Friday, September 7, 2012


With its intoxicating mix of palm-fringed beaches, terraced rice fields, vibrant culture, and luxurious resorts, Indonesia’s favorite holiday isle offers the ultimate tropical idyll, executive summary by darmansjah

 jimbaran beach is well known for tis fresh seafood sunset dinners

Family-friendly Charm, with it’s secluded beaches, fabuluous surf, and dramatic cliff-side scenery, southern Bali offers a tantalizing taste of tropical living.

Sun lovers and surfers alike flock to Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula to make the most of white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters, dramatic vistas, and some of the best waves on the island..not to mention the luxurious resorts.

On the east coast of the Bukit lies Nusa Dua, a tourist enclave that has been developed along one of the best beaches on the island. Once a coconut plantation, Nusa Dua is marked by a tranquil stretch of white sand and offshore reefs that make the water perfect for swimming. Well-maintained facilities, spectacular views, landscaped gardens, world-class golf facilities, and a good range of children’s activities all serve to make Nusa Dua resorts popular with families and those looking for an indulgent getaway. Just north of Nusa Dua is Tanjung Benoa, a relaxed beach side neighborhood where water sports are the main draw. Windsurfing, parasailing, waterskiing, and all things aquatic are well served by operators from individual resorts. There is safe swimming in Benoa as well, so the resorts lining the sand tend to be family friendly. From here, take a short boat ride to the nearby islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, where there are several excellent dive sites.

Each year from July to November, divers from all over the world flock to Nusa Penida to catch a glimpse of the gigantic sunfish that come to surface in the shallow waters.

Some of the best surfing in Bali can be found off the west coast of the Bukit at Uluwatu. The path to the beach is quite well hiden, and is rarely visited by those not wishing to engage some challenging waves, as the water is unsuitable for swimming and the beach is rocky. For leisure visitors, Uluwatu Temple is the village's main draw due to its majestic position, perched atop sheer cliffs above the crashing surf.

The village of Jimbaran is on the isthmus that connects the Bukit to the rest of Bali. A beautiful crescent of white sand and calm blue waters has made Jimbaran a site for some of the island's premier resorts. Jimbaran Beach is also lined with dozens of great open-air seafood restaurants. They are reasonably priced, with the catch of the day being brought in straight from the sea. Be sure to start dinner early in order to witness an urforgettable sunset.

Ubud Village Resort & Spa

A Bali Hideaway amid Green Fields – Relax in Natural comfort at the boutique-style Ubud Village Resort and Spa. Surrounded by verdant rice terraces and landscape gardens, the all-villa property has 27 one-bedroom villas and a two-bedroom villa perfect for honeymoons, families, or friends traveling together.
Canopied beds, sunken volcanic-stone tubs, indoor and outdoor showers, and gazebos all add to enhance the already romantic atmosphere. Each villa boasts its own swimming pool in a secluded garden and rooms incorporate soothing wood and stone, striking a luxurious balance between modern convenience and classic comfort.

While just a short ride from Ubud, the resort’s Angkul-Angkul restaurant offers sweeping views of the terraced paddies, some of which the property maintains as its own, and its chefs use only the finest ingredients. Among the activities available for guests are cooking classes and fruit sculpting as well as lessons in Balinese dance, music, and painting.

The resort is close to the Elephant Safari Park, among other wildlife parks, and trekking, cycling, and rafting adventures down the Ayung River can be organized to take in the most of Ubud’s natural beauty. (Jl. Raya Nyuh Kuning, Pengosekan, Ubud, Bali, 62-361/978-444;

Padma Resort Bali at Legian, A luxurious Hideaway on Balis’s sunset coast.

Spread over seven landscaped hectares on one of Bali’s most coveted beaches, the Padma Resort Bali at legian promises endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Mere steps away from the sand, the resort features 409 beautifully furnished rooms and suites, all equipped with LCD televisions, DVD players, complimentary internet access and either balconies or private terraces. A lovingly curated selection of works by celebrated Indonesia artist such as Nyoman Nuarta and I Wayan Winten imparts a special atmosphere throughout the property.’

Book a stay in one of the Lagoon Access rooms for direct access to the Padma’s Lagoon Pool. As with other room categories, their interiors are bathed in natural light and decorated in relaxing hues and Balinese-inspired design elements, while en suite bathrooms feature egg-shaped tubs and separate rain showers. Most stunning of all is the sumptuous Presidential Suite, which comes with its own swimming pool and balconies.
While strategically located within easy reach of the shops, restaurants, and attraction in Kuta and Seminyak, the resort provides guest with an array of onsite options for dinning and entertainment. Cool off with a dip in the beckoning waters of the resort’s two pools, or enjoy cocktails or snacks at indoor and outdoor venues, where live entertainment can be arranged in the form of traditional Balinese legong or kecak dances. There is also a fitness center, tennis courts, and retail outlest. Indulging in a treatment or two at the serene Padma Spa by Mandara is a must, especially for tis signature treatment, the Mandara massage, which is performed by two therapist and combines five different massage thechniques.

