Wednesday, May 8, 2013

2013 May: Indonesia: Bali

Travel Date: May 4-7, 2013

Bali (Denpasar), Cebu Pacific’s 20th international destination which debut last March 2013.

Before, most of the Filipino travelers would still go to Jakarta, Malaysia or Singapore first. Then take a connecting flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport to reach Bali.  Now you can reach Bali with direct flight from Manila, I bought this ticket (May 2013) last February 2013 during the online sale on behalf of the 20th Traveland Tour Expo. (Base Fare + Fuel Surcharge of 2671.50Php/way)

Blame it to Memories of Eat Pray Love?
Around 2004, Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) brought “Something Happened in Bali”, which was shown in abs-cbn (local channel in the Philippines) as “Memories of Bali”.  The first and last episodes of the series have done justice in promoting Bali as a tourist destination.


In 2010, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray, Love” has become more popular after Julia Robert gave life to it on film.  A story about a woman looking for herself and found love in Bali, after which meeting Ketut Liyer became a popular attraction in Ubud, Bali.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. 
You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes 
even travel around the world looking for it.”

“Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy 
will come to you and clean away dirty energy.” 
- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Where to stay?
Most of my readings, travelers normally take half of their trip in Ubud (in the middle of the green fields to meet Ketut Liyer).  Then, on the second half, they stay by the beach.  Since I've been to the Philippine pride Banaue Rice Terraces, Bontoc, and Sagada, I decided to skip staying in Ubud.

In the beach area, after reading different blogs and trip reports, I would decide to stay on Seminyak area, posh and villa types of accommodation are offered there.  But after seeing and experiencing the area, I would love to stay in Kuta-Legian area, preferably near Jl. Raya Kuta (Beach Walk mall near Jl. Poppies II), Kuta Square, Kuta Center, and Discovery Kartika Plaza.

My choice is not bad at all, The 101 Legian.  There is a superior room originally with room rate of 488USD (19,976.00Php)/night, but with the flash deal at agoda.com (early booking saver rate), I got it at 2855Php/night.  (But if you do it in booking.com, you’ll get it in much cheaper price of additional hundred peso discount.)

Check-in Experience: Average - For me their check-in schedule time of 3:00pm is too late this is normally 12:00nn to others.  But since there is no other choice and so as to make the time useful, we rested for a while at their lobby overlooking Jl. Raya, then we left our luggage at their Safety Room, used their very stylish washroom and finally left for the initial street walk at Legian.


Room: Excellent - Stylish design, well lighted, bedding is clean with 2 standard pillows and 1 square pillow; I must commend their split-type air conditioner which is very reliable and the clean slippers provided; They also have mini bar, free set of coffee, tea, and sugar, thermostat and cups; I appreciate the most is the window scene, the rain shower and the featured bidet (which is not often expected in Indonesia).


On that note, although incandescent color bulbs were used, I still prefer fluorescent lights.  For me the single beds they have are too small compared to other hotels I booked on other North-East Asia and South-East Asia Islands & Peninsula.  The door knob they used to close the bathroom is too small and hard to control.  Noise is much evident if you are assigned to interconnected rooms.  The plasma television installed on the wall only offers 3 English channels (Channel News Asia, BBC, and Movie channel).  WiFi connection is intermittent, if you stopped browsing in less than 1 minute, you have to reconnect.  Also, the login details changes everyday.  Outside calls even if it is a local number is prohibited if you did not pay deposit fees.

Housekeeping: Excellent - The room is always being cleaned, toiletries are replaced, complimentary bottled water and teas are provided daily.


Culinary Experience: Good - Daily breakfast has variety of choices - local pasta, rice, mixed vegetables, bacon and egg which they cook on the spot.  Drinks like iced orange, apple juice, ice tea, coffee, cold chocolate, fresh milk, hot milk, creamer.  Different fruits, bread, pastries and muffins. Also, chocolate and corn cereals.


Issues and Suggestions:
1. Not sure if it is due to Wi-Fi connection - for an iPad, when you stop browsing in less than 1 minute, you’ll be automatically logged-out; for Samsung phone, you need to get the new login details everyday as they change it.

2. Due to its architecture and facilities, our ceiling (3F) happened to be the flooring of the rooftop dine and music lounge (4F). That means you can hear movements and absolute noise as early as 6:00am as they prepare for breakfast and until late 11:00pm for the after party.

Recommendation from the Management: Due to the hotel architecture and facilities, The 101 Legian is not recommended for family travel with young children (below 10 years) & Senior Citizen.

My Total Impression of The 101: Excellent - Their tagline is real. I had a smart stylish experience.  After all I got it at a very fantastic deal!

The 101 Legian
Jl. Raya Legian no. 117, Bali
Website: http://www.the101bali.com/