Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Asia (
-   -   SE Asia Beach Resort (

plagioia Nov 5th, 2004 05:03 PM

SE Asia Beach Resort
My partner and I are going to be in Bali for two weeks next May. I have an opportunity to add 4 nights to the two-week trip and wanted to stay at a beach resort for these four nights, since we are not going to Bali for the beaches. I'll be based in Singapore and would like to keep the flight to within two hours or so. I was thinking of Phuket (trisara) or Langkawi (the new four seasons). My concern with these areas is the weather. I know it is the start of the rainy season, but does this mean an hour of heavy rain and sun the rest of the day or 4 days of nothing but rain. If it's the latter, then it's not really worth it. Any comments or suggestions here are appreciated.

I'm open to other areas, but since trip is for a special occasion (anniversary), I'm mostly considering luxury properties. I'd really like something that is right on the beach (which is why the beach villas at the four seasons Langkawi are so appealing).

Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated.

marmot Nov 5th, 2004 05:56 PM

Since you're already in Bali I think it is overreacting to fly to another country for a beach, especially Phuket! Bali's beaches are lovely, lively and a lot of fun. Sure they're not pristine (I've come to hate that word) but they compare favorably to world class beach destinations in California, Florida or Australia. And the weather in May will be great.

Let me know what you're looking for in a beach -- swimming, diving, snorkling, surfing, walking, sunsets, staring out to sea -- and I'll give you some Bali recommendations.

Kathie Nov 5th, 2004 06:18 PM

or you could go to Lombok for a few days. That's an easy hop from Bali. I'm headed for Lombok in less than a week, and will have a trip report posted the second week in December. We found a great looking place with beach bungalows. I'll let everyone know if it is as good as it looks!

plagioia Nov 5th, 2004 07:00 PM

I've heard so many negative things about the beaches in Bali, that I had my expectations set pretty low for that aspect of the trip (and that was fine as there are a lot of other thing to draw us to Bali). I was really looking for a relatively large, clean stretch of beach for walking, with water that is easily swimmable. Sunset views from the beach would also be great. We both dive, so that is a possibility, but not a necessity. Also somewhere that is not overrun with lots of other tourists. Finally, I'd like to find accommodations that are, if not right on the beach, then pretty darn close. I like the idea of having the beach right outside the room.

I thought about adding Lombok to the trip, but didn't know how different it would be from Bali.

If I can find that type of beach and accommodations on either of the two islands, then I'm all for not going anywhere else. Thanks much for your advice.

Kathie Nov 5th, 2004 07:40 PM

Lombok is pretty differnet from Bali. For one thing, it's Muslim rather than Hindu. The beaches (that I saw) are also nicer than Bali. The Gilis, right off of Lombok are famous for their snorkeling and diving, and there is supposed to be good snorking from the beach on parts of Lombok. Lombok is MUCH less developed than Bali. If you can wait until I get back from my trip, you'll have some good data on Lombok and (hopefully) a great place to stay there.

plagioia Nov 5th, 2004 07:48 PM

Thanks Kathie. Does the place you are going to in Lombok have any information available on the web? I'd like to do a little research if possible, since you've got me interested in Lombok now.

marmot Nov 5th, 2004 09:30 PM

plagioia, Lombok is a nice complement to Bali. I personally like the Oberoi, though it's a bit pricy. I do not recommend diving in Lombok, very disappointing, and strongly suggest you avoid the Gilis at all costs. They are awful!

For Bali beach, I'd take a look at the Legian. It's a lovely property right on the beach-- well designed, good food and service -- on a big, sandy beach. Wonderful for all kinds of beach related activities and some of the best sunsets in the world. The surf's a bit rough, but still swimable. The Seminyak area around the Legian has some of the best restaurants and shops all within walking distance. Bali has some very good dive spots in the North part of the island, though I prefer the beaches in the South.

marmot Nov 5th, 2004 10:22 PM

Here's another idea. What about the Amanwana? This is really a special occasion kind of place. It's a bit of a trek to get to, but you're half way there in Bali. It's a spectacular experience.

