Sit back in your chair, get comfortable, close your eyes and imagine a tropical paradise. Friendly people everywhere, beauty, nature; what you’re picturing is Indonesia: A land of splendor, warm, welcoming islanders, unique food, a country consisting of 17,000 islands and a population of approximately 250 million.
I recently traveled on a press trip for ten days throughout Indonesia; I visited Bali, Jakarta, Lombok and The Gili Islands. Although only able to get a glimpse of the vast country; the places I saw were intriguing, fascinating, and amazing.
I am inspired to come back and spend a great deal of time where once only glimpses were possible now I would like to spend hours, days and in an ideal world even months.
We only drove by the Ubud Monkey Forest and saw a few monkeys on the outskirts but was told when one visits the Ubud Monkey Forest the Monkeys will take your glasses or anything sticking out of your purse or pocket and then if you give them a peanut and they will return the item, like a ransom system. I’m anxious to come back and see the Ubud Monkey Forest which is right outside the main shopping area of Bali of Ubud, Gianyar.
Although we stopped and saw the Uluwatu Temple, while waiting for the bus I saw part of the market, and zoomed in, as you can see from the pictures, I’m anxious to come back and shop at the Ubud traditional Balinese Market.
One of our travelers on the trip had lived on Bali for approximately two months and spoke of getting up early in the morning and seeing the women with their wares on their heads going to make offerings so they could be successful at sales. And he also spoke of hanging out at the coffee shops and meeting people. I definitely want to come back and experience the sights and sounds that make Bali one of the most special places on the earth.
While on Bali we took a tour of two high end luxury hotels: The St. Regis Nusa Dua Bali Resort and the Westin Resort Nusa Dua. Both breathtakingly beautiful; The Westin Nusa Dua Bali living up to the standards of the Starwood Hotels, a conglomerate of nine titled hotels seven of which are currently in Indonesia and within the next 12 to 24 months all nine will be represented.
The Westin Nusa Dua Bali was luxurious, located on Bali’s southern Peninsula just 10kilometers from the airport. The lush design was very beautiful, with waterfalls, ponds and pools as well as white sand beaches bordering the Indian Ocean. The atmosphere very comfortable, very elegant and the food delicious! The concierge and hotel staff was very friendly as was true of all the people, I encountered in Indonesia.
Pampering, romance, unwind and recharge, The Westin Nusa Dua Bali offers a specialty service designed to address any of your needs. They offer both freshwater and saltwater swimming pools, a 12-meter slide and a designated children’s area for safe play. The Westin Nusa Dua Bali has 334 rooms, and is very family friendly. Due to its success they are in the middle of a renewal project which began September 2012 and will be completed July 15, 2013.
After the Westin we went to the St. Regis Nusa Dua Bali Resort. All I can say is OMG! This place is phenomenal consisting of only 123 suites and villas it is set on nine hectares. It is one of the most luxurious, beautiful, and fabulous destinations I’ve ever visited. If I had my choice of luxury and elegance the St. Regis Nusa Dua Bali Resort would be where I would stay. It is the crème de la crème of what I saw.
The St. Regis Nusa Dua Bali Resort features both Lagoon Villas and beachfront Strand Villas. The distinctive Lagoon Villas with private access to the resort’s azure lagoon, and the seductive beachfront Strand Villas overlooking the endless Indian Ocean with their exclusive fragrant path to private beach seating is undeniably the most intoxicating atmosphere I had the opportunity to experience.
I very much look forward to coming back to Bali and staying at the St. Regis Nusa Dua Bali Resort.
For more information on the St. Regis Nusa Dua Bali Resort
For more information on the Westin Nusa Dua Bali Resort
All Photos by Lawrence Davis