Tag Archives: Indonesia

Senetan Villas in Ubud, Bali.

I love Bali too, but once you’ve reached Ubud, you’ll really love Bali. Much quieter in comparison to Legian, Seminyak and Kuta along with interesting attractions and a peaceful ambience.

When you arrive in Ubud and your stay is a hidden gem, you kind of want to keep it that way. Lovely afternoon with a welcome brewed leaf tea, fruit platter and a traditional snack at the Senetan Villas which are approximately 30 minutes drive from Ubud town.

And, whilst enjoying your cuppa, the plausible view of the pool and manicured gardens within your own private villa is yes, all yours. Cooking facilities are available if not wanting to venture out in the evening giving choices for an inhouse soiree.

Spacious bedrooms with cool wooden features are indicative of stylish local Balinese decor. Private one and two bedrooms with a pool, the Senetan Villas offer great value for FIT, couples and families seeking a quiet space to wind down after a hectic Bali escapade of shopping, dining out and beach activities.

Wondering what could possibly be inside the wardrobe? Let’s see ….

My favourite as always. An outdoor rain shower and relaxing bath tub. What a treat with the Villa’s design making guests feel the private facilities have been created for a personal but holistic experience. There’s also dedicated Spa rooms which are near to all villas for that personalised treatment of any ailments which need attention.

Love spicy with some local produce? Try the restaurant for an evening of delightful cuisine, more traditional in flavour and the real drawcard is that you can ask for any dish to be spiced up or taken down a notch. Oh yeah, there’s fries too, they sneaked into the photo shoot.

Make sure the Body Cleansing Juice should be a beverage on your list to try out. The ingredients within has attributions of having potent antioxidant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only that, the fresh tangy taste leaves you wanting more of beetroot, cucumber, celery, spinach, honey and a splash of lime. Yummo!

Set on 1.64 acres, the grounds exude peace, calm and of course Australians love the serenity. When entering the property, you will be greeted by large trees which are quite rare. Senetan being within the lush forestation is a way of reconnecting with the natural environment of Bali’s interior landscape.

Ubud Town is 30 minutes from the Senetan Villas which offer a three times a day bus service for guests to explore nearby local shops and markets. The bus operates at specific times and will return to Senetan after dropping off.

If walking around nearby and just outside the Senetan Villas there’s rice paddy fields of which you can marvel close up at just how intricate the plantings are and how much labour that goes into producing one of the world’s greatest food staples.

And at the end of the day, there’s always the thought provoking appearance of an opulent closed door and wondering where you might end up if you walked a different path and through a different serendipitous door. But one thing is for certain, I’ll definitely return to this part of Bali. If seeking tranquility and relaxation, this area is definitely worthy of a well-deserved break away from traffic, airports and overwhelming technology.

The address for the Senetan Villas is Br. Penginyahan, DS. Puhu, 80571 Payangan, Indonesia.

Next stop some attractions and tourist sites around Ubud before heading to Sanur and back to the airport.

Bali’s Legian and Kuta Resorts and Spa.

Adults only pool – why not? The Bali Mandira Beach Resort and Spa is directly across the street from all of the best-known Balinese beaches. At this property, you can have it all and more with a massive five acres of lush tropical gardens to relax and have your own piece of paradise within.

Legian is a suburban beach area on the west coast of Bali, just north of Kuta and south of Seminyak. One of the most popular areas of Bali, particularly for Australians who love value for money. And you can enjoy the experience of a rich culture mixed with superb customer service – which seems effortless for the locals who ensure your holiday is a keep-sake memory.

The bedrooms are comfortable with many having interconnecting room facilities as the Mandira is perfectly suited for families and large groups.

Compact and meticulously refilled each day, the amenities include water, tea and coffee with a lounge area to spread out and have your own home away from home.

The pool area particularly, is set up for families along with a replica of the beach; therefore a much safer option when small youngsters are non-stop on the go. Clean and calm there’s a always a chance of new mates being fostered in and around the sound of splashing water.

