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Deja Kirkwood

Deja Kirkwood has 17 articles published.

Deja Kirkwood
Deja Kirkwood is a dreamer from San Francisco, an aspiring jet setter and a digital marketing pro for Elite Havens in Bali.

Romantic Seminyak: Rekindle Love in Bali

in Wellness by
The Layar Romantic Seminyak Villas

The number one place for a romantic getaway? The dream honeymoon destination? The primo anniversary escape?

It’s got to be the Bali, Indonesia. Beach lovers can’t resist the lure of this spiritual island, where tropical luxury is at its best (and lovers can’t resist each other). 

More specifically, it’s got to be Seminyak, where wining and dining is effortless and hideaways like The Layar are kitted out for high-end leisure.

The Layar Private Pool Villa in Seminyak

THE LAYAR DESIGNER VILLAS & SPA

Feel The Romance

First, get comfortable with cool spacious interiors, zillion thread count sheets and an open living area. Next, a private swimming pool and manicured tropical garden await nearby. A dramatic slanted ceiling overhead also makes your very private villa a personal theatre. Finally, display your affection. O Romeo! 

The Layar Seminyak One Bedroom Villa

THE LAYAR – PRIVATE LUXURY VILLA

If Shakespeare’s famed duo had dashed off to Bali, theirs would be a very different play with all the passion and none of the tragedy because this place is a romantic’s Heaven on Earth. Thus, thanks to the natural beauty and wealth of things to do, it’s the couple’s getaway of a lifetime. So forget R+J and take your cues for romance from this script instead.

The Layar Romantic Seminyak Villas

THE LAYAR – ROOM SERVICE

Act I. Scene I. Luxury one-bedroom villa. A warm welcome note and chilled champagne on the table.

To borrow a page from The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene, surprise is an easy road to romance. Being in a new place for the first time also serves up a bit of wonder, but a love of travel doesn’t necessarily bring people together. It’s the thoughtful surprises (and bold moves, says Greene) planned by one person for the other that bring back flutters of new love.

A simple request when booking is all it takes. Hence, set the scene for arrival however you’d like. Arrange special occasions and activities in advance. Also, leave the legwork to your hosts while you go barefoot. Enjoy your holiday worry free.

Seek Adventures in Sync

Act II. Scene II. The beach. Golden sand surrounds. Palm trees sway in the pleasant sea breeze.

Roses, chocolates and sweet surprises are strong symbols in the book of love.

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Best alcohol buys in Bali

in Tips by
Alcohols

It’s probably fair to say that most people enjoy a drink when they’re on holiday. Whatever your favourite tipple – an iced beer on the beach; an exotic cocktail at sunset, or a glass of chilled wine by the pool, read on to gain some insider’s info on the best places in town to buy beer, wine and spirits. And even better – how to have it delivered.

First, we’d recommend that you skip the duty-free shop at Bali Airport.  While the store may be called ‘Duty Free’, it’s not. All alcohol that comes into Indonesia is slapped with a heavy import tax. The only ways around paying the tax are by purchasing a bottle of duty free at a foreign airport en route to Indonesia, or buying domestic products once you’re here.

FOLLOW THE STAR

In Bali, Bintang (meaning ‘star’) is synonymous with beer. This popular lager has 4.7% alcohol content and a mild flavour that’s well suited for beach holidays. Brewed in Indonesia, Bintang is a Heineken brand, and both beers display red stars prominently on their labels.

Bintang Beer

Second to Bintang, the most widely available beer in Bali is San Miguel (and San Miguel Light, served with lime). You’ll see Bali Hai, Anker and Stark, too. Foreign beers are harder to find, but they are out there if you know where to look. Beer & Co have outlets in Canggu and Legian, and propose a satisfying range of imported big name and craft beers. 

For good prices on local beers, head to the (rather confusingly named) Bintang supermarket in the centre of Seminyak, Bali. The store’s logo is, you guessed it, a red star. They also sell wine and spirits here and, conveniently, you can pick up a bottle opener or corkscrew while you are there.

Beer & co.
Jl. Pantai Batubolong No 35A
+62 8113 886 658

Bintang Supermarket
Jl. Raya Seminyak No.17, Kuta Bali
+62 361 730 552

TOP TIP :

Absolutely do not drink from the Absolut vodka bottles you’ll see displayed on racks at the roadside all over Bali. These  glass bottles are re-used to sell petrol (who said Indonesia doesn’t recycle?).

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Balinese art of monster-making

in News by
nyepi ogoh ogoh bali art

Nyepi is the first day of the Saka lunar calendar, a sacred occasion in Bali when people stay indoors for quiet reflection. For many visitors in Bali during this time of year, the message is strong and simple, for respecting ‘Silent Day’ is mandatory: stay in, turn off the lights and be quiet. From dawn until dawn, the island completely shuts down, including the airport. Only pecalang (neighbourhood security) go out in public, whilst everyone else takes time for personal reflection at home.

What more is there to know about the annual Nyepi holy day in Bali, and what do the papier-mâché monsters in the streets have to do with it?

Arts are integral to Balinese culture, and the Balinese have a long history as accomplished woodworkers, stone sculptors, gold- and silversmiths, and textile- and basket-weavers, as well as being ingenious horticulturalists. Balinese artisan crafts, ceremonial customs, daily offerings, performance arts, masks, costumes, adornments and agricultural traditions are all ways of life which honour the values of Balinese Hindu ideology; at the crux a divine balance between people, God and nature.

