Ubud is my favorite place in Bali, and this hotel is fantastic. The first surprise is that to get to your room you must take a funicular. Well, more than a room, it is like a chalet. All of them have a private pool with amazing views, dvd player (you can ask for movies at the front desk), and all sorts of services. Yes, I found a toad in the room but those are some of the good things about being in the middle of nature. The views from the restaurant, a small temple, are unforgettable. And the staff, as usual for these places, charming.
Nusa Dua, a beautiful little peninsula in the south of Kuta, is a place for tourists with money. There are luxury Balinese-style hotels / villas, like Melia Bali Villas, a small paradise with tropical gardens, spa, private beach, and exclusive villas. The only problem is that the water virtually disappears at low tide, and you have to walk hundreds of yards just for it to reach your waist. Taxi drivers know that customers are staying at Nusa Dua and so bargaining with them becomes a losing battle. But the restaurants at the entrance of Nusa Dua offer free pickup at hotels, at cheaper prices. Or it is just a 20 minute walk to the entrance.
The Four Season Hotel is in the quiet area of Jimbaran beach. The service is almost personalized to your needs, and the facilities are superb. Each villa has its own plunge pool, overlooking a deep blue sea on sunny days and a relaxation area with outdoor dining. The rooms are spacious, cozy and decorated with furniture and ornaments of the country, and far from a luxury ornate. In addition to the indoor bathroom, there is outdoor bathroom that's surrounded by lush vegetation. The beach is near the hotel and is one of the most appreciated by surfers. A few meters away is the famous temple of Uluwatu. Walking in the hotel gardens at night after a busy day of sightseeing in the island make Bali a paradise.
The Melia hotel chain is in the area of Nusa Dua. The rooms are very good, I was in a regular one and it was excellent. There are several restaurants, one even being in the pool area. The hotel offers canoes, there are sun loungers on the beach area (which is for guests only). The area of all super nice hotels. When you leave, there is a line of stores where they sell shirts, crafts and there is also a restaurant and a small shopping center.
The Santika belongs to one of the leading Indonesian hotel groups, and is a resort in a lovely area of mangroves, with access to the ocean by a long wooden dock and a dive center, Thalassa, which is 1st class. It has a pool with a bar in the middle, and an entertainment area with pool table and table tennis, massage room and all the amenities of a luxury resort. It also has a guide to diving in Sulawesi in http://www.vagamundos .net/2011/pagina.php?id=12011
The Oberoi Lombok is one of the nicest hotels of this chain. The villa has a private pool, a spacious room with a terrace overlooking the gardens, dancing for dinner or lunch in the same room and all the amenities of a so-called "smorgasbord". The only downfall is that it's not close to the city centre, Mataram, which makes mobility more limited and you have to rely on taxis. But the atmosphere is nice and relaxing. The small hotel beach has a bit of sand, but the rest is rocks and with lots of fish (dawn was quite a sight watching the fishermen pull their nets). If you're looking to relax, read and take a dip in the pool with the only witness being a starry sky, then this is your hotel.
The Rumah Mertuah hotel is located on the outskirts of Yogyakarta and is a complex of about 10 rooms of two different types. Guests can choose from either the deluxe style, which is wonderful, with a porch overlooking the pool. It included breakfast and excellent service. The place is ideal for relaxing, visiting the spa and also offers pick up service from the airport. The night in the deluxe room are about 600,000 but is worth € 50.
The Alila Ubud is a boutique hotel which seek to offer unique accommodation with personality and designed to make your stay memorable. It was ranked one of the world's 10 best hotels in its category in a survey in Conde Nast Traveler. The Alila Ubud is built on a hillside surrounded by rice terraces and you can have breakfast surrounded by lush greenery and monkeys who come for a snack. Then you can take a swim in the pool overlooking the terraces. The house museum of Antonio Blanco, a Spanish painter called the "Dali of Bali", is just around the corner. He died in 1999 but his memory is very much alive in the community.
The Hotel Taman Sari Bali Cottage is located in the northern part of the island of Bali, Pemuteran. It is a peaceful oasis where the turquoise Bali sea caresses your feet during breakfast. The hotel, with its Balinese architecture, is pure harmony, with gardens full of flowers. What amazed me most was the friendliness and courtesy of the staff. The hotel's beach, like many of Bali's beaches, has been affected by the erosion caused by coral reef destruction. It's the subject of the only artificial reef project in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Steel structures are going to be installed in the deep sea to stimulate coral growth with electricity.
