Why Bali is the perfect short break

QUICK TIP 

Soak up some of Bali's rich culture, which can be found everywhere you look.

WHY HERE

Cash rich (or credit card not quite maxed), yet time challenged? Bali is calling your name. The decisive short-break destination for time-poor Aussie travellers, you can literally activate the out-of-office message in the morning and be kicking back on a sun lounge in a kaftan with a plate of fresh snapper sushi by mid afternoon. 

HOW LONG

The ever-evolving, uber-trendy Seminyak is the definitive base to kick off your Bali fling. Spend two nights bar-hopping, shopping and dining before heading for Bali's verdant hills for yoga, high tea in luxury Out of  Africa-style tents and spa treatments by the swirling Petanu River. 

DON'T MISS

Bali's hottest new restaurant, Robert Marchetti's elaborate new Plantation Grill (plantationgrillbali.com) with its Great Gatsby like feel, is a must (note: ditch the thongs and don't even think about the Bintang singlet). Plantation flaunts 20s-style luxury, with marble finishes, a vaulted double-height ceiling and vast glass windows looking out over the Indian Ocean. "I wanted it to be theatrical, and to put back the fun in dining" an animated Marchetti explains. 

Afterwards, grab a nightcap at the Sling Bar (slingbarseminyak.com), a slinky upstairs martini bar, and post a few pictures on Facebook for those slogging it out back home.

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Check into the W's Away Spa – the only Balinese spa open 24/7. The Well Healed massage is a Balinese massage with a difference, using traditional healing techniques such as acupressure, stretching, and palm and thumb pressure to relieve muscle tension and improve blood circulation. The clincher is the application of warming fresh-ginger packs. Afterwards, steam your cares away cares in the hammam. The 90-minute massage costs IDR1,452,000 (approximately $146). See wretreatbali.com.

If you're after a cafe-style brekkie like back home, Revolver (revolverespresso.com), tucked down an obscure side street off Jalan Oberoi, delivers some of Bali's best coffee. Afterwards, don your hippest threads for a cocktail safari with VW Limo Bali. Guide Mangde and driver Made collect you from the hotel in a head-turning converted VW Kombi. The fun-packed bar-hopping expedition takes in the beachside outpost of Mozaic, Tugu Hotel, Batu Ngaus Temple and Sundara at the Jimbaran Four Seasons for sunset drinks. From  $270 for a maximum of five people (urbanadventures.com; vwlimo.com).

When you've had your fill of Bali's hedonistic scene, head for the hills and take royal high tea Bali style amongst fine silks and linen on the banks of the Ayung River south of Ubud, in Anneke Van Waisberghe's colonial a la Out of Africa tents. This extraordinary experience begins with a flower footbath and fresh juice on the riverbank, followed by full body massage, high tea with sweets and hors d'oeurvres, Balinese dance and walk to the temple for   about $150 a person. escapenomade.com.

Yes it's sad to leave, but Bali, practically our most northern state, is only ever a short flight away.

WHERE TO STAY

Check in to either one of the W Seminyak's 237 guest rooms with layer poleng-patterned mother-of-pearl panels, embossed headboards, pattern leaf bed throws and beaded pendant lamps inspired by local fishing nets, or splurge on a villa. From  $575 including daily breakfast for two people and wi-fi. See wretreatbali.com.

Superior rooms at the Maya Ubud overlooking the ethereal Petanu River Valley start from $423 per night, or $640 for a Deluxe Pool Villa including daily buffet breakfast and afternoon tea, shuttle service, scheduled activities and wi-fi. See mayaubud.com.

See visit-indonesia.com.au.

The writer travelled as a guest of Garuda Indonesia, W Retreat and Spa Seminyak, Maya Ubud and the Chedi Club, Tanah Gajah, Ubud.

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