While I'm at it here's the website for the Oberoi Lombok

sydneyx Nov 5th, 2004 10:29 PM

I'm an expat living in Phuket for the last 4 years,if your choice is between Phuket and Langkawi then Phuket is definitely the way to go,you will be bored stiff in Langkawi,the only worthwhile thing to do in Langkawi is the cable car ride up the mountain,parts of the island are pretty, but it's not your worth your while travelling half way round the world to visit the place,Phuket however is a different kettle of fish,much to do and see and a lot of fun,anytime of the year.
May is the end of season so finding hotels on the beaches would be a piece of cake,you wouldn't even need to book,just arrive and look around at what you like ,wouldn't take long.Taxis at the airport willing to do that for you.
May is a good month to visit,you could spend your whole time here with no rain,but you might get a few showers.
The sea the same year round 28 dgrs + - so swimming snorkelling,diving,surfing problem.
If you need any other help send me an email

Kathie Nov 6th, 2004 05:43 PM

plagioia, I'll be staying at the Qunci Villas. You can see reviews and a few photos at and can see lots of photos at

marmot Nov 6th, 2004 06:20 PM

kathie, thanks for the links on Qunci Villas (aren't they missing a vowel?). Look forward to hearing what you think.

Kathie Nov 6th, 2004 07:59 PM

marmot, it always looks wrong to me, too! I'll know after staying there whether they are missing a vowel!!

plagioia Nov 7th, 2004 06:15 AM

Kathie - thanks for the information. I will have to check those out. Have a great trip.

Marmot - how would you compare the beach the the Legian with the beach in Lombok at the Oberoi?

marmot Nov 7th, 2004 03:18 PM

The beach at the Legian and the beach at the Oberoi are very different as is the overall ambience of both places.

Lombok in general is completely different from Bali. It doesn't have the culture, the arts, the lushness (it's on the other side of the Wallace Line)or the tourist economy. The Oberoi is an oasis in what amounts to a desert of dry vegetation and very poor villages. It is a beautiful and well run resort, but once you're there, you pretty much stay there (or wish you had). There are two restaurants, one enclosed, one on the beach and the food is very good. The villas are well done. The pool is lovely and there's a decent spa. They also have tennis.

The beach is smallish, I'd say 1/2 a mile at most, not too wide. They keep it very tidy. The water is fairly calm, moderately clean: I remember there was a fair amount of sea vegetation. There's a long jetty that you can snorkle off. They offer water sports like diving, fishing, sailing. The last time I was there they had a topflight dive master, but the diving options were disappointing.

In all, it's a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

The Legian is right in the midst of Bali's most fashionable and lively neighborhood. The hotel itself is on several acres of land, grassy with palm trees, so it seems isolated. The pool is not too big but is one of the prettiest any where. They have bales (Balinese lounges) on the beach that are splendid for sunset watching. Wonderful spa as well.

There are two restaurants and the food is very good. Within 5 minutes in either direction are two of Bali's best restaurants -- La Lucciola and KuDeTa. Seminyak has also become a good shopping area. The rooms are elegantly appointed. All have big balconies overlooking the sea. (Ask for the top floor.) The manager is extremely hands on and the place runs like a clock. The whole ambience is one of understated but sophisticated aesthetic. Recently, when I was there my fellow guests were three generations of a prominent Italian fashion family. Look for the Bali sarong next Spring.

The beach. . . Some love it, some hate it. This is Bali's main beach. It goes on and on for miles. If you're a runner or walker it's perfect. The Legian keeps their beach front very clean. Some of the adjacent public areas are less so. Also, there are days when currents and wind conditions make it seem like all of Java washes up on the beach. Nevertheless, it's big, it's sandy, and it's fun. If you want a beach massage there are hawkers. If you want to retreat, the Legian keeps them at a distances. There's plenty to do and watch.

The surf in the Legian area can be quite rough. We swim in it, but it's only recommended if you like to be battered by waves. It's profoundly beautiful for staring out to sea.

I hear many times that the heart of Bali is inland. This is somewhat misleading as the people who live along the coast are just as Balinese as the people who live in Ubud. There are temples, dances, celebrations everywhere, everyday. I don't think I've ever been to the Legian when I haven't seen a ceremony take place on the beach.

So in short, the Oberoi is isolated, but serene. The Legian is elegant and lively. Both offer beautiful views, excellent service and a good dose of wave-induced peacefulness.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:37 AM.