In Ubud with a bit of luxury

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Feb 17th, 2005, 05:33 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,025
Thanks for reply last week. It helped me focus. My tentative itinerary is now ready for your comments. 16 nights, leaving end of May. We'll overnight at the Legion. Next afternoon to Ubud for 3 nights at either Kayumanis,Pita Maha,Alam Puri or the Arma. Comparisons please. If the Amandari, FS or Begawan Giri are far superior & not to be missed, we can splurge for 2 nights but its hard to evaluate internet info on the differences among the above properties' rooms views, service. Then we'll drive up to Lovina area and hang out with dolphins for 2-3 days at Damai Lovina Villas or Agung Bali Nirwana (can anyone compare them). Next back to airport & fly to Sulawesi to tour Tanatoraga (I'm a closet cultural anthropoligist & avid photographer) for 4-5 days. Fly back to Bali for 2- 3 more days in Ubud at a different resort and then 2 final nights at Amankila. We'd like to have lodgings that are different from each other and ones that are small, intimate & cater to adults rather than families. Also,which online booking services are most reliable.
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Feb 17th, 2005, 08:15 PM
  #22
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Robbie,
I agree that it's difficult to evaluate resorts from the internet. They all look good. This is especially true in Indonesia, where hygene and service can be variable. I will say however that most people end up loving their Bali experience, no matter where they stay so you won't make a bad choice.

Among Kayumanis, Pita Maha, Alam Puri and the Arma, I would go with Kayumanis. Disclaimer, I haven't actually stayed there myself, but I did visit and have lunch and found it lovely. Pita Maha has many fans on this board, but I'm not one. I find it strange that Arma is recommended at all. It's really a museum, not a resort. I don't have any information on Alam Puri. The Four Seasons and Amandari are on a whole different level, bigger and more luxe. Begawan is kind of an anomaly. It's the luxe of the luxe, but the design is a bit odd, big villas with shared common areas. Incredibly beautiful location though. Again, you will find many satisfied customers at all of these places, so you won't go wrong.

Tanah Toraja will be a wonderful experience. I hope you will be able to attend a funeral celebration. It's not like anything else, anywhere. Quite gruesome, though, so be prepared.

Since you'll be in Sulawesi I want to pass along this place, which is, I think, the best dive resort in the world (especially if you do underwater photography).
http://www.kungkungan.com/
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Mar 6th, 2005, 08:51 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Thanks Marmot and Craig for your input, I really appreciate your expertise. We'll stay at KayuManis near Ubud. Do we need to book ahead? Which internet sites are trustworthy or can we just show up? We've decided to spend 4-5 days in Sulawesi. Is it necessary to arrange a "package" to Tana Toraja from the USA or do you think we can do that once in Bali? I want to feel safe there without being ripped off here! Thanks you for replies everyone.
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Mar 6th, 2005, 09:56 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Robbie, I'd book the Kayumanis directly withe resort. If you book in advance they can pick you up at the airport or wherever you are.

For Sulawesi, I'd definitely make a plan before arrival. I'm sure you would be able to find someone in Bali who would arrange the trip for you but it's a completely different culture and a completely different ethnic and religious group so I'd worry about how reliable it would be. I assume that you are flying from Denpasar to Ujung Pandang (also called Makassar)? The drive from UP to Tanah Toraja is about 3-4 hours, maybe more. You want to get out of UP as soon as you can as the scenic and cultural points are inland.

Once in Toraja, there are several places to stay and many guides. I haven't been there for years and really can't give you any recommendations (other than to say that it's a wonderful experience). A lot of Europeans travel there, so you should be able to get hotel recommendations from Lonely Planet. The accomodations are acceptable -- not fancy but clean and the scenery is spectacular. Once you choose a place to stay, then you can ask your hotel to arrange a guide and driver for the time that you are in Toraja. The reason you need to do this in advance is that the guide has to set up an itinerary for you as the total area is quite big.

The funerals which are the big draws are week long events. The person being honored often actually died years back. As part of the send off, the family slaughters dozens of water buffalo among a lot of ritual. The guide would know where the funerals are taking place.

Having a dedicated guide with car and driver (they are often not the same person) is expensive, but is absolutely necessary!
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Mar 7th, 2005, 07:22 AM
  #25
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 612
Try the Ibah. It is great. And within walking distance of central Ubud.
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