I have been traveling to Bali a lot lately. With my marriage I luckily inherited a Villa in Ubud, a town loved by yogis and artists for its tucked-away sanctuaries and unblemished views of nature. Most days there is nothing to do but sit at the edge of an infinity pool and stare out at the expansive jungle, listening to the hum of cicadas or a melodic “ohm” escaping from your own diaphragm. It is so peaceful it often feels daunting to return to civilization.
For a dose of reality, I head to Seminyak. About an hour’s drive south, this short stretch of beach town is packed with boutiques, cutting-edge restaurants and artisan coffee shops catering to the trendy Aussie tourists who flock here year-round for sun and surf. It is hip and energetic, a much different draw from the restorative vibes in Ubud, but a welcome one if you are seeking to reinvigorate your lust for metropolitan living. It is the perfect place to lay back and live it up at the same time.
Take One Eleven for example, a boutique hotel located in the center of Seminyak’s beating heart that has somehow managed to quiet the outside noise and provide guests with a luxurious and unique accommodation experience. Blending the peace and seclusion of a private home with the convenience of a resort, there are only 9 ultra-modern villas on the property, each with its own private pool, dining space, spa gazebo, butler, driver and chef. No kids are allowed, and there is a two guest maximum per reservation, an ideal romantic getaway.
The building’s exterior is unassuming- sleek horizontal wood panels reminiscent of Japanese minimalism. Inside there is no fuss, no cushy lounge or lobby bar to attract the outsiders, just the welcome surprise of silence as the chaos of street traffic fades away. A narrow alleyway runs along a vertical garden, leading you to your own personal haven.
I found it incredibly refreshing to find such solace in a resort town that is increasingly adopting a ‘see and be seen’ attitude. One Eleven has preserved Bali’s healing and hospitable qualities despite the surrounding growth of population and attractions. Turns out peace and quiet doesn’t always have to be a world away.