I am so excited to share the amazing honeymoon that I planned for Daniel and Angelica to Bali! It was featured in the latest issue of Utterly Engaged, and I wanted to include it here too. They recently spent 2 ½ weeks in Bali, and stayed at 4 different hotels in different areas of the island. They had some truly unique, memorable experiences. It was a perfect balance between relaxing, being active, and experiencing the Balinese culture.
One thing I loved about working with this couple is that Daniel planned a number of surprises for Angelica. He surprised her with two different private dinners on the beach, scuba diving lessons off Menjangan Island, and an over the top luxury resort for the last 3 nights of their honeymoon. These surprises throughout their honeymoon were so thoughtful, and Angelica certainly appreciated them.
I hope you enjoy reading about their incredible honeymoon!
1. Please provide a brief description of the two of you.
We live in Oakland, California and love to travel, but we don't get to go other places as often as we would like. We're both civil rights lawyers and actually met working on a case together. Daniel is a rabid Oakland Raiders fan. Angelica is a karaoke aficionado. Although our interests often diverge, we both really enjoy relaxing, feasting, and exploring new places together. We got married on September 4 in the Bay Area.
2. What did you want for your honeymoon?
After planning the world's best wedding, we knew we'd need some downtime to relax and enjoy each other's company. Because Angelica likes variety and Daniel likes to take things easy, we knew we needed a place that offered a mix of activities and a lot of relaxation. We also wanted to be able to live it up a little bit in luxury, but not break the bank. So good value was very important to us.
3. What made you want to go to Bali?
We had a couple of friends who had been to Bali and had a great time. It met our needs in terms of offering a range of things to do - from scuba diving to cooking classes to getting pampered - and being relatively affordable. Bali is also far enough away that we knew we wouldn't be able to head there for a weekend getaway.
4. So how was it?
Awesome, romantic, everything we were looking for.
5. What was your favorite part about your honeymoon?
Daniel: In addition to spending so much time with my new wife, I really enjoyed our bike ride with Banyan Tours in the countryside of Ubud and a hike that we took in that area through the Ayang River. These were things we decided to do pretty last minute and felt very off the beaten path.
Angelica: The food, the massages, and the scuba diving. The food everywhere was so delicious -- very flavorful. We had an amazing private dinner on the beach at the Amankila and even took a cooking class in Ubud to be able to learn how to make some of the dishes ourselves. I loved all the massages we got everywhere that we stayed--the Balinese really know how to pamper people, and are so excited to meet newlyweds. Daniel also surprised me with introductory scuba diving in Northwest Bali off of Menjangan Island--the experience was amazing.
6. What did you think of each place you stayed?
In Kerobokon (southern Bali, near Seminyak), Daniel booked us a stay at the Dewani Villas -- a small family run inn in the middle of rice paddies. The rooms were very traditional and comfortable -- we stayed in an upstairs suite with an outdoor shower and amazing thatched roof. It has a lovely pool and a delicious breakfast. It was simpler than the other places we stayed at -- but the other places we stayed at were very luxurious. The first night we were unexpectedly upgraded to a private villa with Novus Bali Villas in Kerobokon. The suite was beautiful and great for relaxing after a 20 hour flight. We had breakfast right by our own private pool.
In Pemuteran (northwest Bali) we stayed at the Matahari Resort, which is a five star resort. It was a little bit over the top in terms of the decor, but the amenities were beautiful, especially the spa. We got massages both at the spa and by the ocean that were just heavenly. Our suite had both an indoor and outdoor shower -- and the shower head was shaped like a stone dragon. We also really enjoyed the buffet at the beachside restaurant on our last night there. The service was terrific.
In Ubud, we stayed in a private villa at the Komaneka Tanggayuda for five nights. This was far and away our favorite place that we stayed. The service was great--everyone learns your name--and we just loved the architecture of the villa (which was all windowed walls) overlooking a small infinity pool with a view of the rice terraces. Every morning we had breakfast in our private bale (small hut) by our pool. We also really enjoyed the free tea and Balinese snacks every afternoon. The spa services here were great as well -- loved the soaking tub carved from volcanic rock. It rained every day we were there, and was so nice to have our dinner or tea brought to the room.
Finally, in the town of Manggis (east Bali), we stayed at the Amankila Resort for three nights. This place was our biggest splurge. The resort is situated on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It was tastefully luxurious in every way. While we were there, we just relaxed in a cabana by the pool for three days straight. The infinity pools are beautiful -- and the service is also top notch. We had a romantic dinner on their private beach--it was a truly memorable feast. We would highly recommend it to other couples. Our package included a snorkeling cruise aboard the Amankila XVI--the boat was great with beds to lounge on. We did have one sleepless night when we were tortured by a very noisy gecko, but the hotel took care of the problem when we complained.
7. What did you think of each area you stayed in?
We stayed in South Bali first, not too far from Seminyak. We thought it had some really nice looking beaches and a variety of things to do, especially if you’re looking for nightlife. But we felt good just spending three nights there and that it might have been too touristy for us to stay the whole time.
Then we hired a driver to bring us up to northwest bali and stayed in Pemuteran. This is a very sleepy side of the island, and from what we gathered, most people are there to go diving or snorkeling off of Menjangan island. We did two days of diving and were really blown away by the beauty of the reef and the sea life. The rest of the time we spent at our resort.
Next, we headed to Ubud, in the mountains. We really enjoyed our stay here -- even though it's not near a beach -- there was just so much to do. We visited the monkey forest, took cooking classes, did a cycling tour, and had some incredible food and the restaurants there. We really found it to be the most dynamic city we stayed in.
Finally, we relaxed before heading home in Manggis, where the Amankila is--it's just a few miles from Candidasa, where we headed for dinner one night. We mostly spent time at our resort here so can't say too much about the area. It was a convenient place to stay to be able to reach the airport. The snorkeling we did was pretty good although not as spectacular as in the northwest.
8. What advice would you give others who want to go to Bali for their honeymoon?
Go! It was such an amazing place for a honeymoon. The Balinese people are so welcoming and excited to meet newlyweds. The island is rich with culture and beauty. The food is so tasty. The massages are heavenly. And there are so many great places to stay and things to do. While the airfare is a major cost, it's definitely possible to find lovely accommodations for a very reasonable price.