Padangbai is a small, friendly Balinese seaside village and a great little getaway about an hour and a half from the airport. Tony and Marita, the visionary owners of Bloo Lagoon, have designed and built a gorgeous small villa resort, which is more like an eco-tourism village.

It is located high on a hill above the township of Padangbai, and as the resort wraps around flower gardens and fruiting trees, little pathways lead you to individual private villas catering for singles, couples or family groups.

Bloo Lagoon is an eco-resort, which embraces sustainable architecture, self-sustaining water systems, organic gardening and room-by-room recycling systems. Even the pool is bio-friendly and uses an ionising filtration system, which means you swim in pure, fresh filtered water with minimal chemical use. You can swim in the pool without the fear of your swimmers corroding, or if you are blonde (via a bottle), your hair won’t go green (a hazard of swimming in chlorine pools). The care shown by the owners to make everything eco-effective and sustainable is remarkable.

A short walk from the resort brings you to a beautiful white sandy beach with a casual warung eatery (with cold Bintang) and fabulous views. Try to get up early and watch the sunrise – it’s worth it. The water is crystal clear and remember to take some flippers and a snorkel with you from the resort. The snorkelling is outstanding. You can also take a local boat to some of the remote islands and snorkel around the shallow reefs.

Take a local boat to some of the remote islands and snorkel around the shallow reefs | Photo Courtesy of Blue Lagoon

Padangbai itself is a busy little place, as this is the jump-off point to the Gili Islands, Lombok and other islands. It’s a real hub of activity down at the harbour, where villagers go about their business amidst fishing boats coming in and out and commercial vessels…