Do you have that one friend you haven’t seen in years—but somehow you know that both of you still consider one another as trusted friends?
I guess that’s how I would describe my friendship with Chika (hope that feeling is mutual!). We knew each other through our blogs, became friends, randomly went to Singapore together, and saw each other at irregular intervals. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw her, really—must have been more than 2-3 years ago. So, of course, when she messaged me out of the blue and invited me to come along with her to Bali for a 3-day trip, I said YES.
MY DASHING ‘BELATED’ BIRTHDAY
When we arrived at our hotel, Chika, being the sweet thing that she is, surprised me with a chocolate cake with a candle on top. “Happy belated birthday!” she shouted, and we laughed, and we screamed, and we hugged, and then I blew the candle.
“Why are you so romantic?”
“I know. I should be a guy,” Chika laughed. “I think I’ll be a romantic boyfriend.”
And of course, soon after, conversations about love, heartbreak, guys, and relationships ensued: over a plate of chocolate cake.
I guess this was how we set the tone for the rest of our Bali getaway. For Chika, this would be her well-deserved vacation to take some rest from work. For me, as Bali has been my second home, I don’t have any plans for sightseeing or exploring. We just wanted to stay in, watch movies, order room service, and catch-up.
DASH HOTEL, SEMINYAK: OUR QUIRKY RABBIT NEST IN BALI
Chika invited me to stay at Dash Hotel in Petitenget, Seminyak, during our getaway. I didn’t think I’ve ever heard about the hotel before; but when I saw the facade, I realized that I have been passing this hotel many times!
Why, it is located near some of Seminyak’s beach-hangout places like Potato Head and Ku De Ta. And it is also only a walking distance from some of my favorite spots, like Biku and Cafe Organic.
I have always found this particular hotel intriguing, as it looks so bold and ‘out of place’ in the midst of Seminyak’s signature style; just like a rebellious teenager. Every time I passed this hotel, I always told myself that I wanted to see what it’s all about one day.
And finally, I got a chance to do it! (thanks, Chika!)
Inside, the hotel’s playful design screams fun, young, and vibrant. It’s so bold in a way that you might love it or hate it (like you would a durian!). I happened to like it simply because being there, looking at those vibrant colors, made me feel happy and energized. The hotel is so unique in its own way, that I would definitely tell a story about the quirkiness of it and my fun experience staying here in some dinner parties.
I instantly fell in love with ‘the Red Bunny’—which turned out to be… everywhere.
There’s a giant upside-down Red Bunny by the red poolside (yes, the pool is red!), a big Red Bunny plushie on the bed (place upside-down), a smaller upside-down Red Bunny on the table, and little Red Bunnies on our yellow bathrobe! (I still regretted my decision for not buying the smaller Red Bunny… it’s so soft and cute!)
The room (including its walls and ceiling) is vibrant with industrial/urban street style. Chika and I found it so intriguing that we started snapping pictures, to see which side of the walls would appear to be more photogenic. We laughed when we realized that we have a big bathtub in the middle of the room, right behind our huge bed: it’s sitting there in the open.
“This place could be such a fun place for adventurous young couples in honeymoon!” I climbed into the bathtub, fully-clothed. “It’s so big; I could even sleep here!”
But I guess our favorite spot in the room was our bed: it was so soft and comfortable; the perfect place from where we can watch movies, browse the Internet (yes, wi-fi is really fast!), and of course: having our girl’s talk.
So, that was how most of our days went by. Swimming in the red pool, lounging on its pool chair, climbing up the stairs to The Shack (where they have a pretty rooftop bar and jacuzzi), and lazying in bed watching HBO movies from the TV set, wrapped in our Red Bunny bathrobe.
Of course, with their playful and quirky approach, I would assume that the hotel would be wild and noisy: full of young people celebrating their summer or spring breaks. But, turned out, during my stay (even in the evening), I wasn’t bothered by any loud noises at all! There were also some couples and families staying here. Chika and I even talked to an old Italian couple on vacation during breakfast.
DINING IN AT MYA KITCHEN
When we’re hungry, we dragged ourselves to the hotel’s restaurant because we didn’t feel like going out. Luckily, the food was surprisingly tasty (were you, like me, skeptical towards hotel’s restaurants sometimes?), so we kept coming back to Mya Kitchen, ordering so much food every time (but our plates were always clean!), switching between comforting Asian and Western food.
My comfort lies in savory dishes like chicken wings, pasta, and porridge, while Chika’s is in sweet drinks like this one (Chika said it was sinfully delicious, but I would leave it to her to explain):
Our favorite time at the restaurant, though, was breakfast time.
We were surprised when we got a menu with so many options! The staff told us that they didn’t serve breakfast buffet, but we could order anything from the menu, as much as we wanted, and they were all included in our breakfast package!
Upon hearing this, Chika and I ordered a bunch of food and drinks; we ended up having our breakfast in 2 rounds. We were laughing when the table was so cramped with our plates and bowls; but again, we finished them all. Very impressive, indeed! (or we’re just that hungry).
WHEN CHIKA WAS GONE.
On our last day, Chika left for the airport very early in the morning, as she needed to catch a meeting in Jakarta. When she was gone, the room suddenly felt so empty and quiet.
I hugged the Red Bunny and tried to sleep some more, but I couldn’t seem to do it, so I just turned on the TV and watched some movies. I found out that I also got a mild fever and a cold, so rather than going down for breakfast, I decided to order room service. The chicken porridge was warm and tasty, and after a while, it gave me the push to finally leave the bed and hit the shower.
At around 10, I went up to the gym, thinking that I would do some morning yoga (they have yoga mats!), but as I passed the Rabbit Hole (their spa), I changed my mind. What’s better than having a massage when you have a cold?
I entered the spa, and the lady told me that they were free, so I could get my massage right away if I wanted to. I said yes immediately and decided on a back and shoulder massage; as I started to feel some tension developing in my head and shoulders.
To be honest, I did not expect much from the massage. I thought it would just be an excellent way to relax a bit, but turned out the lady who massaged me was very good!
It wasn’t one of those massages when you cringed instead of loosened up. The pressure was good, and the ambiance was so serene. I liked it when my massage room was quiet; with a faint smell of aromatherapy. I could feel some of my tight muscles unfurled; especially around my shoulders; and when I was putting my clothes back on after the massage, my mild headache (that came with the cold in the morning) had disappeared.
I went down to the lobby area afterward, where they have a sun-bathed seating area/library to do some journaling before I checked out (follow my Instagram to have a look at my Bali travel journal).
I have always loved some quality time with my girls; even when we have nothing better to do but watching movies together or reading books next to each other (or dining in!). With some friends, it seems like no matter how long you haven’t seen each other, you can always catch up so effortlessly; as if there’s no expiry date on your friendship whatsoever.
I felt so lucky and blessed knowing that I have some wonderful girlfriends around me. The ones who support and believe in me. The ones who wish to collaborate instead of competing. The ones who may not have similar views or beliefs about life with me, but mature enough to not let differences get in our way.
Do you have a circle of girlfriends you cherish as well?
How do you spend quality time together when you can’t meet up frequently?