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Joelle Feb 7th, 2005 12:25 AM

A silly question (but asked shamelessly...)
Finally Bali is on our holiday list for this year.

Having a look at various brochures, my husband would like to stay in the north of the island and also near Ubud. He is also dreaming of the Oberoi. This might end up in three hotels for a twelve night stay!

1) Which place would you recommend in the North?
Puri Ganesha, Matahari Beach resort, Damai Lovina ?

2) Near Ubud, FS at Sayan, Pita Maha, etc... look like places of choice, but the poor husband's wife has a silly question... (also applicable to question 1)...

With all these lovely bungalows, villas, open-air living rooms, I fear we may have some undesired visitors (creepy crawlers... of a huge size compared with European standards!!!).

I don't mind geckos, but insects may generate a series of "screaming" and disturb the peacefulness of the whole resort...

So could some seasoned travellers who went to those places give me their feed-back ???

If those places get "visitors", I think I'll stick to regular hotels like the Sheraton, Meridien, Hyatt who can provide me with a nice room at least on the second floor, thus ensuring a relatively insect-free room.

Sorry for this silly question, but I don't wish to have my trip ruined...
I have been to Bali before and stayed at the Bali Hyatt and Club Med, where it was OK...

Many thanks in advance for your feed-back and advice.

jani Feb 7th, 2005 12:56 AM

Joelle, Its not a silly question at all. We stayed in Bali 3 years ago at The Villas at Seminyak which was lovely. However we were all slightly scared using open-air loo at night due to the occasional visiting cockroach etc. etc. This also applied to the open-air dining/living areas. If one went out at night there would be visitors by the pool, bats etc. so if you're not a great wildlife fan I don't think its for you. Have heard the Oberoi is great but how about factoring the Ritz Carlton at Jimbaran into the equation too!

Joelle Feb 7th, 2005 02:26 AM

Thanks for you reply Jani.
I don't mind bats or toads, but I hate the centipedes, spiders, coakroaches, etc... so I think I have to skip the open-air loo or bath!!! LOL

I know that the Ritz-Carlton looks nice... a bit expensive though!

The FS at Sayan looks great, but considering the price, I'll shout even more if we have visitors....

marmot Feb 7th, 2005 02:51 AM

Joelle, very funny post. I live in Indonesia and go to Bali regularly (I'm going tomorrow!) and share your distaste for creepy-crawly things. No matter where you stay (unless you keep the windows closed and the air/con on 24/7) you will get some fauna in your room. Actually I think the chances of "visitors" in the mainstream hotels is greater than at the luxury level as the staff are less vigilant. Being on the second floor won't make much of a difference.

The biggest "offenders" are the little lizards they call kecaks. They mostly stay hidden but can be seen darting from place to place. They are harmless and in fact charming, but can certainly take you by surprise. Geckos which are quite large are heard but seldom ever seen.

All of the resorts spray aggressively. (Is it safe? don't ask.. .) You very seldom see big bugs like cockroaches or beetles and only the occasional spider. I don't think I've ever seen a centipede in Indonesia. Mosquitos are endemic. There are also plenty of frogs and once in a rare moment a snake may be sighted.

The FS Sayan is a fine resort. If you feel too exposed in the villas, they also have upstairs rooms in a two story complex. There's just no getting around some tropical insects in the Ubud area. You are in the rain forest!At a much lower price but same view and sophisticated ambience I like the Alila.

I'm not a big fan of North Bali except for a diving. I've stayed at the Matahari and found it just okay. I've never been to the others so I can't compare. Let us know how you like it.

I also think there are far better choices at the beach than the Oberoi. It's just a little worn around the edges. Take a look at the Legian which is in the same general area but far better for service and aesthetic.

alice13 Feb 7th, 2005 03:08 AM

Not a silly question at all! I've never been bothered by spiders (unless they are enormous) and the lizards are great cos they eat mozzies, etc. Does anyone on the planet like cockroaches?

