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Anywhere, Anytime

Global

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Were travel, art, architecture, fashion, food and adventure meet. Founder and global adventurer Geren Lockhart was "Born Packed" when she started traveling at a young age and never stopped. This site follows along on her journey. 

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CONSTRUCTION IN CANGGU

Geren Lockhart

THE EDGE OF THE PLANET AND TOP OF THE WORLD WITH BIRGITTE RABENS.


This cool building is the brainchild of Birgitte Rabens, who is the force behind Rabens Saloner, a women’s fashion lifestyle brand. Birgitte migrates around the world working and playing when she’s not camping out in Copenhagen.  She’s got a diverse itinerary which makes for a diverse collection, Italy for lots of stuff, Northern Thailand and Portugal for cotton, Nepal for cashmere and a yearly migration to her residence in Bali for a good part of the wares both clothing and house that make the up the brand DNA. 

Introduced by a mutual friend Birgitte generously met me moments after I arrived and whirled me away to a much needed perfect breakfast. On a scooter no less. My first glimpses of Bali were thru the eyes of an ex-pat who’s spent a good span of time here creating over the past decade. It couldn’t have been more perfect. 

Birgitte has impeccable taste combined with the exploration genes that I think all Danes have which had her taking on a few “creative projects” that weren’t about making goods to export; these were building projects. Construction in other countries is always fascinating. How materials are decided on and used. How the architects, builders, and contractors work together. I remember the first time I saw a 20+ story building in Hong Kong surrounded in bamboo scaffolding with people crawling all over it. I gasped, I was shocked, and then I got used to it. It works there. 

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The house pictured was being built to sell. It’s in Canggu, North Kuta where tons of ex-pats are are migrating. It’s a beautiful part of the island where there is good surf, good food, good fun and it's less chaotic than Seminyak. During my time with Birgitte, I wanted to explore her creative process and the reality of making things, including buildings in Bali. After a day of checking on production stuff for Rabens Saloner, we scootered out to the site to check up on the progress and say hello to the security guard who lives on site. 

We darted thru roads and paths that I wouldn’t want to try to figure out how to get building materials down for any amount of compensation. To ensure a successful outcome so much has to align everyday local know-how, new ideas and a great deal of human capital are just the beginning. It was a substantial building and when we saw it. It didn't look measurably different than some others we had seen at this stage, but it felt different. It was going to be different because of the unique collision of Brigitte's creative force, her knowledge of having lived on the island for so long and her passion for collaborating with the local artisans and maximizing even challenging the local know how. It is a physical manifestation of her focused lens on the island; it is all the learning from both sides coming together to create a unique collaboration that allows everyone to contribute. It is a pile of metal, wood and cement but it’s also magic. 

The house was just a framework when I saw it. But it was beautiful; it was straightforward and robust and organic but industrial, and I can’t wait to see what it ended up looking like when I’m back in Bali. 

More on my adventures with Birgitte soon. 


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THE ALILA HOTEL IN UBUD, BALI

Geren Lockhart

AN OASIS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BALI JUNGLE. THIS HOTEL IS A GREAT SPOT TO RELAX AND EASE INTO THE CULTURE OF UBUD.

The Alila Hotel in Ubud, Bali is a unique and calming world where design meets jungle. From Denpasar airport, the property is an exciting and sometimes shockingly beautiful ninety min drive up into the mountains. We spent our first night in Bali here and would recommend it to anyone visiting for a longer stay as a great entry point. Waking up to the sunrise and the jungle monkeys roaming around was a lovely entry to a new world.  The food throughout our stay was a highlight, somewhat expected since it’s a program that was framed out by Elke and Ray from Locavore in downtown Ubud. Locavore is one of our favorite spots to experience food on the planet. Elke and Ray are visionaries and magicians who practice their art through the idea of integrating European technique with only local ingredients. These ideals are still in place at the Alila, putting their best foot forward when the restaurant is serving it’s decadent must have breakfast every day. This is NOT a lukewarm hotel buffet set-up. There was a multitude of beverage options and tons of small plates to try. The menu changes daily and you are encouraged to order 3 or 4 things, and if you’re sharing you can go even crazier, the portions are manageable and are meant to give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the food of Bali, to immerse yourself in the place. 

