Luke and Marina
Luke and I knew we wanted a very relaxed honeymoon, but we also wanted something that was going to be a bit of a cultural insight, with great food! We decided on Bali, as the prices were so good, and we had both not been there before.
We got recommended ‘The Elysian’ resort in Seminyak by our Flight Centre organiser. She had said that her boss had been there and highly recommended the place as the villas were so beautiful and came with their own private plunge pool! We booked the place about 3 months before the wedding and were really looking forward to it by the time we left!! We had looked up the resort on the internet, and amazingly found that the place was listed on ‘designhotels.com’ and it looked perfect.
We left for our honeymoon 2 days after the wedding and arrived in Denpasar to a balmy 30 degree evening. We were greeted by our transfer driver and given floral leis to wear as a welcome, then driven about 20 minutes outside the airport to our resort. It was fantastic to have finished with the stress and work of the wedding and heaven to think we were finally on holiday!!
The Elysian was hidden in amongst a maze of small local streets and dirt roads in Seminyak, and we drove through a canopy of beautiful palm trees to get to the entrance. Once there it almost felt like we were in a spa resort, the reception area was a big open plan space with couches and polished wooden floorboards and meticulously groomed gardens filled with tropical plants. We were welcomed with a complimentary cocktail and then led to our private villa.The villa was gorgeous, a huge plunge pool greeted us inside our own private gate, and the villa itself had beautiful concertina-style windows that opened completely up to allow both the inside and outside spaces to seamlessly blend together. The resort came equipped with it’s own massage and spa centre, restaurant and public pool that had stunning canopy-style lounges around it. Within 5 minutes of being in our villa, a staff member came by and delivered a gorgeous cake in honour of us as a married couple! It was a really lovely and delicious gesture! So began our life of luxury for the next week!
Every day began with a delicious, huge breakfast at the resort restaurant, followed by a stroll outside the resort to the main road in Seminyak. Here we explored some of the local shops, and ate the local food, which was ridiculously cheap and always good. Then it was off to the beach, which was about 10 mins from the resort and we sat on the beach and soaked up some sun on the lounges that you could hire. The beaches were full of locals trying to sell everything from souvenirs to massages and manicures – on the beach! I could only resist for so long, and ended up getting a 1 hour massage from a lovely lady for about $10 AUS dollars! Once we had had enough of the beach, it was back to the villa and more lounging and swimming in our own private plunge pool! We also got a fabulous 1.5 hour couples massage and body scrub at the resort itself and I got another foot scrub on the beach a few days later!
We discovered a brilliant bar called ‘La Plancha’ set directly on the beach. Decorated with colourful beanbags set on the sand and rustic style wooden chairs and tables inside, it was simple enjoyment at it’s best. We enjoyed quite a few drinks wiling away the hours and watching the sunset from it’s open air bar upstairs.
Throughout the week, we tried more local places for lunches and dinners and enjoyed everything from whole grilled fish, spicy prawns and nasi goreng to a 3 course dinner at the popular Kudeta Bar, which was about 5 minutes from the resort. Kudeta is a famous hangout spot for most tourists in Bali and we enjoyed some relaxing cocktails while watching the sunset from it’s lounge chairs. We also got a lovely surprise, when our resort told us we had received a ‘surprise present’ from my work colleagues, and it was to be picked up at Kudeta! It was a fabulous bottle of champagne that we had alongside our dinner that night.
We spent a day exploring the busy streets of Kuta, shopping, eating and spending some quiet time at the memorial set up to commemorate the Bali bombings.
On our last night in Bali we decided to head to Jimbaran Bay (a famous tourist spot) renouned for it’s restaurants on the beach and its seafood. The Elysian organised for a private car that took us to and from the restaurant and we had a great evening sitting directly on the beach overlooking long tables of people all tucking into fresh prawns, scallops, fish and crab, all while the ocean lapped a few metres in front of us. It was a beautiful end to what had been a wonderful honeymoon.
Overall we couldn’t have asked for a more relaxed honeymoon. The food was cheap and great, the Balinese people we met were incredibly friendly and the resort was the perfect mixture of luxury and comfort. And you can’t go wrong with your own private plunge pool!
Images from Marina and Luke’s collection.
Ms Gingham says: These photos just make me want to book a trip to Bali and this resort! It looks like such a perfect way to wind down after all the manic wedding preparations!!! Thanks Marina and Luke for sharing your honeymoon with us.
Marina says: “It was the absolute best day of our lives, and we felt incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many great family and friends. Most of all, we felt lucky enough to have found each other!”
Read Marina and Luke’s wedding story here.