But why not try to conquer your fear? You are bigger than they are. Humans rule!! I wouldn't like to see cockroaches in my room but it would be shame not to sample that delightful experience of bathing outside in a bamboo enclosure under the stars just because an insect of whatever kind was in occupation when you got there. just shoo it away and take possession.

No probs. Try it. It gets easier!!

Joelle Feb 7th, 2005 03:38 AM

Thanks for your replies!

1) Regarding insect phobia, I have been trying to cope with it and win over it for the last 46 years... but to no avail...

Yes, at night, I'll keep all windows closed and aircon on.... and I have noticed after several trips under the tropics, that a room on an upper floor does not feature so many creepies, compared with a room on the ground level.

As far as mosquitoes are concerned, I will have the appropriate "killing" equipment with me... This thread will soon turn in a "warrior mood"...

2) Re hotels, the Legian looks great and very tempting too... And they have rooms on upper floors in the main building!!!

My husband was thinking of the north coast just to be out of the usual tourist streams, and he is a diver...

I am now in the phase of collecting additional brochures and feed-back to discuss the matter with him again.

The Alila also looks nice...
The choice is too big!!!

IUHoosierGirl Feb 7th, 2005 05:56 AM

Hello Joelle

I think that is a great question- because I have been wondering the same thing myself! I am planning a trip to Bali in June and I wanted to share with you this dive resort that I am booking (since you said your husband likes to dive).

Also, another person on this site recommended this hotel in Ubud.
There is a duplex room that has the bedroom on the second floor and the only outdoor part is a large jacuzzi.

I am on a different budget than you but I thought they both looked pretty nice!
Good luck :)

Joelle Feb 7th, 2005 06:18 AM

Thanks for the info!
I will have a look...

Ericka Feb 7th, 2005 08:19 AM


For what it's worth, we stayed in the villas at both Four Seasons and a couple of the Amans and never encountered an insect other than a mosquito. The higher end resorts definitely look out for such things.

Guenmai Feb 7th, 2005 09:48 AM

Joelle- I totally understand your situation. Most people I know have one kind of phobia or another and as far as getting over it that most likely is not going to happen so just focus on the room situation instead. I personally detest reptiles of any type...geckos,lizards,snakes etc...but the bugs and roaches don't bother me so much. While I was on Bali I had it all creeping around in my room...geckos,slimy lizards,roaches,ants,a name it. It was beyond tolerable. But since I never prepay, I just packed up and moved to another hotel. Well, the second hotel which assured me that it was gecko/lizard free ended up not. I inspected the room up and down before checking in and it seemed fine, but a few hours later out came the lizards running across the wall at the head of my bed as they had done at the first hotel. My best friend, who goes to Bali regularly, woke up one morning to find half the fruit in her fruit basket eaten. She called the manager over the next morning to look at it and he said,"Oh, I see you were hungry." She then went on to say that she hadn't eaten any of the fruit upon which he relied,"Oh, dear, the rats are back." I talked with a woman who stayed at the Four Seasons who said that she had the problem of lizards running across her bed. However, I talked with several folks who stayed at the Ritz Carlton at different times and had no problems at all.Next time I'll check into the Ritz Carlton. I stayed in Ubud at Siti Bungalows and also at Prada...back when Prada first opened. Good luck. Happy Travels!

Gpanda Feb 7th, 2005 03:45 PM

In a partially related anecdote. My wife and I stayed at a 4-star hotel in the Yucatan. After showering upon arrival, I saw a spider as large as my fist on the bed. I vaporized it with a magazine. The staff seemed unconcerned. I slept noy one wink. Phobias tend not to enhance my vacation. Upper floor and lots of deet.

Wulfstan Feb 7th, 2005 07:27 PM

Dont know if this helps or not...we stopped over in Bali for 4 days and stayed here:

Didnt see much of Bali, took an all day tour of the island, but wanted to spend some time at a five star hotel and just relax, on our way to Hong Kong and then to South Africa (Botswana) for a Safari......

marmot Feb 7th, 2005 10:31 PM

Sorry, suite 303 at the Alila.

