Michael Taylor is back home in Hong Kong, but his Balinese adventure continues – in Cyberspace!
Today he reminisces about his Grand Entrance and where he spent the night at W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak, the ninth stop on his whirlwind tour of Bali.
Talk about making a Grand Entrance!
The trip from Karma Kandara to the main gate of W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak took about an hour. It was then another five to 10 minutes driving through a grove of bamboo to reach the hotel’s magnificent open air lobby!
All I can say is, “Wow! This was one hotel with a significant amount of ‘Wow Factor’!”
And I don’t just mean the superficial kind of Wow Factor. From the lobby to the food and beverage outlets to the massive swimming pool to the rooms to the spa, W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak lived up to its marketing hype – “a stylish playground on this captivating island of gods.”
I had a spirited conversation with Public Relations Manager Aini Zariyah and my new best friend, Yingcho Yang, founder of BukitVista (see: Travelogue: Thanksgiving Dinner With Balinese Characteristics ). First there were mojitos at W Lounge, which is described as “definitely not your average lobby bar” (that’s an understatement!). Then there were beers at Woobar, which is described as “three levels of fun in the sun or under the stars”. That’s where the three of us watched the sun sink slowly into the Indian Ocean.
I had a hankering for Mexican food, so I managed to convince Jing to drop me off at a nearby Mexican restaurant called Taco Casa on his way back home in Jimbaran. It took some arm twisting, but I finally managed to convince him to vacate the taxi with me and join me for dinner before continuing on his way home.
The restaurant was opened by a Balinese guy called Ketut Naga. He had spent some time in Texas. While there, he not only developed an appreciation for Mexican food, he also learned how to cook it, opening Taco Casa upon his return to Bali.
After a yummy dinner, it was time for Jing to return home and for me to return to my hotel.
Jing dropped me off at W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak on his way back to Jimbaran, and I made my way to my room, which the marketing materials promised had “views of the ocean or verdant gardens”. My room, actually, had both.
This was NOT a vacation. I DID have work to do and emails to send. I spent a couple of hours on my computer, sending off my last email at 12.30 am. With wine glass in hand, I made my way on to my spacious balcony, which had both chairs and table and a large day bed.
The temperature was mild. The breeze was soft. The roar of the surf was gentle.
I lay down on the day bed and listened to the undulating surf rhythmically crashing onto shore. That’s the last thing I remember. Eight hours later, I awoke – the sun had risen. Both my glasses and a half drunk glass of wine lay on the balcony floor next to me.
So much for that comfortable bed that the marketing materials had promised me. I never got to sleep in it, preferring to sleep on the balcony the following night, as well.