Friday, November 25, 2016

Padma Resort Legian Bali: Location, Location, Location

padma legian bali - main pool


Legian is perhaps the most sought beachfront town in all of Bali by renowned resorts and hotels thanks to its strategic west facing location - you get the perfect Bali sunset over the ocean.

On this street you will find everything you need in a holiday, good resorts and hotels of all price range, great beaches, wide array of restaurants, bars and nightclubs and an art and fashion market nearby.

Most of the Legian hotels are close to the beach (no surprise there), and the most popular stretch of the beach is the Padma Beach (at the end of Jalan Padma), which made the resort I was staying in, Padma Resort Legian, the best high-end resort geographically in the area.

I was staying in the new deluxe chalet room, which came with its own front lawn and spacious toilet (no tub :(   update: I was notified that the new design either came with bathtub and shower or just shower only). In-room wifi internet access was speedy, which was a huge plus; and I was told the wifi access was available across the resort which I didn't test out. The price of the room was priced from USD220 a night (at the time of writing Agoda was offering the room at RM650).

padma legian bali - deluxe room


It's a big resort on a 6.8 hectare garden landscape with 5 swimming pools in the compound, including a family pool and an adult-only pool. It also came with a fitness centre which sadly I didn't get to utilise as I was only staying there for a night. I did enjoy that the resort was situated right outside a street filled with shops and tourist-friendly restaurants. I managed to get a taste of my first Japanese rolls on the trip in a fusion restaurant across the street. Convenience stores, shopping street, beaches were all within steps from the entrance of the resort.

What surprised me the most was the buffet breakfast the next day. Variety was one thing, the quality of the food was amazing. Despite the crowd (and it was crowded update: I was told it's during peak season and most of the guests were Australians), a table was arranged fairly quickly and there's a type of food for every type of eater out there. From gluten-free, to dairy-free, to the clean eaters to all-out-sin. I had the best butterscotch banana condiments to my pancakes in my life on this breakfast spread. And then I had seconds. It was divine.

The ups:
Good wifi access in-room. Family-friendly resort. Good facilities and 5 pools to choose from, you can view Legian sunset over at the infinity pool in front of the beach with a beer in hand from the pool bar. The room was pleasantly quiet, I suspected it's furnished with good sound-proofing walls, I managed to get much needed peaceful sleep throughout the night. Service was attentive and speedy and on ground staff was helpful to my requests. Love the location of the resort, within reach to everything you need or want in a short bali trip: shopping, food, beach. Great great breakfast.

The downs:
It can get crowded during both shoulder and peak season. You will not be able to find a quiet space in any of the 5 available pools on the resorts. And if you do no like the sounds of screaming or laughing children, this resort is not for you. Both infinity pool and adult pool have an unpleasant view of the street filled with tourists and coconut trees in front of the beach so sunset view will not be an unobstructed one (check photo below).

The neutrals: 
It is not beachfront. Depending on what you are looking for, this can be a major or not-so-major factor in your resort hunting in Bali. There are ample parking space should you want to rent a car but uber is abundance and affordable in the area.

Verdict: 
If you're looking for a quick trip to Bali wanting to taste a little bit of everything, this is the perfect resort. It offers comfort, convenience, food, shopping and quick walk to the beach. It doesn't offer great scenery but it's what expected in a high touristy area. If you're on a honeymoon and want peace and quiet throughout your stay outside of your hotel room with amazing scenery, then I suggest you check out Padma Ubud in the north.


padma legian bali - beach pool
said ocean view infinity pool  


padma legian bali - entrance
culture at the entrance 


padma legian bali - main pool
main pool - the only time you get the pool to yourself 


padma legian bali - deluxe room
front lawn of my room


breakfast
best butterscotch banana with pancake breakfast ever 


Padma Resort Legian 
Jalan Padma No. 1 
Legian, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Contact: +62 361 752 111


Rating:
Cleanliness: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5 
Service: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Location: 4.5/5 
Facilities: 4/5
Ambience: 3/5

Monday, November 21, 2016

Klebang Sand Dunes @ Melaka

Melaka is my home town and once a month I will visit my parents who still live there, I might be a Melakan and while I have not explored much the city as much as a local should, I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about the city.

Yet the first time I heard about the Klebang Sand Dunes was from a friend in Bali who sent me pictures of the place. 