Gastronomic delights can be found at the resort’s exquisite restaurants, which include the award-winning Bella Rossa for fine Italian cuisine, and Tenkai for sushi, teppanyaki, and other Japanese delights. The Deli offers delicious cakes, coffee, and home-made ice cream, while the Sunset Bar is the perfect place to mingle with friends while admiring another gorgeous Balinese sunset. (Jl. Padma, Legian, Bali; 62-361/1752-111;

Sundowners at Ku De Ta, one of Seminyak's most popular establishments.

Hot Spots – For the street-smart shopper or the savvy traveler in search of the perfect bargain, the  beachside villages of Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak are sure to fit the bill.
The bustling villages just northwest of the Bukit are a haven for shoppers, gourmands, and night owls alike. Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak are dynamic and busy by day and night, with a high concentration of shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. This entertainment hub is ideal for walking, bargain hunting, and, of course, recuperating from all of the day’s activities.

Kuta is perhaps best known for tis surfing, sunsets, and nightlife. Surfing here is accessible to enthusiasts of all Skill levels, with equipment readily available for rent on the beach. The shops in Kuta are predominantly surf-oriented, and attract a youthful crowd. However, visitors can also find a multitude of souvenir items and handicrafts in roadside shops. Nightspots in Kuta bustle with a loyal international following, and are popular among those looking for relaxed but festive atmosphere. Nearby, Legian is fast developing as a hotspot for its hip hotels and gourmet restaurants and cafes.

The accessibility of Kuta and Legian, as well as the affordably of the resorts here, make them a favorite among those looking for fun. Families also tend to favor this part of the island for its wide variety for children and young people: bungee jumping, horseback riding, and water sports are just some of the exciting diversions that can be seen year-round from the beach. At dusk, crowds gather at beachside cafes to take in the view before the night’s activities begin.

For style-conscious visitors and locals, Seminyak is the place to see and be seen. The neighborhood has become one of the trendiest spots on the island, with a gamut of specialized boutiques, interior décor stores, and upscale bars and restaurants. Some of the best international cuisine can be sampled here alongside a youthful and fashionable set that makes this a vibrant and exciting area.

The HighlandsBoth Geographically and Culturally, Ubud is Truly the heartland of Bali
Verdant Scenery in central Bali

Ancient customs, a rich artistic heritage, and warm hospitality converge in the symbolic hear to the island. Add to this endless views of lush green rice paddies and forests, and you’ll begin to understand the mystical beauty that Ubud is famous for.

Ubud’s scenic countryside consists of gently sloping hills and picturesque rice paddies, which offer great walking and cycling trails. Take a tour and discover the smaller villages around central Ubud that still contain groups of artisan families-an exciting way to see Balinese art in the making. Ubud is also the ideal place to watch Balinese dancing. The Legong, Ramayana, and Kecak are performed nightly in and  around the Ubud area, including at the Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Palace) in central Ubud.

An essential  inpart of Ubud’s allure is the leisurely pace of life that seems to permeate daily activity. For visitors looking.

Puri Tirta VillasHome-style Luxury in Nusa Dua
Puri Tirta Villas is an enclave of four three-bedroom private villas set on thetranquil shores of Bali’s Benoa Harbor. Perfect for those in search of peace and repose away frgrand om the bustle of resorts, the villas can be booked individually or together, offering anywhere from three to 12 bedrooms.

Two villas are set right on the water’s edge, while the other two are tucked farther inland. Each has a garden with relaxation pavilions, a swimming pool, and an outdoor dining area. Bold interiors, softened by rattan furnishings and fine fabrics, create both a luxurious feel and a sense of being at home.
While serenity and privacy are the main draws at Puri Tirta Villas, there is an abundance of on-site activities. Water sports enthusiasts have several options for fun thanks to the complex’s private jetty, speedboat, and kayaks; big-game fishing trips can also be arranged. A full staff, including a chef and private butlers, will take care of every need and, should you tire of the pampering, the restaurants and shops of Tanjung Benoa are nearby. (Tanjung Benoa, Bali; 62-361/847-8197;

Grand Hyatt BaliThe Ultimate escape for families and romance-seekers alike
WITH A LAYOUT inspired by the fabled Balinese water palaces of old, Grand Hyatt Bali comprises four ‘villages’ set amid cascading waterfalls, landscaped gardens, and lagoons that meander through 16 hectares of lush tropical gardens in the Nusa Dua resort enclave.

