My first time in Bali was pure delight, staying in Sanur, it was a luxury stay we will never forget. Let me assure you it wont be my last visit.
Picture this. Arriving in dark for your first venture in Bali, 2 young kids and anxious about your travels. Picked up by your villa driver and taking a twenty-minute trip down a busy Bali road, scooters galore on the road and finally reach Sanur, our destination for our trip. Upon entering Sanur we turn down a back street, locals are sitting out the front of their little shack and now thinking “where the hell are we heading,” until out of the middle of nowhere we reach the Paradise of Ellora Villas, that was our first memory of Bali.
Ellora Villas was in a word stunning. We arrived with our welcome drinks late at night and we were ushered to our room and what struck us from there was simply paradise. Upon opening the gate, you are struck with a glamorous swimming pool and outdoor living area you wish you had in your own place, cooking area, outdoor tables and comfortable seating, a lounge and at the end of the pool is outdoor bed where you can lie down and listen to the sounds of the water.
Inside the actual Villa there are two large rooms, both identical. Clean large beds, television and huge bathrooms, obviously mum and dad had one room and the boys shared the other, so there was good down time for us parents.
The best part was every morning we sat outside every morning to two wonderful local Balinese who would cook us a delightful breakfast, full breakfast, continental, pancakes, juices and coffee, everything you would get a hotel restaurant. And in the afternoon we were spoiled with cocktails, juice for thd kids and a small plate of Balinese cuisine.
The staff at Ellora were wonderful and helpful, always with a smile. The rooms were clean snd the swimming pool spotless. Sure it cost a bit of money but it was worth every cent.
Don’t take my word for it. Check what they say about Ellora Villas on Trip Advisor.
Sanur itself is a lovely little town that is bubbling with happy tourist and plenty of shopping. don’t be afraid of the pesky sellers, they are just trying to make a buck and they are quite friendly, simply walk away with a smile and they will leave you alone.
The main strip in Sanur is stacked with restaurants, shopping, massage centres and a fantastic Starbucks to enjoy a coffee, or preferably in the hot climate an iced coffee. The choices are plenty and yes safe to eat but still check it out before eating and make sure your stomach will handle the food. Best thing about the strip was the food was cheap and the beer even cheaper.
Then cut through the hotel or take the long way around to the Sanur beach where you are greeted with beautiful sandy beaches, restaurants, markets and even a place to hire a kayak and test your strength in the calm waters. You will simply love the walk down the long path of Sanur Beach.
Eating in Sanur
Sanur has plenty of restaurants and we made a habit of not eating in the same restaurant more than once, so to write a review on every place we ate would mean I’d be here all day, but here is a few of the places we enjoyed a good meal.
- Costa Rica
Walking past the restaurant, the layout looked good and so did the menu, so we thought we would go in and give it a try. The food lived up to the menu, it was decent, I had pork ribs, wife had some chicken dish and we shared a fish meal, all was good and well presented. Staff did their jobs when required so no complaints really.
Good Service, Great Food, Cold Beer and fine balance of local and western cuisine and all for a good price. Fantastic place to go to enjoy a good meal and beer while relaxing in a fine restaurant by a swimming pool.
- Pasar Sindhu
Not necessarily a restaurant but a market place that opens at night that has shopping, dining and even night-time entertainment. We went to the night market after hearing about it from a staff member at Ellora, it was good, lots of cheap food to choose from that didn’t get us sick at a very cheap price.
What we did in Bali
While there is many more things to do in Bali, there is only so much we could do in our time we had. Fair to say I am looking at the calendar so I can explore the island a little more. Here is a rundown on what we did in our precious time, adding in relaxation of course.
- Safari and Marine Park
Safari and Marine Park is a outstanding day trip to take your family, Safari bus ride is enjoyable and plenty of animals to see and the guide gives good detail of all animals.
The shows that are put on good and extremely popular, if you don’t get there early you are standing for the whole half an hour, the food is solid, but on the expensive side when it comes to Bali but heck still cheap from where I come from. Then there is fun zone and water park to entertain the kids which the boys thoroughly loved as the adults relaxed, Awesome day out.
- Mega Rafting
The Mega Rafting tour was a few hours of family fun. it was organised by the staff at the Villa who organised transport to and from Ubud, the location of the Raft and it certainly was good to see more of Bali and the country side.
At the time of the raft our boys were 7 and 9 year old and it was completely safe for them, actually it was to the old man to fall out of the raft, much to their delight. The raft itself last probably for two hours including a mid stop at a local store on the banks of the river where I put down a beer a two. But the raft was a great way to see Bali and the jungle that surrounded the river, it was brilliant and picturesque. I would of loved to have taken more photos but sadly we did not have a water camera available, yes my bad.
The guide we had was great, a real laugh and he provided many highlights and the local buffet cuisine was fantastic, it rounded off a great day perfectly.
Kuta is the real tourist hotspot of Bali and we only headed out there once by taxi, it is modern with lot more restaurants to choose from, the beach was lovely to walk around and the shopping centre was perfect to escape from the Bali heat and enjoy an ice cream. I know next time we come to Bali, which will be soon I’ll be staying closer to Kuta, not that there was anything wrong with Sanur, because it was perfect, but we felt we missed out on a bit of activities to do like Waterbom park, yes we did not go there.