Hotel Review | Flowers & Fire Yoga Garden, Gili Air

Overview:


I booked Flowers and Fire Yoga Garden at the last minute as I saw a deal arise, and I couldn’t have been happier. This place is still very new on Gili Air, however, this wasn’t reflected in the service. They seemed to have ironed out any teething problems they may have had before I arrived.

As the name suggests, the premise of this place is a serene yoga setting, offering a treehouse style studio to those wanting to practice whilst on the island. Whilst not an avid yogi myself, this even inspired me to give it a shot. However, don’t get me wrong, this place may have been inspired by the love of yoga, but their accommodation and whole foods offering goes above and beyond a simple yoga setting.

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The Location:


Set just a 5 minute walk up from the main jetty in Gili Air, this place really couldn’t be located much better. It’s set back from the road to allow you a feeling of peace and serenity, yet close enough to walk anywhere on the island with ease.

NB. There is a mosque nearby, and they seem to pray 24/7, I tend to be able to sleep with any distraction so it didn’t cause me too much of an issue. However, I imagine for most this could be a concern. On the other hand – I was offered ear plugs upon arrival – so this could be easily resolved.

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The Rooms:


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There are 4 types of room in the hotel, two that offer just one double bed (Deluxe Room, and Deluxe Garden Bungalow) and two that offer two double beds – perfect for families (Family Bungalow and Deluxe Double Queen).

I opted for the Deluxe Garden Bungalow and was blown away. A large double bed.. with a duvet! (Yes – I do still love a duvet in 30 degree heat, nothing a bit of AC can’t resolve). The outdoor bathroom was an added bonus, and provides another element of the island environment. I truly believe, no matter which room you opt for you won’t be disappointed. The decor is chic, simple and in line with Balinese culture, and quite honestly – cannot be faulted.

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The Food:


The kitchen was in operation all day, with a delicious breakfast served in the morning where you could opt for any type of eggs, fruit, muesli (all 3 if you were feeling it), fresh fruit juice, Lombok coffee. Plenty to go around. There was no strict timing on this, with a rough outline of 7 – 10am.

The food offering continues throughout the day with a range of sweet and savoury options. From nourish bowls (salad base with your choice of toppings), smoothie bowls, ‘healthy vegan’ ice cream. There was certainly enough to keeps any hunger pangs at bay, and I’d have happily enjoyed every meal here during the course of my stay.

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The Facilities:


Clearly the aforementioned Yoga studio is the show stealer here, with multiple classes on throughout the day, however for those not wanting to practice, theres also a great living space where you can simply chill out and read a book (they have a great little library to choose from should you have run out of your own), or sit by the pool (albeit a simple plunge pool).

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Unfortunately I wasn’t there on a Monday, when the offer a curry and movie night, which seems to be incredibly popular. So I’d definitely get down for that if you’re staying on the island at the beginning of the week, I heard nothing but good things about this during my stay.

With the beach on your doorstep, the likelihood is you’re not going to be short of things to do.

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The Service:


From the communication I had with Emily prior to arrival, to the excellent staff working throughout the hotel, the service here cannot be faulted. The staff were more than pleasant willing to leave you alone should you want to chill but happy to engage if you’re looking for some tips, or just a conversation, whilst there. All in all, the staff are a true asset to this complete serenity of a hotel, and I have no doubt that it’ll continue to flourish on the island and will become a top spot of visitors as time goes by.

The Habit Hunter x

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Hotel Review | Cocotoa Boutique, Gili Trawangan

Overview:


Arriving on Gili T and I think you could’ve put me in a garden shed and I would’ve been happy. This place blew my mind once I stepped off the boat, and immediately knew island life was totally my scene – no shoes, limited wifi, lots of happy, smiley people… oh and corn on the cob on every corner!

However, far from a garden shed it was. Cocotoa is nestled in the middle of the island, just a few rows back from the main strip. In all its white glory, it welcomed me in with open arms.

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The Location:


Ideal for keeping away from the hustle and bustle of the main strip, but close enough to walk everywhere. It’s more secluded than most hotels in the resort, but remains on the ‘busy’ Eastern side of the island.

Cocotoa provides bikes (IDR 50,000 per day – about £2.50) that will do the job at getting you everywhere with ease, or feel free to use the feet we were blessed with and amble around at your own pace. Just take time to remember you’re on an island, go with the flow, don’t hurry it away.

The Rooms:


Cocotoa offers 5 types of room of varying sizes, from their deluxe room to their king suite. I stayed in their ‘luxury’ room, which was more than enough. Quite honestly, I think opting for the deluxe would be plentiful on this island where you’ll spend most of your time away from the room.

All rooms are large, with bathrooms plenty big enough. They’re decorated with a modern flair (not sure how I felt about the colourful lights under the base of the bed, however, nothing a switch couldn’t resolve.

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The Food:


Honestly, the breakfast isn’t worth sticking around for. There’s fruit on offer with every choice, whether that be eggs, toast, pancakes or noodles. It’s FINE (yes.. I hate that word too). It was enough to keep me fuelled for the one day I tried it before my scuba diving, but I wasn’t keen to rush back. There’s plenty of delicious spots to try on the island, so I’d recommend heading elsewhere if you’re a bit of a breakfast aficionado – I highly recommend The Banyan Tree.

