The holidays are well and truly drawing near, and if you were lucky enough to secure one of those $88 flights to Bali (if only!), it's time to get those itineraries ready and start researching things to do in Bali.
Whether you're looking to enjoy the island in all its culinary glory, experience holistic healing and meditation, or simply soak up some rays, here's the ultimate guide on where to eat, play and stay in Bali. Pristine beaches, delectable food and heart-pumping pursuits await!
Motel Mexicola | Seminyak
From the friendly folk at Sydney's The Bucket List and Cranky Fins, you can expect good things at Seminyak's Motel Mexicola. At this tropical diner and bar, Mexican tapas is the order of the day, with standouts like grilled pork tacos, chorizo and cheese quesadillas and churros with caramel sauce. Wash it down with a Coco Colada, frozen margarita or a cookies and cream smoothie if you're feeling naughty. Needless to say, it will not disappoint.
Sisterfields | Seminyak
We're a bit in love with this place. Bright and colourful, the gorgeous interior extends to a sun-lit courtyard and front porch where you could easily while away the afternoon (what else are holidays for?). Order the smoked salmon sliders, Philly cheese steak baguette and brioche French toast – it's all delicious.
Revolver Espresso | Seminyak
For the coffee snobs, this boutique coffee house is sure to hit the spot. Located behind the 'Home' store in Seminyak (or down the adjoining laneway), Revolver Espresso serves great coffee (there's even cold drip) and Aussie breakfast staples. The interior is fit out with quirky trinkets and collectables and you'll feel more like you're in Fitzroy than Bali.
Metis | Kuta
This vast eatery and lounge is no doubt one of the best restaurants in Bali. If you're looking for a fine dining experience this is the place. With its beautiful oasis-style setting, and exquisite food offerings such as 14-hour crispy pork belly, slow-cooked Australian saltbush lamb shank and pan seared Norwegian trout. For dessert, it's green tea crème brûlée, melted Caraïbe chocolate cake and fresh coconut soufflé. Yum.
Clear Café | Ubud
For all you clean eating kids, Clear Café is an urban sanctuary with a mantra of "eat the food you wish to be." All the ingredients are sourced from local Balinese farmers and the menu boasts a plethora of gluten-free, vegan and raw options. Blended drinks are a specialty with options like homemade chai with cashew milk, cacao, coconut and spirulina, or peanut butter and chocolate. On the food front we'd go the blueberry buckwheat pancakes, love lasagna or the vegan dragon with marinated tofu.
Sari Organik | Ubud
This hidden gem is totally worth the trek to get there. Smack bang in the middle of Ubud's rice fields, eating here is an experience not to be missed. From Ubud Palace head towards Campuhan bridge and you'll find a path up into the rice paddies. Walk for approximately 20 minutes until you find a large tree house, aka Sari Organki. Here, the focus is on nutritious wholefoods, much of which is sourced from their organic garden.
Fivelements | Ubud
Let your troubles melt away at the award-winning Fivelements healing and wellness retreat. Nestled amongst the tranquil Ayung River, the centre embraces holistic Balinese therapies and offers a number of tailored experiences, including meditation, yoga, deep massage therapies and prana energy and water healing, each targeted for purification, balancing and regeneration. There are nine eco-luxury villas on site, but guests are also welcome and lunch at the retreat's renowned Sakti Dining Room is an absolute must.
Potatohead | Seminyak
For a taste of how the other half live, Seminyak hot spot, Potato Head Beach Club is worth the splurge. Take a dip in the beachfront pool or kick back and relax on the lavish day beads. With two levels of restaurants and bars to choose from (including the renowned LILIN restaurant), Potato Head finds the perfect balance between beach club and sophisticated dining precinct. Plus, the views at sunset are second to none!
Sunset + Seafood | Jimbaran Bay
Originally a tiny small fishing village, Jimbaran Bay is lined with dozens of seafood restaurants where it's cooked up to your liking and served on the beach. Take a seat and watch the sunset while devouring a feast of grilled prawns, lobster, muscles and fresh fish all for a fraction of what you'd pay back home.
White Water Rafting | Ubud
For things to do in Bali that will get your adrenaline pumping, Ubud is home to some incredible river rafting on the Ayung River. Set to a backdrop of wild unspoiled rainforest, spectacular gorges and rice paddy terraces, this is an awesome experience not to be missed. For more information check out the Bali Adventure Tours website.
Dive The Usat Liberty Wreck | Tulamben
Anchored off the coast of Lombok, the USAT Liberty wreck is an excellent snorkeling and diving spot and worth the trip up north. Located just off the beach at Tulamben, the wreck is alive with tropical coral and sea life, making it Bali's most popular diving destination.
W Retreat & Spa | Seminyak
If you're not short of a dime, the lavish W Retreat & Spa is located on Seminyak Beach and boasts a full service spa, fitness centre, lounge bars and delicious restaurants. There are a number of suites and villas to choose from, all offering the utmost luxury.
Kamandalu | Ubud
This boutique resort is nestled within Ubud's rice terraces. The traditional Balinese villas boast a private pool and panoramic valley views, while the resort also features a salon, sauna, and award-winning Petulu Restaurant.
The Legian | Seminyak
One of Bali's best luxury resorts, The Legian is completely worth splashing out on. The two-tiered pool overlooks Seminyak beach and there's also yoga lessons, a day spa, steam room, library, free bike hire, and just about anything you could imagine for an unforgettable stay.