Bali honeymoon...help!

Old May 18th, 2004, 11:25 PM
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Bali honeymoon...help!

We're planning our honeymoon for early through mid November of this year. We're thinking of Bali (5 days at Hotel Tugu and then 5 days somewhere near Ubud, any suggestions?) and wondering how daunted we should be by potential rain that time of year? We're also considering Zihuatanejo, Mexico so any thoughts, feedback, suggestions would be much appreciated. We'd like to relax, spa, golf, and take in local culture. Thank you!
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Old May 19th, 2004, 01:24 AM
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I would not recommend Bali at all for a relaxing vacation, particularly if you are looking for serenity and quietness. I would only recommend it if you know of some very good Indonesian friends there who can take you around and bargain for you - I was there for 5 days and the Balinese people are generally friendly, however, they tend to take every opportunity to over-charge you even if you can speak the language. Food is expensive - we ate at the famous seaside spot, Jimbaran, and the food wasn't great particularly for the price we paid (40USD), and it was not a restaurant, more like a small shack which lines the beachside. Btw, the restaurant tried to cheat us too - they had two different sets of menu (with and without service charge), but luckily I double-checked and they cancelled the additional 15% service charge. Also, be careful of the money-changers. I'd recommend going only to those that are well established at the city centre. If not, double check or even triple check on what is given to you. Some of them are very particular of the notes as well - they need to be clean and crisp notes, this may give you an indication of the level of trust and issues that they have with money ;o) Nevertheless, I heard that there are some very good places to eat, but I think you'd have to really do some research to find the good ones.

Bali is however a culturally rich city - lots of historic Hindu temples to visit, wooden and stone carvings, paintings and other handicrafts. But apart from that, you'd have to venture off the main island of Bali to other smaller islands to truly experience the beautiful beaches and tranquility. The sunsets on Kuta and Jimbaran beaches are captivating, but it is crowded with people. I'd also recommend staying at Nusa Dua instead of Kuta, Jimbaran or Sanur. Nusa Dua is more beautiful, while the other beaches are more populated and the beaches are quite poorly maintained. Personally, I think the beaches in Bali have been overrated. They also have a large golf course in Nusa Dua. You can easily do 2 days in Ubud and I wouldn't stay any longer there, unless you're really into the arts and crafts, and heavy shopping.

I don't know about Zihuatanejo, Mexico, but if it is anything better than what I've just described, by all means go there. I know many people would disagree about what I've just said but this is only what I've experienced during my trip, and you are free to decide on your own
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Old May 19th, 2004, 06:39 AM
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i totally disagree and stopped reading the above as it made me mad....bali would be great and i am sure that craig will chime in here and tell you about his time at tugu....it is quite fantastic...get a driver for yourself...on craig's suggestion we are using the guy he used next month...i am unsure about the weather however...

another possible alternative for you might be a combo of bangkok at the peninsula hotel and then one of the thai islands like koh samui or maybe krabi or phuket at the marriott resort...there are many options...
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Old May 19th, 2004, 07:30 AM
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Bali weather in November tends to be hot and humid with the occassional downpour in the afternoon. From what I've read on other forums, the rain is not a problem and should not deter you from going. Personally, I think Bali would be a magical place to spend a honeymoon. Please ignore the negative post from "quest" who must have never left the Kuta area of Bali for his/her entire stay. We stayed at the Tugu last July - it is a perfect hotel for a honeymoon. The Tugu has wonderful spa services - you can get a message either indoors (with a/c and soothing music) or outdoors. Not far from the Tugu is Nirwana Bali Golf Course designed by Greg Norman. As far as local culture is concerned, Bali is one of the most unique and interesting places you could possibly visit. There are many wonderful places to stay near Ubud - we stayed at Maya Ubud - the pool villas are excellent and are similar in price to the villas at Hotel Tugu. Please see my 6 part trip report at http://www.balitravelforum.com/archive200307/11747.html
for more details.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 08:00 AM
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Hotel Kamandalu , near Ubud, would be great.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 12:26 AM
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If u want to splirge BIG time take a look at begawan Giri in Ubud, www.begawan.com. I went there and think for a honeymoon it may be one of the most romantci properties in the world. Purl Wulandari villa suites and the Pita Maha in Ubud is also beautiful.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 12:29 AM
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My apologies for the many typos. I just wanted to add that I think Bali is an ideal honeymoon destination. My husband and I celebrated our 1st anniv there in Dec and we thought it was perfect. Am sure you will enjoy it.
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Old May 20th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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I send people to Bali for a living and arrange a lot of honeymoons there. Anyone that doesn't enjoy Bali doesn't know what they're doing or where to go. Bali has pretty decent weather year round, but expect tropical afternoon showers for a few hours every afternoon. Hotel Tugu is a good choice. The southern part of Bali is the most developed, but Hotel Tugu is a bit away from all that. Ubud makes a good central base for exploring the rest of the island, but if you want to get away from the tourists, head to the north side of the island.

