SHE took a sneaky long weekend to Bali a couple of weeks ago; one of those spontaneous, spur of the moment decisions SHE's known for. A friend who 'commutes' between chilly Melbourne and sunny Bali was heading up at the same time and SHE didn't need to be asked twice. The helpful friend suggested a 'cheap and cheerful' accommodation option - Bali Ayu Hotel & Villas - smack bang amongst some of the best real estate in Seminyak. A quick search on Trip Advisor revealed it had some pretty good reviews. And for around $50 a night, SHE decided to give it a try.
SHE is a little particular about her hotel choices; the backpacker days are well gone, in fact, SHE never quite did the backpacker thing. SHE does know that the 'fan cooled bungalow' just isn't the best option in steamy Bali. If a room doesn't include air conditioning and hot water, SHE'll pass thanks. Comfort over budget every time.
What a wonderful surprise this hotel turned out to be. SHE opted for a standard room, recently refurbished, close to the reception area - on the trusted advice of said fabulous friend. The room on the first floor (that's as high as it goes) was clean, fresh and simple, with a small balcony, and a table and 2 chairs to watch the world go by. The wifi was pretty good with a strong signal (free folks, of course it is), the queen size bed was comfortable, and there was a good sized fridge with mini bar - essential for stocking up on Bintangs the moment you arrive. The swimming pool is deep, there aren't many lounges but there weren't too many people seeking them either. And of course there's the staff: smiling, friendly Balinese who really can't do enough to help, no matter what you're looking for.
This neat little hotel ticks all the boxes if you're not looking for big resort style accommodation. It's ideal for the solo traveller, couples, even a group of friends who want their own rooms. It's a great base to access the flashy W Hotel, Potato Head and any number of restaurant options. It's a 10 minute walk along the road to the beach that brings you out near La Lucciola (for those that know Bali, still such a great restaurant). On that walk SHE found at least 3 great coffee opportunities, and the excellent Petitenget Cafe.
If value for money is the priority, and you expect to spend most of the time out and about, you can't get a better deal than this. $50 a night in this part of the world is pretty rare. Online rates for a one bedroom pool villa are unbeatable right now. Get on it!