So we've officially survived our first 3 weeks living in Bali! Though, let's be honest- "survive" is hardly the word to describe life on this island paradise. Having never been to Bali before we moved here, we were ready for anything- and with all the uncertainty with Bali's volcano becoming uber-active a few weeks before we made the move, we were ready to roll with the punches. What we weren't prepared for was the most incredibly warm welcome from the Siawarta family and their luxury villas, Awarta Nusa Dua. We were blown away by the property and the amazing staff, and we could not wait to share this place with you!
One of their taglines at Awarta is "welcome home"- and you feel that sentiment from the moment you step onto the property. In the week leading up to our stay, they contacted us to inquire about dietary restrictions and any other requests or food preferences. They have perfected every last detail of the process, and we couldn't have felt more comfortable or cared for during our transition into Balinese life. We loved everything about our stay at Awarta, so we've decided to share with you our favorite aspects of this incredible property and a photo journal to go along with it!
1. The Vibe
Awarta is the perfect place to stay for a romantic, relaxing holiday in Bali. The architecture is intricate and rich, full Indonesian and Chinese influences with a luxurious flare. Dark woods and gorgeous stone surfaces are outdone only by the lush, tropical landscaping that brings you away to a tropical fantasy world. Awarta has 14 individual villas (though they are opening an additional 60-some suites in an expansion sometime in 2018), but the layout and construction is expertly designed to make you feel like you're the only people in the entire resort. There is traditional balinese music played live each morning during breakfast, the staff is warm and personal yet incredibly professional, and you feel that famous balinese hospitality from everyone you encounter.
2. The Food
You don't have to know us for long to know our love for breakfast (well, food in general)- so the fact that Awarta includes the most extravagant breakfast in your stay made this already-perfect property even more appealing. You can choose to dine at the restaurant or in your villa for breakfast, and we loved both experiences. Breakfast, coffee, and fresh coconuts by the pool first thing in the morning? Yes please! The lifestyle breakfast was Zach's favorite, while Tara normally opted for the eggs Benedict on gluten free bread. The coffee is perfect, the orange juice is to die for, and the warm croissants with a local jam assortment was the perfect touch. There is also an incredible fine-dining chinese restaurant called Ru Yi on property that is open for dinner, and it can't be missed! Try the eggplant (you can thank us later).
3. The Villa
Ok... the villas at Awarta are among some of the finest, most beautiful accommodations we've ever stayed in. We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa (which was actually 3 bedrooms- they don't count the spacious kid's room that has 2 twin beds as a room- clearly they've never been to NYC and seen what New Yorkers can pass for a bedroom!!). You enter the villa from the tropical walkway through a beautiful wooden door that opens to your private pool courtyard. A stone waterfall cascades into the pool, and a set of wooden pool chairs sat in the perfect sunny patch of deck. through any number of glass double doors, or the main entrance, you enter the villa itself. The master was on the main floor and had an amazing bed, several sitting areas and a great desk, a massive walk-in wardrobe, a master bathroom with a 2-person tub, an indoor AND an outdoor shower, as well as a separate vanity area. It's extravagant, lightly put. The upstairs bedroom is very similar, though it has a balcony and skips the additional wardrobe, tub and outdoor shower. Through a hallway with another half bath, you can get to the dining + living room. This room alone would be the Taj Mahal of NYC apartments, complete with a gorgeous wood dining table for 6-8 people, a bar (complimentary and stocked daily with soft drinks, beers and snacks), and a separate couch and sitting area with a big-screen TV. The ceilings are vaulted with intricate, beautiful woods, and every aspect of the villa is masterfully designed. We. Loved. It.
4. The Location
Nusa Dua is on the southeast corner of the island, and Awarta is in a beautiful, safe, gated compound of hotels properties, parks and shopping. It's close to the airport (20 minutes or so), a short 10 minute walk from the beach, and in a perfect setting for honeymooners or families who want to steer clear of the crowds and the hectic party scene more common in Kuta and Seminyak. Uluwatu is less than an hours drive away and makes for a stunning evening trip to watch the sunset and the Kecak fire dance in the Uluwatu Temple.
5. The Staff
The people you encounter when staying at a hotel or resort can make or break your entire experience. At Awarta, every single person we met was amazing! The Siawarta family, who built, own and operate the hotel are as lovely as any family we have ever met. Naomi, who runs the day-to-day operations of Awarta, is next-level amazing. Make sure to meet her when you visit Awarta- she notices every single detail, knows all the best places to visit, restaurants to eat at, and things to do in Bali, and she impressed us with her warmth and kindness from the moment we met.
All in all, Awarta Nusa Dua is the perfect place to stay for a romantic, relaxing vacation in Bali, and we could not recommend it more highly. If you're in Bali to party, you should probably look closer to the Kuta area- but if you're anything like us and you prefer the tranquil comfort of a luxury property to come back to after a day's adventures, then Awarta is the place to stay next time you're in Nusa Dua (or anywhere in Bali!)
Here's to the adventure!
-Zach + Tara
**Our stay was sponsored by Awarta, but our opinions, as always, remain our own.