INDIE ESCAPE

Written by support. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on March 22, 2015 with No Comments

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Whatever traveller you are, there’s a slice of Bali made for you.

Words EMMA RAMSAY

Here’s a fact: Bali currently has over 90,000 rooms. And the hotel growth continues with no signs of stopping. With so many options to choose from, where does the visitor start? Certainly it’s tempting to stay at the same, reliable hotel you did the last visit. But before you return to the same lodging, here’s a cheat sheet to inspire whatever inner traveller that you may be.

THE BOHO HIPSTER
It’s about being part of the community – with art, cinema and events. Luna2 Studiotel (luna2.com) in fashionable Seminyak, aims at making the hotel more of a social hub than anything. Designer Melanie Hall succeeds with interiors dripping with funked-up modernism, adding huge doses of humour into the mix. The Space rooftop bar for sunset mocktails has a view to die for. Outdoors, the 25m Mondrianesque colour-blocked lap pool is the ultimate escape, with sun loungers for catching rays. Orbit restaurant is where you find all manner of fun takes on the classics. Descend its spiral staircase from the underground Pop! lounge bar where you’ll find the ultra-plush Lunaplex, a16-seat cinema, with three daily showings – a cool combo of nostalgic classics and new releases. The rooms aren’t too bad, either – equipped with fully-loaded iPods & iPad, a retro Smeg fridge, Nespresso machine amid Jasper Morrison chairs, Cassina Philippe Starck dining chairs and a Brionvega retro TV.

THE ROMANTIC DIE-HARDS
If it’s private couple time you’re looking for, look no further than to Viceroy Bali (viceroybali.com), an elegant boutique hotel, poised on a ridge overlooking the verdant Valley of the Kings. Viceroy Bali is a revered retreat for utter tranquility. Snag any of its 25 expansive yet intimate villas and you’ll not be blamed to stay holed up in it throughout the length of your stay. Each villa comes with its own pool and a mesmerising view of the serene valley below that was once a favoured retreat of royals. Everywhere you’ll find romantic alang-alang (thatched roofs) Balinese gazebos or daybeds that drive home the rustic but chic Balinese theme. Luxury comes in the form of its onsite helipad, the launching point for a variety of tours to the many wonders of Bali, including coastlines, volcanoes and nature parks. Meanwhile, the CasCades Restaurant is acclaimed as one of the island’s top dining venues, having been named as one of Indonesia’s top five restaurants by
The Miele Guide 2011/2012. Just don’t leave without first trying out any of the sublime treatments at the Lembah Spa, where the views of padi fields and coconut trees make the best prelude to the pampering that’s about to come.

THE CORPORATE WARRIOR
Discover how Bali and business can mix when you make Conrad Bali (conradbali.com) as your base. Long a favourite with corporate travellers, Conrad Bali has a solid reputation for business- and meeting-friendly facilities. Additionally, all of its 353 guestrooms are equipped with the usual amenities to make any business traveller comfortable. But for something more specific, consider the Conrad Suites. Located on a private wing and adjacent to the main resort, the suites are perfect when your business requires a more private setting and personalised attention. You have exclusive access to the Conrad Suites Lounge, private pool and Beach Club, daily afternoon tea and evening mocktails, wireless internet, laundry and dry cleaning, 15 percent off food and beverage, spa treatments and business centre services. Other Suite services include a personal assistant service on call 24 hours, in-room check in and check out, pre-arrival arrangements and a multilingual team to assist you. And when it’s time to mix business with leisure, Conrad Bali certainly knows how to entertain. It has a 350-metre beach at its disposal, lagoons and pools, and the award-winning Jiwa Spa & Wellness Studio offering wholistic traditional Balinese treatments in spa pavillions that face the ocean.

THE STYLISH CAMPER 2.0
Get your tents on. Oh wait. They’ve been put up for you. Sandat Glamping (glampingsandat.com) lets you commune with bucolic Bali; but in style and comfort. The island’s first luxury camping experience certainly lives up to its name. Immaculate interiors grace all five tented lodges and three lumbung cabins (local huts). Styled to be eco-friendly, each blends naturally with the outdoors and the surroundings. King-size beds under floaty muslin canopies, bamboo bedframes and hand-carved wood furnitures complete the rustic look. Certainly the views over the gardens are sensational; and the atmosphere itself is tranquil and soothing. But it’s the Regency chairs and chandeliers (in some tents) that take the whole commune-with-nature experience up a notch. Walk barefoot across the hardwood floors to your own plunge pool, wake up to the serene beauty of the padi fields outside, and sleep lulled by the lovely chorus of Balinese cicadas.

THE INSPIRED EARTH MOTHER
Bambu Indah (bambuindah.com) is the kind of place that will leave you inspired to do more for the world. They have their own natural pool with water so pure you can actually drink it. They grow their own herbs and vegetables, all organic, of course, that make their way to the menu plates in their restaurant, Dapoer. Take leisurely walks on tranquil pathways that cut through padi fields and a bridge that brings you to a natural river. Cocoon yourself in this lush, green retreat that overlooks the Sayan Valley and Ayung River. The houses are all once antique homes, belonging to Javanese noblemen before being brought to Bali to make this eco-friendly retreat. You’ll make no mistake in choosing any one of the 11 houses available, as each has its own character and style. But a stay in Udang House lets you find your inner zen. Set over a freshwater shrimp pond, it features a bedroom with glass floor panels where you can watch tiny fish swim by.

Royal Brunei Airlines flies Bali 4x weekly.

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