Bali Travel Guide
The question we've been asking about the Caribbean -- whether or not the addition of hotels to an island is a good thing or a bad thing for tourism -- is quietly being answered in Bali.
“Many tourists complain about the current condition of Bali. Too many buildings make them feel uncomfortable as it is too crowded. Buildings are everywhere and it is hard to find green areas,” Indonesian Tourism's Bali chairman Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya told Bali Daily last week.
As we speak, the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali chapter is asking local governments to implement and invoice a moratorium on hotels. Bali currently has over 90,000 rooms and is facing both issues of space and demand.
Memorial Day is almost here, but if you're in the eastern United States, you've probably already noticed the arrival of higher-than-average temperatures and days streaked with the sun's rays. If you were in Bali, Indonesia however, that would be pretty much everyday, and your hotel's front yard would look a little something like this.
The name of the game on Bali is infinity pools, ideally spilling out not too far from the breaking surf. This pool, at the Anantara Resort on Seminyak Beach, ticks all the boxes.
Drooling yet? This is just a tease, as next weekbefore you scamper off to Memorial Day funwe'll have full photos galleries of this pool, this resort, and a whole slew more on Bali.
We're coffee junkies here at HotelChatter but we may have some hesitation about this latest caffeine offering at the Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali in Jimbaran Bay. The hotel's Dava restaurant is serving a rare delicacy, Kopi Luwa, which translated into English means Civet Coffee, which translated into layperson's terms means, Cat-poo-cino.
The coffee beans used to make this drink come from coffee berries," which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and passed through its stomach intact, before being defecated whole and collected by farmers. Sounds gross fersure but the beans/berries have been thoroughly washed, sun-dried, lightly roasted and then brewed before getting poured into your cup. Supposedly, the coffee is less bitter than your local Starbucks jolt.
We have nothing against Courtyard By Marriott Hotels. In fact, we quite like these places as they now sport stylish lobbies (some with media pods) with tasty cafe fare and the internet is free in the public space. But if we're going to make the trek to an exotic place like Bali, we're not so sure we'd want to stay at Courtyard. Yet, the option is there.
The newest Courtyard has opened in Bali Nusa Dua and features 250 guestrooms with 32-inch LCD, your choice of rainshowers or deep soaking tubs in the bathrooms, a private balcony or terrace and even robes and slippers.
The hotel is not on the beach but the website promises the waters of the Indian Ocean are just a 10-minute stroll from the hotel. Should you want some immediate hydration, the hotel has its own lagoon swimming pool.
And as for those cafes we love so much? They get a different twist here:
Every so often we feature a hotel review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in.
We fished this snapshot out of the HotelChatter Flickr Pool and, upon first glance, this photo of an Ocean Cliff Villa at the Bulgari Resort Bali looks gorgeous, no? From the looks of this photo, we'd be down for staying here.
But, um, reader who submitted the shot hotel maven lyh1 sheds a little bit of light on fashion house Bulgari's Bali property and we were let in on a secret: it may not be as awesome as we think it is.
What's better than a trip to Bali? Well, if we had to say, maybe a spacious and secluded suite stocked with a personal assistant. Is that so much to ask?
Apparently not, according to the Conrad Bali. Starting October 1, the lush hotel will open 55 new suites, each boasting at least 360 square feet--which is, ahem, awfully close to the size of a studio apartment in some cities stateside--and surrounded by what sounds like a veritable tropical paradise (think gardens and reflecting ponds).
In addition to access to a personal assistant, each suite will have a separate living and dining room (though let's be honest, they must be tiny) as well as a private terrace equipped with a dining table and daybed (mmm...sunbathing in Bali, how tony indeed). Plus--get this--suites will also include a soaking tub accompanied by a TV. For when sunbathing gets too tiresome, we presume.
No word on whether that personal assistant can fetch you a bride or groom for the Conrad's sweet wedding chapel, but dream big, we say.
Weddings are usually held here, small party, 60 guests top, but you can have reception outside in the open. this is an amazing chapel. i would love to get married here one day...
Well technically we can't get married again (right now, heh) but we can check into the place which has rooms for only $170 a night in April. Now, we gotta work on getting over there.
