All Things Bali

Myth: Home is a nice word for the house you grew up in.

Fact: Home is where your people are.

I have had many beauties and gents contact me about my recent trip to Bali, and so I thought I would write a blog about all things related to Bali. I’m going to share resolutions, tips, and extended details about my travel to and experience in this country. If you want to know why everyone loves Bali, keep reading.

Quick note: I am not a travel blogger, and I don’t get paid to share my stories. This is just between me and you beauties. Just how I like it to be. Let’s imagine we are having a cup of coffee, sitting across from each other, and sharing the secrets of travel. Are you in?

I’ve never been an adventurous traveler. If someone asked me whether I wanted to backpack the Alps or sit on a catamaran net sailing the seas, I’d almost always take the salt water. I’d always take the relaxation. If you have been reading my posts, you know three core parts of me: I am an expert of relaxation; I care deeply about your beauty goals; And now you know I would choose the beach over an adventure. If you watch closely, you may even notice I am a lover of animals and simple acts of kindness.

So naturally, Bali seemed like my homeland. Beaches, sun, kind people, the jungle, relaxation, monkeys, infinity pools, elephants, healthy food, and masks all day. What’s not to like?  

Here is something you may not know about me. I am a procrastinator. Put that with my perfectionist tendency and you have one hell of a combo. It’s a perfect storm really. I planned our Bali trip two months prior to leaving, and I wouldn’t recommend it! We were cutting our travel time close, because Bali’s rainy season is November through January. We still had about three hours of rain a day in early November, but that’s better than the alternative. So don’t forget to check the weather before you go!

We split our trip into two locations: Ubud and Seminyak. Ubud is your typical lax, Bali lifestyle that is less westernized. Thus, the people were more friendly and the jungle was within our reach. See below for more info on our hotel location specifically. (hotel info is at end of blog).

The moment you get off the plane in Bali you’re treated like royalty. We hired a driver via our hotel before arriving, which I recommend. The airport is a rat race, so we were grateful that our driver was waiting outside the airport for us. His name is Kantu and at this point, we consider him family! He was immensely helpful during our entire stay. (email me if you want his contact information for your travel).

Our hotels were booked via our Instagram research. Thank god for travel bloggers! Thank you, personally, for keeping us relaxing-seeking beauties up to speed. My husband and I found a beautiful, hidden sanctuary in the village of Tanggayuda called Komaneka that overlooks the Oos River. This hotel is a two hour drive from the airport on hectic roads that twist and turn further into the jungle. I remember grabbing my husband’s hand and praying that no other cars would slam into us. There are no driving rules there! We have traveled to third world countries before, but nothing like this.

I knew I loved our hotel as soon as we were greeted by the staff. Their smiles brought me great reprieve after traveling for 30 hours to get there. They encouraged us to relax by saying through their friendly smiles, “Papa Ryan and Ibu Melissa, you’re on holiday. You need to rest!” They took our bags and sat us down for tea, and every stressful weight I was carrying, from the lengthy travel to the logistics of my career, came toppling off my shoulder. I let it go.

When we had a chance to gather our bearings, we could see that the hotel consisted of 35 villas. I recommend getting a villas that has a pool and overlooks the jungle. Check out my instagram photos for a better idea of what I am talking about! The room rates are $350-600 US depending on night and season, which seems like a small price to pay to be treated like absolute royalty.

The hotel also had two infinity pools, as well as a restaurant. The food is spectacular! Each dish contains the richness and complexity of Balinese and Indonesian cuisine. Signature dishes are Pepes Ikan (spiced fish grilled in banana leaf) and Iga Babi (grilled pork ribs in Balinese spices). My husband and I still talk about the fresh food and coffee until this day!

The hotel has free shuttles into Ubud every two hours. Don’t forget to bring money to tip the drivers! It’s a short 20 minute drive and I will blog later as to things to do in Ubud and surrounding areas.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions pertaining to mosquitoes and other little creatures. My husband and I never had an issue with that! Closing windows and doors at night will suffice in keeping the bugs out. I never once feared bugs or being harmed in any way. I felt safe the entire trip. How could you not feel safe with the friendliest people in the world at your side?

The people! The culture! It blew me away. Bali culture is steeped in a rich tradition and spirituality that focuses mainly on art and religion. Most Balinese people are an artist of some kind and spend their leisure time working on hobbies and artwork that have been passed down through generations. Religious rituals are done annually including the passage of birth through puberty, marriage, childbirth,  death and the afterworld. There are other national celebrations such as Kuningan, Galungan and Nyepi, and the national day of silence. Our stay didn’t fall on any national holiday, but I don’t think I would have minded a day of silence.

As soon as we arrived at our first hotel the staff greeted us by saying, “Welcome home.” I think about that often. How strange that I was halfway across the world and they said, “Welcome home.” A couple weeks after my return to the United States, I finally let that phrase sink in. I remember the way I woke up slowly to a rooster as my alarm clock. I remember the kindness and generosity of all the welcoming staff at our hotels, and now I finally get it.

Bali was, in strange way, like home. The people made it home. I may have traveled 30 hours to Bali in order to find some peaceful solitude, but I left knowing what I really found was a piece of comfort unlike anything I have ever experienced.  It was adventure and relaxation, and now I treasure both.

We enjoyed every aspect of our stay in this beautiful country, and have no doubt that one day we will be back to see the wide open smiles of those who call us ‘Papa Ryan’ and ‘Ibu Melissa.’

Shine on Beauties.


Komaneka at Tanggayuda

Br. Tanggayuda, Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar, Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571

For Bookings it’s best to go directly through the hotel: