Cecile Hofer, the brains behind interior styling business, Paresa Collection Interior, is a well-travelled, design lover who frequently hops from her base in Singapore to nearby Bali. Having sourced homewares from the Island of the Gods for many years, Cecile has uncovered some of its best-kept secrets. Whether you share her passion for interiors or are an avid foodie, you will find some local gems in this Destination Essentials guide.
What drew you to Bali?
Having lived in Asia for almost 30 years, Bali has always been a place which I’ve come back to time and again. The people are incredibly warm and it has the perfect mix of secret ingredients for design and styling inspiration. With our interior business I travel regularly to the region to meet clients and oversee projects.
Where do you stay?
Four Seasons, Ubud, and The Oberoi, Seminyak – for low-key luxury and a peaceful setting.
Highlight of the trip.
Celebrity spotting during lunch at La Lucciola as Jack Nicholson sat down across the room with his son.
Local style is..
Relaxed beach boho chic. You will see almost every type of fashion as it’s an eclectic mix of people and styles.
Large sunglasses, note-book for sketches, sundress, Sensi Hat and espadrilles.
Lots of lovely independent boutiques. Jalan Laksmana is a good street to start with as there are plenty of shops and cafes. Petitenget for superb spa treats and close-by, the Batu Belig stretch for lovely kids boutiques. Try out Triette for gorgeous French style junior fashion.
Favourite (shopping) finds.
Beautiful necklaces and bracelets can be found in Saya Gallery. Lily Jean has a good range of dresses and smart casual essentials like the perfect white tee. Ada lain warna (Is there any other colour?) always comes in handy.
Local phrase to know.
Terima kasih (thank you) (pronounced terima kasi). It’s always nice to learn a few words if you can before you travel, the locals love that you have made an effort and it’s appreciated in their warm smiles.
Favourite local haunt.
For a lunch with gorgeous views across the ocean then La Lucciola is a must at Seminyak. Sisterfields does excellent coffee and is a great spot for a quick bite mid retail therapy just around the corner from Seminyak Square.
First-time visitors must see.
Take a guided tour to see some of the historic sites like the water temples and the rice fields to really get a glimpse of the real Bali.
One local secret.
Fine L. Jewelry on Jl. Raya Petitenget. ‘The’ destination for the most delightful fine jewellery. And China Blue, on Jalan Kayu Aya, for all kinds of gifts, clothing and ornaments.
You’ll be back for…
The ever changing local scene. It’s vibrant and diverse. New boutiques open almost every month, and it is so close to Singapore that it’s doable for a long weekend and still feel like you’ve escaped city living.