An enclove at Kriya Spa
Appointed in rich woods and fabrics, each of the 636 charming guest rooms has its own private balcony with ocean, lagoon, or garden views. A unique feature is an alcove area with a daybed for lounging that can be coverted into a sleeping bay for children. The Grand club assures an extra level of personalized service and amenities, with a private swimming pool, concierge, and butler service. The rooms here are the size of suites, and some are split-level, with spacious bathrooms and balconies that open out to the tranquil water gardens and the sea. For those who aim to live like Balinese royalty, Grand Hyatt Bali provides the option of Grand Suites, Grand Executive suites, Ambassador Suites, Presidential Suites, and three deluxe villas.

 Grand Hyatt Bali's reception pavillion

With five restaurants to choose from, the resort presents a wide range of culinary experiences, including a traditionally styled Balinese night market at Pasar Senggol, beach front Italian dining at Salsa Verde, Asian and European specialties at the Garden Café, and the freshest sushi and sashimi, sumptuous yakitori, and tepanyaki at Nampu, the property’s rustic Japanese restaurant. Come cocktail hour, the salsa bar, perched 12 meters above the ground, offers spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and an intimate atmosphere.

 the bedroom of a grand suite

For active vacationers, the Bay Club Fitness and Health Centre features a state of the art gymnasium, an aerobics studio, glass-backed squash courts, and stem and sauna rooms. There are five swimming pools to choose from at Grand Hyatt Bali, as well as three floodlit tennis courts, a jogging trail, and a putting and chipping green. Guests also have their choice of water sports, from windsurfing, outrigger sailing, and canoeing to scuba diving and snorkeling.

Camp Nusa is a club dedicated away from the beach, it’s the perfect place for children to make friends with kids their own age, as well as to indulge a variety of creative activities, such as mask making, pottery, painting, cooking lessons, or dancing. Grown-ups, meanwhile, can pamper themselves at Kriya spa, where 24 luxurious treatment villas set the stage for authentic Balinese therapies and full-day wellness rituals. Nusa Dua, Bali; 62-361/77-1234; 

The Hill VillasA Lavish, Serene Haven.

 A tree-covered pathway at The Hill Villas

If you are looking for a luxe Balinese hediaway, look for futher enclave of Nusa Dua. Featuring all the comforts and amenities of a five-star resort, the property is perched a top Mumbul Hill, overlooking the shimmering waters of Tanjung Benoa. The resort is an intimate and peaceful sanctuary surrounded by stone walls laden with lush vegetation and panoramic views that stretch from Jimbaran to the Pecatu hills.

Nine pool villas, exquisitely furnished in luxurious Balinese style, are enveloped by lush gardens reminiscent of plantation foliage and frangipani trees and have one to three bedrooms with breathtaking views over the island and ocean. Indulge in the services of an attentive butler or enlist the help of the villa chauffer service to take you to Kuta or Seminyak to shop to your heart’s content.

Dining is a true delight here, where delicious meals are cooked to perfection by resident chefs and  served beneath the soaring ceiling of your personal bale. Spa treatments and yoga classes are available upon request and are held in the privacy of your villa-whether in the bedroom, beside the pool, or in lush gardens. Jl. Taman Giri, Nusa Dua, Bali; 62-631/847-8888;

FuramaXclusive Villas & Spa Ubud, Bali – Serenity in Bali’s Highlands.

The resort's 70-meter long lagoon pool

Consists of 18 contemporary villas set around a spring-water lagoon pool. Located just south of Bali’s culture center, this minimalist resort is perfect for those searching for an idyllic escape from the grind of everyday life. 

The lagoon Villas, flanking the edges of the water, feature modern lines, wooden furnishings and floors, and dark granite bathrooms, creating an understated yet sophisticated atmosphere. Additionally, poolside sundecks and private plunge pools make for an even more enticingly exclusive environment.

For a stay filled with absolute pampering, opt for one of the spa pool villas. These duplexes come with an outdoor two-person whirlpool an dedicated spa therapy area where guests can enjoy private massage treatments. Alternatively, the spa furama offers a delightful choice of soothing treatments, including couple’s sessions.

A view from the Spa Furama lounge

Between lounging on the sundeck and enjoying the ministration of a masseuse, take in the sweeping views of the countryside from Padi Restaurant, located next door to the resort. In-villa dining is a romantic option, while the Lagoon Pool Bar or Bistro Suling are ideal for cool drinks and light snacks.
While well-deserved relaxation is at the top of the list here, a host of activities awaits the more active guest, from trekking and cycling to Balinese cooking, dance, and wood-carving classes. The concierge can also arrange bespoke tours that provide priceless insights into the local culture. Jl. Raya Mambal, Banjar Bindu, Ubud, Bali; 620361/898-8688;

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