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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default Bali - Where to stay, what to do?

    My wife and I are thinking of heading to Bali in September or October of this year for 2 weeks. We want a nice relaxing beach holiday for a change. Can any Mactalkers offer any recommendations on hotels or what to do whilst there, it would be greatly appreciated.

    We been to Thailand now for many years and our last 2 trips have been to Europe, this year we want to bring the pace back a little and sit on a nice beach and do basically nothing...

    Also has anyone flown Jetstar Star Class, if so is it worth it? We are Qantas Club members so the lounge access is included for us if we fly Jetstar or Qantas on any class but after the In Air info, the seats, cabin, food etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers Daniel
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  2. #2

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    Daniel, it all depends on your budget and your taste. Upmarket (v expensive) and secure resorts for the more nervous can be found at Nusa Dua - eg Sheraton et al. They have private beaches where the vendors can't hassle you. Cheaper accommodation is in Kuta which is where the night life is - The Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta is pretty amazing but not exactly quiet. More family friendly accommodation is at the Holiday Inn at Kuta (not sure if its still there) or at Sanur Beach and up the east coast. Traditional Balinese accommodation inland at Ubud (but long way from the beach). Basically you can have anything from cheap and cheerful backpacker style to 5 star. Things to do - shopping and nightlife in Kuta, go to Ubed for traditional Balinese culture, art and crafts. Go / learn scuba diving (but check out the operator first), white water rafting, golf, fishing, surfing etc.
    Tend to avoid Jetstar due to previous negative experience so won't comment.
    Regarding the vendors - same as Thailand, they are just trying to make ends meet so a polite no usually keeps them away after a while.
    Regarding risk in Bali - this is something you have to decide for yourself. By all means check out the Aust govt warnings and smart traveller. Risk is significantly reduced by not going to nightclubs. I love Bali and much prefer it to Phuket, but maybe its because I lived in Indonesia for many years.
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  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sunshine Coast
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    960

    Default

    We go to Bali regularly and often stay in Sanur it is quieter than the Kuta-Legion strip. It would be my recommendation for someone wanting a quiet spot but with still plenty of restaurants to choose from. Let me know what sort of budget you want for accom and I will suggest some properties.
    We have stayed up in the Amed area for a few days, it is really quiet with some beautiful beaches and great diving/snorkelling. Just depends how "quiet" you want.
    Some shots of the Amed area.




  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sydney
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    973

    Smile Bali

    Been going to Bali since 2000 and except for the first two trips we now always stay here Courtyard Hotel & Apartments. We stay in one of the two ground floor apartments [106 or 107] (back left in the first site page). You can package it with Garuda though this is not advertised as such. It is 5 mins back from the beach and is very quite. Children are discourage. You are surrounded by restaurants and shopping.

    Flew Jet Star Star Class once - never again. To cut a long story we ended up with a $50 voucher which my partner used to go to Cains.

    From airport to where ever you could pay for transfers but that is expensive. Just outside of arrivals is the taxi kiosk - trip to above hotel last year was Rp50,000 in other words they are set fees.

    Blue Bird are the taxi's of choice as they always use the meter and we have never been ripped off by them.

    Over the years we have learnt where to buy the genuine clothes. Kuta Square has outlets for Niki etc and top name brands in jeans. If you are of a small to medium build (no larger than a 36 waist) you can try any of the big department stores in Demparsar itself. Stay away from the Gallareria it is an American and Japanese money trap. On Sunshine Rd at the back of Kuta, is the big French chain Carre Forre. Bear in mind that at most of the good up market stores there is no bargaining.

    For tailors, especialy leather, drop us a line and we can give you some info.

    For nick knacks just walk, walk and walk up and down Legion Road and its off shoots (beach side) you can easily spot the good from the cheap tourist crap.

    Things to do. WaterBomb park is a fun half day. The new Bali Saffari Park is great also.

    For day trips there is Elephant park with rides, butterfly/insect park, the monkey jungle (hold on to your valuables). You can take boat trips out the islands with snorkelling/scuba diving, para-sailing. There are day bicycle trips, white water rafting and trips to the smoking volcano, you can also do day tramps around this volcano. There are visits to various temples (wear long trousers and shirt sleeves). Visits to where they make silver/gold jewellery, stone carving and wooden carving. Most of these are one village = one profession.

    Just take Aussie money and exchange it while you are there from large exchange places. DO NOT use in shop or small places and beware of the shell game and out of sight counting. Always calculate and do repeat counting yourself in front of them before you leave. Just outside of the above hotel is a large exchange which all the locals use as well.

    You will need US$25 entry visa fee on arrival (be exact) you will then need rp75,000 exit fee (this exit fee can change so ensure you have enough rp on departure, check with your hotel).

    It is not so bad now but there are some beggars. (woman with babies - the poor kids get swapped around all day)

    And last but not least buy a Lonely Planet guide for Bali before you go.

