After a whirlwind 3 nights in Hong Kong, DK and MH continued their journey to Bali. David has been many times before, but this is a first for MH.
Bali is just over 4 hours flight from Hong Kong. We travelled on Cathay Pacific and were delayed for two hours. Sadly this is becoming a familiar story.Once we departed , the service was good , everything you expect from this award winning airline .
One of the reasons for our trip was so I could attend the luxury invite only Further East Show in Bali. I was very impressed. So many new product ideas, especially around Bali and on the surrounding islands. We stayed at the Alila Hotel in Seminyak and our junior suite was directly ocean front , always good to start or end the day listening to the sea . We both liked the Hotel for its style and very convenient location. Great for exploring the numerous restaurants and shops in the area.
Whilst I was engrossed in meetings for 3 days, MH took the opportunity to see as much of the island as possible, visiting over 40 hotels in four very different resort areas. Here is a short version of her thoughts:
“I think David has been to Bali well over 60 times, and he certainly seems well known with so many of the hoteliers. Also, Sue from the office has visited several times, but it was my first time. Truly a long overdue journey to Bali for me, but well worth the wait. I totally loved it. So many of the hotels were simply stunning. Not forgetting the people, who are so genuine. They all greet you with wide open smiles. They really understand gracious service and have a wonderful culture, which they are more than pleased to share with you.
I started with visiting the Seminyak and Legian areas. This is on the west coast of the peninsula in the south. It is an area known for its extensive beach and is popular with surfers. There are numerous top quality restaurants and it has a real zest to it. At the southern end, it runs into Kuta which is sort of Magaluf tacky, but that is just a very small part of the island. I also visited Ganggu which is an area just north of Seminyak.
Next day it was Jimbaran and then down to Ulawatu on the extreme south coast. Jimbaran probably has the best swimming beach on the island, with soft yellow sand and usually gentle waves. It does not have the restaurant variety of Seminyak but there are quite a few beach seafood dining options now. I then travelled down to Ulawatu. This is the area for sunsets, so most of the hotels are perched on the top of high cliffs. Some have small cove beaches, but this is not really the area for swimming.
Following day explored Ubud, the Village located high in the hills, about 90 minutes drive from the beach resorts. David told me I would be impressed and he was not wrong. Ubud was just amazing, scenic, with sweeping rice fields, hills and fast flowing rivers. Plus some of the most incredible hotels. I really wish I could have spent at least a night up here. I saw a lot but, apart from a quick look around the village, I did not have the time to really immerse myself in it.
On the final day, I travelled across the island to see the Sanur area. This was the first Resort area in Bali and still has an authentic village style. Lots of well-priced restaurants and a few attractive hotels. Shortly after, it was through to Nusa Dua. This is a man-made Resort complex which houses many grand and large hotels. All the brand names are here, with many more under construction. It is manicured and I found it rather too airbrushed for my personal taste . I can see the appeal, but I prefer something a little more natural and nicely chaotic.
What a fantastic few days! I saw so much. I think my driver and guide were exhausted by the time they dropped me at the airport. My favourite area was Seminyak. I really liked the style, the good selection of hotels and, of course, the restaurants. We dined at Sardine and it was so much fun. A great setting overlooking a rice field, chilled music and super seafood. But I quickly saw several others just to get an idea of how they looked. I could have chosen so many as they all looked good.
There were so many hotel highlights but for me the stand out properties were Legian Seminyak together with my base at the Alila . Up in Ubud , so many options but Samaya with its riverside location , Como Uma for its location and cute style , the gentle elegance of Chedi Club and the quirky luxury of Capella were all incredible . In Jimbaran i really liked the thatched roofed simplicity of the Jimbaran Puri and the contemporary style and space of Kayumanis .
Bali is simply wonderful. I can’t wait to go back and really take the time to enjoy it to the full.
Oh yes – we had an earthquake during the stay . It was over 5 on the scale , so enough to have the walls shaking . The locals just took it in their stride , it happens almost daily , and anything under 6 is hardly worth mentioning !
We are now flying to Singapore. Of course the flight is delayed , just enough time to have a rather good massage at the airport before departure . First time in the city for over 10 years for me, so I’m sure I will notice many changes.”
DK & MH