Honeymoon in Bali

Old Apr 12th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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Honeymoon in Bali

Hello all,
My fiance and I are in the process of gathering information for our upcoming honeymoon in Bali.
We are VERY excited about the prospect of visiting this part of the world (even though we will have to travel about 25 or so hours from Chicago). We have narrowed our hotel options down to the Bale' and the Legian. I have done a search on both hotels and have not seen any recent info about either. Are the hotels as beautiful as they look on the internet? Also, does anyone know of any travel agents in the Chicagoland area specializing in travel to SE Asia? I know that I could probably book myself but would feel better going through a travel agent. Also, has anyone purchased a travel insurance policy on their own as opposed to puchasing as part of a package deal? Is it safe to reserve directly through the hotel reservations desk and are deposits generally required when making reservations? I have contaced both hotels directly and received rates but since our honeymoon is kinda far away (November 5-14) I did not know if we should just go ahead and reserve. I do not want our credit cards to be charged for the entire hotel amount so far in advance. Sorry for all the questions. We have travelled extensively in the Caribbean and have been to Brazil, but this is a trip of a lifetime for us and we want to make sure that we cover our bases so any help you all can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Seeing as you will be in Bali for 9-10 days, I suggest you divide your stay between two locations - one on the coast and one inland. I do not know how much hotel research you have done but I highly recommend Hotel Tugu for your coastal hotel. It is in your price range and would be a great place to stay on a honeymoon. The Tugu is the most exotic place we have ever stayed and we have stayed in many fine hotels. It is hard to tell from an internet site what a hotel will really be like.

We used Bali Discovery Tours
(www.balidiscovery.com) for our hotel reservations. They are located in Bali but the owner is American, I think. We saved quite a bit of money doing it this way. For example, a single pavillian at the Bale' goes for $425 inclusive of tax, service and breakfast (27% discount to going through the hotel directly). I wouldn't even consider using a US-based travel agent for Bali. Bali Discovery Tours does require a deposit - I think we wired the money to them a couple of months in advance. You should hire a driver to take you around while you are in Bali - there is a lot to see and you will not experience Bali at all by just hanging out at your hotel. Many on this forum have used Putu Arnawa (e-mail [email protected]). Post again if you have additional questions.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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based on craig's trip report we booked putu and found him to add and provide a fabulous insight to our trip...he is very reasonable...last year his top day excursion....10-12 hours was only 400,000 rp....you don't have to sit down that was only about $40....we love him....he will totally customize any itinery you want...by the way he is young, about 30, so you will mesh nicely....he is very computer savy too so you can communicate well with him...his english is excellent....he will take you to places on on roads that average tourists do not go and could not find...he is very flexible...

i also used bali discovery....the way they worked it for me was to charge me upfront the full amount....i think i did it several months in advance....i think i had to fax them something (picture of card, etc) to use my credit card---this is common in asia....i would reserve now, especially for smaller places or you may not get what you want....i would not waste time using a us travel agent either....i see no advantage....

we spent our whole time at hotels in the south...first the conrad and then the bali hyatt....you can easily travel to all locations in bali in less than a day....the common thought is however to stay in more than one location if you are going for a week or more...legian gets very high marks from fodorites....i think that what you see is what you get basically...pictures are obviously taken from the most advantageous viewpoing, but basically they are accurate...

YOU ARE IN FOR A REAL TREAT
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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I think you can do this on your own, do some searching on the internet for prices and then ask the hotel to match any bona fide internet offer you find which may be lower than their rate. I generally find a hotel quite willing to do this. I donít think its too early at this point to start making a reservation, but donít do so until you get a feel for the rates you have been quoted.

Travel agents are usually so good at getting very cheap airfares, so once you have an idea of hotel costs, you might see if an agent can get you a better rate and a good airfare. You can always then cancel any hotel bookings you have made on your own. Sorry, donít have reccos for Chicago area.

A one or two night deposit may be required, do get the hotelís cancellation policy in writing so that if you have to cancel you can get a refund provided you have given the notice they require. 15-30 days notice would not be uncommon. I would not stay anywhere that required MORE than 30 days notice, that just isnít industry standard. You may find 7-10 notice or less is all that is required. It would be very unusual for them to require a deposit equal to the entire stay. I would not hesitate to give my credit card to either hotel, both are reputable. I personally donít like sending that info over the internet, but would fax it. I have never had a problem getting a refund on a hotel in Asia, and I am the type who generally makes 3-4 confirmed reservations with deposits, then decides about a month out which hotel I will stay at.

Depending on cancellation policies, you may not need trip insurance, but I would run a search on the Europe board as this is a subject that has come up more often there.

Early November is good, you will find rain toward the end of the month, but you should be good in November.

I agree with the others about splitting time between a beach destination and an inland destination to get a feel for the different areas.
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Old Apr 15th, 2005, 07:44 PM
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The Bale and the Legian are both as beautiful as they look. They are very different, however. The Bale is a small, isolated complex of individual villas set on a cliff overlooking the sea. It is a hike to the beach.

