Dave had hurt his arm. We weren’t sure whether it was from a spider bite or something less sinister, but his arm had blown up like a balloon and the bite had begun to look black and sore.
Dave was worried his arm would fall off.
We went to the clinic on Lombok and the ‘doctor’ told him he would squeeze the bite so the puss could come out. Dave pointed to the bed behind him, asking if he could carry out his work here.
“Here is okay,” the doctor pointed to his dirty desk. He got up and started rummaging in his cabinet, pulling out a un-sterlised needle.
My heart fluttered.
“Dave, you don’t have to do this,” our friend Lauren wisely said. Dave glanced up at us and our faces told him what we were thinking without us having to open our mouths.
“Erm, give us a minute, would you please?” Dave told the doctor, before making a hasty escape out the door with us on his tail.
Hell no, we wouldn’t be getting medical treatment from a ‘doctor’ on Lombok.
Thankfully, two days later we were flying back to Denpasar, where there was a ‘tourist’ hospital. Dave ended up receiving treatment there, and we were impressed with the high standard of the clinic.
It was Murphy ’s Law that our travel insurance had expired a few days earlier and I hadn’t yet renewed it, leaving us $350 out of pocket. But it was a small price to pay to get some hard core drugs that’d make Dave healthy again.
With Dave’s arm freshly bandaged and a bag full of medicine at his side, we were picked up from the hospital by our driver from Nirwana Resort & Spa.
A chance for some rest and relaxation
Dave and I don’t normally spend our days lazing by the pool. We get bored of that style of holiday pretty quickly. But that’s exactly what we needed right then – some lazy time.
Dave had to sleep and heal, and I was feeling fatigued as well. We’d been flat out busy during our two months living in Ubud, working hard and socialising non-stop, and our time in Lombok had been full of day trips and beach activities.
We arrived at Nirwana Resort & Spa feeling exhausted. But as soon as I saw the beautiful fountains lining a wooden boardwalk that lead to the ocean, I knew we’d come to the right place.
Take a look at our video of Nirwana Resort and Spa here:
Location of Nirwana Resort & Spa
Nirwana Resort & Spa is located in in Candidasa in East Bali. It’s a town many Australians don’t bother to visit – in fact this whole side of Bali is often missed off itineraries altogether. This is a grand shame, as East Bali is a lot less touristy and a lot more magical.
Rather than passing a wall-to-wall of stores lining the roads like you do on your journey between Ubud and Seminyak, the road to East Bali takes you past mountains and rice paddy fields. It’s a much more scenic drive.
The town of Candidasa is small but large enough to have a number of good restaurants. I can certainly recommend Vincent’s, a romantic jazz café with delicious food and a live jazz band on Thursday nights.
As for Nirwana Resort & Spa, it is located on the ocean front with sweeping views of the sea. The infinity pool stretches nearly to the ocean and you can relax on a daybed next to the pool, feeling as though you’re floating on water.
It’s about a five minute drive from the town’s centre.
Rooms at Nirwana Resort & Spa
There are 18 individual bungalows spread out through Nirwana Resort & Spa, with the best ones (and the most expensive) facing out onto the ocean.
Ours faced on to the garden and although it wasn’t the ocean, it was very peaceful with frangipani trees dropping their beautiful white flowers all over the lawn.
Our room was large and came with a huge king-size bed complete with mosquito nets, a wooden desk, TV, ample storage space, a safe, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary toiletries. There was also air-conditioning to keep us cool in the heat.
We had both a shower and a bath, and strong overhead lighting in the bathroom made getting ready a breeze. (One of my pet hates in hotels is bad lighting.)
Out the front of our bungalow was a verandah with two chairs to lounge in during the afternoons.
But our absolute favourite part about our bungalow was lying in bed at night and listening to the waves crashing in the ocean. We could hear the sound of the sea from our beds, lulling us to sleep.
Food at Nirwana Resort & Spa
We ate at Nirwana Resort & Spa every day because it was very affordable and the food was tasty. We found the Indonesian meals to be the best, and gorged ourselves on mie goreng, chicken satay and nasi goreng.
The Indonesian food was also the cheapest, paying around IDR60,000 – IDR80,000 per dish (AUS$6-$8).
There were five breakfast options to choose from each morning, and Dave and I would have either the American breakfast of toast, eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms and tomatoes, or the healthy breakfast of muesli, fruit and yoghurt.
Other amenities at Nirwana Resort & Spa
The resort also has a spa with reasonably priced beauty treatments like manicure and pedicures, as well as relaxing treatments such as scrubs and massages.
You can pay around IDR230,000 (AUS$23) for a one hour massage.
The Nirwana Resort & Spa also offers day trips and tours with your own driver, to take you to many of the sites East Bali has to offer. We did this one day, visiting a water palace, beach and a chocolate factory. More details of this to come in another post!
What we liked about Nirwana Resort & Spa
The staff at Nirwana Resort & Spa are some of the friendliest you’ll ever meet. Always greeting us with big smiles, they were happy to go the extra mile to make sure we had a pleasant stay.
Every day there was a free afternoon tea where the hotel will put on tea and coffee, along with cakes and pastries for you to graze on from between 4pm and 6pm.
But the best thing we liked about Nirwana Resort & Spa was the peace and quiet. It’s so rare to find a place in Bali that doesn’t have the squawking of chickens or construction noise – but we’d found it.
Not only was it blissfully peaceful, but the only sound we could here at night was the frogs croaking and the waves crashing on the shore.
What we didn’t like about Nirwana Resort & Spa
Our room was quite far from the reception and the restaurant, where the wi-fi routers were. This meant that our internet was patchy at times. I was sneaky and cracked the neighbouring hotel’s password, so mainly used their wi-fi, which was stronger.
Another thing we didn’t particularly like, but something which is commonplace in most hotels, is that every day the room service would bring four new tiny bottles of water for us to drink. We normally didn’t touch these but asked the restaurant to re-fill our giant plastic water bottle, to reduce our waste.
Bali has a huge trash problem and by distributing four plastic bottles of water to each bungalow every day is only adding to the problem. I would suggest the hotel gets a water tank in their restaurant and encourages guests to take water from that, filling re-usable containers. This will save the hotel money as well.
Overall thoughts on Nirwana Resort & Spa
We ended up enjoying our two nights at Nirwana Resort & Spa that we extended our stay by an extra three nights! We rarely do this, but we were feeling so blissed during our time there that we couldn’t help but stay longer.
We’d love to return someday and hope to bring our families next time.
Thank you to Nirwana Resort & Spa for hosting our stay for two of the five nights we were there. As always, our opinions are our own.
What you need to know
Cost: We managed to get a room for about IDR650,000 per night (AUS$65), including tax, which is the lowest you’ll probably find the prices. The higher-end sea front rooms sell for about IDR1.35M (AUS$135), plus tax.
How to get there: Nirwana Resort & Spa is located on Jalan Raya Sengkidu, Amlapura, about a five minute drive south of the town of Candidasa. It’s best to get here with private transport.
Booking: We found the cheapest deals to be on Booking.com, which is how we got the above cheap rate. Otherwise you can book on the Nirwana Resort & Spa website here.