Bali Weekend Escape Ideas
As you might have seen from some of my recent instagram posts, I just had a glorious girls weekend away to Bali. Bali is to Singapore what the Mediterranean is to the UK - a short flight with numerous low cost airlines flying there on a daily basis at affordable rates. I was with this same bunch of ladies staying in Seminyak eighteen months before so this time we opted to stay in Canggu for a new vibe.
About a twenty minute drive north of Seminyak, Canggu (pronounced chang-goo) has changed dramatically since the very first time I stayed there seven years ago when it was a very sleepy place with little on offer other than the Canggu Club (which has subsequently vanished to be replaced by the cooler Finns Beach Club - see below). In the not even two years since my last visit, the amount of cool cafes, funky shops and restaurants has dramatically risen, making it a great new Bali destination to explore. Some even dare to call it the ‘New Seminyak’…
In order to give you a more in depth picture of Canggu I’m pulling in my good friend, Emma (of Emma Laue kids fame!) as she’s a Bali regular and has great ideas on places to eat, shop or stay - especially from a family perspective. We only had a three night trip so adding in Emma’s tips will give you a more rounded view. Enjoy the read and hope it inspires you to visit…
S T A Y
Girls Trip - we stayed in an Elite Haven Villa, called Villa Gu, located close to FINNS in Berawa, Canggu. A five bedroom villa built around a lush garden and long pool with seamless indoor/outdoor spaces. A calm and serene space for us busy Mamas to have our own space to relax in, chill and hang out together - well, calm with a caveat - until the builders next door wake you up at 8am with their hammering! But, that’s Bali for you - new villas and developments being built all the time, such is the pace of change.
Staffed villas are always such a treat - despite only having breakfast in the Villa, we chilled and drank plenty of rose around the pool or in the outdoor living room. We even had a yoga lesson on the upstairs terrace. Each bedroom was beautifully decorated, the bathrooms huge and all the usual Balinese touches that give you a perfectly zen sense of peacefulness.
Emma Laue recommends- Villa JOJU is an amazing family friendly villa. Literally everything has been thought of to make travelling with young children as easy as it can be. The kids room (adjoining the master bedroom) has to be seen to be believed! Double bunks are surrounded with toys, books, games and the most amazing paired wall mural!
Villa Zig in Berawa is also a good choice with kids that are perhaps a bit older. The location is second to none, walking distance to an array of cafes, restaurants, shops and Splash at Finns. Flooded with natural light, the Villa is built in the traditional joglo style, with high soaring ceilings to help keep the villa cool.
G E T T I N G A R O U N D
Bali might be getting super built up but the infrastructure regrettably hasn’t caught up. The notorious ‘shortcut road’ in Canggu that takes you from one end to the other was a jam with cars, motorbikes and congestion every day. It can take a half hour to drive from one side of Canggu to the other. We walked out from our Villa a few times but you take your chances when you do! It’s easy to get a taxi and agree an hourly rate so he drives you from place to place - we did this and found some really friendly drivers - shout out to Dharma and Kadek! - who took us on fabulous shopping trips!
Emma’s advice on getting about as a family - my best tip would be to find yourself a reliable driver and car to be available to take you around to explore the island. Usually a villa or hotel with have a recommendation of a trusted contact is Eri who can be contacted via Whatspp on +62 878 60114666.
We recently visited Tirta Empul Temple for a family blessing where you immerse yourself fully in the holy temple water. As such I’d say this is better for children over the age of seven - it can get quite busy and smaller kids might find this overwhelming. That said, you can still visit but without doing the water blessing.
We also enjoyed cycling around Ubud as a family. We used Ubud Cycling for our tour which took us through traditional Balinese villages, rice paddies and picturesque scenery. Komang will guide you and your family on this amazing experience.
