Michael Taylor is currently in Bali, Indonesia, where he is spending three weeks exploring the sights, sampling the food, learning about the culture, and checking out what's hot and what's not in one of Southeast Asia's most exciting travel destinations.
Michael is staying at several hotels and resorts at various price points during his stay. The first hotel on his itinerary is the Grand Mirage Resort, which is located in Nusa Dua, Bali, but not within the gated community. He spent three nights there, checking out 5 November 2012.
The second hotel on his itinerary is the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa which is located in Nusa Dusa, WITHIN the gated community. He spent two nights there, checking out on 7 November 2012.
When in Doubt, Pack Long Pants
It was a last minute decision to wear a pair of long pants on my three week fact finding trip to Bali, Indonesia., and it's a good thing I did.
Knowing that I would be staying mostly at beach resorts and private villas on a tropical island known for its laid back lifestyle, I didn't really think that long pants would be necessary.
But just as I was about to call a taxi for the airport, I thought, “Wait a minute … Just in case… The weather might turn cold while I'm away from Hong Kong. I might want to wear long pants on the way home.”
I ran to my closet, pulled out a pair newly acquired blue jeans, put them on, and stuffed the pair of short pants I had been wearing into my suitcase. Then I called a taxi to take me to the airport.
Palace Puri Agung Lounge
My second stop in Bali was the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, which is located in the gated Nusa Dua section of Bali.
I was booked into the Palace wing, which was a bit like being put up on the executive floor of a hotel catering to business travelers. One of the key privileges was access to the two storey Palace Puri Agung Lounge, and – as I was informed during check in – there was a dress code during the evening Happy Hour, which ran from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm.
The lounge was open 24 hours a day. Shorts, sports shoes, T-shirts, and sandals were okay the rest of the time, but they were not permitted during the evening happy hour.
You enter the Palace Lounge from the second floor and walk down a wooden staircase to the first floor club house, which opens unto a terrace, with sweeping views of the garden, which has rolling lawns, a pond with geese, tropical foliage, and a Hindu temple.
For the next three days, this is where I would have breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails.
Breakfast (pictured above) was an elaborate affair with basically Indonesian and global breakfast options at the buffet. Eggs and breakfast meats were cooked to order. The Indonesian fried rice was especially tasty.
Afternoon tea and cocktails were both served by staff. The hors d'oeuvres were yummy, and cocktails were ordered from an extensive menu, which included a free flow of wine.
Nusa Dua Beach Resort and Spa 101
The hotel has 382 rooms and suites set amid 23 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. I stayed in a spacious two room suite with two bathrooms and a large balcony with comfortable lounge chairs.
There are seven restaurants and cafés serving everything from quick snacks to Balinese fine dining. There are also four bars and lounges.
The hotel has a full schedule of sports and activities – from power walks to beach volleyball – each day.
The spa has its own lap pool, café, and sports centre. There are complete facilities for meetings, banquets, and weddings. The hotel is located right on the beach.
The hotel was the first five star resort to open in this part of Bali. Most of the rooms and public areas have already been renovated.
What sets this resort apart from the more recently built properties in Bali is its sense of place. From the temple roofs to the engraved ceramic panels along the corridors to the carved wood in the rooms and suites, it is full of ethnicky touches.
This is a destination resort with a wide assortment of dining options and activities to choose from. You could easily spend your entire holiday there without having to leave the property.
Today's Featured Hotel
The hotel is a member of Summit Hotels & Resorts, a collection of internationally acclaimed properties that reflect local style and authentic culture while delivering a luxury travel experience.