The Bucket List: Villa Ariana Grande

I’m introducing a new segment to my blog called the Bucket List. Different posts will showcase neat activities and accommodation from all around the world that I plan to visit but simply cannot wait to share with you right now.

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To get this underway, I’m super excited to share with you this Airbnb I stumbled upon whilst I was drooling over the Instagram feed of Maximilian Hansen. Called Villa Ariana Grande – for reasons I would love to know – this villa might just convince me to take a spontaneous trip to Bali in and of itself.

Photos from Maxi’s Instagram feed during her stay at Villa Ariana Grande.

I stayed at an Airbnb for the first time just last month, when I stayed in Auckland during a road trip around the North Island of New Zealand. I thought I would feel uncomfortable living in someone else’s space, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I loved the homeliness you feel in Airbnb’s as opposed to in a hotel. I always struggle to settle or establish a routine when staying in a hotel, but I found that the relaxed atmosphere of an Airbnb can remedy that.

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Located in Canggu, on the southwest coast of Bali, Villa Ariana Grande is merely a ten minute drive from the beach, shops, nightlife and restaurants of Seminyak.

The spacious villa is actually a complex of self-contained villas, each with their own private swimming pool and en-suites. It showcases minimalist Balinese architecture and is built using local materials.

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The villa is close to the famous @strawberryfieldsbali boutique restaurant and café

If Villa Ariana Grande looks familiar to you, that’s probably because it is. The photogenic villa rose to prominence after being advertised as the ‘go to’ accommodation for Instagram Influencers such as Maximilian Hansen, Stacey Tonkes and Bianca Ella Booth.

The ‘Deats

Name: Villa Ariana Grande

Air Bnb: Villa Ariana Grande

Facebook: @luxuryvillaariana

Instagram: villa_ariana_grande

Location: Canggu, Bali

Rates: US$240-360 per night depending on whether it is low or peak season

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Oops – there we go. No Instagram-related post is complete without a half-naked hot girl posing poolside.

Have you stayed at Villa Ariana Grande, or have an Airbnb you’d love to recommend to fellow travelers?

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Starfish Café: Your Sunday Morning Fix

Could this possibly be the best café in Dunedin?

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Having lived in this city in southern New Zealand my whole life, I think it is fair to say that I have done the café rounds. Coming from a family with a passion for food (and being a high-functioning teaholic), it is hard pressed for me to find a café here that I have not dined at.

And so we arrive at the Starfish, the eclectic seaside café on the St. Clair esplanade.

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It’s hard to define Starfish, but maybe that’s the beauty of it. From the electric swing playing over the speakers to the David Bowie posters pouting down at you from the wall, from the vintage swan wallpaper to the Pacific Ocean right outside the front door… and I haven’t even gotten to the food yet. Think coconut turmeric lattes as you sit outside and enjoy the sun on a lazy Sunday morning. Think a glass of wine as you wind down to an acoustic set on a Friday evening. Think fresh seafood sourced straight from the Otago harbour. Mouth watering yet?

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I think the best thing about Starfish is that every time I go there (and believe me, it’s an embarrassing amount), it’s a whole new experience. I never tire of the ever-changing menu, and there is such a huge array of options to choose from and I don’t think I could ever sample everything. For all you social media enthusiasts (*raises a guilty hand*), do not fret; everything at Starfish is Insta-worthy. And for all you difficult dietary chums (*raises another guilty hand*), they’ve got you covered. Dairy free? Gluten free? Vegetarian? Look no further.

If there is one place you should go to experience the essence of Dunedin’s café culture on your travels, Starfish is the one. Perhaps one of the only stale points is that it is not within walking distance of the town centre, limiting it to those with access. However, if an outing to St. Clair is not already on your to do list, then I honestly don’t know what you’re doing here. Nestled in a plethora of boutique shops and restaurants – not to mention the most photogenic beach in New Zealand (am I biased? …probably), just one visit will be enough to convince you to ditch your return ticket home. Just make sure you’ve packet a scarf and gloves in your suitcase. Brr.

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My Starfish Breakfast Order

  • Pics Poles Smoothie
  • Blueberry, Coconut & Lemon Hotcakes
  • Citrus Slice

(note to self: don’t complain when you no longer fit your jeans)

Also, a handy tip; if you’re eyeing up one of their famous smoothies (I recommend the Pics Poles; possibly the best peanut butter creation to ever grace the earth), make sure you get in there before 3pm or else the blender gets put away for the day. Believe me, I’ve made this mistake many times; tears were shed.

The ‘Deats

Starfish Café, Restaurant & Bar

240 Forbury Road, St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand

Sunday-Tuesday 7am-5pm

Wednesday-Saturday 7am til late

03 455 5940

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