Our third and final destination of our month abroad was the beautiful Indonesian island of Bali. This may be a lame reason, but ever since I’d watched the movie Eat Pray Love I’d been desperate to go. I’d read hugely mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, some of which worried me a little, but what’s traveling without a little risk from time to time right?
After a short six hour flight from Brisbane we arrived at the airport, which featured the most amazing temple inspired architecture! There was also this spicy, rich scent that greeted us as we stepped out into the evening heat, which instantly reminded me of the Dubai Souks.
Our hotel, the Mercure Resort, was located in the peaceful town of Sanur on the east coast. Unlike those who visit the “party” town of Kuta on the west coast, we were desperate for five days of nothing but relaxed beach days, flowing cocktails and a little island exploring, and from what I’d read, Sanur was the perfect place for that.
Our first impressions of the Mercure were great. From the culturally designed lobby, to the ornate statues dotted along the paths, every aspect of the hotel was wonderful. I can honestly say we’ve never had such a warm welcome as we did at the Mercure, and trust me, after three weeks of hostels we were so grateful for this!
The resort was situated literally right on the beach front, with our little bungalow room being only a two minute walk away from the rows and rows of sunbeds and palms. There was also the most amazing beach temple between the resort and the sea which constantly had incense sticks burning away. I grew to love the smell so much, I actually bought some before we left. Everywhere we went in Bali there were offerings scattered across the paving or the temple itself, which the locals take great pride in maintaining.
The crazily hot sand aside, I could have happily spent all five days wandering up and down the sands of Sanur beach. With shallow waters for a fair way out, there were absolutely no waves. The only issue was the coral and sea urchins, but for the safety of the hotel guests a designated swimming area had been cordoned off. Although we didn’t necessarily swim in the sea, we did hire paddle boards for an hour, which cost next to nothing. I absolutely loved this as it was the perfect way to explore more of the Sanur shores whilst soaking up the Balinese sun. I can’t believe I’d never paddle boarded before!
The Mercure offers two pools, one by the restaurant/beach and one hidden within the vast array of rooms. We only made use of the smaller one by the beach as it was close to everything we needed during our stay, aka our room and the bar, but regardless of its location it was perfect for the occasional, peaceful dip to cool off. Not only that, but it was without a doubt the cleanest pool I’ve ever seen. With a member of staff regularly scooping out the fallen leaves and frangipani flowers with a net, it was kept immaculate at all times. To top it all off, the water was beautifully warm. Darryl pretty much had to drag me out on our last day!
We stayed in one of the deluxe rooms which was a thatched, semi-detached bungalow. I didn’t get any pictures of it as it had a month worth of clothes and products thrown all over the place, but it was huge and had the biggest, squishiest marshmallow bed I’ve ever slept in. However the bathroom was the real selling point for me. It had a gigantic, luxurious bath and the most amazing rain shower designed in a wet room style. My only “niggle” is the lack of hot water and the mosquitoes that flew in through the roof. That aside, it was perfect!
Our booking didn’t include any meals, but we ended up upgrading to the included breakfast option as the buffet that the Mercure had every morning was to die for. I’ve never eaten so many pancakes, pastries or omelettes in my life, but my god was it worth it. And the tropical fruit juices, despite them disagreeing with our stomachs, were out of this world.
We didn’t often eat lunch as we’d had too much for breakfast, but the two lunches we did have were lovely. The best bit for me was probably these fresh coconuts which cost next to nothing. If that’s not tropical paradise at its finest, I don’t know what is! Then, for dinner, we usually opted for something tasty from the a la carte menu as opposed to the buffet, as unfortunately we both ended up a bit ill so had to go easy!
In terms of location, the Mercure was situated in the ideal place for what we wanted to see and do whilst in Bali. With plenty of shops, restaurants and markets around, Sanur had everything you needed – and at unbelievably cheap prices!
Our stay at the Mercure was fantastic. Thank you to the staff who made it such a great way to end our travels! Stay tuned for future posts to see what we got up to during our five days on the island…
Find out more about the Mercure Resort, Sanur