Words by Dave. Video by Carmen.
“Get down!” I whisper harshly, ducking down behind the beachside bar. “Has she seen us?”
“I don’t think so,” Carmen says, sneaking a quick look above the polished counter, ignoring the curious glances of patrons sipping their afternoon cocktails. “They’re all heading for the beach now. They’re going swimming.”
“Brilliant. Let’s get them in the water.”
We wait till the group disappears below the curve of the sandy beach then follow just behind, slowly, slowly, closer and closer, hunting our prey. They don’t suspect a thing.
“Hello love,” I say. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“Surprise!” Carmen yells. “Happy birthday!”
Our great friend Claire, the target of our sneak attack, goes wide eyed with shock, and we embrace her with tears and laughter beneath the bright Balinese sun.
A trip to remember in Bali
Everyone was in on it. Her fiancé Jim and our good mates Jerone and Lucy – great people we know from our London days – had travelled to Bali to celebrate Claire’s 30th birthday, and invited us to come along secretly. She thought we were in Thailand, till we appeared right in front of her, wading through the waves.
For the next week we spent every day together having a great time. Bali is one our favourite places in the world and we took them to all of the spots that we know across the island, from the peaceful rice paddies of Ubud to the hip life of Seminyak.
Every day was a whirlwind of catching up, ice cold Bintangs and delicious Balinese food, all shared together.
Arriving at The Club Villas in Seminyak
But all good things must come to an end. It would be a long while till we could see our friends again, and it’s always sad leaving Bali.
So to make the final couple of days especially memorable, we checked into The Club Villas in Seminyak, a quiet corner of this bustling area that offers intimate luxury accommodation.
Each villa is surrounded by a high wall, creating an oasis with a private pool, elegant outdoor living spaces and cool bedrooms with bathrooms straight out of your wish list. It’s romantic and modern, neat and relaxed, with palm trees swaying in the breeze and traditional Balinese architecture giving it all a dreamy quality.
We loved it. The villas are run by Tjendana, who we have stayed with before at the Nirwana Resort and Spa in East Bali. So we knew were in good hands. And from the moment we checked in at The Club Villas, we began plotting another surprise for our mates…
The final day – and night
“Oh, it’s just a small villa,” we told them, describing our new digs with a few white lies. “Nothing special. But you’re welcome to come over for our last night.”
They took us up on the offer and we met up for our final afternoon at the Cocoon Beach Club where we soaked up the sun, a few rounds of cocktails and the slick beats of the DJ.
“All right,” I said, nodding to the setting sun. “Let’s head back to our place. We can have a pool party. And if we get drinks from the supermarket they’ll be a darn sight cheaper than here.”
A cab ride and a shopping trip later I led the way to our “small villa” that was “nothing special.” They all got a shock when I opened the gate and ushered them inside…
Good times are best shared
The place we had at Club Villas was a honeymoon suite, built for two people to enjoy in seclusion.
But we had a great time opening it up to our friends. We swam in the pool, ordered in pizza, listened to music and chatted with a drink in hand late into the moonlit night.
When the hour struck for our friends to leave – and say goodbye – it was very sad. We had shared a fantastic time in Bali, reaffirmed old friendships and created new memories that we will surely reminisce over when we see them again. For me, that’s the best part of a holiday, and I wasn’t surprised that we found all of this in Bali, the island of the gods.
What you need to know
Cost: Our single bedroom Honeymoon Villa has a range of prices, the lowest coming in at around AUD $276, which is around IDR 2,737. There are two and three bedroom villas available but with a higher price tag.
How to get there: Easy. Just get a cab to Seminyak, get dropped at the entrance on Oberoi Street and stroll on in under the shade of the palms. The address is Jalan Kayu Aya (Oberoi), Seminyak.
Booking: You can book through the website here.
Thank you to The Club Villas in Seminyak for hosting our stay for two of the five nights we were there. As always, our opinions are our own.