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What to do with 2 weeks on honeymoon in Paradise Bali

What to do with 2 weeks on honeymoon in Paradise Bali

Jul 26th, 2015, 02:27 PM
  #1  
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What to do with 2 weeks on honeymoon in Paradise Bali

Hi,

I hope and would really appreciate if you nice people could share their experience and knowledge of Bail and help me what to do with my 2 weeks in Bali. I arrive on Aug 15th and have 2 weeks while on honeymoon to plan where to spend our time. I naturally want the trip to be as perfect as possible for my bride to be (!) but I don't really know too much about Bali apart from what I have been reading on various websites.
What we are basically looking for would 2 or 3 different locations to visit staying for 3-5+ days each time. From what I have read there are parts of Lombok which are pretty crazy and other parts that are very quiet so I suppose what we are looking for is something in between. We are 38 and 28 years old so I suppose we want something that has atmosphere, vibe, romantic, fun with some nice bars & restaurants but full of young people / backpackers. Ideally we also are looking for beautiful beaches and while I know the beaches are not necessarily up to the same levels of white sand as in Thailand but I am sure there must be many beautiful beaches for us to stay / visit.
I have also read that the Gili Islands is a must place to stay for part of our trip and from what I have read I think Gili Air would be the right mix between the 3 islands as Gil T seems a bit too wild and young while Gili Meno seems a little too quiet although I have read it romantic with nice beaches.
Budget wise we are happy to spend $100 - $200 USD per night but I think the main problem being so close is availability, ideally we would like nice type bungalows on the beach but not necessarily on a busy built up tourist resort / hotel.
So if anything anybody can help or suggest would be greatly appreciated as ideally I need to get everything book in the next day or so..!

Many Thanks, Paul (in very rainy UK!)
PaulUK is offline  
Jul 26th, 2015, 02:40 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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A few quick recommendations:

Get yourself a good guidebook. This will give you background info on Bali and some cultural aspects you usually won't find delineated in brief posts on the web.

Avoid Kuta beach on Bali - it is the "party" beach and is packed with drunk Aussies. Also avoid Nusa Dua - it is a purpose built tourist enclave, so you won't get any real feel for Bali.

Choose two or three places to stay. One should be inland near Ubud, the cultural center of Bali. One should be a beach location. On Bali, Sanur is my favorite beach area. On Lombok, I like Qunci Villas. They have both hotel rooms and private villas.

Enjoy!
Kathie is offline  
Jul 26th, 2015, 03:23 PM
  #3  
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Hi Kathie,

Thank you so much for your quick reply..!

Yes I have heard Kuta is pretty bad and for sure we wiil avoid it..! I was reading that Seminyak seems a nice beach place to stay, what do you think or why would you say Sanur is your favourite.

Do you live in Bali or has just travelled there a few times..? I have checked Qunci villas but it is already booked up. My plan I think would be 3 days at a beach resort, 7 days Gili Islands (Gili Air) then the final 3-5 days back on the mainland in Ubud.

Thank you for your help Kathie as all advice is greatly appreciated..!
PaulUK is offline  
Jul 26th, 2015, 03:29 PM
  #4  
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Hi Kathie, I have just been reading about Sanur and it does sound more what we are looking for, a little more laid back and more authentic than in Seminyak (also more value for money hotel wise), Thanks Paul.
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Jul 26th, 2015, 06:14 PM
  #5  
 
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Everyone likes different things. What is important is that you did a bit of research and found what appeals to you.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 26th, 2015, 07:55 PM
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Bear in mind that August 17 is Indonesian Independence Day and that the long weekend of the 15th to 17th will be a long busy everywhere. This will compound what is already mid-August high tourist season. Because of that I would tend to start your trip in Ubud which will be less mobbed than the beaches, then go to Lombok (or Amed) and end up at the southern beach area. You'll be closer to the airport for your departure too.

Personally, I prefer Seminyak (especially the Petitenget end) to Sanur. I like the beach better, it's younger (in feeling) and there are many, many choices in restaurants and shops in all price brackets.

Since the Hyatt closed in Sanur I have a hard time recommending comparable places and I find that people staying in Sanur spend an interminable amount of their vacation time sitting in traffic while they "commute" to Seminyak for sunsets and meals.

I'd recommend the Colony, a boutique resort steps away from Petitenget temple and beach and some of Bali's best restaurants and shops. http://www.thecolonyhotelbali.com/

I haven't been to the Gilis for some time so can't recommend. Amed in northeast Bali is also very popular as a less developed area with good snorkeling and laid back atmosphere. My friends like Blue Moon Villas, but I haven't been there myself.

