15 Feb Bali – Coconuts, Rambutan and Sunshine
Where do I start? Last week I was treated to a 4 day trip to Bali hosted by Pearl Representatives. Having fallen in love with Bali many years ago as a backpacker I was intrigued to see how it had changed and to get a glimpse at the luxury hotel side of Indonesia.
To say I wasn’t left disappointed is an understatement. Yes, Bali has beaches, surfing, and diving but it’s the essence of Bali – and the Balinese – that makes it so much more than just a fun-in-the-sun retreat. It is possible to take the cliché of the smiling Balinese too far but, in reality, the inhabitants of this small island are indeed a generous, genuinely warm people. There’s also a fun, sly sense of humour behind the smiles.
This essence was certainly captured in the service of the hotels I was lucky enough to stay in and from all those at the DMC I encountered. We had a fabulously packed 4 days; from white water rafting in the Ayung River suitable for all ages and elephant rides at the Elephant sanctuary to truly experiencing Balinese life in the Guliang Village helping plant the seeds for the iconic rice fields.
I was lucky enough to stay at a number of hotels during my stay from the Kamaneka Rasa Sayang Ubud whose entrance is hidden to the untrained eye on one of the main roads of Ubud giving it a sense mystery before you’ve even walked through reception. This hotel magnificently creates a feeling of relaxation which is surprising considering its proximity to the hussle and bussle. The hotel is ideal as a central hub for experiencing the island being close to the Mount Batar volcano and beautiful gala dinner venue Taman Ayun temple.
For my final two days I stayed at the jaw dropping Grand Nikko Beach Resort. From the moment I arrived I felt relaxed, a home away from home. Staying in one of the resorts Villas I could understand why the hotel was busy with people even in down season. This resort was perfect for an incentive trip with the idea of staying somewhere all inclusive, the hotel offers a number of wow factor locations to have gala dinners, beach BBQ’s and outdoor buffets. It caters for everyone. Leaving was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do – I couldn’t be more excited to introduce this beautiful island to our clients and share these once in a life time experiences.