Sanur is one of my favorite places in Bali, with a promenade miles long and a good beach. It has hotels, shops and restaurants for all types of budgets. For 6 €, including a nice dinner, I saw a wonderful Balinese dance with young girls and adolescents dressed up like goddesses and gods, moving theirs hands and eyes in sync. The Bali Hyatt is a beautiful hotel in Sanur, during breakfast you are surrounded by tropical vegetation and a pond with tropical fish and other animals, with a band playing live, and it blends in so nicely with the environment.
On my first trip to Bali in 1992, Kuta was the main tourist resort on the island, and on my return 14 years later, I realized that the city has extended its tentacles and has incorporated all the surrounding villages, allowing us to find, within 10 kilometers, many different types of accommodation, from 5 to 1000 € / night. Surfers mess around in front of an audience eager for sun on the famous Kuta Beach, a sandy stretch of 8 kilometer long beaches formed by Tuban, Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. The Bali Dynasty Hotel is located in the center of the action with a fantastic pool and gardens. The rooms are very cozy and there are several restaurants where you can find all types of cuisine.
Candidasa, in the southern part of Bali, has suffered serious erosion on its beaches, due to the tourist boom of the 60s and 70s as people ripped coral reefs for use as building material and eventually the beaches have started to disappear. Thus the hotels have very large pools and a big area for sunbathing and relaxing. This is the case of Puri Bagus Candidasa, with typical Balinese accommodation in bungalows and gardens around.
Tulamben, on the east coast of Bali, is one of the quieter areas of the island, and tourism development is still moderate. The hotel where I stayed, the Mimpi Resort, had one of those pools without a border that gives the impression that it goes off straight into the ocean, and the kids are very friendly, they spent the day doing cartwheels on the beach and making necklaces to sell tourists.
Walea The island is not very big, and has a single resort, with the same name. Despite its small size, there are several nice and interesting walks that you can take. One takes you from the resort through the jungle, across the island, to the beautiful beach at the other end, you travel, by area of mangroves and coconut groves, and the island narrows to a small peninsula where at the end is a few tens of meters, and is a great place to snorkel. If you get lucky, on the walk you can see the coconut crab,which is a species in danger of extinction and is now in very few places.
Seminyak Beach is a continuation of the beach in Kuta, and a very pleasant walk from the bustle of Kuta and the more quiet area of Seminyak, where the Pelangi Bali hotel is, although quite close you can find the famous Double Six nightclub, which even has a bungee jumping tower, organizes parties and night events.
John is a person who is worth getting to know, he is less than 29 years and in the last 25 he started to work as a porter in the first trekking to Rinjani volcano which is a majestic and active volcano with a lake in its crater, and is one of the nicest to get in in Indonesia. Three years later he was a guide, and he set up his own hiking agency and now also has a guest house where you can stay before and after the trekking. The competition is very tough now, and prices have come down a lot, but if you want to risk to save € 20, I recommend choosing the John's agency, as it uses high quality materials, and their guides are experienced. John does occasionally guide, when they come from National Geographic or the Discovery Channel to make a documentary.
While Kuta is full of luxury hotels, it also has some very nice places for backpackers, and Komala Indah II (the I is similar but more expensive) is one of the best options. For just 5 € you get a bungalow with a private terrace (clean and comfortable), with breakfast in the dining room that is situated in the beautiful gardens.
This small hotel is located on the main road of Candi Dasa. The hotel complex consists of small bungalows very that suggested a romantic atmosphere, each offer a small terrace where we can enjoy a small pond with fish, Nenufaros, Lotus Blossom. This was a great place to rest, and forget the stress. The restaurant also offers a range of varied dishes, and fresh juices.
Not only in the middle of Ubud, but also close to everything - perfect for romantic holidays! There's a swimming pool in each villa, as well as a large pool in the hotel for everyone. Comfortable, quiet and surrounded by nature - very relaxing. And they have a computer room if you can't bear to disconnect from the modern world! The breakfasts are very good, and the staff are charming. A great option to recharge your batteries...