The Balinese are well renown for their superior child-minding skills and there’s a close eye continually kept on the pool to ensure everyone’s safety.

The Pool Bar. What can I say? if you don’t care much for splashing around yourself, you can soon throw a couple of ice cubes into a bevvy creating that sound of splashing some happiness into a glass of your favourite coolant.

Well if a swim-up pool bar has passed its expiry time, the balcony is always a place of refuge for a quieter time after a big day experiencing the pool, spa and Yoga classes. However, if you’re a keen socialite, try for an upgraded room type which allows entry into the Club Lounge facilities which include a Cocktail’s hour 4:00 to 5:00 pm daily served with some delectable snacks.

Whilst on the balcony enjoy your welcome gift when you arrive. And once that’s all finished, it’s time to say bye to the fun-filled Bali Mandira Beach Resort and Spa and move onto the next phase of a well-earnt holiday.

Checking out the Legian Beach area there’s a constant array of monuments and places of worship that entice the eye whilst having a stroll throughout the day – after all – can’t keep eating yummy food all day and not head for a some kind of workout.

Named after the Balinese word for ‘sweet and pleasant’, Legian Beach is a popular destination for sun worship, water sports and openly available for the public.

Swimming between the flags is a must. Along with Bali’s strong sun presence, be aware of Australia’s slip, slop and slap slogan, especially those of us with a fairer skin who need to cover up and protect against rays of a very hot sun … ouch!

The J4 Hotel is strategically located at central Legian whereby comfortable accommodation is offered featuring a rooftop outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant and free WiFi which is available throughout the property.

Approximately 15 minutes from Ngurah Rai International Airport, it’s easy to access after a late arrival with check-in 24 hours a day. There’s very friendly staff on hand who instinctively know how to assist tired guests. The property also offers free on-site parking for guests who drive.

Welcoming guests with 190 air-conditioned rooms, in each the hotel provides a flat-screen satellite TV, safety deposit box and a seated area. The spacious rooms are fitted with soundproofing to ensure noise reduction and comfort. The private bathrooms have large overhead rain showers with free toiletries and slippers.

Umm Thai Beef Salad was made to perfection in Indonesia especially here at the J4 Hotel.

And what about the crispy pizza made freshly and delivered via room service after a late night’s outing of Bali’s Legian Street precinct. This hotel is conveniently located near popular bars, restaurants and shopping.

Talk about a variety of cuisine choices. There’s also a myriad of appetising Indian (and very healthy) vegetarian dishes to satisfy those hungry taste buds.

J4 Hotel’s rooftop outdoor swimming pool and the on-site restaurant are both on level 5. Hint: a great floor to afford you all the conveniences of swimming whilst enjoying a few bevvies, then proceed to devour a scrumptious meal. And here is the very kaleidoscope of superb sun rays mooching its way towards the end of the day’s activities.

Within the location of the pool, the restaurant is open for the evening’s a la carte menu and a breakfast buffet in the mornings. Make sure you book in the evening as the dinner along with drinks is a must to see the most amazing sunset over the relaxing pool area. No worries …

A cocktail or two while watching that sunset. What a way to finish off a hard day’s work of shopping, swimming and spa treatments reflecting on a treasure trove of memories whilst at the J4 Hotel in the Legian and Kuta area.

Coming up the next blog post exploring Bai’s Ubud in the hinterland.


Nusa Lembongan. Resorts and Spas of Bali, Indonesia.

Let the adventure begin. Greetings from the Manager Mr. Pande after my driver delivered me from the morning pick up run enroute to Lembongan Island. I was looking forward to some warm air and cool waves lapping at the shores of Mushroom Bay. Don’t worry no magic mushrooms to be found …

With Bali Hai Cruises, it’s an easy day out for day trippers or if staying at the stunning Bali Hai Tide Resort for a few day’s break, then this is definitely a seamless experience.

