Weekend in Bali

by Laguna Lupie

Our Bali trip started with a weekend stay at the beach. We chose the very affordable Tune Hotel in Legian, an easy two minutes walk to the Double Six beach.  There are many hotels in Legian but we needed a really cheap place to stay for a couple of nights before we moved to our real hotel in Nusa Dua for our conference.  The Tune cost us P1,000+ per night (around $22USD) and is very conveniently located near the beach so I chose that.  The rooms are tiny though, as in there was hardly any place to move around in there but it was clean and the bed was good so we made do, thinking we will be moving to a better hotel in a couple of days anyway.

The Tune is tucked away inside a compound and right outside were tourist shops and spas, cheap eateries and restaurants, money changers, convenience stores, salons and hotels side by side each other on the way to the beach. The beach scene was very relaxing indeed but the sand not as white or clean as our pristine beaches in the Philippines. The waves there are quite big (and scary for someone like me who doesn’t really swim), but as with all beaches it had that wonderful vibe of people enjoying themselves. Walking around the beach before sunset– watching families have fun, people playing catch with their pets and vendors selling the beautiful Balinese sailing kites– I had the sudden realization that I was happy and this was just the break I needed from all my cares.  I missed the kids though. The beach will always be more enjoyable with one’s kids.

IMG_8456The bamboo lined pathway from the hotel to the main street and the beach

The bars and cafes had colorful bean bags out on the sand where people listened to reggae music or folk songs while drinking cocktails or their Indonesian Bintang beers. Other spots were romantic with beautiful round lanterns and candlelit tables.

We ate seafood on the beach and midnight snacks at an affordable eatery called Warung Murah. On our last night at the beach we ate at this hotel restaurant, a real romantic dinner date, which we haven’t done in a long time, and it was perfect as well.

We didn’t do the usual tourist itineraries, day tours to this and that site, we just mostly relaxed on the beach, ate out and had massages.

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My husband lounging on beach side bean bags along Legian, Bali.

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Bintang beer and a mocktail while watching the beach sunset

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The courtyard at the Sicilian Spa in Legian, Bali

We had the honeymoon package at the Sicilian Spa right beside Tune Hotel. It was three hours of indulgence that began with a Balinese massage, then we had a green tea scrub and yogurt rub (the green tea had a nice clean smell to it but the yogurt was cold and felt weird at first). After the scrub you are supposed to take a shower and then immerse yourselves in a hot flower bath while they serve you ginger tea and cookies.  When you are finished with the flower bath, they will bring you upstairs and finish the whole package with a facial.

Honeymoon package at Sicilian Spa Bali

Couple’s room at a Balinese Spa

It was our first time to experience a spa package and it was blissful. I loved the Balinese massage, so good and unlike any massage I have experienced before. The flower bath was a first time as well.  A hot bath on its own is relaxing enough but a hot bath filled with flower petals while sipping tea and munching on cookies with your loved one is an experience to remember. Very romantic. I couldn’t help taking pictures of the bath for posterity!

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The wonderful flower bath after our green tea and yogurt scrub

I must say the spa and our beach dates were the highlight of that weekend.

Although one thing that marred our introduction to Bali was almost getting scammed by money changers near our hotel. We tried to have $100 changed so we had enough cash before the conference but the person tried to confuse us with all these bills and counting and recounting and then when we found out that the money was short he tried getting back all the bills again, I finally told my husband the man was trying to scam us, he took back our hundred dollar bill from the table and we quickly ran out of there. I later read online that this was a common scam in Bali. All I was ready for were the taxi scams (and they really do try to scam you at the airport when you arrive, good thing I read up and knew the taxi rates to Legian!) and didn’t realize we had to be wary of money changers as well. But anyway, these were minor setbacks and learning experiences on the road. Mostly, our weekend in Bali was a happy one and even though I felt unprepared for this whole trip, we started our conference refreshed, relaxed and ready.

Monday came, and we said goodbye to the Tune Hotel and moved on to Nusa Dua where our conference was located.

Raia and Ruel at Sicilian Spa Bali

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