The grounds are lush, and the all of the spaces are well designed and still Balinese enough that you don’t feel like an urban alien dropped into the middle of an ancient civilization. Rooms are comfortable and chic if not ultra luxurious. The personal products through the property, room and spa are all from the locally produced namesake brand, and they’re great! Enough so that we not only squirreled away the ones from our room but went a bit crazy in the spa store stocking up since we didn't have an idea of when we might return. 

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The highlight of our stay was the pool. An "infinity-ish" moment set near the edge of a cliff and perfectly laid out so you can enjoy laying in the pool as much as relaxing beside it. Save a day for this. A full mid morning to sunset to immerse fully in the experience. Lunch in the lower-level grand scale lounge area, dip in and out of the pool, the sun, and the very comfortable beds as you wish. 

Relaxation is pretty much guaranteed here and as with most properties in Bali the rates are a great value for the level of the stay. 

 Alila Ubud


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TULSI INDIAN WARUNG

Geren Lockhart

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TULSI WAS ONE OF OUR GO-TO SPOTS IN BALI. CHIC, CHEAP & DELICIOUS.

Tulsi is a Warung in Ubud, Bali. By definition a warung is a simple local restaurant. It is simple. Housed in a small quickly put together structure, serving straightforward Indian food from a menu that has only two entree options adding sides that are from what is fresh at the local farms and markets that day, choosing from dosa or roti for a set price that is a steal.  Add on a beverage from homemade Indian favorites like lassi or chai, and if you are smart, you will save room for the homemade Kulfi.

However just like most things that are simple yet truly well done when you take a deeper look you find there is more to the story. You are seated in a room that’s spacious and well designed, using local materials and modern details. The owners son who is responsible has an eye for design thus Tulsi's interior is superior to most warungs on the island. The room is anchored by an open kitchen peering out at you through shelves of neatly organized supplies. Details shine, from unique and creative tile moments to the use of recycled wine bottles as lighting fixtures you are left knowing that it’s all very considered.

Rani is the owner of Tulsi and is Indian by birth. She has called Australia home for the last few decades and in 2015, she made the full-time move to Ubud where she brought with her generations-old family recipes and a deep well of know-how when it comes to the foods of her homeland. Since Indian food isn’t a widespread option in Bali and spices are the most crucial component of the cuisine she’s often adventuring to Singapore’s Little India and the epic mega source Mustafa Center to gather the must have components. These dishes and condiments are not just slapped together quickly. Cooking is an all the time endeavor at Tulsi. It will be the many days of work that you taste when you have the food. You feel the choices to do it right. The selection of ingredients combined with doing things as they are done in India. It is not just good Indian for Bali; it is good Indian for anywhere.  

The food is where Tulsi shines. High quality dishes with just the right amount of complexity while remaining authentically Indian. Your meal is served on a metal tray cafeteria style. Despite the utilitarian delivery the dishes and condiments will have you oohing from the first bite to the last. It's comfort food and If you are anything like us you will be begging for a little more of this or that depending on the days offering. We loved Tulsi so much that we stole away from packing on our last day in Bali to make sure we got to have the experience one more time. After six weeks and countless wonderful meals, it speaks volumes that this was our last stop on the island.

Tulsi Warung Nyuh Kuning


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SHIRO SUSHI

Geren Lockhart

Shiro Sushi is a tiny piece of Tokyo hidden away upstairs at One Eleven Resorts, a modern design hotel on the edge of a tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. With impressive organic modern interiors by celebrated Osaka-based architect Shibemasa Noi, you could go just for the atmosphere and escape while filling up on the extensive sake and Japanese whiskey offerings. That is just the beginning, despite the perfect surroundings and strong cocktails, you will soon realize that it is the food that shines at Shiro. The sushi is perfect; the cooked dishes are creative without being molecular, and the sashimi is something I will make my way back all the way to Seminyak, Bali to experience again. I had the small omakase menu, and it was spot on. Sit at the bar and make some new friends while you watch the chef work his magic with stunningly gorgeous pieces of super fresh fish. Do yourself a favor and book in advance as it fills up, and you won't want to miss this spot. Shiro stands out among a lot of tourist filled mediocre offerings on the island. Dinner here will be one of the highlights of your time in Bali.

