. The fully-staffed villas are perfect for family and friends seeking a luxury villa experience off the beaten track yet within easy reach of the airport, top beaches and restaurants. When rented together, the villas can accommodate up to 22 guests. 

bali clifftop villa

For celebrity-worthy accommodation in Bali, look no further than Elite Havens luxury villa rentals. Delivering true luxury, stunning sea views, privacy, security and lofty service standards, we have a selection of fully-staffed villas which surpass fulfillment of even the steepest requirements. Our prized portfolio of beachfront, centre-of-town and cliff-top villas even boasts Bali villas with space sufficient to land a helicopter.

The opulence of villas today knows no end and, as the owner reps for the best villas in the rental market, we’re usually unbelievably exceptional hosts. Usually because, well, KOCOWA TV made a video of Seungri at Sohamsa Ocean Estate and you can see what happened here: 

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Bento, Yakitori and Sushi in Bali

in Destinations/Dining by

You have to love a cuisine that managed to invent another flavor. Umami refers to that extra layer of deliciousness that defies description.

Japanese food has infiltrated the far corners of the world, satiating our interest as well as our appetites. Read on to discover Japanese restaurants and places to order sushi in Bali, Indonesia.

Sake no Hana

Sake no Hana may be new in Bali but they come with a serious reputation in other parts of the world, most notably in London’s fashionable Mayfair. Described as contemporary Japanese, Sake no Hana’s Executive Chef travelled from London to create this menu and it is filled with temptation and flavor. From their signature menus, which offer exotic imports like Kobe beef, Hamachi sashimi and Alaskan king crab, to bento boxes to a scale of signature menus, this is worth the splurge.

Overlooking the sparkling new daytime destination, Omnia, on the Uluwatu coast, Sake no Hana is filled with light by day. At night, as the club closes, it becomes a sophisticated destination restaurant. With a refreshingly different menu of bespoke cocktails alongside some wonderful wine and sake selections, Sake no Hana adds sophisticated new flavours to Uluwatu. 

Top tip: leave room for desserts, which are beautiful, creative and delicious.

Ryoshi

Ryoshi’s owner, Sagon Togasa, opened his first Ryoshi in Seminyak to house his two great loves; sushi and jazz. It still does that and more. With Ryoshi now in Sanur, Ubud and offering welcome respite to shoppers in Galleria, the menu has expanded alongside the empire.

At heart is the sushi window, with chefs slicing sushi and sashimi to order, fresh seafood is also part of the philosophy. There are grills, braises and rice bowls. A range of delicious kushiyaki, grilled food on sticks, and some delicious vegetarian options.

Agadashi tofu is a hit here as is the Japanese steak, the traditional fried chicken and steaming bowls of udon with your choice of toppings. Best of all it’s ultimately affordable.

Top tip: Monday night is the most popular night as the jazz is always world class, head upstairs and take a seat in the restaurant or hang out at the bar.

Sushimi

When Tokyo meets Bondi, you have Sushimi.

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