Bali - January 2015

Old Aug 30th, 2014, 06:36 AM
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Bali - January 2015

My husband and I just booked a cruise on Crystal that ultimately takes us from Bali to Hong Kong. We're not big into cruises but thought for our first trip to Asia this may be a good option.

We're flying to Bali three days before the cruise begins and researching where to stay. We prefer beach resort although I've read its rainy season (we did Polynesian Islands in rainy seasons and found it to be pleasurable). We're early 50's and love white beaches, live music, nightlife and experiencing the culture of every place we visit. We're not on a tight budget.

I would appreciate hearing from those who have spent time in Bali as to the area and the hotel/resort we may enjoy.

Thanks much!
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 10:02 AM
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bali has many beaches, but they are not as fabulous as in other places... that said I think you should look first at the legian/semiyak areas, but also sanur. I am staying at the Marriott the stones hotel next month in s. legian. the pan pacific and Sofitel and oberoi in the same area are all nice..

the Conrad in benoa is lovely.. all the above are not far from the airport.

then there is nusa dua area: the tourist enclave, devoid of character but home to many world class hotels...
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Instead of a beach, consider staying inland near Ubud, with the beautiful rice terraces and access to the cultural center of Bali.

Hey, Bob, I didn't know about the new Marriott - I'll have to look it up. We are still burning Marriott points.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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Check out the Samaya in Seminyak, we have stayed at their sister hotel in Ubud and it was fabulous. I am off to Bali next week (yay) and I plan to check out the Samaya in Seminyak......
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 01:05 PM
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Carney...

Me and the cook are in your age range, and going to Bali for the first time in 3 weeks time.

I've done lots of homework, and our choice in South Bali, for our first week is Sanur. Close to the airport, not too hectic, and a sheltered beach.

Then we're going a bit inland to Ubud for a bit of culture and the real Bali.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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We stayed at Elysian Villas in Seminyak. They have private pool villas, and a fantastic restaurant. It's a lovely property, nearby is the Oberoi, excellent spot for a drink, snack and sunset over the water.
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Old Aug 30th, 2014, 04:11 PM
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My recommendation for beach + restaurants/nightlife/shopping would definitely be Seminyak. I prefer the north end which is called Petitenget. I would alert you, however, that during storms which are common in January quite a bit of trash can wash up on the west coast beaches. The resorts work hard to keep their beach fronts clean, but early mornings and public areas an be disheartening.

Having said that I still think you're better off in Seminyak rather than Sanur or Nusa Dua on the east coast, as you'll not want to be "commuting" to dinner and evening events. Plus the sunsets are spectacular. As mentioned Samaya, Oberoi and Elysian are all good choices.

But my favorite by far is The Legian (the one in Seminyak) for ambiance, design and service. All rooms have spacious ocean-facing balconies (ask for the top floor), the pool and gardens are wonderful. Excellent breakfast. For dinners, there are many, many really good choices either within walking distance or a short taxi ride.

PS, I also like the idea of choosing Ubud over the beach during the rainy season, especially if this may be your only trip to Bali. It's a profoundly beautiful and spiritual area and the center for Balinese culture and arts and what sets Bali apart from other Asian beach resorts. Look at the Alila, Como Shambhala, Uma Ubud.
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Old Aug 31st, 2014, 02:03 AM
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So long as it's easy enough to get to from Sanur, we'll be looking at spending a couple of sunsets at Ulu Watu, visiting the Pura Luhur temple at the same time.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 10:30 AM
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Thanks all for your help. I've printed a few maps and trying my best to make the best decision for a wonderful trip.

Now - I'm thinking since the first few days of our cruise will actually be in Bali, we should possibly venture out and stay a bit away from where the cruise docks (the itinerary says Benoa from Jan 17th at Noon till Jan 18th at 8pm. Then leaving for Semarang and Jakarta. I'm not sure looking at rice paddies is "us", however since many feel rainy season in January is certainly not going to provide for beautiful beaches maybe so.