Nusa Lembongan is an island located southeast of Bali, approximately 14 nautical miles.

A safety briefing and some morning tea for a two-hour (give or take) ferry crossing. As always, depending on the winds and sea swell it might be quicker. But it’s always best to simply relax and enjoy the ride.

A smooth transit across to Lembongan from Benoa Harbour allows us to have a bird’s-eye view of the Bali Hai Tide Resort and appreciate the calm sea surrounding it. Ideal for families without worrying too much about rough, choppy waters. This white sandy stretch around the resort is a much safer option than many other popular beach areas of Bali.

Guests here can enjoy knowing that their accommodation is private and secluded. A quiet retreat in the heart of the resort’s landscaped gardens is just the fix most guests need.

If you’ve always loved bure style accommodation, then you won’t be disappointed with the interior’s homely feel, but also an outdoor setting below allows guests to harbor their swim and sport’s wear.

Did someone say a private pool only for guests? Yes exclusively and it’s a very deep pool too. At three metres at one end and people who are tall (like me) have to swim whether they like it or not!

A very healthy and delicious buffet lunch is served for all guests. Plenty to choose from and if in doubt, take a little from everything and go back for the goodies liked the most.

Or you can head down to the beach and take part in some activities; such as a glass-bottom boat viewing of the blue opal-look-alike water’s hidden treasures. Youngsters love this. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, there’s a hive of enthusiasm as the off-shore pontoon and Beach Club are well and truly patronised.

Saturday night at the movies. Outdoor seating for guests and nearby, the eateries of which you can also bring your drinks across and simply enjoy an evening under the stars – while watching a few acting on screen as well.

Take the opportunity to explore Lembongan with a free tour around the island which is offered to guests who stay at the Bali Hai Tide Resort. Definitely worthy of breaking yourself away from the beach and pool.

And drumroll please … Bali Hai Tide Resort is on the right side of the island for the most stunning sunsets. Not just on this day, but every day. View is from the restaurant whereby as a guest you’ll have front-row seats and away from the beachgoers. A glass of vino or beer and you’re all set for the evening’s light show.

Time to say bye to Bali Hai Tide Resort and next stop is the Acala Shri Sedana just further up the hill.

Looking from the Acala (pronounced Achala) Shri Sedana’s Reception upon arrival, you immediately gain a sense of Zen enlightenment. The view is far reaching across the escarpment out to the sea which in turn changes throughout the day with the tides.

Private Pool Villa? When you’re an overseas visitor who’s travelled from near or far, why not give in to some luxury and quiet time. The Classic Pool Villa is value for money whilst ensuring a retreat which has a delightful garden setting surrounding the pool. Aww and look at that day bed… a much loved novel is all you need and some chill-out music.

Natural light is what all Aussies love and this cool villa is an excellent choice for honeymooners seeking privacy and comfort. Netting to discourage any flying passers-by ensuring a sound night’s sleep.

Next up on my list? Two units of the Rooftop Pool Villa category which are perched at the southern area of the resort. Here they provide a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean and the Yellow Bridge in the distance.

Comprising of exclusive pavilions, there’s free Wi-Fi throughout the resort so you won’t be totally disconnected. Situated on the East side of the Island it’s where you can watch the sun rising over the undulating hills and resident’s rooftops in the foreground. Stairs are the only accessible means of the lower levels and of course a way of building up that appetite.

 A romantic canopied bed, plunge pool and lounging pavilion make it the perfect option for honeymooners or couples looking to spend some quality time alone together.

The Jala Restaurant is a scenic spot by the swimming pool that is open for all-day dining. It serves a versatile menu of elegant cuisine highlighted by locally sourced seafood and seasonal delicacies.

The Acala has a bus service which runs around the local area three times a day for guests. This offers an outlet for an experience of what’s going on outside of the luxury and comfort of the resort. Always great to return though and enjoy that cool pool villa …

And as much as I’d love to stay at these two properties, time to move onto the next set of accommodation styles. If you’re looking for a particular budget, then stay with me for a few nights at Legian to check out the scene in Bali.