In Ubud I like any of the Komaneka resorts both in and out of town. Alam Sari is a good value in a scenic location. [I will note however that I recommended it to two people last month: one loved it, one hated it!} The Kenanga Boutique Resort is a charming place on the outskirts of Ubud town in a pretty rice paddy setting.

I also like the Alila for beautiful river valley views, an amazing pool and generally refined surroundings. The Alila would be a wonderful honeymoon spot.
marmot is offline  
Jul 26th, 2015, 08:08 PM
  #7  
 
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Paul, marmot lives on Bali, so I'd give extra weight to what she has to say. I've been to Bali several times, but consider myself informed as opposed to an expert.

Marmot, when is the Hyatt supposed to re-open?
Kathie is offline  
Jul 26th, 2015, 08:57 PM
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The Hyatt website says it will reopen in early 2017, but Sanur-ites are worried because very little work has been done since it closed in 2013. Evidently there's an ownership dispute. Sadly the beautiful gardens have deteriorated and the vacant site leaves a big hole in the neighborhood.

I have a lot of friends who live in Sanur -- both retirees and young families who are attracted by the reasonable cost and good schools. It's a close knit community with a quiet and friendly atmosphere and a good swimming beach, but is, unfortunately, getting a bit worn down.
marmot is offline  
Jul 26th, 2015, 09:38 PM
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Hello Paul. Two weeks will fly past, and with long flights at either end you want to keep internal travel to a minimum. Also the south of Bali, particularly Kuta/Legian/Seminyak gets clogged with traffic for hours on end.

My three places...

- Ubud. Easy to reach by taxi from Bali Airport. Takes about an hour. Do your cultural stuff from Ubud, and hire a car/driver/guide. Ubud too gets clogged with traffic [mainly day trippers and tour coaches], so I'd avoid staying in the centre. We stayed at the Agung Raka hotel at the southern edge of town for a week...

http://wikitravel.org/en/Ubud
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_R...Ubud_Bali.html

- Nusa Lembongan. As an alternative to Lombok, and v.popular. We never went, but enjoyed watching all the boats departing from Sanur beach. Taxi from Ubud to Sanur takes an hour, and then boat to the island...

http://wikitravel.org/en/Nusa_Lembongan

- Sanur. Boat back from Nusa Lembongan and you're there. We thoroughly enjoyed a week in Sanur last September. Lovely sheltered swimming beach, plenty of seafront bars/restaurants. Stretches out for 4 or 5 miles, stay towards the centre, somewhere like the Swiss Bel. Easy to reach the airport at the end of your honeymoon.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Sanur
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_R...asar_Bali.html

Be careful with money changing scams in Bali, especially in beach areas. Excellent advice on money in this thread...

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTo...gers-Bali.html

Cheers

Peter [from wet and windy Pompey UK]
LancasterLad is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 03:27 AM
  #10  
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Hi, a big thank you for all your replies and detailed information provided it is really appreciated. I will have a good look and read through today but thank you to everybody! No doubt I will be back in touch with a few more questions but thanks for now, Paul.
PaulUK is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 03:35 AM
  #11  
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Hi, Quick question but what does anybody else think of in regards to the choice between Sanur v Seminyak..? I am sure they are both amazing but what are the Pro's and Con's of both please? Thanks
PaulUK is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 07:02 AM
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marmot, sorry to hear about the Hyatt. The gardens there were remarkable and won many awards. I hope someone will get it together and get the place refurbished.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 07:04 AM
  #13  
 
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If you're still undecided in the next day or two, then you'll get all the pros and cons on the Trip Advisor Forums, which have a much greater volume of postings than you'll get on Fodor's.

I got some useful advice before our month in Bali and Java from this forum, but much greater in-depth, and focused current information from Trip Advisor.
LancasterLad is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 01:06 PM
  #14  
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Hi, thanks again for all the very helpful advice, I have narrowed it down to I thinkbr />
3+ days in either Sanur or Seminyak (really not sure as Sanur seems more laid back but maybe too quiet & basic and Seminyak maybe seems a little too developed.?)

7+ days in Gili Air (maybe check Gili Meno out) and then the final 2 days in Ubud, I was recommended to the Hanging Gardens, seems pretty pricey but as it is our final 2 days I don't mind spending the money. It seems that the views are amazing but a few people on Trip Advisor are complaining that it is a bit run down & dated now, has anybody been, heard any stories or maybe recommend somewhere else that has equally amazing views but maybe nicer & better value for money..?

Thanks again, Paul
PaulUK is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 01:14 PM
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Do you really want that much time in the Gillis? There is not much to do there. If you are really into snorkeling, that might be fine, but I'd say maybe 4-5 days on the Gillis, 6-7 days near Ubud, then your last couple of days in Sanur or Seminyak (which will put you closest to the airport.