Balinese customs preceding Nyepi are all about maintaining this trinity, known as the Tri Hita Karana, by cleansing, warding off all evil forces and giving selfless offerings before the start of the new year.

The great task of ridding the island of a year’s worth of evils is taken care of by giant ogoh-ogoh statues of mythological witches, grotesque demons or modern anti-heroes.

Just one of the many essential rituals surrounding Nyepi, the ogoh-ogoh are paraded around by their creators in raucous processions late into the night on the eve of Nyepi. They scare away or encapsulate bad entities, then get set on fire at the cemetery to burn to complete non-existence.

Despite their short lifespans, ogoh-ogoh can be elaborate monstrosities with impressive construction and attention to detail. A popular and visually stunning trend is to create artworks which appear to hover in thin air or connect multiple figures in a dynamic pose. In each of Bali’s thousands of banjars (community organizations), young adults begin making an ogoh-ogoh weeks or even months in advance of Nyepi.

Many adults can’t resist joining in this artistic tradition. Local Bali tattoo artist and graphic designer Putu Marmar Herayukti is one of them. For the ogoh-ogoh parade preceding Hari Raya Nyepi 1940 (17 March 2018),

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Lembongan Snorkelling and Fishing Trips

in Families by
Lembongan Snorkelling Trip - Pulau Boat Charter Bali

Dive into ten frequently asked questions about boating day trips in Bali. These honest answers can help you easily plan a fun-filled day on the water with friends or family. 

Top 10 FAQ

  1. Where are the best places in Bali for snorkelling and fishing day trips?
  • Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, east Bali
  • Amed and Tulamben, northeast Bali
  • Menjangan Island, northwest Bali

The best snorkelling and diving areas are offshore, so opt for a private boat charter to guide you. Not far from Bali, Nusa Lembongan is a popular island to visit for snorkelling, sightseeing and lunch on land. 

Bali Coral Reefs and Fish - Pulau Boat Charter

  1. What kind of fish and sea life can you see in Bali?
  • Butterfly Fish, Lion Fish, Parrot Fish and Angelfish
  • Striped Ribbon Sweetlips Fish, Oriental Sweetlips Fish
  • Triggerfish, Surgeonfish and Pufferfish
  • Endangered Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles
  • Blue Ribbon Eel, Yellow, White and Giant Moray Eels
  • Reef Octopus and Dolphins
  • Vivid living corals, Nudibranch, Anemone and Starfish

These are just a few of the exciting sights you can expect. SCUBA divers are also attracted to deeper waters around Bali to observe Mola Mola (Giant Sunfish) and gentle Manta Rays. The entire archipelago of Indonesia is a world-famous destination for snorkelling and diving.

  1. What kind of fish can you catch in Bali?
  • Tuna
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Wahoo
  • Snapper
  • Leather Jacket Fish

Fishing from a boat by trolling or using fishing rods are the best ways to catch ocean fish around Bali and you can also try coral fishing, too.

4. When is the best time to go boating in Bali?

  • Weather is usually best from April to November
  • Bali’s rainier months are December through March
  • Get an early start in the morning
  • Arrive back to shore well before sundown

Any day when the ocean is calm and the sky is clear will give you the best conditions for fishing and swimming. Postponing a trip due to rainy weather or choppy water is wise to ensure a fun day out.

5. What kind of boats are common in Bali?

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Bali wedding villas with stunning sea views

in Weddings by
Clifftop wedding villa Bali

Romantic and exotic Bali is an inviting island for destination weddings, where dreams of saying ‘I do’ with an ocean view come true.

These luxury Bali villas set on dramatic cliff-tops and exclusive beach-fronts are the best sea view event venues you’ll find.

Sohamsa ocean view Bali vwedding enueSohamsa Ocean Estate

Perched on the towering cliffs above Pandawa Beach on the southern tip of Bali, Sohamsa Ocean Estate is coveted by brides-to-be for its contemporary style and sweeping sea views.

With a grand entrance, spacious courtyard and gorgeous backdrop, this pair of villas is perfectly set up for an idyllic outdoor wedding.

Sohamsa Bali ocean view villaAt Villa Soham, the view is complimented by a 22-metre infinity pool and cliff-edge balé pavilion which works as a covered dining area, lounge or dance floor.

Next door Villa Hamsa is as convenient as can be for VIP guests to stay on-site, but in their own separate villa. It can also serve as a lavish behind-the-scenes dressing room on the big day.

Sohamsa Uluwatu ocean viewsFive-bedroom Villa Soham and four-bedroom Villa Hamsa host 50 people for seated events and can accommodate up to 22 overnight guests.

The multi-tiered property is landscaped with tidy lawns, lotus ponds, lush greenery and understated blooms to create an unbelievably romantic setting for a ceremony and reception. Adding your own wedding flowers and event décor is of course welcome.

Dusk heralds a ‘magic hour’ for photos in the villa’s indoor-outdoor spaces (and picturesque white sand Pandawa Beach is only a two-kilometre drive away, so zipping down to the beach for some shots there is an option too).

Sunset wedding villa bukit baliWeather remains sultry into the evening, and the whole venue is beautifully lit at night. Additional party lights and sound equipment can be brought in as needed. Both villas have high-speed WIFI, PABX room-to-room phone system, Sonos sound system and behind-the-scenes staff areas.

We can recommend expert event organisers, florists, decorators and caterers, so you can focus on relaxing and celebrating with your guests.

Before and after your special event, a personal team of villa staff are on hand to help ensure that you enjoy a worry-free wedding. Another bonus of staying at Sohamsa Ocean Estate for your wedding are its wellness facilities – a large gym,

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