Four words: Follow me to paradise.
Paradise was discovered at Lifestyle Retreats, and how lucky we were to experience two sides of it. Lifestyle Retreats has an impressive six properties around Bali, spanning a variety of environments. They have everything from a traditional hotel property on a busy, hip beachfront location (Ize, Seminyak), to secluded villa getaways in a national park (The Menjangan). We had the privilege of staying at two very different three-bedroom villas: one at The Santai in Umalas, and one at The Samata in Sanur.
"Santai" translates to "a lazy person", and The Santai wants to embody lazy relaxation. It's a quiet oasis in the middle of a bustling neighborhood. You'll find silence and serenity in your villa, but the opportunity to mingle with locals is only a few steps away.
Equipped with a beautiful private pool, outdoor kitchen and living room areas, and outdoor waterfall showers in all three bathrooms, there are plenty of beautiful photos to be had.
The Santai also provided us with a Balinese cooking class, where we made an entire 5-course meal with the help of our private chef. It's worthy of note that all Lifestyle Retreats properties have amazing gourmet fare, even straight off the room service menu. I've honestly never experienced anything like it from a hotel.
The Samata strives to balance both the body and the mind. Here, you'll find public (for guests) and private pools, a huge gym with an energy pool, and isolation from city life. But if you want to get away from the peace and quiet for a little while, all our taxi destinations were 45 minutes away and cost us only $6 USD per trip.
This villa was definitely bigger than our last, spanning two floors and with a pool about twice as large. It was the perfect ending to our 3-country tour. Closing our crazy, big city trips in Taipei and Seoul with lazy quality time together at our home away from home was just what we needed.
The Lifestyle Retreats properties are absolutely perfect for someone who wants both a tropical getaway and a slightly city vibe--at first, I was disappointed we weren't closer to Seminyak. But I soon realized how accessible everything was and how affordable transportation was (especially when split between multiple riders). To spend your days meandering in a beach city and your nights in a luxurious private villa with 24-hour personal butler service is, indeed, the perfect balance.
I've also never had so many brands reach out to me after arriving in a specific city as much as I did with Bali, so I think I'm going to have to make a trip back very soon. Which Lifestyle Retreats property should I experience next? Comment your favorite below!