Klebang Sand Dunes

"What mystical place is this?" I asked. 

"It's your hometown!" he exclaimed. 

I was shocked. A little embarrassed. But most of all, intrigued. 
I need to seek this place out. 

So I did. 

Klebang Sand Dunes
(directions to get here is at the bottom of the post)

First of all, I must warn you, this is not a dessert, it is not middle east, there will be no activities such like sand surfing and four wheel drives here.

In fact, it is a lot less romantic than you think, these hills are land fill sand, meant to be removed eventually to fill that sea in front for big developments coming in.

However, it is a great place for some private sunset viewings, the hills gave amazing landscape shots; these factors were enough to attract Melakan instagrammers and college students to gather with their balloons, cameras and guitars, conquer a "hill" and camp while waiting for the sun to set.

Klebang Sand Dunes


Klebang Sand Dunes


Klebang Sand Dunes


Klebang Sand Dunes - Nicolekiss


Klebang Sand Dunes



Directions: 
To get here, key in waze to get yourself to Pantai Klebang (Klebang beach), you will know you hit the beach when there's a row of bus-convert-kitchens parked alongside stalls selling coconut shakes and food. Find your way down the road that leads to the pinned mark in the image below.

You will come to the end of the road where they blocked the remaining journey with large pipes. Park your car in front and start walking. It's a 25 min walk on loose stone roads, one way; just like the photo below. You will know you have arrived when you see the hills in the distance (image above).






Monday, October 24, 2016

Hotel Review: Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel Bali

Following my grand Indonesia trip that ended on a sweet, albeit too short, note, I got back to KL and within two days decided that I would return to Bali within the week for 6 days.

After my previous pleasant stay at the Golden Tulip in Lombok, my friend Febrian hooked me up with Golden Tulip in Bali to get me settled in for a couple of days. 

The hotel is located in Jimbaran hills, right next to the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park where you will see the famous sculpture by Nyoman Nuarta whose gallery I visited in Bandung. An unusual location, I thought, as I was driven 20 minutes south of the international airport, passing by small and quiet roads before reaching the grand lobby of the hotel. 

20160930-201Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel Lobby


The hotel hosted an impressive 268 rooms and suites, a grand ballroom, wedding chapel, 8 meeting rooms and two outdoor pools. Something I didn't expect coming from a hotel hidden in such a neighbourhood, the compound was massive. The facilities such as gym and spa were a bit jaded but given the price (at ~RM240 for the Deluxe room on Agoda), it's really a steal. 

golden tulip bali
Deluxe Room - my room


The ups: 
The room given to me was a spacious Deluxe room with separate shower and toilet, it even came with a balcony. The bed and pillows were comfortable and when there was a problem with my room key, they sent someone up to have it replaced for me. The service at the restaurant was attentive, despite being the only patron that afternoon, the ala carte menu was surprisingly delicious and affordable. I appreciate the complimentary desserts served with a letter in the room for the guest. 

The downs: 
This was perhaps the biggest down for me during my stay, which was none of the hotel staff's fault but more perhaps due to its location. On my second night, the bar/club across the hotel was having a 'live band' (local music) that lasted till 2am in the morning, despite staying on the highest floor, the lack of sound-proofing in the room was proving to make my sleep a difficult one. 

The neutrals: 
The hotel is situated a bit far from all the touristy hotspots of Southern Bali but can easily be solved by renting a bike or car. Majority of the guests at the hotel were from China so there will be days the restaurant and lobby were filled with Chinese tourists, which didn't bother me but just a note should you wake up one day mistakenly thought yourself transported to China. 

Verdict: 
Now my honest thought, you are looking at a four star hotel at the price of RM200 for their standard room, given the amount of facilities you receive and the room space you get, and this is Bali we are talking about, it's a decent deal. 

penthouse golden tulip bali
Royal Suite aka penthouse


penthouse golden tulip bali
Jacuzzi in Royal Suite


Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel
Complimentary desserts


Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel
spa


Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel


Golden tulip
outdoor pool (pardon the exposure as it was a photo for my Instagram @nicootan )


Golden tulip


Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel & Convention Bali 
Jalan Raya Uluwatu Br. Giri Dharma Ungasan,
Kuta Selatan, Bali 80364, Indonesia
Contact: +62 361 849 8000


Rating:
Cleanliness: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 5/5
Food: 4/5
Location: 3/5
Facilities: 3/5