I'm off RIGHT NOW for a few days in Bali. Staying at the Legian this time.

Joelle Feb 7th, 2005 11:24 PM

Thanks for your comments and advice again! I will print them and show this to my beloved one...

I have to say he is already making fun of me...

Marmot: when you come back, can you please let us know about the Legian ?
This would be great! Enjoy your trip !

Guenmai Feb 8th, 2005 11:59 AM

Gpanda...When I read your post I had to laugh because, my best friend, the one who goes to Bali regularly, went to South Africa about 12 years ago and told me that one night she was getting into bed when a spider the size of her hand crawled across the floor. Well, she has severe aracnaphobia. Nothing else bothers her except spiders. So there she was alone in her room and having to deal with the spider that looked like it was on steroids or something. She was petrified. She said she had a choice of either staying in the room and dealing with the spider or going outside, at night, and dealing with the roaming (either) lions or tigers...I can't remember which, but she said you could hear them very clearly. So, she stayed in her room, got a broom and tried sweeping the spider out, but the thing kept crawling up the broom and she would scream and drop the broom. So, about 15 minutes later she finally got it out and then the thing crawled up onto her window, from outside, and just stared at her through the window! Another friend was in South Africa and had the same experience just a few years ago. He noticed a spider crawling across his floor and jumped out of bed and sprayed his hand-sized spider with DEET which was all he had. He left it on the floor and went to bed and the next morning woke up to find it not where he thought he had left it dead the night before. Well, he went to get something out of his backpack and the thing climbed out of his backpack and he almost had a heart attack ! I laugh at all of these stories now,but when I was going through my own phobia it was hair raising. Happy Travels!

Joelle Feb 9th, 2005 12:16 AM

This is exactly the kind of "adventures" I want to avoid.....

alice13 Feb 9th, 2005 02:35 AM

The phobia stage can be beaten.

Are you still alive, Guernmai - and your friends? That big spider didn't eat them? Or maybe it did?

Joelle Feb 14th, 2005 12:45 AM

Well... a friend of mine experienced a "close encounter" with a centipede in the Seychelles last year and since she has an allergic background, it took her about three weeks to recover from this "meeting"...

marmot Feb 14th, 2005 06:03 PM

Joelle, I've probably stayed at the Legian 250 nights in the past ten years. Like the Alila in Ubud, I just keep going back, not because it's perfect, but because on the balance it offers the most of what I'm looking for. Please understand I have no personal connection with either one of these hotels. I just go to Bali a lot (5-6 times a year) and want to be comfortable and hassle free. I LIVE in Indonesia and deal with charming inefficency 24/7. When I'm on holiday, I want to relax.

I always stay in the regular beach front Legian part, not at the Legian Club, which is the villas across the road.

Ten things I like about the Legian:
1. It is very well run. The manager is one of the best any where in the world. On the scene, on top of problems.
2. It is well designed. Bali inspired, but not overdone. Understated and elegant.
3. The balconies (especially on the third floor) have magnificent views -- of the sea, the sunset, the mountains.
4. The food is good.
5. The pool is lovely.
6. The grounds are spacious and serene
7. The beach is kept clean and you can walk for miles in either direction
8. It is within minutes of the best restaurants in Bali, like Kudeta and La Lucciola.
9. It is nearby good shopping and independent spas.
10. The other guests are from all over the world, all ages, lively and interesting.

The things I don't like
1. It's a little on the big side.
2. The restaurant dinner menu is impossibly pretentiously fusion and pricey. (Breakfast and lunch are fine.)
3. The surf is rough and only the strong and young can swim in it.
4. The spa is overpriced.
5. Honestly I can't think of another.

Joelle Feb 14th, 2005 11:38 PM

Many thanks for these precise comments.
We had a look with my husband at all the information (leaflets, prices, etc...) last week-end, and we are just wondering... so many tempting places and such a choice....

We'll try to stay in 3 differents places, since we can stay 15 nights...

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