It's hard to tell you about Bali without mentioning my personal experience with this destination. I went there for the 1st time in 2006, that's where I started tosurf, I was living in a nice guest house in Sanur and I was going to surf almost every day towards Kuta and Legian which are beachbreaks where it is easy to start. (at the time Canggu did not even exist on the map ;)
Since then, I've been back 4 or 5 times a few years apart each time and it's pretty crazy how quickly things have changed. With each of my visits, I rediscover the island, go back to the places I love and I also take the opportunity to discover new ones.
I admit that if I were going there for the first time today I might not have the same view of Bali, I certainly wouldn't like it. But Bali will always remain a special place for me, which I love and where I feel good. It is also in memory of this trip that I chose Pantai as the name for the brand and which means "beach" inIndonesian.
The shooting of the Pantai Pantai capsule took place in the very south, on the bukit and more specifically on the beaches of Padang Padang and Bingin which are famous surf spots.
It's not easy to compile my best addresses for you because it's constantly evolving, there are always new establishments opening and others closing. You should know that the island is quite big and that everything will depend on what you want to do and where you want to be.
If you want to discover legendary surf spots, head to the Bukit and stay near Uluwatu or Bingin.
It has become very trendy and I was surprised by the number of shops and restaurants that there are now on the main JL raya Uluwatu road.
If you go to Bali during the rainy season (between November and March) opt for the east;) Nusa Dua, Sanur, Kéramas. I got to know this part of the island better this year and had some good surf sessions there.
If you have a more beginner level, I recommend the Batu wave belonging to Canggu which will offer you long rides, it is also ideal for longboarding.
Canggu is quite a trendy, noisy, lively place. You will find all the trendiest restaurants, shops and hotels there.
If you want more calm, move to Pererenan, a little further north of Canggu, which is today the "canggu of 5/10 years ago" A shortcut will take you there in just a few minutes by scooter .
Unfortunately Kuta and Legian have aged quite badly and it breaks my heart because I spent time and good times there!
Ubub, more in the center is worth the detour if you want more nature, rice fields, to do a yoga retreat, but I admit I haven't been back there since 2017 so I won't be able to advise you too much.
Despite its super rapid development in the space of 2-3 decades, Bali remains a beautiful place and if you are curious and think outside the box you will see the rich culture and the sympathy of the Balinese. (Go and get lost in the north of the island, attend religious ceremonies;)
A word of advice: arm yourself with patience with the traffic, it will sometimes take you several hours to cover around 20 km. There are now far too many cars on the island and traffic jams on certain axes are inevitable.
Like the Balinese, always have a smile, in all circumstances, it's their philosophy they never get angry. So be relaxed and patient with them.
If you are planning a trip to Bali, make sure to follow the account of Eve and Pris, @welikeBali. They knows about all the best addresses on the island.
In the meantime, here are some addresses that I have selected for you and where Iwent:
On the bukit (at the very south of the island):
A hotel: Dreamsea Bali in Bingin
A plant-based restaurant: Alchemy at the intersection towards Bingin
A Cool and Historic Surf Shop: Drifter at Bingin Crossing
A great place for dinner and very kids friendly: Ulu garden.
A Mexican Restaurant: Lola's.
A local canteen for a quick lunch after surf: Makan Makan
A place to see the sunset: The terrazza overlooking the Uluwatu spot
A spa: Ours spa
A warung to spend the day: Kelly's warung in Bingin, an institution.
A place: the temple of Uluwatu. Watch out for the monkeys ;)
A beach: Bingin in the morning is always a good choice.
In canggu area:
A boutique hotel and restaurant: The slow
A dream villa: Yucca villa
An Instagrammable hotel: Hôtel sages
A warung to spend the day on the beach: Times beach warung
A slightly posh beach club: The Lawn
A craving for a smoothie bowl: Shady shack
A canteen for lunch with friends: Crate café
A nice quiet café: Touché in Pererenan
A store: Stella
A very good Mexican with a great decoration: La calita
A bar with people to see the sunset: La brisa