El Nido was clearly one of my highlights of my…
From Ubud I took a taxi to Canggu, stopping at the Tegalalang rice terraces and a Luwak coffee plantage on the way. The next couple of days were all going to be about surf, bike and yoga at ‚The Chillhouse’. This was definitely the place I was looking forward the most and considering all the positive reviews my expectations were really high. One thing upfront: those expectations were met and I wish I had booked a longer stay at this oasis.
When I got there the staff greeted me friendly and also took care of my suitcase and showed me around the place. The Chillhouse really is a stylish, tropical lifestyle retreat and has two swimming pools, several hangout spots, a poolbar, a co-working space and an area to practice yoga.
From the beginning I really liked the relaxed atmosphere and the place was stylish and clean.
I then got shown my home for the next couple of days. I was staying in the Double Bungalow that fits two people which was really spacious and also had a nice terrace and sun deck out front. The room featured a deluxe king size bed, full air-conditioning, a safety deposit box and a mini bar. My highlight was definitely the outdoor bathroom. I mean taking a shower in the open-air each morning, can it get any better?
After I settled in my accommodation it was time to check out the pool area and make some new friends. I made myself comfortable on one of the bean bags with my welcome drink- a huge, green coconut. So healthy and really refreshing on a hot day. It didn’t take long until I was chatting away with a Swiss couple who booked their stay at The Chillhouse for two entire weeks. Whether you are coming here solo, as a couple or with a group of friends -it is really a chilled place to hangout and meet all sorts of people. Everyone was really nice and chatty and a majority were from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In the evening there was the sound of a gong which meant that dinner was ready. Usually it is either sharing concept, buffet or BBQ. On my first evening there were a lot of dishes on the table like greens, fish, satay- everything home cooked, organic and healthy. You could eat as much as you want and everything was really tasty. It was a fun atmosphere because everyone gathered at the dinner table, shared their stories and we were sitting until late by the pool with a few drinks.
Each evening they write the program for the next day on a chalk board in the community area. There is a lot of options you can do: there are bike tours, yoga classes and surf lessons in the mornings and in the afternoons for beginners and intermediates. I was very curious to try out the surfing as that was one of the main reasons why I decided to stay at The Chillhouse. I have tried surfing one time in Portugal and was really hoping to finally be able to learn how to surf and to be able to stand up on the board. So I signed up for the beginner class in the morning.
After a good sleep I woke up early in the morning and started my day with a hearty breakfast. Breakfast is set up early in the morning so you can fuel up especially if you have activities planned like surf, bike or yoga. There is always coffee, tea, fresh juices, homemade marmalade, muesli, hard-boiled eggs, grab and go snacks and fruits. You can also order pancakes and eggs any style.
We got picked up in a van by the local surf school. From The Chillhouse it only takes a few minutes to reach a variety of waves suitable for all levels. At the surf school we could lock our valuables and got a short introduction by our surf coach and received our boards. Usually there is one surf coach for two guest, but that day I was very lucky to have the coach all for myself which is obviously perfect if you are still a beginner. All surf coaches speak good English and are also trained as lifeguards.
We walked down to the beach, did some warming up activities on the shore and then it was time to go in the water. While we were waiting for the wave my couch explained me what to do and how to stand up. When the wave came he told me to paddle and gave me a push. While I found it quite hard in the beginning, he didn’t stop motivating me and at the end of the two hours I was so happy that I finally managed to stand up.
Surfing is really tiring and when we came back we enjoyed a second breakfast and relaxed by the pool together. I booked a massage in the afternoon to reward my surfed out body. The full-body massage was heavenly and I felt so great afterwards. With a fresh and healthy juice I was then sitting at the community area chatting to everyone while waiting for dinner. Again the food was really good.
The next day I didn’t feel like doing much, together with some other guests we hired the free pushbikes that are available to explore more of Canggu. Canggu is located on the south shore of Bali and it takes a 30 minute drive to reach Seminyak to the East and Tanah Lot Temple to the West. Echo beach can be reached in 5 minutes and there are many surf shops, bars and restaurants on the way. Canggu recently became the hip place to be while still staying alternative and sustainable. When you are in the area I can highly recommend you to try out the ‚Naga Bomb‘ at the Betelnut Café.
In the evening we took a taxi to watch the sunset at the nearby Tanah Lot Temple. A must on your visit to Bali.
The next morning it was time for some action as I had a bike tour planned. The Chillhouse offers various bike tours for example to the Bali Bike Park, a jungle playground for mountain bike and BMX bike fans and scenic easy trail tours through the rice fields. Those two are fun for beginners and all levels.
If you are intermediate you can join the Crater Rim Tour up to a volcano or the Moderate Downhill Tour.
I only had very little bike riding experience so I decided to do the Scenic Easy Trail Tour as it is a great way to see a side of Bali that you usually don’t get to experience. Pick up was early in the morning at 7 am where we also got provided with our equipment: bikes, helmets and gloves and then were driven to Ubud where the bike tour was taken place that day. The tour led us through villages, past temples, along scenic trails, rice paddies and up and down hills. This five hour bike tour honestly was one of my favorite experience of my Bali vacation and I can only recommend you to do this tour.
Even if you are not staying at The Chillhouse you can still book a tour through them or buy a day pass to use the pool and the other facilities and enjoy the great food. They also have a co-working space where you can bring your laptop and get some work done in a chilled environment.
In the evening they set up their popular moonlight BBQ by the pool which was fantastic. I had some grilled fish and various salads and a couple of Bintangs with the others as it was my last evening already.
The time at The Chillhouse passed way too soon, I had such a blast, met so many fun people and was actually quite sad when I had to leave. I can really understand why people spend two or three weeks there. There is so much to do, the food is delicious and you certainly won’t get bored during stay. Maybe next time I am also going to stay there for my entire holiday.
I started off the morning with a yoga lesson. Yoga is a central part of the Chillhouse and they offer changing yoga classes each day, just make sure to check the programme. For example they offer Vinyasa, Hatha Flow or Yin yoga.
Relaxed and well stretched I enjoyed some yummy chia pudding and a fresh juice and then it was time to say goodbye to the other guests and the friendliest and most welcoming staff you will ever meet. It may sound cheesy but being here really felt like being part of a big family.
Next stop will be the Gili Islands but I hope I get the chance to return as soon as possible to The Chillhouse. Until next time.
Thank you to The Chillhouse for letting me experience your tropical island oasis.
Find out more on: http://www.thechillhouse.com