Hi Just back from 7 nights in Bali. This time it was just my husband and myself for a little R&R a spur of the moment trip bought about 4 weeks before departure. Flew with Garuda, flight was fine and arrived on time. A very full flight from Perth, so were lucky to be one of the people in the first few rows of economy so we were out of the plane quickly. Paid our VOA and in the taxi on our way to the Vira Bali Hotel in Tuban within 20 minutes of landing. Pretty impressive I thought!
In the past we've always taken the kids and stayed in 'kid friendly' hotels that have kids club. This time we chose the Vira because....well basically the other boutique 3* hotels I selected had no vacancies! We were not at all disappointed with the Vira, our room was only about 2 metres from the pool, room was large enough for the two of us and very clean. Breakfast buffet was more than adequate...no it didnt have the variety of the Kartika Plaza, Padma or Dynasty but we had no problems with it. Part of the resaurant overlooks Jl Kartika Plaza and it was a great people watching are to have breakfast. This part of the restaurant has lowline chairs and tables with large overstuffed cushions (something that is becoming very popular in the more trendy restaurants around Tuban) When we arrived it seemed very quiet, and only a few people around the hotel. We left on Good Friday and at breakfast that day there was heaps more people. The downside to the hotel is that it is marginally abit far out of the main drag. We walked everywhere and rarely caught a taxi, but for some people I think it would be a little of an inconvenience. It took just under 20min without stopping to browse to walk into Kuta Matahari. There is also a church next door so it was a little on the noisy side Sunday morning (about 8am) and Good Friday morning.
We ate at a variety of Restaurants, a few that stand out because we had lovely meals at are Lucky Day Restaurant in Seminyak. I had some prawns in the yummiest sambal sauce and the presentation of the meal was top notch. My husband had a kebab and said it also very nice. Friends had the grilled prawns (huge) and said nicest meal that they had in Bali. It is worth visiting the restaurant just to see their toilets...they are something else! Mini Restaurant in Tuban (opp Remada Bintag) their chilli crab was wonderful (we ate there twice and each time had chilli crab) it was 50,000 per crab, you can chose your crab and they were of a reasonable size. We chose 3 crabs for the two of us. It was enough with rice. It was quite chilli and they gave you extra chilli as well, my silly husband put extra on and paid for it the next morning! Another restaurant we throughly enjoyed for lunch was Khin Khao for their Tom Yum soup. It is outstanding and full of prawns.
We had afew meals that we thought expensive and not worth the money, Kori's was one in poppies 2. The restaurant itself is lovely, and it is a beautiful spot. The food we ate was appalling a very very expensive. My husband and I both had green curry chicken. It was bland and had no taste to it let alone abit of spice. Friends we were with had garlic grilled prawns as a entree...4 little prawns for 65,000 plus tax. One of them also had the potatoe and cauli curry... she said it tasted like gravy. The restaurant was quite full so it obviously very popular. Maybe we ordered wrong. The other one we ate at that I thought so over rated is the popular (on other forums) Indonational. Maybe again we ordered wrong, as it also full of people. I had satay sticks and rice...more like satay sauce and rice. It was swimming in sauce and the sticks had very little meat on them. My husband ordered fish and chips and said the fish tasteless. Also, no sooner had we put our knife and fork down and the dish was whisked away, I hadnt even finished my garlic bread! We went to Vietnam on holiday last year and the food was incrediably cheap and on a whole 'vietnamese' food was quite nice...western food was often another story. This time I found Bali quite expensive especially with the tax added onto the meals and drinks. It is not the cheap holiday I remember it.
I'm not a really a shopper, but quite like browsing. So spent a morning up in Seminyak wandering into the boutiques and homeware stores. They have some different things to Kuta and Legian. We had lots of massages from various 'spas' near the hotel ranging from 50,000 to 100,000. I also managed to fit in a facial, pedicure and manicure. My husband was after a shave but because of a misunderstanding we ended up with a massage, coffee rub, creme shampoo and a rosepetal flower bath....long story...and no he didnt get his shave! Lots of laughs though....
On leaving Bali we went to the Prada Lounge in the airport for 100,000. We were there the two hours before departure and was pleasant waiting in there with free food (finger food) and a glass of G&T! The Premier Lounge quoted me 250,000, looked alot more upmarket.
Would I go back to Bali....this time by husband wasnt terribly impressed...but I had a blast...so I'd probably be able to twist his arm in a few years.