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My unexpected visit to #Bali brought a lot of pleasant surprises. Spending my trip in #Ubud and #StRegis, I witnessed the harmony of rivers, jungles, mountains and beaches that altogether form the paradise that Bali is. It’s one destination, I’m glad I explored.
Traveling to Bali was unexpected to me. I knew very little of Bali. I knew where it was, because I had sent people there. I knew they were 99% Hindu, and that it has great resorts.
There are many ways to reach Bali from the States. We did it via Australia, as we stopped to get married in Maui, but it can easily be reached via Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, or Singapore.
When arriving in Bali, I highly recommend advising your clients to obtain a VIP service via a hotel concierge, as it greatly expedites an antiquated Customs and Immigration process.
Bali continues to be popular for travelers. The day of our arrival, five planes came in at the same time, and there was an immigration issue for a little more than an hour. We really recommend the VIP service.
Bali has a low season that starts in January and ends in mid-June, but judging from the Immigration line, they were having a good low season. The high season is from mid-June to August. Their peak season is short - just December and early January.
Ubud, the Heartland of Bali
We chose to divide our stay in Bali. For the first few days stayed in Ubud, the heartland of Bali, about 90 minutes from the airport, at the Viceroy Bali All-Luxury Villas, (helicopter transfers are available via the resort, and they change the transit time to a mere 12 minutes.)
Traveling from the Airport to Viceroy Bali in the rush hour was less than quick, but the city is buzzing with the roar of the many motorbikes and cars. I like the fact that they drive on the left side of the road, so you see more. You know right away you are in a Hindu country because of the colossal statues of Hindu Deities that you encounter along the drive. Once you leave the city behind, the lush jungle starts showing more and more. The SUV moves into the heartland and it becomes much quieter.
Once you leave the city behind, the lush jungle starts showing more and more.
The Viceroy Bali is located in the town of Lanyahan, and once you pass their community center, the hotel is only five minutes away, nestled in rice paddy terraces. The hotel sits on top of a ridge overlooking an enchantingly lush forest. After a long day of flying, we knew we had arrived to something very special, upon entering our Deluxe Terrace Villa. The Villas are very ample, each with its own infinity pool and a gazebo. There are great views of the river gorge and the opposing hillside jungle. The sitting room is open with the bedroom area, and exposes a beautiful, luxury bathroom.
There are great views of the river gorge and the opposing hillside jungle.
Hotel Viceroy Bali
Ubud Cycling Tour
Sunset Mindfulness Meditation Class
The Viceroy Bali has 25 one and two-bedroom Villas. It is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The property features the Balinese architecture, with its tall canopy roofs made out palm straw, and there is great local art displayed all around. The hotel is owned and operated by the Syrowatka family, and the manager, Anthony Syrowatka, made sure our stay was memorable.
Trips are not always about the hotel solely, but also about the destination.
Ubud is a great destination to explore. It is an artist’s hamlet, with a busy town full of unique and awesome stores, ancient temples, and palaces. Some local attractions include the Monkey Forest, the Royal Palace, and the Museum of Fine Art. I hiked the volcano Mt. Batur, a 5½-hour hike, to catch the spectacular sunrise! The hotel organized private tours to the Holy Springs Water, and to a coffee plantation where we were given rounds of delicious teas and coffees to sample. We even tried the exotic Kopi Luwak, brewed from beans that have been fermented via the digestive system of mongoose. I wanted to work in the rice paddies, so the hotel organized a morning of fun working on the terraces with the locals. I hope the rice I helped to plant will grow to maturity.
I hiked the volcano Mt. Batur, a 5½-hour hike, to catch the spectacular sunrise!
The Beaches of St. Regis
We then moved to the St. Regis, to experience the beach. The St. Regis has their only Asian resort in Bali. It is located 10 minutes from the airport in Nusa Dua. I have been in different St. Regis resorts in Bora Bora, Mauritius, and Princeville in Kauai. St Regis in Bali is the biggest of their resorts.
Beautifully decorated rooms are here, and they have great living rooms and large bathrooms. We enjoyed the service of the tea and coffee in the morning, brought by staff, directly to your room. The beach is beautiful, with a generally private location. In addition, the Spa has great treatments options. I personally recommend their Reflexology and Reiki massage.
Bali is relatively inexpensive, and a great place to have clothing tailored for you. I recommend Anika Taylor, a name given to us by the concierge at the St. Regis. They have great prices, a great selection of fabrics, and very quick service. They arranged to pick us up at the hotel for both the consultation and the fitting, as well as delivered the finished product to the hotel.
Bali is very safe. I walked everywhere and encountered lots of young European women and men traveling by themselves, many staying in Bali for weeks, before they moved on to other places like Sri Lanka or Nepal. It is a very tranquil and hypnotic place so I recommend it very highly, especially for honeymooners, but truly, just for everyone.
It is a very tranquil and hypnotic place
We took Singapore Airlines from Denpasar to Singapore, and then Moscow (refueling and crew change). I am glad we decided on them. We had a great crew and service. Business Class seats gave us the comfort we were looking for on such a long trip. The seats do convert into a flat bed, they have good entertainment monitors and a vanity area with its own mirror, so you can freshen up pre-landing. The food was absolutely the best airline food I have ever tasted! Not having Wi-Fi access was disappointing though.