Even at 1am I knew we had a found something very special on arrival at The Temple Lodge. Although I cannot take credit for the find, Anna Chittenden, the curator of the Lost Guides, an essential to anyone travelling through and around Bali, takes full credit for highlighting this place. The scent, warmth, colour and quiet that welcomes you as you step into the gates of The Temple Lodge with Frangipani and Orchids hanging down, even in the pitch black, it is as if you are stepping into an Indonesian Secret Garden.
After 9 years we thought we would adventure back to Bali and her islands, a decision that took some time, some readers would know, but the absolute right decision it was. So in planning our trip to The islands of The Gods, we thought about seeing some new areas of Bali and adventuring out to the Lombok islands, we decided on the Bukit peninsula, on Bali’s southernmost tip, for our first stop. Known for some of the best beaches in Bali, best surf, yoga and chill, we thought we couldn’t go wrong. So after two long flights with Qatar Air, (great airline F.Y.I) we made our way to The Temple Lodge situated about 35 minutes from Ngurah Rai, Denpasar Airport, to rest our heads for the next three nights.
Now, I was aware there was going to be the odd monkey, I had mentally composed myself for this, but nothing quite prepared me for the loud crash landing of what I can only say was mama monkey on our thatched roof that next morning….wow the sounds! We were surrounded, half super excited and half slightly scared to death, we ventured out side complete with sling shot (which was left in our room to shake at them, not to actually use) and off they scooted, but in that very cheeky way that monkey’s do. Their ‘Good mornings’ were probably one of the most amazing alarm clock I’ve ever received…slightly unnerving but aren’t all alarms.
One of my favourite things about arriving in the dead of the night is the delight in seeing your surroundings in the morning. The Temple Lodge has eight different suites, all beautiful and full of character in their own way, with names to suit such as Coral Suite and The Gecko Suite, we opted for the Eagles Nest.
The Eagles Nest really was the most breathtaking, prettiest nest, perched half way down a cliff, looking over to the turquoise Indian ocean. The top floor was the the perfect spot to curl up with a good book, have a snooze in the warm Bali heat, take in the sunset, and was the best seat in the house for watching the surf break, we also spotted an Monitor Lizard or two in the mornings. The stairs then continued down to the outside bathroom and the bedroom hidden away in the beautifully wooden carved and thatch roof nest. Simplicity surrounded by natural beauty, chilled and calm- a Happy Place was created.
The steep stone stairs, made you question your fitness on every journey but equally made the morning apple and cinnamon pancakes even more guilt free ( more on those pancakes soon) One of the many highlights was the outside bathroom with a view from the toilet which must be up there as one of the best views from a toilet there ever is. I think an outside bathroom really is one of the most brilliant of experiences, it’s so fresh and exciting to be showering so close to nature with the waves crashing behind you. The only slight problem was those cheeky monkeys, so it was strongly advised to not leave anything out at all, as the monkeys would nab it. I could imagine a family of monkeys in the trees complete with bikinis and body shop products and my ipad! Wes however appreciated the monkeys skills in keeping me tidy and not having a million products left out everywhere…..he wasn’t so happy in the middle of the night when he had to trapes across the large deck area with me as I was a little too scared to go the loo on my own…..Come on it’s Bali….
We spent our mornings tucking into the most delicious of breakfasts, apple pancakes, smoothies, bowls of homemade museli, yogurts, jams and toast. The food was incredible, healthy and delicious. Sitting around big, wooden communal tables, with prints and cushion delight which made me very happy….Once again home inspiration. I also took a Yoga class one morning, which was pretty incredible. Taking place in a beautiful open air studio, sounds of birds and HUGE bees, Buddas surrounded us with flowers hanging and the sun beaming down. Yoga is offered every morning by such informed, calm, inclusive and experienced instructors. I completely recommend it.
We continued our days with strolls down to Bingin Beach, climbing through the rocks to the water. It’s a real cool surf vibe, with plenty of Warungs to grab a drink or some food, we stopped off back in the village at the fab Cashew Tree for wraps and smoothies, (we also ventured back for dinner one night ) with the afternoon around the beautiful swimming pool, complete with buds and petals which have fallen from the garden. Swim to the edge and soak up the sea views which span from Uluwatu to Kuta and the volcanoes….And if that was not enough finish the day with the most incredible Balinese massage, in the beautiful, spa. I am aware I can throw a lot of superlatives in describing but this really was the most incredibly wonderful massage. Bowls full of warm water and petals to wash your feet in, with colourful printed Balinese drapes blowing in warm breeze which filled the room, all ridiculously a little too much…. Did I say this was my happy place?
I’m not such a fan of a hotel which as soon as you walk inside you could be literally be anywhere in the world, a hotel in Dubai, a Greece or even a Next show room, I know it suits some and I understand that I don’t go to the other extreme either and move in with the locals, I like a little of life’s luxuries as well. Authenticity, pockets of colour, thought and character will give a place a soul, and for me when we go away, that is at the top of my list. The Temple Lodge did not let me down and was perhaps even more….
Sometimes it is hard to feel at home when you are thousands of miles away, in a whole other culture of such difference, but I really felt The Temple Lodge was so me in so many ways….Everywhere you looked was a moment of calm and a moment to consider, a moment to capture a moment to keep forever, but even the best photographer couldn’t capture the magic of this place, what you find can belong to you only.
There was an overwhelming sense of peace and home when we returned from afternoons and evenings out, and now on reflection I don’t understand why we ever left.
More from Bali soon……
We Flew with Qatar Airlines with a transfer in Doha.
We booked through The Temple Lodge
The Temple Lodge arranged a pick up from the airport for us, for about £20. The journey was about 35 minutes.
We read, The Lost Guides religiously. I highly recommend this travel guide for anyone off to Bali, in fact I’ve just gifted it to my cousin for her honeymoon. Lucky lady.
Turquoise Bikini: Asos
Printed Cami Dress : Asos
Maxi striped dress : Zara
Cream Cotton pyjamas : Asos
Thank you for reading xx