The Legian hotel is from a chain owned by GHM hotels (the same as the Nam Hai), and is part of Leading Hotels of the World. Situated right on the beach in Seminyak, it is important not to confuse it with the "Legian Beach Hotel" in Kuta, which has happened before, because they have nothing to do with eachother. It is situated on the beach, and the first thing they do when you arrive is to warn you not to miss the sunset as it really is worth it. The smallest room is 99 square meters. There is also a spa, infinity pool, and luxurious décor. It´s the perfect place to rest after many trips in Ubud.
Bintan Lagoon Resort is one of several springs on the island of Bintan, located in Indonesia. The hotel is wonderful, large and open, which allows the breezes to pass through the corridors. The hotel pools are huge and spotless. The beaches of the island weren't the most beautiful I've ever seen and they were full of bugs that bit your legs called "sand fleas" so I liked it more in the pools.
The restaurants are amazing and every day they had sculptures made from watermelon. Near the resort there is a town called Oleh Oleh Pass where you can do a lot of shopping and where there are many small restaurants where they serve traditional Indonesian food.
I've been to this hotel twice and think that I cannot imagine a better vacation spot. The warmth of the staff, the location, the gardens, the beach area and indeed the SPA; everything is wonderful at this hotel. However, I can't guarantee that the hotel management is the most well-mannered in the word; indeed, some are really unbearable.
The prices of the hotel restaurants (5), are a little high when compared with those on the street, but compared to Europe in general, they are very affordable. The massages are expensive when compared to a good hotel in Bangkok, or outside on the street, but I have not had a massage as good as the one at this Hotel, and I have a lot of experience with massages.
It's best to book a room Palace Club, it's worth it, especially since you can have breakfast in the resort grounds, with only the company of birds, ducks and "ulus". The waitresses are very attentive and you don't even notice that they are there until you need them. It is the only place where you can have a coffee "comme il faut". Just wonderful. I'll return.
The humble, but great, Good Karma Hotel, as the name suggests offers a very cool place in a unique natural setting, situated on the eastern coast of the fascinating island of Bali in a bend of the Selang Beach, in a fairly quiet area. It offers simple but authentic beachfront bungalows, comfortable simple and a very pleasing for very good prices.
We stayed at this small hotel at the recommendation of a friend and it is truly a hidden gem. The Kebun Indah hotel has about 10 rooms and the cheapest option (ours) cost $ 25 with an a la carte breakfast included in the price. The room has mosquito netting and a ceiling fan. It's right next to a small rice field and a 15 minutes walk from Ubud Palace. It also has pool and Internet, and the staff are friendly and efficient. In fact, we had only intended to stay for three days and we ended up staying for six!
Nunukan is a small fishing village that owes its high quantity of tourist traffic to the fact that it is the nearest town to Malaysian Borneo, so that the traffic of goods and passengers between Tawau, Malaysia, and Tarakan, Indonesia, is relentless.
From Nunukan out also ferries to other islands of Indonesia, and that is why the port area has plenty of restaurants and some hotels. The Melati is the best of all rooms with fan, television, and air conditioning.
Thalassa is one of the best dive centers I know. It is located at a strategic point within the Santika hotel, just 15 minutes by boat from Bunaken Marine Park, where daily dives are offered in Bunaken and Siladen, and also offer diving trips to the islands Thangka, which are rarely visited and has gardens stunning coral Lembeh and famous muck diving or low visibility, but with many species. Check out the complete guide here. http://www.vagamundos.net/2011/pagina.php?id=12011
The 4 fish is a lovely inn run by a Dutch couple, with 6 rooms, and they are all made of wood with Balinese decoration. It has a nice pool, and the price includes breakfast and dinner with the famous chef Nona, who has won many awards. There are trips to northern parks where you can see black macaques tarsier, and they sell packages Thalassa accommodation and scuba diving. Guide to Diving in Sulawesi in http://www.vagamundos.net/2011/ pagina.php id = 12011
Although not a city Manado really interesting, sometimes you have to spend a night en route to the island of Bunaken, famous for diving, and the Celebes hotel is one of the best places as it is next to the pier and is clean, cheap and with great views from the terrace restaurant on the 5th floor. Rooms are available from all price ranges, from 8 AC with shared bathroom up to 30 AC with AC, hot water and satellite TV . Guide Sulawesi diving http://www.vagamundos.net/2011/pagina.php?id=12011