While l I loved my ascetic yoga and green juice lifestyle in Ubud, I knew I couldn’t leave Bali without a taste of the high life. So for my last three days in Bali I high-tailed it for the coast to review the Grand Mirage, an excellent place for Bali vacations. I brought along Ashley, an American girl I knew from the Yoga Barn. Why experience paradise alone?

And I’m not ashamed to say that when we saw the view from our room we danced around like Olsen twins. Look at that view!

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The Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali is a beachfront all-inclusive resort.  As a food-lover, my favorite part about an all-inclusive is that you can order whatever you want and not worry about the bill (don’t you wish that eating out was always like that?)

So on our first day we ordered a three-course lunch menu and lounged on the beach- a real departure from juice fasting and vinyasa.

My favorite part about the Grand Mirage was its prime, ocean-front property, and beautiful, well-cared for beach. And our visit was extra special because Ashley had never seen the ocean before!

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On our second day we continued to enjoy the hotel’s luxurious amenities: four restaurants, pool and poolside bar. After breakfast we even took a ride on a catamaran!

We also spent some time sipping coconuts by the pool, enjoying the ocean breeze, the sway of palm trees, the magenta bougainvillea. Heaven.

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Then I took a tour to see the rest of the Grand Mirage. Isn’t the Ocean View Suite beautiful?

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And after more beach time, we headed to the Thalasso Spa for 85 minutes of bliss- my first Balinese massage. It was hands-down the best massage I got in Asia. I also enjoyed the spa’s design, with a sand-on-the-floor, nautical theme, and as always in Bali, the incredible service.b

On our final night at the Grand Mirage we headed down to the grill for a dinner show.

When we arrived the staff addressed us by name and also remembered my friend was a vegetarian. And during the meal the chef came out to make sure that the vegetarian meal had been up to her standard.

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And although all-inclusive hotels generally don’t boast the best food, I was impressed-  at the dinner show I really enjoyed my beloved satay (a.k.a. meat on a stick), roasted pumpkin and cheeseburger.

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But the best part of the dinner show was watching Legong for the first time. Legong is a traditional Balinese dance set to gamelan music, usually performed by a pre-adolescent girl. The dance is very complicated and is known for its many intricate finger movements. I love gamelan music and really enjoyed the theatrical make-up and costumes.

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Overall I really enjoyed my two days at the Grand Mirage. It is the perfect place for families and is the kind of resort my parents would have taken me to when I was a kid. However it isn’t the place I would recommend for twenty-somethings- it’s too expensive for backpackers and not designed enough for flashpackers.

The biggest area for improvement is that the hotel needs an upgrade- the design was tired and the Spanish-style terracotta roof looked like it was in bad shape.

Have you ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort?

The Grand Mirage generously hosted my stay for two nights. As always, all opinions are completely my own.

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel blogger and freelance writer who moved to Paris at 21, traveled the world for a year and now lives in Denver. She's usually in pursuit of skiing, languages and perfectly ripe cheese. Her writing has been featured in National Geographic, Viator and Jetstar Australia.
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