When my husband (that still feels so weird to say!) and I were brainstorming potential honeymoon destinations, there were a few key elements we were searching for. We wanted to head somewhere warm and coastal (palm trees and frangipanis were 100% needed). We wanted to experience a deep and rich culture that was quite different to our own. And, being our honeymoon, luxe accommodation was essential.
Despite having the whole world at our feet, Indonesia kept popping back into our minds. We travelled here a few years back before we moved to Berlin and experienced some of the best hospitality we’ve ever had… anywhere. Another added bonus was that being Australian, Indonesia was just a hop, skip and a jump away which meant that we could spend more time sipping cocktails and less time on a plane (a definite win). Back when we visited the first time, we stayed at The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel (one of only two Design Hotels™ properties in Indonesia) and promptly fell head over heels in love with it. Once we decided that we’d honeymoon in Indonesia, we couldn’t resist returning again! Read on and you’ll see exactly why.
Honeymoon heaven in Seminyak: The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel
Tucked away on a quiet backstreet of Seminyak, Bali’s trendiest beach destination, The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel is close enough to walk to the hippest hangouts (the famous Ku De Ta beach club is only a short five minute stroll away), while still feeling like a secluded hideaway at the same time.
Seminyak is located 10km north of Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and the hotel offers an airport pickup service for USD $25. While the distance to the hotel is short, allow up to 45 mins as Bali’s traffic around the southern beaches is notoriously bad.
There’s certainly no shortage of accommodation options in Seminyak, that’s for sure. But while large resorts represent the overwhelming majority, smaller, boutique retreats are harder to come by and, as you guys know, I’m all about a bespoke stay. For my honeymoon especially, I wanted to stay somewhere that felt intimate, small and personal, which is why The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel was an obvious choice.
Its combination of traditional construction materials with its contemporary design gives the impression that the Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel is bridging two worlds. Local materials including volcanic stone, raw teak and slate pay homage to the unique geographical landscape of Bali while its bright, minimalist interiors, give the property a contemporary twist. A shady path framed by lush, tropical gardens connects the cluster of 27 villas and leads to the communal pool and ambient restaurant.
Turning into the hotel’s long, bamboo-lined driveway, we pulled up to a waiting party of smiling staff. There really is nothing quite like a Balinese welcome! After being ushered into the breezy, open-air lobby, we produced our passports for a quick scan and then were promptly whisked away to our villa to complete check-in there. After a quick villa tour, some welcome drinks arrived as did a honeymoon cake. Ravenous after the flight, you better believe I wasted no time in digging in!
After our luggage was delivered and the cake devoured (the priority, obviously), we settled in. Even though this was our second time staying here, we hadn’t been back in four years and we were just as giddy with excitement as if it was our first visit. The villa was even more beautiful than we’d remembered. Plus, it officially started to sink in: OUR HONEYMOON HAD BEGUN.
My favourite element of our one-bedroom villa was the 8×3 metre private plunge pool (hello!) which wraps around the living space. Bordered by two metre high walls, if your birthday suit is your swimsuit of choice, you’ve got all the privacy you need here! My favourite place to hang out was stretched out on the double sun lounge reading in between dips and fresh coconut deliveries.
Open-air living spaces are a common Balinese architectural feature and The Elysian Boutique Villa cleverly incorporated this element into its villa design. Huge, sliding windows, when opened, extend the living space into the garden, creating a breezy openness. In the mornings before breakfast, I’d open it all up and sip a tea while I waited for Ben to wake up.
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One of the things that I appreciated the most about the villa was just how spacious it was! Travelling through big cities so much means that I’m now quite used to small hotel rooms so a villa of 140 square metres was a lovely, very welcome change! The bedroom in particular was very roomy and contemporary, complete with a very comfy king size bed. After we returned from dinner on our first night, we came home to a beautiful romantic set-up in our bedroom, complete with towels wrapped up in the shape of kissing swans and rose petals scattered over the bed. It was these special, thoughtful touches that made our stay here so memorable.
A delicious, complimentary breakfast is included in the room rate, which we looked forward to every morning at the open-air Rush Bamboo Restaurant. Take your pick from a continental, American or Indonesian breakfast (our favourite – the Nasi Goreng here is the best we had on our whole trip). Lunch and dinner are also served here if you don’t feel like venturing out. 24/7 room service is also available of course too. We ordered in lunch to have by our pool as we settled in on the day we arrived.
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On the edge of the restaurant is a 25 metre pool lined with shady cabanas. When we felt like emerging from our villa, this was the loveliest place to settle in. We kept the poolside drinks coming on repeat!
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Make sure you book in for a spa treatment while you’re here too. We were treated to a 15 minute welcome massage but we chose to extend our treatment to an hour (how could we not?!). We were able to have our treatments together in the same room which was such a lovely honeymoon experience. You can also choose to have your massage in one of the poolside cabanas or in your villa. I felt so relaxed afterwards and snoozed the afternoon away in the sun – the very definition of honeymoon heaven.
When you want to get around town, the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service that will drop you anywhere in Seminyak, which is super convenient. While they’re not able to pick you up, you won’t have a problem hailing a taxi to drop you back to the hotel (the trip should cost you around USD $2-3). You can also grab a bicycle from reception at any time too.
There are a host of tours and activities available to guests including trips to Ubud, Uluwatu, Jimbaran, Tanah Lot and Kintamani. The hotel can arrange an itinerary and private driver to suit whatever your interests are. I’d definitely recommend getting out of Seminyak to experience some of Bali’s unique geography and culture – it would be a shame to miss it!
Book this hotel if…
If you’re looking for a small, boutique hideaway away from the hustle and bustle, The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel is your place. Its compact size means that the staff create a wonderfully personal experience for each guest and you’ll find that they know you by name almost immediately. The service and attention to detail here is exceptional, while the villas themselves are the perfect, secluded haven that every couple craves. All of Seminyak’s delights are within easy reach too and you can choose to do as little or as much as you like. For us, we couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect place to begin our honeymoon!
Rooms can be booked through the Design Hotels™ website.
Looking for more reviews of other Design Hotels™ we’ve stayed at? Read these next:
- Beachside Chic at the Papaya Playa Project in Tulum
- A Room with a Killer View: Checking in to the Park Hotel Tokyo
- Hotel Lust List: La Granja, a Design Hotels™ Project in Ibiza
Or planning your own honeymoon? Check out these posts:
- Stress Less: How to Plan the Most Relaxing Honeymoon
- The Things I’m Most Looking Forward to on my Honeymoon
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