Renee Lodens on Bali | Insider's Guide | Travelshopa

Travelshopa founder Renée Lodens shares the highlights from her recent “work” trip to Bali.

Bali is…

very different to everyone you speak to. When I first moved to Singapore, Bali was one of my first side trips. At first, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of shopping and range of goods. Luckily I had some great tips from a dear friend to get me started. Bali is where my idea for Travelshopa really started to take shape.

What drew you to Bali?

Over a number of visits the enormity of the island and all it offers started to make more sense. There is a great amount of talent and each time I return the talent pool increases and improves. The local designers and retailers are not afraid to go beyond their shores. And I’d like to be able to contribute to that success. This trip was planned around The Fashion Festival, where we got to see a great selection of designers showcase their wears.

Where did you stay?

We incorporated a family holiday into a work trip so needed to accommodate for everyone’s needs. We rented the beautiful Villa Windu Asri, right in the heart of Petitenget so I could be close to this thriving shopping strip. I was not disappointed on any level.

Highlight of the trip…

A private tour of Gaya Ceramics, and a tip off to visit the John Hardy jewellery showroom.

Local style is…

I always over pack for Bali. I think I underestimate how relaxed the vibe is there. In terms of fashion I tend to go for a relaxed beachwear that can take me from day to night. The locals are tres relaxed, however at night fashion hits the restaurants and bars.

Must pack…

A stylish hat, kaftans and a few bikinis for day, and accessories and strappy heels for night.

Best shopping…

Ohh so much. I can’t choose. The best up-and-coming areas are Batu Belig and Jalan Kayu Jati, where there are lots of fashion and kids boutiques. I love the homewares shopping along Jalan Raya Kerobokan. Ubud always surprises me. It keeps offering more and more.

Favorite (shopping) finds…

I carted home a traditional wooden paddle for my son’s bedroom; an interesting addition to our check-in luggage… I also splurged on a gold lace bandage ring from Tulola.

Local phrase to know…

The Balinese speak English very well, so you don’t need to know many words. However, terima kasih (thank you) will get you a big grin without a doubt.

First-time visitors must see…

The Monkey Forest at Ubud, sunset off any of the bars on the west coast and then endless shopping from Kuta all the way to Batu Belig.

One local secret…

There are lots of shopping options off the main streets. You’ll have to keep reading to find out exactly where…

You’ll be back for…

More shopping “research”, of course!

 

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