S H O P P I N G
It cannot be denied that shopping played a major part in our weekend activity. If the mornings were devoted to relaxation and gossip around the pool (except for our personal trainer friend Tracy who shamed us all into a daily run along the beach!), then the afternoons were for boosting the local economy with a few retail dollar spends. Our last trip to Seminyak was just before Christmas so we stocked up on presents for friends, family and added a number of great ‘Singapore climate-friendly’ dresses to the wardrobe. This time around, we were all looking for homewares and turned, quite literally, into basket cases seeking out the perfect woven basket or rattan tray! Here are some great places to check out:
F A S H I O N
KIDS A GOGO -
Jl. Kayu Aya No.29, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- cuteness overload for kids up to the age of about 7/8. Good place for boys cute printed shirts.
INDIGO KIDS -
Jl. Pantai Berawa, Tibubeneng, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- another great place for children’s clothes from beach cover ups to swimwear and light weight printed dresses. Various outlets across the island.
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu, Kuta Utara
Canggu Junction shop 8, Jalan Batu Mejan , Canggu, Kuta Utara
- perfectly tropical climate appropriate clothing, accessories and shoes.
MIA BALI -
Jln Kayu Aya No 43,Oberoi, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
(there is a small store on the Batu Bolong road in Canggu)
- glamorous kaftans, dresses, jewellery with bohemian feel.
BALI BOAT SHED -
Jl. Laksamana Basangkasa No.55, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- didn’t make it to their Seminyak store this time but managed to pick up a shirt for the hubs from another store selling their lines in Batu Bolong, Canggu. Lots of SG climate appropriate lines in pretty prints.
Jalan Kayu Aya / Oberoi no 43 Seminyak +62 813 3958 9646
- putting down the Seminyak store as walked for ages trying to find the Canggu one and couldn’t ! I now have three MB necklaces and love them all. Easy to get hooked on these jewels!
H O M E W A R E S
KIM SOO -
Jl Kayu Aya No.21 & Jl Sunset Road, Seminyak, p. +62 822 4713 0122, e. email@example.com
- an absolute favourite homewares store for stylish decor, soft furnishings, tableware, wall hangings, ceramics, accessories and knick knackery is Kim Soo. Enjoy lunch in their cafe first then indulge in some shopping afterwards. Hope you have enough baggage allowance.
BUNGALOW LIVING BALI -
Jl Raya Pantai Berawa No.35A, Berawa, p. +62 361 844 6567, e. firstname.lastname@example.org
- two shops on adjacent sides of the road in Canggu, Bungalow Living Bali, is FULL to the brim with delicious decor and home accents. From rugs, cushions, tableware (mats, coasters, table cloths), bed linen and throws, basketware, knick knacks, gifts, wall hangings. It’s easy to get carried away not least because the prices are so reasonable as well as an overwhelming feeling that everything in this store is entirely 'necessary' in your own home!
STYLE & MOOD -
Jl. Pantai Berawa No.33, Tibubeneng, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- over the road from Bungalow Living you’ll find Canggu’s Style & Mood shop (there’s also one in Seminyak). Yes, it’s another homewares shop but I would say they have a greater focus on children’s bedrooms. I picked up a lovely cotton reversible childs hooded towel.
THE JUNGLE TRADER -
Jalan Pantai Berawa 46X Berawa, Canggu, Bali
- "Part Bohemian, part Classic, Ethnic and interesting. The Jungle Trader is a new concept store conceived and curated by two ‘vintage’ friends located in Berawa - the once quiet surf village of Canggu. Berawa is evolving as the secret style destination for shopping and eating in Bali.' - a mix of homeware, fashion, jewellery and accessories.
JEMEH NATURAL & HOME BASKET 2
Jl. Teuku Umar Barat Mo 99X, Padangsambian, Denpasar Barat,, Bali 80117
- I first went to the Jemeh Natural basket emporium (with wholesale prices) a few years ago with the lovely lady who makes our Elyse & i bags in Bali. We asked our villa to call and they informed us that there was a second shop closer to Canggu on Jl. Athena No.39 - however we searched high and low and didn’t find it! But fear not, we then stumbled across the amazing Jl. Gn. Tangkuban Perahu street in North Kuta - it was FULL of basket shops at pretty much wholesale prices. HOME BASKET 2 is a basket mecca that must be sought out. Take cash as not every shop takes c/cards. I would also suggest taking a driver to ferry you from one place to the next.
