Bali is no doubt a popular destination for weddings, honeymoons and just general romantic getaways. With so many instagrammable backdrops and sexy sunset spots, it’s easy to see why.
Being the awesome island that it is, lovebirds can now consider Bali as a destination to celebrate the last days of singledom before making the ultimate commitment, whatever you want that celebration to be.
Let us give some inspiration to the ladies who are thinking (or dreaming) about heading to Bali for their pre-nuptial rituals with the girls. Whether your idea of that involve yoga-ing and meditating in the middle of luscious rice fields, bargain hunting for knick-knacks at the local market or dancing until sunrise, we have suggestions to suit your style.
1. For the fitness fanatic/bride who wants to go the extra mile to tone that body for the wedding
Wedding customs from different religions and cultures may dictate different outfits, rituals, ceremonies and procedures. But if there is one thing that all brides to be generally have in common before is that they all want to look their best on their wedding day.
And efforts to “look their best” usually involve some sort of workout/diet regime, whatever that might be. And bachelorette dos that are laden with drunken debaucheries and fry-ups the morning after might cancel this effort, or at least set it back.
Luckily, Bali has an abundance of fitness retreats that allows the bride to be and her entourage to relax and rejuvenate as well as tone the body leading up to the wedding. Bali goddess retreats provide a seven-day package just for women (no kids or couples allowed) complete with spa treatments, daily fitness and yoga sessions as well as healthy food. In addition, you can incorporate three wellness, cultural or fitness activities (the fitness ones include surfing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling and biking).
Escape Haven is another women’s only fitness retreat that allows you to work up a sweat and then recover in luxury. The programs are similar to Bali goddess retreats, though Escape Haven offers a personal training assessment and five personal training sessions as part of the package. Mind Body Soul – Surf Bali combines surfing, yoga and meditation as a way to heal and tone, and includes raw chocolate and Balinese cooking classes in the package.
These fitness retreats are also a great idea for the marathon-runner, gym junkie or any other active bride to be who would associate fun with doing the tough-mudder. Just make sure everyone is aware of how much physical activity is involved beforehand!
2. For the foodie who is not worried about her waistline
For the bride to be that equates food with good times, and is not too worried about her waistline being too big for her gown (lucky her!), Bali is the perfect place to indulge in all sorts of cuisines (as well as learn how to make them!).
Googling “Bali’s best eating spots” will throw all sorts of recommendations, usually based on what’s best in the area. One option would be to stay in different areas and eat your way around all the good eats there, mixing warungs and street stall outings with champagne brunches and classy fusion dining, throwing in a cooking class or two.
Bali has a LOT of cooking classes (including some great ones that go beyond balinese food), so best to consult with the bachelorette or her husband-to-be what his/her preferences are.
Alternatively, if you want someone else to do all the organizing for you, there is always the option of taking a food/culinary tour. Bali Culinary Tours has packages for the fine-dining enthusiasts, while Spice Bazaar gives you the full-range of culinary experience from street food to fancy restaurants. Bali Food Safari also offers a one night degustation “mystery dining” tour, with the option of starting at Seminyak, Ubud or Jimbaran.
Thanks to Eat Pray Love, Ubud has become somewhat of a tourist hostspot for Bali (as well as a base for many digital nomads and travel bloggers). Still, even though its modern-day vibe may be a tad bit more developed than the chill hippy-jaunts it used to be in the 70s, the environment still allows you to be very santai. For the raw-food loving, vegan/vegetarian bride who may want to undergo some detoxification prior to the big day (or have just chosen to adopt the plant-based diet in preparation for it), Ubud hosts plenty of stylish cafes catering to this type of cuisine and also has a myriad of wellness-related activities that all the girls can enjoy.
The most prominent wellness center in Ubud is the Yoga Barn – which has packages for a seven-day full-on cleansing detox retreats involving colonics, massage, yoga, shamanic Balinese healing ceremony, meditation and optional aryuvedic treatment. There is also a three-day foundation cleanse (also known as the “juicing quickie”), if a whole week sounds too full-on. In addition to retreats, the Yoga Barn hosts an array of classes from morning to night ranging from different types of yoga, meditation to the famous ecstatic dance sessions on Friday evenings and Sunday morning! Think what you and the girls would do after some shots… except the shots consists of wheatgrass.
There is no reason why being sleeping in nature has to be so uncomfortable. But for awhile it was….until someone had enough and invented glamping.
Glamping in Bali is often associated with Sandat Glamping tents, located three kilometers away from the center of Ubud. These “luxury tents” (there are eight of them, five safari-style and three lumbung cottage -style) reign over the rice fields. Although the tents are set up in a way which allows you to feel “at one with nature”, they do not force you and the girls to forgo your feminine comforts (bathroom with mirrors, running water and a comfortable bed). Light sleepers, however, are advised to bring earplugs if you aren’t too keen on hearing bird and insect noises while you sleep at night.
If the bride is an active outdoor type – make sure to include a sunrise trek to the nearby Mt Batur. Another word of warning: you might want to go easy on the slumber party the night before – because you WILL have to get up before 3 am.
For the bride that likes to boogie – the best places to base the bachelorette bash is probably around the tourist centers of Kuta, Seminyak or Legian (unfortunately… or fortunately, if that’s what you’re into), as that’s where many of the dancing hotspots are located. These dance spots include VH Bali, Pyramid Club, La Favela, Ku De Ta, and the infamous Sky Garden (though that might close soon….).
Bachelorette groups who want to get their boogie on but aren’t so keen on having to mix and mingle with rowdy backpackers in the process can also pay ES Studio Bali & Dance Wellness Club a visit. The blub boasts an array of dance classes, from Zumba, hip-hop to belly-dancing. They also do private group lessons and hosts the Bali Dance Camp twice a year.
As an extra present to the dance loving bride (or more appropriately – the groom to be), Pole Studio Bali offers Ladies Nights/Hens Night “female fatale” and “final fling” packages which involves basic pole dancing lessons, including a choreographed routine to the song of your choice.
From night markets, trendy designer boutiques in Seminyak to bargained goods at the plethora of factory outlets that the island boast – Bali will not disappoint the fashion-obsessed shopaholic bride.
Beachwear loving fashionistas can spend days at the the multitudes of surf-wear outlets in Bali in a hunt for the perfect bikini, but those who are more into high-end fashion can also walk down Jalan Raya Seminyak where they’ll find treasures of handmade designer clothes, even with the option of additional (and fast) tailoring. Look out for the boutique clearance shops.
For the bride to be who might want to make last-minute wedding purchases, make sure to pass by The Wedding Shop Bali.
Bali’s picturesque landscape provides the perfect surrounding to flex one’s creative muscle, and as a result, the island is home to many artists from not only all over Indonesia, but from all over the globe.
The art-loving bride will enjoy browsing the handmade crafts at Ubud Market, or paying a visit to one of Bali’s art galleries, museums and exhibitions.
For the bride that likes the idea of unleashing her inner artistic self – she will be spoilt for choice in Bali! The Bali Center for Artistic Creativity offers classes, courses, workshops, seminars and instructions on a range of visual art and even run retreats combining art lessons, yoga and meditation (these retreats aren’t women-only though…).
If learning to make jewellery is more the bride to be’s cup of tea, Sanur Jewellery Studio runs workshops on how to make awesome silver jewellery, one of which is a girls/ladies’ day out package to make a silver pendant/ring, combined with bubbles and tapas for lunch. Bliss.