Shiro Sushi

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ONE ELEVEN SEMINYAK, BALI

Geren Lockhart


One Eleven Resorts, Bali is an all-villa, all adult oasis just off a major artery in Seminyak the most populated part of the island. Describing One Eleven's location as central would be an understatement. A long narrow strip of land dotted with nine almost identical villa compounds that are hidden in plain sight. The property as a whole is a spacious and peaceful respite from the wonderfully chaotic streets just a few meters away.  The architecture is organic, spare and contemporary which put me immediately at ease. Individual service is central to the One Eleven experience. The ratio of staff to guests has to be at least one to one, and it shows. After the chaotic 90 min journey from Ubud, the thought of further motoring to my next appointment with Giuseppe Verdacchi at his chocolate factory Primo Bali seemed daunting. What happened next was my first experience with the service component of One Eleven. I asked for some general directions and help navigating around the extremely oppressive traffic jams in central Seminyak and the front desk staff immediately suggested that I just park my car and have the hotel car, and driver take me. YES! is all I had to say, and bam I was completely immersed in One Eleven. At that moment I realized the crew here were going to guide me as well as provide a shield from the chaos that is possible when in Seminyak. Normally I do a lot of research, have local contacts that allow me to immerse myself beyond the tourist norm and don't even think of asking the concierge for advice. Not this time. They're doing the challenging, and frustrating work that you don't want to do, it's blissful. 

Inside the walls of your villa compound, you're presented with a private pool, spa pagoda, open air living room and kitchen as well as an enclosed bedroom and expansive bathroom suite. Keep an eye on the time of year for maximum relaxation. If it's too hot or too humid you might find yourself squirreled away in the bedroom more than you want to be because that is where the full on enclosed air conditioning rules. I spent most of my awake time in the relaxing and perfectly sized pool. I didn't partake of any of the spa treatment but the idea of having a private spa pagoda in the villa is great. I did make use of space by making it into a serene spot for morning meditation and yoga. Dinner at the on-site but open to the public Shiro is a lovely moment of Tokyo level sushi and other dishes in a gorgeous room with a very good sake list and is a must do during your stay. I am already plotting my return. I did have a glitch come up with the electronic key to my villa; it was a situation that could have been frustrating but ended up being funny and entertaining. Below is a photo of the human spiderman that instantly scaled a palm tree and the wall of the villa to get to the other side so that he could open the door. There was no extended back and forth, no question about the possible steps, just an instant solution to a minimal problem. Leading to the assumption that there would be a plan for a permanent fix, and there was. Easy no stress results to challenges have become shining highlights for me when I travel especially to far-flung spots on the planet.

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The bathroom game at One Eleven is epic. The room is properly massive with a giant tub, separate shower, and toilet rooms, a wall of windows and best of all a stash of AMAZING products. There are two sets of products, his and hers which warrant the suitcase space needed for anything you don't gobble up while you're in residence. Robes are something I think sets hotel properties apart when they're done right. Here you have two great choices. I opted to have a short term love affair with the cotton Kimono version. Worth purchasing. I still have pangs of regret that I didn't beg to find out if that was even possible. I did however keep encouraging the very charming, very English general manager David to put those divine products into the market, they're all locally made and compete with the best of the beauty world. I would have stocked up on the sunscreen by the gallon if I could have. 

After an early morning swim in my private pool, I took a long early morning walk down to the beach which was necessary since I was coming back to a giant made for me breakfast in the villa. Each morning you'll be offered a variety of options for breakfast and with so many choices and so much food, the exercise gave me an excuse to indulge. The best part is that after you choose your pleasure the charming staff will kick into gear and whip up your wishes in the villa kitchen while you lounge and enjoy a coffee in the sun. My stay was short, and I only partook of this experience once opting for a local specialty, nasi goreng. This typical local favorite is a perfect rice bowl of sorts; the direct translation is fried rice but nasi goreng is so much more than that. Done right its a savory, spicy addicting mixture of rice, proteins, and vegetables incorporated with a creative mixture of spices that builds from garlic, chili, and ginger. One Eleven does nasi goreng perfectly. Your breakfast spread will include an expansive offering of fruits, jams, cereals, juices like the dragon fruit below, and more. Far to much food but worth the extravagance and you can swim it off straight from the table if you're feeling especially guilty. 

One Eleven Resorts


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