A Few Perfect Days On Vacation

Nikoi Island gave us a perfect beach holiday a couple of months ago. If you haven’t heard of the place, it’s ok. We’d rather not have so many people know about it.

Its only other presence on social media besides its own website is its TripAdvisor profile and FB page, and it’s really quite difficult to get a booking because there are only a few “rooms” on the this very well thought out resort. We loved it that there was no tv, and the internet was so patchy I had to give up trying to do work or Facebook and simply talk, snorkel, swim, kayak, eat and drink for four days.

Food options are limited, but that isn’t something to worry about. Healthy-ish simple meals are prepared three times a day, and you’re always welcome to ask for seconds. And our friends would attest to us being very likely to protest if there were no air-conditioned rooms, but we were pleasantly surprised that the breeze that blew through our house/room was cool and strong enough for us to need blankets when we slept.

I don’t remember any other vacation where we didn’t have a single complaint to make about service, board or amenities.

 

Private car takes you to private jetty to take the private ferry to the private island
Private car takes you to private jetty to take the private ferry to the private island

 
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Seminyak Highlights

Our love-hate relationship with Bali continued this trip, with our ideal idyllic villa getaway shared with our friends celebrating their anniversary turning into a three day battle with mosquitoes (and the holey mosquito net) before we retreated to a multi-storey hotel with fewer bugs.

Constant traffic jams on single-laned roads plied by mercenary cabbies whose reflex upon seeing us with kids in tow was to charge a prix fixe R50,000 (about $6) made for unpleasant afternoons. But watching the three children in our entourage charge at waves on Seminyak’s grey sanded beaches were the highlights along with some great food at some of the most beautiful beach club restaurants in the world. Coffee places in nooks of shops are also the norm along this stretch of south Bali, and you’d want to abandon the hotel breakfasts for a great espresso fueled brekkie.

REVOLVER
Australian style. Great breakfasts with bread and pastries from Monsieur Spoon – whose owner broke fast with us and told us he made the best croissants in Asia. I have invited him to set up shop in Singapore. You can thank me when that happens.

GROCER & GRIND
Go for GG’s Breakfast Burrito. Only cos you’re on holiday and you can have a burrito for breakfast

ANOMALI COFFEE
Great coffee, but the food so so. My entrecĂ´te and frites was so underdone they refunded me.

CAFE DEGAN
Best Indonesian fare ever. Puts Sanur and every other Indonesian outlet you’ve ever had in Singapore to shame.

SARDINE
Great seafood – try the fish pan grilled Indonesian style. And the marinated sardines are great too.

NAUGHTY NURI’S WARUNG
The Seminyak branch is slightly more comfortable than the Ubud original. The ribs and bebek goreng are still great, as are the killer martinis. Order one and the waiter does a dance.

POTATO HEAD BEACH CLUB
The place to be for Bali sunsets. Drinks are so so, but there’s a mean snack platter. Beautiful people gather here to watch the sunset and each other.

MOZAIC BEACH CLUB
Randall’s cousin chum siong with one of the chefs to make an exception and allow our kids to dine with us (for this, we are eternally grateful). Fantastic food with a great ambience.

COCOON BEACH CLUB
Another place we decided to go to after Melody thought it’d be great after the kids got to muck around at the beach – which was crazy crowded because it was Sunday (every Balinese boy and dog are on the beach playing football on Sunday). The appetizers were great but the mains, while still good, were a little underwhelming.

MERAH PUTIH
Our party gave this place a star just for the decor/architecture – I have never seen a restaurant like this. The kelas atas Indonesian fare was simply fabulous, and you won’t go wrong ordering everything on the menu – just bring more friends to eat with. Probably the only people to complain would be the staff, because the kitchen is inexplicably upstairs while all of the tables bar three are downstairs. You’d have to ace your shuttle run to work here.

Our tips for enjoying Bali: Eat at the above places, bring lots of bug repellent, sunscreen, and always tell the taxi driver, “meter please”.

Naughty Nuri's

Potato Head Beach Club

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Mozaic Beach Club

Grocer & Grind

Revolver - Espresso made with love

Revolver - Breakfast - Poached Egg on Avocado on Toast

Katie Allan - Revolver

Samaya Spa & Resort

Merah Putih

Merah Putih - Babi Guling