Subject: Bali recommendations
Hi Marghe and Marty, You don't say what you are looking for in Bali but if you want a little luxury, along with all the natural beauty of the countryside, there are wonderful, wonderful places to stay. My first trip to Bali was some 25 years ago, and I used Kuta as a base which was wonderful then - but probably not such a good idea now! Accommodation was simple but more than adequate, a minute's stroll from the beach, and very cheap. Since then, I've been back several times, most recently staying at the Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran Bay, some three or four years ago, I guess. It was gorgeous. Individual houses, Balinese style, with a sleeping pavilion, indoor and outdoor bathrooms, separate private day pavilion, and private plunge pool. Good hotel facilities and a lovely setting. If you want to be part of the everyday life of the country, it's not for you - but for a few magical day of pure escapism, it's just the thing. I recall that we found a really good deal on a package, so it's worth trying, regardless of what the website says. The second spot we stayed was near Ubud in the mountains - Kupu Kupu Barong, high above the Ayung River. Again, a great setting, not as glitzy as the Four Seasons, but lovely. (Just checked out their web page - and it would need to be ritzy for the prices, especially once converted to Oz dollars!) There is - or was - also a chain of Aman resorts which are superb - but had prices to match: Amandari, Amanusa and Amankila, dotted about the landscape, in the south, the centre and the east. We ate at each of them - which didn't require mortgaging the house and each was a remarkable experience, particularly at sunset, as the settings of the restaurants are stunning. We did also manage to have tours of the accommodation at each of them and they were simply gorgeous - as well they might be, given the prices! As I said, my information is a little dated but someone may be able to give more up to date details. If you don't want or need the glamour, Bali is still a magical place to visit. The temples, the landscape, the traditional arts, including dancing, music, painting, wood carving, silver etc are fascinating. There is white water rafting and other energetic activities and plenty to see in the countryside - with a well developed structure to make sure you can do it all easily, whether you want organised tours, car hire with or without driver, motorcycle or whatever. The people are beautiful, warm and welcoming and generous. There is also a plethora of accommodation at all prices but I am adding a few websites for you, if you would like to dream - and remember, the restaurants at the Aman resorts were good value - at least at that time, even if the accommodation was in the stratospheric league. Happy planning, Joan Melbourne, Australia