In other news:
· Marriott gets geeky video-conferencing tools [Baltimore Sun]
· Travelodge UK will open 44 new hotels in Britain this year. Expect more wacky promotions and amenities from the eccentric brand. [Reuters]
· Similarly, Best Western wants to dominate Japan [Hotel News Resource]
· Even Mickey Mouse gets in on the eco-trend as DoubleTree Suites in Orlando goes green [Orlando Sentinel]
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven JennM escapes the cold of NYC. Enjoy.
It's freezing in New York this week and there's nothing I can't stand more than having to brave the cold only to arrive at a cubicle. Plus, all this recession talk has me stressed out. I'm not sure why, because I don't work for or follow the stock market, but I know this can't be a good.
Which is why I'm wishing I had a few nights at Uma Ubud in Bali, part of Como Hotels and Resorts. From the hotel:
"Expect not to be disturbed by the sound of traffic, but the laughter of villagers...Light floods the open ground, picking out an orchid among the velvet grasses. At night, dew begins to settle, lifting softly with the wisps of morning cloud."
Sigh. Bali's 85-degree temperature is taunting me, as is the hotel's large Shambhala Suite that features its own infinity pool and private treatment area, the perfect place for the massage my tense body and dry, scaly skin so desperately need.
Plus, if I were to spend at least three nights in the Shambhala Suite, I'd be entitled to daily breakfast and two complimentary hour-long massages, all for the bargain rate of $410 per night. The hotel also offers guided walks through the surrounding rice paddy fields and free daily yoga classes.
That's frugal enough to justify such extravagance during a pending recession, don't you think?
[Photo: Proper Pictures]
[Ed. Note: Hotel Maven GEOmbfl is back from an unhappy stay at the Ritz-Carlton Bali and thinks you should pass on this spot and instead hit up the Bulgari or Aman hotels. Let's just say there were a few problems getting a club-level room.]
Click through for the full scoop.
The Fashion Hotels trend is definitely not slowing down as Bulgari has opened their second resort, this time in Bali.
The Bulgari Resort Bali has 59 villas (no hotel rooms) located near the village of Pecatu on the island's southwestern tip.
The three key elements that distinguish the Bulgari Resort in Bali are its unique location, the blend of traditional Balinese style with dramatic contemporary Italian design, and the variety of services that have all been crafted with the same attention to quality that has always distinguished Bulgari creations.
Indeed this is a drastically different hotel than the Bulgari Hotel in Milan. The resort is 40 minutes away from anything "touristy" on the island and the only way to access the beach is through the resort's inclined elevator.
But of course, you have to some serious fashionista dough to stay here. The one-bedroom ocean view villas are going for $1,110 a night and Bulgari Villa for $5,000 a night.
· The Bulgari Resort, Bali Opens [Marketwire]
Taking words out of context always leads to confusion. Nevertheless some combinations just never mix, here's a puzzle we are fascinated with: hotel, $5 bucks, ninja, spray hose. Yet somehow all of these words work out to bring us to hotel in Bali with rates around $5 a night. To their credit, the American dollar, although suffering in some parts of the world, we won't mention any names (Europe) does go quite far elsewhere.
We got a hold of a globetrotting blog that we really like and it has taken us through the adventure and misadenture of holding monkeys, getting manicures, and braving the $5.00 hotel, the Legian Village Bungalows:
So we have made it safely to Bali and actually found a pretty awesome hotel down a quiet alley with rooms for 5$ per person per night WITH Air conditioning and breakfast included, a pool, and live performances of Balinese dances at night. It is nothing fancy...in fact, there is a very bizarre window from the bathroom to the rooms so that the bathroom is like an aquarium with curtains in front of it and the shower is just a bathtub with a spray hose which has some faulty wiring that causes you to be shocked (gently) if the lights are on when you take a shower (I'm not kidding!) Everything has been fine except that today I was swindled by some particularly relentless manicurist ninja bandit ladies. One of them begged me to just let her paint one nail for free so that I could show other people and send them to her...the next thing I knew, I was in a tiny back room of a shop with FIVE manicurists huddled around me painting little flowers all over my nails and toenails and me protesting the entire way.
Staying in a bungalow in Bali does have a sexy appeal to it, scary manicurists or not.
Bottom line, the place is clean and serves its purpose well. There may not be Wifi all over the bungalow, plasma TVs, or hydromassage showers...well depending on just how much of a shock occurs in the shower, this last one may be up for personal discretion.