F O O D G L O R I O U S F O O D
Not sure about you but eating out is high up on the agenda and good local cuisine is a must for any trip we make - be that as a girls trip or family. Bali is a gastronomic playground and here are some of Emma & I’s collective favourites :-
Milk & Madu
Jl. Pantai Berawa No.52, Tibubeneng, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
- Owned by the same people as Batu Belig’s Watercress Cafe (which is delicious) and Ulekan (see Emma’s recco below) but located in Canggu. Our girl group pretty much all ate the Madu Poke bowl with sustainable line caught tuna, edamame, crispy tempura nori seasonal avocado, spring onion, pickled ginger, coriander sushi rice, toasted sesame & ginger ponzu dressing. Oh my days, I could eat this every day it was so damn good. Lucy had the Byron Bowl and said it was also delicious. Needed more time to go back and eat more from here! With a little playground, colouring on hand and a good menu its a great family/children set up too.
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu Beach, Bali
- Japanese fusion food, fine wines, sake with a picturesque ocean vista. The food was heaven-sent, the Aperol Spritz flowed and the sun went down. Nuff said. Booking recommended.
Paddy Field Panoramic-
21 Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan
- Just when we thought the food couldn’t get better, we went to Sardine. Laid back rattan chairs, atmospherically lit with a magical overlooking-paddy-field-setting. The food was fresh and bursting with flavour. I can still taste my fresh lobster & crab ravioli and fish baked in banana leaf.
Fish bone Local
117X Batu Bolong, Canggu, Bali
If you like fish, this is your place! Relaxed vibe and delicious meals, atmospheric but buzzy vibes.
Ulekan, Jalan Tegal Sari 34 Canggu, Bali
- another of the Milk & Madu and Watercress Cafe family so you know its gonna be good before going. Menu focuses on delicious traditional Indonesian cooking with a slightly western finish. Great place to introduce kids to new local flavours.
P A R T Y O N
Jalan Pantai Berawa, Canggu
- I've been to FINNS with friends, as a family by day and also by evening. If you are going as a family, I suggest getting there early on as the by late afternoon, the young crowd are flying on the cocktail hour(s)! We got there for early evening cocktails and happily people watched (feeling a bit old!) sipping our Mojitos.
Batu Bolong, Canggu
- we stumbled across Old Man on our first night. Sitting outside drinking Margeritas, it was hard to avoid the dance floor (full of young things!) and we tore up the retro disco tunes!
We hope you enjoyed reading this and if Bali is on your horizon this is some good food for thought. Comment below with your favourite Balinese hangs!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
British Designer Emily Cheetham is the founder and sole designer of Elyse & i bags. What started as a kitchen table hobby soon turned into a brand after friends and family sought her unique creations. Over twelve years later, the brand has been sold in shops the world over, her designs have been both nominated and won prestigious awards in London & New York, she's participated in Paris Fashion Week, won numerous press accolades, collaborated with high street stores, artists & corporates and seen her bags clutched by celebrities and even worn to Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding last year. Cheetham resides in Singapore with her husband and two young children whilst juggling motherhood with bag design! Read more over here.
Emma Laue is an Australian designer hailing from Sydney but who has called the tropical city state Singapore home for the past decade. She started her eponymous kid's label, Emma Laue Children, out of frustration at the lack of good quality, imaginative boys clothes soon after the birth of her son. Having trained in Fashion Design in Sydney and spent numerous years as a bespoke wedding dress couturier, her knowledge and background - and unwavering passion for fabrics - meant she was well equipped for producing her label. Her seasonal collections of printed baby and children's (up to age 10) wear mix the highest quality materials, beautiful styling at a highly desirable price point. She's just introduced some limited edition womenswear so 'twinning' with your children, the Emma Laue way has never been easier. Read more about her over here.
Been to Bali recently? Have we missed a great place for brunch or cocktails? Let us know and comment below!