Look carefully at marmot's recommendations near Ubud.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 01:57 PM
  #16  
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Hi Kathie, thanks again for getting in touch.

Gili Islands I have done research and was hoping that a nice lazy (but with some atmosphere and vibe) 7+ days would be ideal. We don't really snorkel but we will give it a go but it was more to enjoy the slow paced island (similar to Thailand style I was hoping) life. I would probably book the first few days on Gili Air and then check out the other 2 islands as they are only 15 mins away I think.

That way we could have a look to see if it was worth splitting the 7+ days over 2 of the islands? As rainy Mancehester does not seem to want to have a summer this year a week relaxing on an island far far away seems very attractive as long as it was not too quiet.

Decisions Decisions but all fortunate and good ones to have!
PaulUK is offline  
Jul 27th, 2015, 08:41 PM
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Paul, All of Bali's southern beaches are "developed" with resort hotels lining the beach and winding back streets with restaurants, shops, villas and more humble accommodations. Except for one misbegotten high rise in Sanur all of the buildings are lower than a palm tree. The important point is to pick where you want to be and stay there. It's the travel from east to west where you'll encounter regrettable traffic.

I'd say the biggest differences between Sanur and Seminyak/Petitenget are the demographic and the nature of the ocean. Neither is better, just different.

Sanur attracts an mostly older travelers looking to keep costs down and families looking for a quiet swimming beach. There are ample restaurants, but more basic and laid back than noteworthy. Not much happening after 9 PM. Because of the off-shore Pacific reef the water is calm. There's a walkway that extends for several miles along the beach which is great for walking or biking, but makes the actual sandy area somewhat narrower and confined.

The Petitenget area of Seminyak is younger and livelier -- hipster/surfer style, not necessarily more costly. Petitenget (plus Batu Belig, Brawa and Pererenon) has some of Bali's best food -- pricy restaurants, yes, but also cheap holes in the wall with creative chefs. The Indian Ocean side of Bali is a big wave surfer beach, wide and sandy, sometimes rough, sometimes calm, big sky, glorious sunsets. The beach extends about 15 miles from Batu Belig to Kuta. There are lots of beach chairs, umbrellas and surf boards for rent and lots of beach shacks for meals and sunset watching.

Lombok and the Gilis have some nice beaches and offer more of the beach-hut accommodation that you're looking for, but a bit scruffier than what you'd find in Thailand. I don't know how quiet is too quiet for you, but for me the Gilis can't seem to find the right balance between nothing going on and loud and raucous.

Again, the weekend of August 15-17 will see a huge influx of Javanese holiday makers to all the beaches -- Bali and Lombok -- and to the town of Ubud. If you want to avoid the crush head directly to whatever place you select outside of Ubud and do the beach later in your trip.

I'd have to agree that you might want to consider extending your time in the Ubud area. This is the magical mystery part of Bali, the center for the arts, culture, temple ceremonies, dance and music. Terraced rice paddies, jungly river valleys and misty mountains. I fear that Bali's beaches may not be what you imagine, but the culture and natural beauty of the heartland are incomparable.
marmot is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 03:50 AM
  #18  
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Thank you so much for taking all the time to reply back, much appreciated. OK so now I am leaning back towards Seminyak! Can you recommend any particular resorts although availability will be key at such a late stage. Budget is $200-$300 per night. Gili Islands I hear what you are saying with being too quite or too noisy, I think I will book 2 or 3 nights in Gili Air and then have a look at the other 2 islands to then spend another 5 days on. Ubud I will extend to 3+ days as I think it will be pretty magical...! As you can appreciate planning any paradise trip is difficult but when it is a honeymoon you want everything to be as perfect as can be..!
PaulUK is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 04:44 AM
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In Petitenget I'd recommend The Colony. See my post above for their website. I'm sorry to keep batting on about this but you really don't want to be at the beach on Independence Day weekend. It will be a zoo. Go to Ubud first. You'll probably decide to stay longer. You can get a boat to the Gilis from Padang Bai which is about an hour from Ubud.
marmot is offline  
Jul 28th, 2015, 07:50 AM
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My best friend loves Bali and has been going there since the 90s and swears by the Kamandalu Hotel. Although I have been to Bali (many years ago), I don't recommend my Ubud accommodations for a honeymoon. But, below are some links to the Kamadalu that I also mentioned to some other friends and they ended up staying there for their honeymoon back around 12 years ago. It seems as if the place is still going strong although I think there was some turnover of the place some years ago.

Have fun in Bali and congrats.

http://www.kamandaluresort.com/index.html

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...Ubud_Bali.html

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
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