    I could go on but if you want more specific info drop us a line.

    The Balinese do appreciate it when you try to speak a little of the local lingo.

    Remember 90% of Bali is Hindu the rest is Muslim.

    Selamat bertamasya (Have a nice trip / holiday)
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  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Default

    We did a guided bike ride while we were out there, was a really good experience. We also did the safari park, bird & reptile park - well worth it.

    If we go back we'd go to more temples, we really enjoyed tirtiganga water palace lots.

    Ubud is better for culture than kuta.
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  6. #6

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    Apr 2007
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    Perth
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    Default

    If you haven't been to Bali before I can recommend Inna Kuta Beach Resort. Book a bungalow. The Inna Kuta is one of the only hotels that is right on the beach, (no road to cross), Hang out by the pool on a comfy deck chair and watch everything/one on the beach go by. The hotel is also very central to everything so you can just walk rather than cab it.

    We don't fly Jetstar so I have no comment on them, Garuda are good and if you can afford business class do it! It's worth it just for extra luxury ie. more baggage allowance after shopping, and free champagne on the plane
    Last edited by Pink; 1st March 2010 at 04:29 AM.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Sydney
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    Smile Garuda

    Quote Originally Posted by Pink View Post
    Garuda are good and if you can afford business class do it! It's worth it just for extra luxury ie. more baggage allowance after shopping, and free champagne on the plane
    +5 for Garuda - have been using their business class for years and fully agree. Besides the extra baggage allowance, you also get to use the business class lounges at both ends - so much more civilised than huddling around the gates for hours plus it is quicker through the check-in.
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  8. #8

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    Default

    Stay away from the main tourist areas. Go inland, up into the hills and mountain area, and find a quiet village to stay in.
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  9. #9

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    Default

    Thanks all for the info. We are not really sure on our budget but we are leaning more towards the Nusa Dua area in a 4 to 5 star.

    My main reason for Jetstar was for the points as we are Qantas Club members and frequent flyers so we may use our points to fly over.

    The info is greatly appreciated, I will have a good read into it and ask a few more questions when we short list our hotels.

    Cheers Daniel
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  10. #10

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    Default

    If you are going to stay in Nusa Dua then I would suggest the Grand Hyatt. We have stayed there numerous times and it is a great hotel. Beautiful grounds and the beach is nice. (Plus only a short walk up the beach to one of Balis best right hand breaks, if you surf).
    The rooms are large and well appointed. We have booked to stay here again in August this year.
    Here are some shots of the pool and beach area from our last stay in Sept 09.






  11. #11

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    Feb 2009
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    Perth
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    Default

    this mite not be the most appropriate place to put it; but i want to learn more about mechanical watches. (my second hobby: watchmaking). so i was hoping to buy some mechanical movements. as most of us are familar with, counterfeit watches are dime a dozen in asia. so just wondering where can i find such things. not exactly taking apart a rolex or similar.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Default

    if you're willing to stay in Ubud, then I can recommend this place...

    Bali Purnati | The Bali Purnati Center For The Arts
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  13. #13

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    Default

    Doofus thanks for the info, the Grand Hyatt was and now even more so on the short list.
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  14. #14

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    Post Nusa Dua

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerthatv2 View Post
    Doofus thanks for the info, the Grand Hyatt was and now even more so on the short list.
    The trouble with Nusa Dua, IMO, is that it is aways from quite a lot. At least hour half to Denpassar and hour to Legion/Kuta. The traffic these days is quite horrendous especially morning & evening. The shops, though good, can be quite expensive so can the restaurants. See here for Bali maps.

    Though the Grand Hyatt looks great and properly is, it is a large place. There are lots of smaller and grander places with just as much catering for your every whim. Do a Google search for Bali Villa's. e.g. Villa Kubu

    Anyway hope this helps.

    Cheers
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  15. #15

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dekco View Post
    this mite not be the most appropriate place to put it; but i want to learn more about mechanical watches. (my second hobby: watchmaking). so i was hoping to buy some mechanical movements.
    Anywhere where there's a market, there will be someone selling watches.
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  16. #16

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    Default

    Well we booked our Airfares for last week of August and 1st week of September with Jetstar Star Class. Qantas Points, Club access and bigger seats had me sold.

    We have short listed our hotels and believe either The Westin, Le Meridian Golf Resort or the Grand Hyatt may be the go.

    Looking forward to going now for something different, loved Europe for the last few years but just want to sit on a beach for this years trip and do nothing instead of ABC (another bloody church) which usually ends up as AFC...

    Thanks all for the comments.
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  17. #17

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    Default

    Forgot to mention earlier that if you you stay at the Grand Hyatt you can travel over to the Bali Hyatt at Sanur on the resorts free shuttle bus and have use of the Bali Hyatts facilities.

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