Marmot - why would we not want to commute to dinner and evening events?

Three resorts/hotels we've been considering are Oberoi, Bulgari and Ayana. I'm wide open to recommendations.

rhkkmk - Why your decision on the Marriott? As frequent business travelers, we're Marriott privileged however this has not come up.

I would also like to ask about visa requirements and any other important information I may need for our first trip to this area.

Thanks so very much!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 10:33 AM
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Marmot - Legian is only $121 a night? That's outstanding if the rooms are first rate. I'm guessing the rate is due to low/rainy season during our travel dates?

T
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 01:13 PM
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Also, we're not sure when we should buy the airline ticket? Of course the cruise line gave a credit of $800 per person each way however I don't really feel I can sit coach for the duration I'm seeing from Charleston SC to Bali. We had planned to use Delta miles however that doesn't seem possible to get to Bali. We may use on the way home from Hong Kong.

Any site recommendation or airlines or tips greatly appreciated.

T
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 01:45 PM
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The closest easy gateway to Bali is Singapore, so see if you can get a ticket there. From Singapore, it's a pretty quick flight to Bali, only two and a half hours.

Buy the ticket when you find an acceptable price. If you want to use miles, do so as soon as possible. You might look for an open-jaw ticket, into Singapore and out of Hong Kong.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2014, 04:27 PM
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I think you've found the "wrong" Legian. This is the one you want: http://www.ghmhotels.com/en/legian-bali/

The Oberoi was the original pioneer on Petitenget beach, built 30 years ago when there was nothing else there but surfers. It has beautiful grounds, a good big wave beach and excellent location. The villas, pool, restaurant and other facilities are to me a bit tired though. The Oberoi and the Legian are quite close to each other. I prefer the style of the Legian, but it's a personal choice.

The Ayana is on a cliff overlooking Jimbaran Bay. It has a pretty beach cove but you have to walk down (and up!) 200 steps, the equivalent of 10 stories, to get to it. It's an all inclusive resort with several pools and restaurants and varying levels of accomodation. The offer lots of different activities including access to Rimba their sister resort. The Four Seasons which is in the same area is a little more refined.

The Bvlgari is also on a cliff, but further out on the Bukit -- a spectacular location for ocean views, but very isolated and very quiet. There's an incline elevator that takes you near their private beach. I'm not sure if there are additional steps after that.

Each beach location has its pluses and minuses. It really depends on how you like to spend your time (i.e., swimming, walking, eating) and how much isolation you desire. I think it depends on whether your focus is on experiencing Bali or experiencing a 5 Star resort. To me, the Legian or the Oberoi are the best balance of both.

The 5 Star resorts in Ubud like Como Shambhala and Four Seasons are also a good balance, but of course no ocean. Instead you get rain forest and rice paddies and proximity to Balinese culture and arts.

There are good restaurants all over Bali (every resort has one), but many of the most popular freestanding restaurants and most of the nightlife is centered in Seminyak/Petitenget. This includes KuDeTa, La Lucciola, Sarong, Metis, Sardine, Hu'u, Mamasan, Urchin, Mosaic. Traffic can be variable, but generally speaking (plus or minus 10 minutes) Seminyak is about 45 minutes from Sanur and Jimbaran, about an hour from Nusa Dua and the Bukit. Benoa is the north end of Nusa Dua.

You will get a 30 day visa on arrival. The cost is $35. I'm sure your cruise will arrange it.

Singapore airlines has good connections from the east coast to Bali -- JFK-Frankfurt-Singapore-Bali. And also from Hong Kong to the westcoast.
Cathay is also a good choice with a non-stop from Hong Kong to Bali.
I'm an SQ fan myself, though, for service and comfort both in the air and on the ground.
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Old May 10th, 2016, 09:36 PM
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Tip: This map helped me a lot in Bali www.baliunbound.com/bali-map/
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Old May 10th, 2016, 09:37 PM
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The site as well but the map you can use on your phone during your travel, very handy . Just a tip.
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