Labuan Bajo, Flores Islands – Indonesia

Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport is 13 kilometres south of Denpasar. It’s Indonesia’s third-busiest international airport and currently one that has a visa waiver on Australians travelling to the country as a tourist (at the time of writing this post was still valid).  A saving of about USD35.00 per adult.

A short flight of 90 minutes duration and Labuan Bajo (LBJ) is well serviced by Garuda Indonesia Airlines from Denpasar.

Until not so long ago, Flores was hardly penetrable because of the chain of volcanoes which stretch across the 450 kilometre long but narrow island. Increasing numbers of tourists are visiting as Flores I’m told, is what Bali used to be like, but only 40 years ago.

When you see the harbour for the first time, you’ll know this is a hidden gem, with stunning views of which even the locals will stop to take in the breathtaking aspect of this ramshackle hilltop’s vantage point.

My stay was with the Jayakarta Suites Komodo-Flores is perhaps the best property located on the white sandy beaches of Labuan Bajo’s outskirts. It’s simply surrounded by beautiful sea views and stunning mountainous scenery.

A walk along the foreshore from the property, it’s incredibly quiet and the water seems much calmer and safer here.

A five-minute ride by Jayakarta Resort’s  shuttle service into the centre of the township reveals one of the jumping-off points for the trip to Komodo and Rinca Islands. It also marks the completion (or starting) point of the popular Lombok-Sumbawa-Komodo-Flores boat trips.

The giant pre-historic lizards, Komodo Dragons can be found in the Komodo National Park only half an hour or so by boat from Labuan Bajo. However, Rinca Island ( or Pulau Rinca) is a more convenient place to see them rather than Komodo island. The mating season for the dragons is July and August so they are often harder to spot during this time. Some privacy please …

Yeah, yeah I know I shouldn’t be picked up by strangers on motorbikes, but $5.00 for a few hours seems reasonable for a bird’s eye view of the island – and besides I’m much bigger than my poor little driver.

So this is what it’s like to fill up at the fuel station … hop in line and wait for your turn.

Some absolute bargains around, just a little difficult to take home at times but worth considering.

And some times, you’ll meet up with the youngsters from the neighbourhood. The cost for this photo was a pen each. Don’t forget when you travel to various destinations that pens, notepads and any other stationery is greatly appreciated by schools. Great way of clearing out the drawers at home and helping out because most of these items are quite expensive for young families.

Excellent to see children having fun with some old paint cans and not yet caught up in the techno age.

There’s a number of other touristic sights in Flores such as Mirror Cave, Snake Cave, Cunca Rami Waterfall and the markets at night.

Stall holders are always friendly and happy enough to do a deal.

Hot, hot, hot are these chilies …

Down by the waterfront of the township, it’s sort of l-shaped with a fish market worthy of an early morning browse in the centre. The main street only goes around one way – so if you’re in a vehicle and miss something,  you’ll have to go round again. And why not? The view from the top is spectacular.


The marketers set up early in the evening and are open till approximately 9:00 pm each night with a number of food stalls and small eateries. There’s also shops to purchase any necessities if need. Fresh grilled fish and other Indonesian dishes are on offer and the prices depend on the type of fish and its size.

Like a good strong coffee? Flores is definitely the place to purchase your stash.

As dusk sets in, so does the spectacular sights of the region, gorgeous coral reefs and more than fifty dive spots around the island. It’s a fantastic place to experience different adventures such as diving, snorkelling and fishing – just a divine paradise for all to enjoy.

For dinner at the resort, I’m trying out the local dish of Kerapu which is a yellow fish soup with rice. The chef here makes it with so many of the traditional spices which Indonesia is famous for – don’t go past this one!

Pool at the Jayakarta Resort is easily accessible with the most stunning sunsets each night – just absorb it as you’re soaking up the panorama whilst splashing around in the cool water.