Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Postcards From Bali

If you thought Bali was just another notch for your travel belt, we've got good news: with a little in-the-know, it can also be one of the most rewarding destinations in Asia.

Travel destination: Bali

Where I stayed: The Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort, which is approx. 40 minutes from Seminyak and the ideal escape from the chaos. Regardless of whether you have or haven’t been to Bali before, this is the place to stay: you’ll be pampered till your heart’s content, eat like a king and live like a kid: the resort has four pools and a 54-metre waterslide.

Who I booked through: Luxuryescapes.com, which offers bespoke travel deals at amazing prices. Need to know: the staff have personally tried every escape on the site (the lucky things), which means they’ve been able to curate each trip to ensure it’s the best deal.

What I wore: Lots of lightweight fabrics! It was extremely hot when I was there. I mostly wore sheer shirts with printed skirts and flats, summer dresses with shoulder bags and long-sleeved tops with shorts. Be aware that it’s best not to show too much skin here out of respect for the locals.

Suitable for (couples, singles or families): There are a lot of backpackers, couples, families and friends travelling together. Basically, anything goes here.

Best shopping locations: Head to Seminyak via the free shuttle bus from Pan Pacific. Here you’ll find lots of little clothing boutiques, cheap CD stores and beauty spas.

Best dining experience: The brand new Merah Putih in Seminyak, which serves sumptuous Indonesian cuisine that will set your tastebuds alight. The architecture is equally amazing: it’s somewhat akin to being dining inside a tropical spaceship and will leave you reminiscing long after you leave. Top tip: this place also offers some of the best cocktails in town.

Best drinking experience: Head to the infamous ocean-side Potato Head club to chink glasses with Bali’s trendy high-flyers and stylish locals. You’ll want to make it in time for sunset, so head here at least an hour before: the queues to get in can be lengthy, but for good reason!

Must-do - Adults: If you need a break from it all and came to Bali simply to relax, there are a million and one low-key things to do at the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort: from the 18-hole golfcourse (designed by Greg Norman, naturally) to the deluxe cooking and outdoor yoga classes on offer, you’ll never be bored. But let’s face it: the array of pools here is the big drawcard: if, like me, you’re a kid at heart, you’ll probably be content to make the most of the resort’s four pools, two jacuzzi’s and, oh, did we mention the waterslide?!

Must-do - Kids/Kids at Heart: As part of an ongoing program to conserve the endangered Green Sea Turtle, Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali offers the chance for guests to release baby turtles into the ocean. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is not to be missed: there’s something spectacular about releasing an animal into the wild for the first time. Not to mention the cuteness factor!

Highlight / don’t miss: The Tanah Lot temple, which you can walk to during low tide via the beach from the Pan Pacific. This spectacular building sits on a clifftop and is said to be one of the most spiritually important sites in Bali. Go at sunset to experience the cesspool of people milling around against an amazing backdrop.

Relaxation factor: There are a million and one beauty spas in Bali, but the good news is, you don’t even have to leave your hotel to find one of the best. The Pan Pacific offers a range of treatments including massages, facials and reflexology, with an emphasis on total relaxation. In other words, if you’re the type that can’t switch off, pay them a visit and you’ll soon forget your own name.

Budget (Splurge or Steal): – Splurge, but the value you get from your money is amazing. Note the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort is also happy to organise weddings. We’re fairly sure you won't have to twist your guest’s arms too much to come here...

Cost: Starting from $202 a night, you can choose from a variety of rooms and suites.

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