The feeling you get from visiting the beautiful island of Bali is incredible – the tropical air will engulf you as soon as you step off the plane and that sensation of a cool drink in your hand will continue to nag at you until you’re bikini clad and poolside with cocktail in hand.
While it should be said that not every place in Bali is as picture perfect as the instagrammers will have you believe – it is a little rough around the edges, but that just adds to the flavour of this beautiful island, you’ll be welcomed with huge smiles and open arms by the locals and you’ll probably think to yourself more than once ‘yeah, I could get used to this!’
If anyone asks me for a recommendation on Bali I always 100% say ‘OMG, you have to go to Canggu – it’s so nice there, you’d love it’… no word of lie I’ve said this SO many times. It’s a little less touristy than it’s neighbours Seminyak and the party capital of Bali, Kuta. Canggu is more of an oasis of calm vibes, tanned babes and all round good times. I’d recommend 5 – 7 days to really soak in that island lifestyle and come back home feeling totally rejuvenated, zen and with a killer tan.
Where to stay
Villa? Private Villa? Luxury resort Villa?
Whether you’re after a luxury resort, a boutique hotel or your own slice of AirBnB paradise these beautiful villas will leave you with some serious interior design envy. Think white ceramic tiles, wooden accents, leafy green indoor plants, big open windows and lounges as big as your flat. The look and feel of each accomodation is perfectly styled and you’ll probably consider redecorating as soon as you return home.
Its the coolest place to stay and put Canggu on the map. Luxe meets boho surf chic, this boutique hotel is relaxed all-day dining (and one of the hottest restaurants in town), drinks, art, local culture, and interactive retail, all set on the coast of Canggu, Bali. The space gravitates around the owners’ personal art collection, with sound by LA’s Reverberation Radio. It’s a place to rest your bones, stir your senses, and expand your mind.
It has two room types, both are equally tempting, but I’d recommend booking the pool room. It has a king bed, a plunge pool and a rain shower – simply dreamy.
Fella Luxury Beach Villa
If you want to feel completely at home check yourself into the divine Fella Luxury Beach Villa, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms a private pool and an outdoor rain shower – give me the keys, I’m moving in… and I might not ever leave. Give this AirBNB a shot, a two minute ride to Old Man’s and Echo Beach, for a friend’s getaway, this stylish luxury home awaits you.
Ariana Grande Villa
Or if you’re an avid instagrammer, you’ve probably seen this one pop up a few times on your feed, the Ariana Grande Villa is lush, with all the standards you’ve come to expect in Bali and so much more. Cameras at the ready ladies, this one is picture perfect. With 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, this spacious modern villa comes with a large pool with a rooftop entertainment area over looking the rice paddies. Get access to a driver, scooter rental, complimentary Wi-Fi and Netflix for nights in.
Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you should skip the gym, the sunrises alone are worth getting up for beach run for or if you’re after something guided – get your butt to any these.
Yoga is a way of life in Bali. There are SO many yoga studios and teachers here and they are some of the best you can practice with. In Canggu, I’d recommend going to The Practice, all the classes are taken beneath the huge balinese hut and they have classes for every level of yogi. Desa Seni is a resort in Canggu that offer yoga classes to guests and is also open to the public, they have a beautiful sunset flow class and also offer private yoga sessions if you are wanting something a little more personal. Then there’s Samadi Bali which is a retreat, but again open to visitors too. As well as a great yoga studio they also have a wellness centre onsite – you can stop by for a spa session or book in for a holistic treatment – get your chakras cleansed or some acupuncture.
Surfing could possibly be the country’s national sport and is the perfect place to grab a board and hit the waves – but better to go with a local surf instructor who knows the ocean and will get you standing up on your first day.
Or if you are wanting a good old fashioned sweat session, The Canggu Studio is a holistic fitness club with classes all day, every day – from barre, boxing, to pilates or dance.
While the infinity pool at the resort is beautiful you can’t go to Bali and not go to the beach, luckily the beaches near Canggu are beautiful, these are the top three.
- Batu Bolong
- Echo Beach
- Berawa Beach
All of them are great for a surf, a lay in the sun and a giant coconut to quench your thirst. They all have umbrellas and little bars or cafes dotted along the sand, so you can pick your favourite spot and settle in for a relaxing day on the beach.
Places to go
The Lawn at Batu Bolong is literally that.. the lawn. But it is actually beautiful and it is very much the place to be at any given time on any given day. There is a pool, beach chairs and daybeds to hire and they also do great food and drink all throughout the day.
Finns Beach Club
Another hotspot and again incredibly popular so getting here before midday is absolutely recommended. If you were looking for a place to spend an entire day soaking in the sun and sipping on cocktails then this is that place. With single and double day beds an infinity pool and delicious drinks and a sushi bar, they’ve got it all.
Bali by night is a world of its own and for every night of the week there’s a different hotspot to go to, so get your planners out and let the good times roll.
Deus Ex Machina
Deus Ex Machina is a local hotspot and good to go to any given night for tasty tacos, but head there on a Sunday night when they put on live music and dance the night away, then scoot on down to Sand Bar for a night cap on the beach.
Pretty Poison is a little grungier – ready to party in a skate bowl? But they also do Monday movie nights if you’re looking for something a little more laid back. Head to Old Man’s on Sundays when they set up their outdoor beach market and pick up some vintage clothes and keepsakes.
Where to eat
Eating fresh in Bali is easily done as is eating well, and Canggu is at the top of its game when it comes to healthy, local food done really well.
Cafés are in excess with smoothie bowls, poke bowls, rice bowls… literally any kind of bowl you can think of – it’s here.
The Shady Shack is packed full of raw foods, giant salads and healthy treats. Avocado cafe is small and quaint and yep, you guessed it, they do a great smashed avo – definitely come here for their all day breakfast menu and try the golden latte. Betelnut is a favourite and while they do a great breakfast, I’d recommend going here for dinner they do excellent burgers, salads and curries, with an extensive Mexican menu too. The next morning, nurse your hangover at Café Organic, a quirky juice bar on Batu Bolong.
Macan is a great spot to go anytime, they do all day brunch, sharing plates and larger meals too or if you’re craving a slice of pizza head to Pizza Fabbrica, they’re stone baked and super delicious.
Or if you’re after something a little fancier then you have to go to La Brisa, the venue is beautifully designed and sits just off Echo Beach, so it has a picture perfect view. The menu is seafood heavy with all the fish caught by local fishermen and produce is sourced from the island. This one is special so worth an evening here.
Surf and sportswear are your vibe here, as well as minimalist, and hand-woven homeware items. You will absolutely fall in love with Yoli & Otis, cotton and linen overalls, vests, collarless shirts, wide-leg trousers – no details, no frills, no fuss.
Monsieur Blonde is for simple, striking elegance – a beautiful selection of handmade jewellery. Predominantly very fine gold, inspired by vintage treasures and childhood memories.
And finally, Bungalow Living is where you go to replicate Bali interiors at home. Geometric cushions, Berber blankets, and a collection of well-priced hats and bags you’ll use on any beach getaway.
There’s a real buzz about Canggu, a mix of yoga and green juice, with the modern art vibe of Miami’s Wynwood and a Mykonos party vibe. Canggu has edge. With the arrival of the likes of the big name brand COMO, its not long before it takes over a super hotspot destination.