Traveling is one of the main priorities I’ve set for myself this year. In my opinion, people who are well-traveled and who loves traveling have this light within them that never dies. They are forever curious about new experiences, new cuisines, new culture. And with each travel, I believe that our comfort zone will just keep expanding, that’s why I’ll always recommend everyone to travel to somewhere new if they feel like they’re just in a rut.
I’ve barely ever travel alone. Due to unseen unfortunate circumstances, what was supposed to be a trip for two became a solo trip. Me. Myself. I.
To be honest, I was very overwhelmed. Traveling alone? Oh no, that doesn’t sound like me. However, this year I’ve promised myself to say more YES to different experiences, so I realized that this is the perfect way to start. After all, who knew this trip changed my life and perspective.
Upon arrival, I requested Warung Cahaya for lunch. The last time I visited Bali, Warung Cahaya wasn’t too known by tourists. At that time, Nasi Babi Malen was in the spotlight. I can’t say I was disappointed with Warung Cahaya, it was actually pretty good. Their specialty is their Babi Goreng Sambel Matah. Sambel Matah happens to be one of my favorite types of sambel and boy, did they do it well. The crispiness of the pork topped with the garlicy onion chopped chili made me believe in love at first taste. One thing I should point out is that I love how pork in Bali doesn’t have this smell. I’m sure pork eaters in Jakarta know what I’m talking about.
My accommodation of choice was Tejaprana Resort and Spa in Ubud, Bali. Why Ubud? Simply because I’ve a phobia of getting sand stuck in between my toes. I’ve always prefer greenery than the ocean. (Mind you, I’m also damn scared of the ocean. I hate swimming in it – makes me feel like there’s a shark after me.) I find trees, hills, slopes all the more relaxing compared to waves, seeing surfers. Although I simply can’t deny the joy and peace the sound of waves makes me feel.
The Tejaprana Resort and Spa is a fairly new resort, a year old to be exact. What made me fall in love with the resort was the view overlooking all the palm trees and the forest, complete with a small private pool. The bed overlooks the patio which seamlessly transcends to an endless sight of trees, trees and trees – how relaxing. That was exactly what I was looking for – a place to relax and unwind from Jakarta’s hectic traffic and commotion. Plus, there is an outdoor bathtub in every room. I was sold.
One highlight of my trip was a visit to the Ritz Mandapa Reserve. It is part of Ritz Carlton, so naturally it is a 6 stars resort with amazing views. I had low expectations about the resort but I was so blown away by how beautiful it is.
One restaurant which I had anticipated on visiting was Kubu at Mandapa. I booked ahead of time and heard that it was really hard to get seats. The service, the food, the ambience were all top-notch and so worth it. It is not cheap, but I won’t expect anything less than that for Ritz standards. Their servers know what they’re talking about and what surprised me even more was that our server (not sommelier) knew which wine to recommend and I highly appreciate that. Kubu had degustation meals or ala carte choices for us to choose from. I chose the ala carte. They started us with a mini starter, a Bloody Mary pop.
Bloody Mary Poppers
Overall, the meal was a pleasant experience beyond words. The cherry on top was definitely when Kubu gave us mini desserts (chocolates and a glass of lemoncello) at the end which ties the whole dining experience pretty well. The mini starter and the dessert were free and I believe this was what blew my mind away (not because I’m cheap, mind you!). Very recommended for foodies, but it can get quite expensive. I would wholeheartedly recommend dining at Kubu for special occasions, and believe that this is how all fine dining experiences should be.
When I went back to my room, I prepared myself a bubble bath to unwind. I can’t begin to describe how zen I felt when all I heard was crickets, the sound of my bath water, and pouring wine. I had time to reflect about a lot of things that has happened to me recently and can’t begin to feel anything but.. blessed.