There are over 1000+ villas in Bali, most of them 3-5 bedrooms, so grab you best group of friends to join in! This is particularly good for couples. Most villas come with motorbikes and daily cleaning service, in-house massage, nanny, and chefs. Villa Sandy in Canggu is usually my favorite, because it's impeccably run.
After you get settled into your villa, head over to Bali Buda to stock up on some healthy snacks and breakfast foods (but get your fruit from local stands). From their freshly baked coconut bagels to their ginger dark chocolate, Bali Buda serves up a mixture of imported packaged food, organic vegetables, and their own brand's locally sourced products. They also happen to have an impressive collection of soaps, essential oils, and other island-produced luxuries to give as souvenirs.
I bought 20 of their homemade, all-natural Goji Ashitaba Energy Bars, which come wrapped in a banana leaf. I have been experimenting with making them with fig, spirulina, cinnamon, coconut, and goji berry, but haven't yet reached their level of authenticity. They have four branches all over Bali with attached cafes, frequented by post-session yogis.
Our favorite Bali bikini brand Blue Glue has nine retail locations all over Bali. From active neoprene pieces to vintage Poesie sets, they are versatile and have fantastic little details and an impressive level of quality. Designed and produced completely on the island, save some room in your bag to bring some Bali beauty back with you.
Ubud, about 45 min from the southernmost part of Bali, is known for its incredible yoga. For yoga fanatics, an acro-yoga class at Radiantly Alive is all you need to feel complete. With only one major road, this little town has a much more relaxed feel from the phrenetic downtown of Kuta. Right off the main street there's another Bali Buda Self and UBUDahh, proclaimed “accessories for your soul, soul for your home!” It offers brightly colored hand made jewelry and pieces to spark up your house. It is basically a Bali version of Trina Turk.
Canggu is a good combination of waves for beginners and more advanced surfers, and is home to a very supportive surf community. The sets become too large for beginners around 9:30 am, so make sure to get out there early. A surf lesson is pricey and likely not worth it, as the only skills you really need to know are how to paddle and how to stand. The rest is all practice.
When waves start getting to big, head over to Old Man’s for their muesli or their big breakfast, and lounge on comfy couches in the outdoor dining area. On the beach, you can buy beautiful batik sarongs for 5,000 rupiah and bracelets for about 2,000 rupiah. If you looking for something a little higher end, Gold Dust has amazing beach wear!
On the east coast of the island is Sanur, where more locals visit the beaches and scuba shops. Bali Scuba has fantastic local dive masters, run by a jovial Norwegian and Brit. If you’re a beginner, after a pool session, you will have an instructor take you out to Tumlaben, one of the very few "fun dives” in the world that allows you to see an old US WWII wreck. At 120 meters long, its one of the best discovery dives.
For the more advanced divers, Manta Point is an exciting spot for siting colorful little fish, and Nusa Penida is great for Bali’s famous sunfish. If you don’t catch them, you’ll still see incredible variations of black, yellow, and white in different fish. Trigger fish are everywhere, as is the Feather Coral, waving its colorful undersides back at you as you swim past.