Travelogue: As Bali Gears Up for New Year’s Day of Silence, What Happens to Hotel Guests?

Balinese Adventure Part 35

Michael Taylor is scheduled to return home in late March. When he learns the Balinese will celebrate their Day of Silence – a couple of days after he leaves, he wonders if he should extend his stay to witness it.

Nyepi, a.k.a. the Day of Silence, falls on 31 March. As the Balinese New Year, it is a time to reflect on the meaning of life.

As a day of reflection, the Balinese don’t travel, work, or take part in any form of entertainment. Instead they spend the day quietly at home fasting, meditating, and otherwise doing as little as possible.

Flights at Denapsar International Airport will be suspended, streets will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles, and street lights will be turned off after dark.

So what happens to travelers staying at hotels? They will not be allowed to leave the premises! As a result, many hotels will organize activities to keep their guests from getting bored.

Anantara Uluwatu Resort and Spa

Take the Anantara Uluwatu Resort and Spa, which has 74 two and three bedroom suites and villas. Guests will be able to watch movies in their rooms or at the resort’s mini theatre.

They will be offered free yoga lessons. In the evening, they will be able to spend the night star gazing with Hotel the General Manager, Stephan Winkler, who has a high powered telescope.  

The hotel will offer a special shuttle service on 28 March to Padang Padang Beach, which was featured in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, to to witness the opening celebrations of the festival called Melasti Ceremony.

A shuttle service will also be offered on 30 March so that guests can see th Ogoh Ogoh Parade in a nearby village. Ogoh Ogoh are statues built for the Ngrupuk parade, which takes place on the night before New Year’s Day.  

I didn’t know about the Silent Day before my arrival in the Island of the Gods. I learned about it, in fact, from a press release that I received during my stay.

As fait would have it, I was able to extend my stay by 4 nights so that I could experience this amazing experience.

Anantara Uluwatu Resort and Spa. Jl. Pemutih – Labuan Sait Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia. Telephone: +62 361 895 7555. 

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