Friday Five: The Legian Five


So anyways, this time last week, this was me on a deckchair by a pool in a resort on Legian Beach in Bali. The resort is the Padma, and I’ve told you about it before. Given that it’s Friday and my brain is fried from the first week back in the office, I figured I’d give you the reasons why I love it. I doubt I’ll be able to keep it to five.

They have the best main pool in the business…

That’s it in the main shot. Impressive, huh? Here’s another from a slightly different angle. I took it straight after breakfast when there was no one else down there. Hashtag #happinessisanemptypool


The lagoon pool isn’t too bad either.


It meanders through past the family rooms and is, as a result, where you tend to find most families with younger kids. There’s another cafe here.

Barong Lagoon Pool- taken December 2011
Barong Lagoon Pool- taken December 2011

And a pool bar….


The Squirrels…


They’re everywhere and they’re cute. I called this one Sam. He came to see us each day. This is him helping me write…


Hashtag #don’tfeedthesquirrels #justcallmethesquirrelwhisperer

The Rooms…


We stay in the garden rooms which are, not surprisingly, tucked away in the gardens. Each has a little balcony for sitting, drinking, feeding talking to squirrels, hanging out wet swimmers…


The rooms are quiet unless you are in the family block near the lagoon pool or near the restaurant- in which case you get the lounge singers until not very late. We did have a frog that sat in the leafy vegetation outside our door and made a noise that sounded suspiciously like ooooooooohhhhh f#$kit f#$kit f#$kit f#$kit f#$kit at regular intervals. I seriously thought about recording it to use as a ringtone. Yes, that came out loud.

The grounds and gardens…


The grounds are extensive and immaculately maintained. There are paths and water features and statues and surprises everywhere.


I always come back swearing to rip my entire backyard up and turn it into a Balinese landscape- but without the squirrels and the abusive frogs. I do have possums though…


The breakfasts…


We spend a little more and have garden club privileges. Essentially it’s a slightly bigger room, free drinks and nibblies in the late afternoon, and coffee and air-conditioning during the day (for hubby).


Most importantly, it means breakfast in the SKAI Beach Club each morning rather than the all you can eat buffet- even though the buffet brekky at the Padma is a-mazing…especially if you’re feeding lots of people and fussy tastes. It has everything. And I say that without exaggeration.

Spring onion blini with gravlax and sour cream
Spring onion blini with gravlax and sour cream

I have problems with boundaries though, and find it much better for the scales to go small. At SKAI we could order as we wanted, with a full continental buffet (a mini version on what was on offer in the main restaurant) and a good range of hot sides on the, well, side.


By day SKAI is a great place for drinks and a swim in the infinity pool…


and by night it’s a cocktail bar, restaurant and cigar bar.


It’s close to the beach…


Ok, this is both a pro and a con- depending on how you feel about beaches, and being hassled on them. This is Legian, so make no bones about it, you will be hassled. My tip? Be firm, but polite. I tend to make a joke of it and generally get left alone after that- or waved to from a distance.


There are beaches with whiter sand and better surf- if you’re into this head down to South Bali- but this one is what got people into the whole Bali scene back in the 70s.

Anyways, you can do the usual things: flop about on a deckchair


Grab something to eat  or take a surf lesson

IMG_7394 Replenish your fluids- important in this heat.


The sunsets…


Just oh.

If you want to get up close and personal with your sunsets and grab a cheap beer, head to the beach across the road and take your pick of the beanbags…


and beach bars.




I spend most of every summer in the beach dresses I buy in Legian each year. I generally spend between $5-$8 a dress. Of course you’ll get hassled, and of course you’ll need to bargain. Ask for the best price and be cheeky. They’ll say something like:

‘Darling, special morning price,’ or

‘Darling, you’re killing me,’ (accompanied with shake of head) or

‘Darling, no no no…’ (with serious, concerned face)

I have fun with it and often reverse the conversation- which makes us all laugh. Don’t start the negotiation unless you are either prepared to buy or prepared to walk away if you don’t get the price you want. Oh, sometimes you’ll be asked for an Aussie gold coin. The deal with this is even though they can’t exchange it for rupiah, they store them up and exchange them with tourists wanting to get rid of rupiah. Up to you whether you get involved, but I tend to remove all Aussie dollars and coins from my wallet before venturing out.

Oh, and yes, they do have dresses for my size- although perversely I tend to walk out of the stalls that look me up and down and announce ‘we have your size…’


If you’re tired of negotiation and want some “normal” shops in air-conditioning with set prices, you can either hop a taxi up to Seminyak, or walk down the beach to Beachwalk just north of Kuta. You’ll find shops like Top Shop here and my fave Pull and Bear. An H&M is going in as we speak. Do your shopping and have a bite to eat. It’s only 20 minutes or so and it works off the bintangs.









3 comments on “Friday Five: The Legian Five”
  1. Deborah says:

    Looks wonderful Jo – I’m not a big ‘lie by the pool’ kinda person but think that’s more about the heat etc… I love the look of the verandahs and garden rooms… Bliss!

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