Plenty of decent places to stay around Ubud. Those suggested by others on this thread are good. Pita Maha Resort is another good choice, or if you're looking for value check out the waka properties at www.wakaexperience.com
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Old May 20th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Sushilover,
Bali is such a magical place...Highly recommended.

I've travelled to over 40 countries and Bali stands out. My husband and I went there a few years ago and we both loved it. It's not great for a fabulous beach holiday but it's just so beautiful...by the time we came home we were tired from admiring the beauty.

Also it's somewhere where you can literally "see" the culture, because of the many religious festivals and because their material culture..art, sculpture etc is so evident. IN this respect culture in Bali is somehow more accessible than in many other places. There's also a fascinating art Museum in Ubud which shouldn't be missed.

We loved the hotel IBAH in Ubud...it's a small boutique hotel run by an Indonesian man and his Australian wife...it really is exquisite...a very individual experience. The pool is fantastic.

I'd also recommend the bali travel forum which is an Australian run travel forum dedicated to Bali...they have alot of posts. You may have to weed through the "very cheap holiday" and "how to buy bootleg DVD" posts but there's alot of great information there.

I'm not sure about golf (particulalrly around Ubud) but Bali is wonderful for spas which are quite reasonable by US prices you can try the Mandara Spa at the IBAH...the Alia also has a lovely spa...there are also very cheap local spas which are fun and they have lots of interesting body treatments. There are also lots of lovely walks that you can take along the river and through the rice fields outside of Ubud.

Hope that helps.
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Old May 24th, 2004, 11:28 PM
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I'm an American living in Jakarta. I go to Bali several times a year (or as often as possible) and concur that it is a magical place! In response to some of your specific questions:
1. It rains all year long in Indonesia. During the rainy season it really rains. Having said that I assure you that rain doesn't dampen (sorry for the bad pun) the Bali experience. A tropical downpour followed by brilliant sunshine and rainbows is a wonderful event.
2. The hotels you mention are all quite nice, although for me the Tugu was little too quirky. My favorites are the Legian in Seminyak (northern part of Kuta) and the Alila just outside of Ubud. Suite #4 at the Alila may just be my favorite room in the whole world.
3. Please bear in mind that the Indonesian Islamic holidays start on November 13. Bali isn't Islamic, but many, many people from other parts of Indonesia will be celebrating their holidays there and flights and hotels will be tight.
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Old May 31st, 2004, 05:15 PM
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Craig are you out there?
I see you posting on Bali boards, and you posted really helpful comments to some of my questions earlier in the year. You mentioned a driver that another person in this forum is using. I would love to get in touch with him for my family's visit in August. I am sure our hotels (both Four Seasons in Ubud and then Jimbaran) would get us somebody but most likely high priced and you really raved about your person. Could you email me and let me know how to get in touch with him? [email protected]. Thanks so much!
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Old Jun 5th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Bali is FABULOUS for a honeymoon and, trust me, will provide you with a lifetime of memories far superlative to a honeymoon in Mexico (apologies to Mexico fans...).

Have not been to Hotel Tugu, but there are some great sights out on that side of Bali: Klungkung markets and old palace, Sidemen and weavers there, Tirta Gangga, etc.

For Ubud, I suggest the following hotels: Ubud Village (book one of the higher grade of room) or Komaneka Resort right in the heart of town, Kamandalu near town (built like a Balinese village), or my world favorite hotel the Alam Jiwa (their highest rate is $85 and that includes a huge breakfast) in a nearby village. There are many higher-priced hotels around Ubud, but I don't think you need to spend more than $200 for a wonderful honeymoon hotel.

For spas around Ubud, you are in heaven! The Kamandalu spa is world-class and not too expensive, worth a visit even if you don't stay there. Komaneka also has its own spa. Alam Jiwa has a lovely pool, but no spa. They will make appointments for you and transport you there and back free. My favorite Ubud spas are the little independents: Zen Body Holiday, Spa Hati, and Nur Salon. One-hour treatments at these havens cost about $12-15, splurge and go every day! Spas have "couples rooms" and special packages for duos, take advantage. Be SURE to experience the Lulur and other body treatment combos, which include scrubs, massage, and flower-bath soaks----mmmm.

By the way, not much golf in Bali and taking clubs all that way would be an enormous hassle. The best resort for golf is the Le Meridien Nirwana, but it's miles from everything and was built in a most politically incorrect location over the protests of thousands of locals.

Go to Bali for the culture, exotic topography and sights, architecture, religious life and dancing, spas, shopping, good restaurants. Do not go for golf or beaches, those are better elsewhere.

When it rains I duck into a restaurant and enjoy the cool, write in my journal, enjoy a drink or snack---or head for a spa!
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