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The Facilities:


In terms of facilities, there’s the onsite restaurant (not somewhere you’d hurry too). The pool is perfect, it’s a great size for Gili T, with enough space around the pool. Of all the snooping into other hotels I did, it’s definitely on the larger side. Other than bikes on offer to rent, as with many other Gili hotels, there’s not a huge amount of facilities.

If you’re interested in keeping fit whilst you’re away, GILIFIT (the only gym on the island) is a short 3min walk from Cocotoa, it’s basic, but will suffice if you’re a stickler for routine.

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The Service:


I didn’t have a huge amount of interaction with the staff, but when I did they were all lovely and very helpful. One thing I did notice is that as I took my key with me every day my room didn’t get cleaned? Not entirely sure why this was, as you’d presume they’d have a spare. I’ve emailed the hotel for clarity on this – so I’ll get back to you!

The Habit Hunter x

Bali Budget Accommodation… with style

So I’ve had a few questions since posting a couple of photos of places I’m staying whilst travelling – one being the incredible Bisma Eight hotel in Ubud, Bali – about how I’m budgeting for my trip, and how I can afford to travel for months staying in places like Bisma Eight, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle & Renaissance Uluwatu.

No I don’t have an endless pot of money to frivolously splurge on fancy hotels, I will in fact be spending 90% of my trip in hostels. However, I’m very much on the side of the fence that advocates for ‘Stop Wishing – Start Doing’, hence the reason for my trip in the first place. Firstly, unlike many travellers, I’m not fresh out of school or university, I’ve spent the last 2 years working, and saving (albeit a restricted savings pot thanks to London living costs). Hence, I’ve got a little more flexibility to upgrade every now and again throughout the trip.

Whilst I’m more than keen to share my thoughts on these beautiful hotels, this post is really about the other 90% of my accommodation – the ‘budget’ side. When going travelling, everyone’s budget is different, but when it comes to hostels, you’re rarely looking at a crazy price differential between places, and with a little research I’ve managed to bag some bargains, without sacrificing a bit of luxury on the way. So here’s my round-up of my top 5 spots for accommodation in Bali (and the Gili Islands) and where I’ll be spending the month of July (ps.. I’ll be giving you my fully fledged honest opinion after the stay – but if Photos & Trip Advisor grant any credibility then I reckon you can bank on these):

  1. The Farm, Cangguimg_660_442_hostel-di-_15272471177
  2. Bread and Jam, Kuta52018503
  3. Captain Coconuts, Gili Aircaptain-coconuts-gili-air
  4. M Box, Gili Trawangan124211489
  5. Dash Hotel, Seminyak (hostel prices)dash-hotel-seminyak-bali
    The Habit Hunter x

 

Hotel Review | Envoy Hotel, Boston

Overview:


When I headed out to Boston last month for the marathon, there was little debate over where I wanted to stay. ‘Innovation District’ – check, ‘Igloos on the roof’ – check, ‘Views over the Seaport’ – check, ‘Chic Interior Design’ – check – yep, The Envoy ticked all the boxes and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

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The Location:


Once a barren waterfront packed with parking lots, a few businesses and an old school restaurant or two, The Seaport District is now the hottest section of the city! This seaside section of “Southie”, has finally been enhanced by developers who have brought, and continue to bring, some of the Boston’s best to the area.

Beyond the confines of the hotel and a couple of pretty waterfront parks, you’re unlikely to spend much time in the Seaport District, but you’re just a five-minute walk across the Fort Point Channel from downtown.

The Rooms:


The 136 rooms come in various categories: at the lower end are Classics, which offer city or “partial water” views; while at top end are Coveted Corner Rooms and Suites.

My Corner King Room was spacious enough to have a free-standing bed right in the centre, complete with a headboard that had inbuilt electrical sockets – ideal for business guests who want to use the desk behind, or for anyone else, like me, who (tragically) hates to be too far from their phone while it charges overnight.

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The Food:


The Outlook restaurant, adjoining the lobby is well worth a visit, serving great wine and a menu centred around the three ‘S’s – seafood, salads and steaks – but in a much more modern way than that might suggest. The breakfast options were tip top – and I’d totally recommend the bacon glazed cinnamon danish (don’t pre-judge it)!

Whilst I only ate dinner once in the restaurant, post-marathon my legs wouldn’t carry me much further than the lobby, it certainly didn’t disappoint. In what’s become a post-marathon ritual I delved for the burger and it totally hit the spot.

The Drinks:


The Envoy’s modern building, radiating light and glass is crowned by the Rooftop Bar. The panoramic views of the Boston skyline and Boston Harbor are unmatched.  The uniquely-shaped bar is complemented by intimate seating groups and glowing fire pits. The covered seating areas have built-in ceiling mounted heaters for cool evenings. The beverage-only bar features unique house made craft cocktails, micro brews and wine by the glass collections.

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The Facilities:


As with many typical city break hotels, there’s not a huge amount of added extra facilities. The rooftop bar certainly steals the show, but the fitness centre is a decent size with modern equipment, and there’s plenty of space to chill and catch up on the latest news/instagrams around the lobby.

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The Service:


Quite honestly had very little interaction with the staff – neither a good nor bad thing. They were pleasant and helpful when called upon, but no ‘above end beyond’ service to note.

The Habit Hunter x