Travelogue: Off the Beaten Track With Flawless Internet

Villa overlooking rice paddies. Photo Credit: Soori Bali.


Bali Part 11 – Following eight nights in three of Bali’s key travel destinations – Nusa Dua, Kuta Beach, and Seminyak, Michael Taylor heads off the beaten tourism track to West Bali, a part of the island largely undiscovered by foreign tourists. To his surprise, he is taken to a resort whose Wi-Fi would be the envy of most of the five-star resorts he is staying at on this trip.


Alila Villas Soori

A car came to pick me up at L Hotel Seminyak, a boutique hotel in trendy Seminyak, which opened in September 2012. My next stop: Alila Villas Soori Bali, which is located in a part of Bali I had never been to before, Tabanan. Since my visit, the hotel has undergone a change in management. And it is now called Soori Bali.

And I, apparently, am not the ONLY foreign visitor to Bali that has never been to this part of the island before. It is, basically, off the beaten tourism track. Not many tourists make it there – at least not yet!

There are only two five star properties in Tabanan, the town where I stayed, and I was to spend two wonderful nights at one of them: Soori Bali.

Getting There Was Half the Fun!

My greeter car not only had bottled water and damp towels. There were also yummy snacks!

To reach Tabanon from Seminyak, I was driven for about one hour through villages, past temples, by rice paddies, and over creeks and streams. The landscape was breathtaking. It was like traveling in a time machine to a more leisurely era.

Greeter cars in Bali usually have bottled water, and sometimes they have damp towels, but this was the first one that had snacks! There were dried apricots, peanuts, and some crispy Balinese crackers.

When I arrived at Alila Villas Soori Bali, staff were gathered out front to greet me. I was introduced to my butler, who had been assigned to make sure that my stay was as pleasant as possible.

Getting On Line Without the Drama

After being escorted to my villa and shown around, I was asked if there was anything that I needed.

I’m a writer, and I spend a lot of time on line each day. One of the most frustrating aspects of traveling is that I often have difficulty getting and staying on line when I am away from home.

“While you are here, would it be okay if I set up my computer?” I asked.

“I just want to make sure that everything is all right.”

My butler assured me that I would have no problem logging on, but – based on my experience at other hotels and resorts – I wasn’t so sure.

Password Free Zone

“You don’t need a password or anything,” my butler assured.

“Just plug your computer in and log on.”

I did as he instructed, and – voila! – I was on line. No need to register. No passwords. No annoying ads. Just like at home. For the next 48 hours I was able to get some work done.

Alila Villas Soori Bali might be a bit off the beaten track. When it comes to Wi-Fi, however, this stylish resort is definitely ahead of its time.




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