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Bali, Lombok, and the Gili Islands: Worth the hype

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The word ‘Bali’ conjures up images of traveler hordes - from all walks of life – congregating in a hectic swirl of partying resorts. Although there is some truth to this reputation, reality is that it’s possible to find peace and tranquility on this island paradise and nearby destinations. Here’s how.
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Jl. Raya pantai berawa GG. Toya Kav. 5, Canggu, North Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Removed from the throngs of accommodations further south and north, this intimate but stylish hotel in the middle of hip Canggu offers peace, quiet, and comfort at affordable prices. It's a great option for your first nights on Bali. Take a yoga...
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Jl. Raya Semat No.86, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Indonesian coffee has earned a global reputation for quality (and strength). This cooperative roasts beans on site and serves delectable single-origin brews. If you ask, the Javanese owner will give you a mini-tour and private cupping session.
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Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.66, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80351, Indonesia
Of the many day spas available in Bali, Goldust differentiates itself with a ‘24K gold treatment’: a facial with pure gold added to the mix. This isn’t just for show as supposed benefits include the slowing of collagen depletion and increased...
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Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.42A, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
The Canggu area of Bali is rapidly becoming a hipster-heaven, complete with stylish coffee shops and boutiques. TheSlow offers healthy international fare in a modern setting, surrounded by art and the computer tapping of global nomads. It’s a...
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108 Buddha Way, Gili Air, Gili Indah, Pemenang, Gili Indah, Pemenang, Kabupaten Lombok Utara, Nusa Tenggara Bar. 83352, Indonesia
A short ferry ride from Bali brings you to the idyllic Gili islands. Gili Air, the smallest of the 3 islands, does not have quite as much of the partying backpack set like you’ll see throughout other Bali and Gili locations. Rival Village cottages...
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Gili Air, Gili Indah, Pemenang, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia
New-wave eateries with modern design are even popping up in ‘off the grid’ Gili Air, an idyllic island between Bali and Lombok. This bakery come coffee shop may be on a dirt-lane path, but the vibe is more Brooklyn than Indonesia. Whether you’re...
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Gili Indah, Pemenang, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara 83352, Indonesia
For location, Mowie’s is tough to beat. Grab a beach chair or beanbag, in the sun or in the shade, and let them assault you with strong cocktails. It can be a bit of a scene in the red-velvet-rope clubbing sort of way, but this one’s worth the ‘...
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Desa Gili Indah, Gili Air, Gili Indah, Pemenang, Kabupaten Lombok Utara, Nusa Tenggara Bar. 83125, Indonesia
Take your choice of the day’s catch, then grab a seat at this luxurious seaside restaurant while your dinner is grilled up nearby. Add in a buffet salad bar, a great selection of wine, and perfectly constructed ambience – and you’ve found the...
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Jalan Svea, Gili Indah, Gili Air, Gili Indah, Pemenang, Kabupaten Lombok Utara, Nusa Tenggara Bar. 83000, Indonesia
Set inside a charming boutique hotel well off the beaten path, Pachamama brings organic options to Gili Air with flair. Salads and vegetable mains appease the vegetarians, while fresh fish and grain-fed beef options are innovatively crafted for...
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Jalan Kajeng, Juuk Manis, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
With private cottages set amid impossibly green rice paddies, spiritual-seekers are blessed with isolation. Still an easy and beautiful walk to central Ubud, the location is just right. Add in perfect service, a pool, and small touches of luxury –...