The Legian has two parts: the main resort with rooms facing the beach and the villas across the road. Although the villas are lovely I much prefer the regular rooms as I find the seaside balconies irresistable. Mountains and sea in the morning. Sunset in the evening.

I've stayed at the Legian dozens of times over the years. The service, the ambiance, the location are, to me, the best in Bali. When you want privacy the grounds are spacious and serene. When you want diversion it is within walking distance of two of Bali's best restaurants, plus many other restaurants, shops, spas, clubs.

I think the stretch of beach that the Legian is on is one of the best in Bali for walking and people watching. I will say, however, that the surf is rough and only recommend swimming to the hearty. The pool is splendid!

If you do decide to go "inland" for part of your trip I'd recommend the Alila or Kayumanis in the Ubud area. These are both very special places.

It is definitely safe to reserve directly with the Legian. They will most likely ask for a deposit. You can negotiate the refund policy. Your dates coincide with the Islamic holidays. Bali is not Muslim, but since Indonesia is, this is a busy time for Bali reservations.
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 09:43 AM
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I am so glad that you responded to my post marmot. I knew that you had visited the Legian after reading several posts that you made regarding Bali hotel accomodations. I have reserved a villa at the Bale' as the first 'leg' of our honeymoon. I have been in contact with the Legian a few times and I am awaiting a final confirmation on pricing from them. My fiance' and I are very excited about visitng Bali. Marmot will any shops, bars, tours, etc. have limited hours due to the Islamic holidays? I though I had checked my calendar for those dates, but I guess I may have been mistaken. Also, when you mention that it is a 'hike' to the beach at the Bale', what exactly do you mean? Will we have to walk a great distance through rough terrian or will it be more of a leisurely stroll to the beach? I have read that there are hotels on cliffs that have a strenuous walks up and down a lot of stairs for beach access. Is that true of the Bale' as well? Also, I have read that there is not much to do in Nusa Dua. We want to get out and explore the area during our stay. Are there any 'can't miss' areas in Nusa Dua?
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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1. The Islamic holidays won't influence Bali directly as Bali is almost entirely Hindu. Indirectly however they do influence occupancy rates because 200 million people in Java and other Muslim areas will have a 10 day holiday following Ramadhan. The dates this year will be roughly November 3-13. You won't feel any repercussions in Bali expect that hotels will be busy.

2. I've not investigated the Bale thoroughly enough to be able to give you specific information. It is lovely and I've not heard any negative about the management or service. If you're looking for a villa experience this should be a good one. I'd ask them about beach access. Most cliff top resorts have shuttle buses (minivans) to take you to the beach, but I don't know the arrangement at the Bale.

3. I think the real choice is whether you want the individual villa experience or the total resort experience. We prefer the resort option as after a day or two in a villa we feel too isolated. Some people, on the other hand, revel in that isolation.

It's a personal thing. I like the Legian because it's a good balance of the two. Not too big and not too small. (I sound like Goldilocks.) You can get out and walk on the beach or to a restaurant or you can retreat to the garden, pool or your balcony.

As I said I really prefer the regular beach side rooms to the villas at the Legian. They call the villas the Club. If you've decided to go for a villa then I don't think the Legian is the best choice as there is no view.

4. The Nusa Dua beach area is one of the most developed and popular in Bali. There are many, many resorts on this beach and the area adjacent to Ulu Watu is the prime target for luxury real estate development. There are zillions of restaurants and shops.
It is not, however, a cultural mecca. (Neither is Seminyak where the Legian is located. These are beach-y tourist-y conclaves. Some people say that isn't the real Bali. Well, it is, but it's just a different side of Bali.)

The Nusa Dua beach is good for swimming and okay for walking. When the tide is low it is very shallow. It certainly doesn't have the magnificence of the Seminyak/Legian surf, but again, it depends what you're looking for.

5. If you want to experience the artistic and cultural side of Bali you need to get away from the beach and into the inland areas. These are stunningly beautiful river valleys with terraced rice paddies and dense tropical forest. This is the mystical heart of Bali and is well worth a day or two. It's no problem to take day trips from the beach, and a lot of people do, but I think watching the moon set over the Ayung river valley is one of life's wonderful experiences.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Well, since it will be our honeymoon we would like to have the best of both worlds. We like to feel that we are on our own private island (which I think we will be able to experience at the Bale), but we also want to leave the grounds and explore when we want. We thought about honeymooning in Bora Bora/Moorea, but we really felt that there would be NOTHING for us to do outside of lounging on the beach. We want to tour Bali and see the sights, but we also want to relax in luxurious accomodations. I think between our stay at the Bale and the Legian we will be able to take care of the luxury part, we will just have to hire a driver to get us to the 'cant miss' sights. I still have not heard back from the Legian in regards to rate confirmations, so hopefully we will get the rate locked in soon. We will definitely make the most of our stay in Bali.
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