I am just back from my virgin trip to Bali!
From our friends, Mrs SOL and I have heard good review about the beautiful beaches, resorts and even food that Bali has to offer. Therefore, we have been so looking forward to this trip since the day we booked our air tickets online.
Batam or Bali?
Bali indeed is a beautiful island and a beach-lover paradise. If you were to ask me to compare Bali to Batam based on my own experience, I would say Bali is more commercialised and touristy whereas Batam is more laid back and simple. To put it simply, I would like to put it this way:
1. Batam – Ideal for a short getaway. Family and friends’ retreat. Price is reasonable.
2. Bali – A comprehensive holiday (4 to 7 days), Honeymoon, graduation trips etc. Prices are expensive.
We love Bali!
Ok let’s go back to Bali. Although it is an island, but it is much larger than you can imagine.
Among Singaporeans and beach lovers, the popular spots will be Seminyak and Nusa Dua. Both areas can offer you a beautiful beach with famous resorts that you can sojourn in.
As for the rest not to worry, you can find yourself immerse in Balinese arts and culture in Ubud. For scenic seeker, you can visit Tanan Lot and Desa Candikuning.
Arrival in Ngurah Rai Airport
Frankly speaking, initially, I did not expect much for an Indonesia’s airport. However, Nguarah Rai international airport changed this impression of mine, and I must comment that I was quite impressed with the layout of the airport and how it can provide a comfortable experience for the tourist despite much of the place is still having work in progress. I believe once they get the airport to be fully renovated, it will be able to provide tourists a greater premium feel, by having more shops and facilities opened for everyone.
I would like to advise all readers who are planning to visit Bali especially on a free and easy trip, to get a prepaid card in the airport. Once you have done with the passport and luggage check, you will walk to the arrival hall where you will see local drivers holding cards with names on it, seeking for their guest. At this hall, spot for a small counter located on the right just before you enter the DFS shopping. They are selling the card for Rup. 200,000 and this gives you 3.5 gb of data and 95,000 worth of calling credits.
You will find this card useful when you are trying to navigate your way, looking for any place of interest nearby. You will also find it handy when you need to call your driver/ tour agency to book a tour, etc. and yet not incurring a large amount of roaming calls charges.
IZE Seminyak Hotel
Traffic condition in Bali is quite bad. Somehow it will make you appreciate the COE bidding system in Singapore. The travelling speed can ranges from moving very slowly to not moving for a couple of minutes now and then. Seldom, you can drive more than 70km/hr especially during the narrow roads in Seminyak area.
Because of the traffic condition, the journey took us 1 hour to reach IZE Seminyak hotel from the airport, which according to Google map, it is 12 km apart, supposedly estimated to be just a 15 minutes drive.
It was quite a pain for both of us to endure the jerky ride. The good thing was that we were greeted by the friendly staff of IZE Seminyak when we arrived.
IZE Seminyak markets itself as a chic and modern hotel, located strategically in the action of all the happening pubs and restaurants, and also in the heart of the lively and fashionable street of Seminyak. Indeed, they lived up to their promise, the location of this hotel is fantastic. Once you exit from the hotel, you will find yourself surrounded by restaurants and retail stores.
The room we booked was the simplest – deluxe room. There are various other options that you can choose from such as a deluxe room with Jacuzzi, deluxe room pool (come with a separate swimming pool exclusive to all deluxe pool guest), club room and club suite.
For our stay, Mrs SOL and I had decided that a deluxe room will be sufficient as we will be spending most of our time outdoors. Therefore, we just need a comfy room for us to lodge in, to retire after each eventful day will be sufficed. Furthermore, we booked another accommodation for our second last day in Bali (which I will do a review with later subsequent post too~), which cost a bit higher than IZE Seminyak for its more resort setting (near to the beach, secluded and peaceful).
Although being a relatively small hotel compare to those villas and resorts, it still has the necessary facilities cater to the general tourist which are Gym, Restaurant and a rooftop pool. What I felt IZE Seminyak is lacking is a spa salon although they do provide a free transport service to their sister hotel, The Amala, for spa treatments and related services.
Breakfast is something I felt IZE Seminyak could do better. Although they do provide limited selection of variety each day (on their buffet section offers local delights, breads and fruits), but your main dish (which you have to order with the staff on duty) remain the same for the 3 days that we stayed in there.
I would recommend IZE Seminyak if you decided to plan an economical trip. A deluxe room would probably cost you around SGD$130 per night, including breakfast and tax. This will save you quite a bit for your shopping, spa and massage expenses. It is situated in an ideal location, surrounded by retail shops and F&Bs.
However, do take note on the trade off for being surrounded by pubs. In the night, it will get a bit noisy (or happening if you like it) on the streets, which in your room you still can hear people singing and cars moving. The party can possible last till 1am! So if you are a light sleeper or you are a person who dislikes disturbance while you rest, you should really reconsider your choice.
Other than that, IZE Seminyak is definitely a good choice for the party lover, shopping addicts and beach lovers (15 min walk to the Seminyak beach).
That’s all for part 1. Do stay tuned for part 2 in which I will share about our one day trip to Ubud. 🙂
IZE Seminyak Hotel
Jalan Kayu Aya (Laksmana – Oberoi) No. 68
Seminyak, Bali – Indonesia
Tel: +62-361 84 66 999
Fax: +62-361 84 66 988