Travel To | Ubud, Bali

Having planned this trip for the past 3 months it seems pretty surreal now that I’ve actually arrived. Having stumbled off the plane in Singapore, I had time to stroll to the gate and board the next plane to Bali, 3 hours later and I’d arrived at my first pit stop, Ubud.

Remember Eat, Pray, Love? – Yep, that’s Ubud. Think luscious green rice paddies, yogis galore and the most unreal food I’ve ever had. Needless to say, this place did not disappoint.

COFFEE


1. Seniman Coffee Studio
2. Freak Coffee
3. Monkey Cave Espresso

BRUNCH


1. Folk Pool & Gardens
2. Copper Kitchen
3. Habitat Cafe

HEALTHY SNACKS


1. Alchemy
2. Gluten Free Kitchen
3. Seeds of Life

DINNER


1. Locavore – for a cosy vibe & epic cuisine
2. Bridges – for riverside views
3. Kubu at Mandapa – for top notch Balinese

STAY


1. Bisma Eight – for Jungle luxury
2. COMO Shambhala – for a real retreat, at a real treat price!
3. Cloud Nine – for a hilltop escape

Looking for somewhere more reasonable in Bali?  (without sacrificing style)

DO


1. Climb Mount Batur
2. Campuhan Ridge Trail
3. Indulge in smoothie bowls
4. Take a trip to Tegenungan Waterfalls
5. Ogle at the beauty of Tegallalang Rice Terrace
6. Swing from the treetops at Bali Swing

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.

4-envoy-kingsuite4b

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.

Lobby-Envoy-Hotel-Boston-MA.jpg

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

Restaurant Review | Hide

Mr Dabbous is back, and better than ever with his latest spot at 85 Piccadilly, Hide. This spot spreads its magic over three floors, aptly named ‘Below’, ‘Ground’ and ‘Above’. Below stealing the underground bar magic, Ground offering the far from classic ‘a la carte’ menu, and Above taking tasting menus to new heights.

With floor to ceiling windows flooding the place with light, an unrivalled design staircase and a partnership with Hedonism wines restricting your wine menu selection to a mere 6,500 bottles, this is an absolute must visit.

About


Hide is a restaurant and bar by Hedonism Wines and Ollie Dabbous.

Do Not Miss Dishes


1. Charcoal baked flatbread with ricotta made locally & crushed green herbs
2. Barbecued octopus, moscatel grapes, lovage & white miso
3. Warm acorn cake, smoked caramel & choice of liqueur; Cornish clotted cream

Do Not Miss Drinks


Make sure to get there at least 30mins early to enjoy a drink ‘Below’ – whilst the food might be a showstopper, the drinks certainly give it a run for its money.
1. Summer Solstice
2. The Fallen Madonna
3. Chuckleberry Fizz

Cost


Okay, so it’s not cheap, you’re looking at main course setting you back anywhere from £22 to £32, and cocktails are certainly at the pricier end of £16/£18. However, if you’re looking for a treat or want to spoil yourself rotten, it’s an absolute must.

Where


85 Picadilly

Nearest Transport


Green Park

The Habit Hunter x