Haute Getaway Destination Bali: Land Of The Gods

Polina SariegoPhoto Credit: Chris Sariego

Bali is a place like no other—it is easily the most authentic island with its own special aura. To me, Bali is not just a destination. It’s a state of mind, an inspiration.
Imagine waking up in your Balinese-style private pool villa on a handcrafted wooden bed with a thin sheer of locally-produced, fine fabric. The room is encased with floor-to-ceiling glass windows facing the wall of greenery covering the slopes of volcanic mountains. Covered with the huge trees, the scene is magical—something out of a movie—especially when sun’s rays break through, lightening up the misty morning air.

Polina SariegoPhoto Credit: Chris Sariego
Throughout our stay in Bali, we were in awe of the great service and culturally-friendly local people, in addition to the delicious, healthy cuisine and exceptional spa experiences. Coming from the hospitality industry, we always notice these things, and the attention to detail was not lost anywhere.

Balianese manual therapy is a part of the cultural history of the island. A traditional Balinese massage consists of relaxation rituals and baths topped with flower petals, fruits and herbs. They are performed in open bamboo bungalows bordered with the dense forest in the background. You can hear the calming sounds of the river and waterfalls that will leave you at ease throughout the treatment. 

Polina SariegoPhoto Credit: Chris Sariego

When visiting the beautiful land, exploring Bali behind your luxury resort’s gates is an important part of the experience. You will be amazed by the 360 degrees of beauty surrounding you. Natural and manmade landscapes are breathtaking; unique and picturesque rice terraces that were built to provide food by hard work were never intended to be admired, but are nevertheless stunning. Here they are, enlightening all viewers except those who created them.  

There are so many places to explore and admire. The unspoiled natural surroundings hide many attractions in its endless jungles. Waterfalls are one of them. Their noise and depth give you the feeling of how powerful nature is. Small and quiet ones will welcome you to cool off on a hot day. Every waterfall is hard to get to and requires long walks up and down the man-made stairs (which is another amazement that some may not pay attention to—how tough it must be to carve the stairs out of the mountain rocks, hundreds of them with no technologies, under the tropical heat and sun!)
Polina SariegoPhoto Credit: Chris Sariego
Bali has endless temples around the entire island. Since the predominant religion is Hinduism, every family and every house needs to have a temple at home in the front and backyards. Every village has a large, public temple. Each morning and afternoon, women dressed in traditional Balinese clothes bring sacrifices to the temples to please the Gods. There are three main gods in Hinduism, and that’s why it is called The Land of Gods. And you feel it. I kept on asking myself, “Why Bali is so special, what makes Bali so unique and desired that people from all around the world want to come here?” I think it is that special vibe that Bali has—it’s harmonious, and it’s creative. There is no need to rush, there is no big city life to keep up with. It is all about being close to nature and living within it.
Some of my favorite, must-visit places in Bali include:
1. Hanging Gardens of Bali – a boutique hotel built on top of the mountain in the middle of the jungle with a huge, oval-shaped infinity pool.
2. Fifth Element– wellness-oriented hotel, fantastic spa experiences.
3. The Udaya Hotel
4. Ubud – the most famous and charming village of the island – organic cafes, shops, straw market
5. Monkey Forest – park with 3 beautiful temples invaded with monkeys
6. Elephant Safari Park and lodge – unique and private encounter with the beautiful animals from Sumatra.
7. Bali Swings – huge swings situated on top the hill, hanging above spectacular rice plantations.
I won’t call Bali just another place, just another island—no, not at all. There are plenty of other “paradise islands” on the map. But none of them will leave such a deep impression in your heart.
Besides the luxury resort experiences, there’s another life existing on the island: very simple, very poor, but very happy. That teaches you a lot, and that shows you what really matters.