OK to skip Southern Bali

Old Apr 28th, 2005, 08:35 PM
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OK to skip Southern Bali

From everything I read, I think I will skip southern Bali (i.e. kuta, legian, seminyak). Am I missing anything? These seem like they are over commercialized (tacky?) and not what I'm looking for on my honeymoon. Anyone disagree? If so, why?
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 08:41 PM
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there are places in the south that are interesting, like ulwaltu (sp) temple and other scenic places, but much is developed...its hard to compare...it is not what i would consider commercialized like pattaya or cape cod..it is just more developed...some of the best hotels are in the south..

kuta is very commercialized and i found ubud to be somewhat commercialized although in a country way....

the island is not that big...you can get from south to north in a couple of hours really without stopping....

without knowing 100% what you want it is hard to say...i would want to see most of the place and also do my lux resorts, which i know you are interested in...some lux places are located in the south or southern part of the island...denespar is not worthy of any time at all however..imo...

if you spell out for us exactly what you are looking for many fodorites will comment...these comments leave us somewhat uninformed...>????
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 08:59 PM
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Well, I am looking for top notch luxury reorts/hotels with great service. I was originally planning on the FS Sayan for 3-4 nights and then a coastal location for 3-4 nights and possibly one other location for 2-3 nights (10 nights total). Coastal locations I am considering are Amankila and Hotel Tugu. I am still pretty open to other suggestions and have had a hard time reconciling the differing opinions on this site. Since this is my honeymoon, money is less of a concern. I would rather spend more money than risk not LOVING any of the places we stay at. I would like to "see" Bali while I am there. Take in the views, the culture, but I would also like to relax (beach, pool, massages). I have no interest in bars, clubs, or anything along those lines. I also like nice resturants. Nusa Dua originally sounded somewhat appealing because of all the top end hotels, but I think it may be a bit to scrubbed of any real Bali-ness.

Hope this helps. Thanks
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 11:38 PM
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The elusive search for the "real" Bali is a common topic. Believe it or not the beach IS the "real" Bali as much as the mountain valleys and rice paddies are. People have been enjoying themselves on Bali's beaches for decades and fishing along Bali's shores for centuries. Whole cultures have sprung up around tourism and these cultures have become engrained in the social life of Bali. You may not like the hurly-burly of the resort life, you may not even like the beach, but to say it's not Balinese is just not valid. Balinese traditions like temple festivals, dances and religious ceremonies happen all over the island, including the beach communities.

A lot of people overlook the obvious -- Bali is Indonesia, a hot, crowded country full of poor people trying to make a buck (or rupiah). The fact that they are also exceedingly charming, hospitable and cultured does not negate the fact that this is the third world.

Personally I like the beach and I also like the Ayung River Valley / Ubud area. I go to Bali about 6 times a year so I get plenty of both. There are beautiful and luxurious resorts all over Bali. As you note, getting advice from strangers on this site can be confusing and misleading -- opinions are so subjective! The good news is that there are many right answers.

I think the best way to describe beach life in Bali is to compare it to Miami Beach or Bondi Beach or Santa Monica. There's a lot of activity and yes, some of it is tacky, but it's also a whole lot of fun.

If you're looking for non-stop seclusion, peace and serenity then you can certainly find these qualities in any of the luxury resorts that you mention. I personally (again this is subjective so I apologize to those who disagree) don't like the Tuggu. I find the beach and the rooms substandard. The Amans and Four Seasons are in a whole other category of luxury. My personal beach favorite is the Legian because I think it provides the best combination of elegant ambience, service and a fun beach with convenient restaurant choices. It is also right on the beach. For the Ubud area I am now leaning toward the Kayumanis, but the Four Seasons always gets the thumbs up.

As rhkkmk says, Bali is a compact place. Whether you stay on the beach or inland you can venture out for a few hours -- shopping, a performance, dinner -- and then retreat back to your villa or balcony for your own special environment. You can have it all.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 11:43 PM
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I once stayed in Jimbaran Puri Bali (by the Pansea Group) in Jimbaran and loved it. It's definitely of Balinese style and is nothing of that sort of grand hotels with "deluxe" service. But it's lovable and quiet, perhaps just what you are looking for in honeymoon? Check out its website here - http://www.pansea.com/eng/jimbaran_infor.html.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 02:11 AM
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I agree that you can really skip the southern beach areas. In my opinion, the things that makes Bali special are the people, culture, scenery, and traditional life, not the beaches. Snorkeling and diving in Bali is very good, however so you may want to indulge in some of that on your honeymoon.

Although Bali is not that big of an island, the small windy roads do make for slow going, so Ubud is a much better central location if you want to sightsee the rest of the island. From Nusa Dua to Ubud is about one and a half hours, and from Ubud to Bedugul is another 2 hours at least.

However, do take my comments with a grain of salt, I live in Ubud so naturally am prejudiced!
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Here's my 2 cents - you have already seen my comments on Hotel Tugu which is just north of Seminyak. Kuta, Legian and Seminyak all kind of run together - it gets less "urban" as you head north. I think you are just fine skipping this area - Kuta especially. Tugu is actually in a pretty good location for touring. You are not really that far from Uluwatu temple and quite close to the temple Tanah Lot. If you are into shopping at all, head for Ubud and the towns surrounding it. If you want tacky souvenirs and t-shirts head to Kuta. Amankila is on the east coast not really on the usual tourist trail - I am sure it would be a wonderful place to stay for a honeymoon as any Aman resort would be.
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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What you notice from the differing opinions is that different people like different things. We can give you our opinions and try to tell you why, but ultimately, you have to decide what appeals to you.

I agree that Kuta is tacky (at best). It's full of drunk adolescents. You couldn't pay me to stay there. I'm just as opinionated about Nusa Dua - sterile.

I'd say choose two locations to stay, one at the beach and one inland. With the types of hotels you're considering, I don't think you can go wrong.

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