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A "Just Back" Report


Stacy and Pete

August 2000

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Hi all

Have been a little slack, takes time to get back into reality - here is our just back for anyone interested.......

Arrived back from Bali in the early hours of Monday morning 21 August 2000. Stayed 3 weeks at Bali Mandira Hotel in Legian.

Our holiday started off with just myself and my husband. Then grew to two more, my best friend from London (hi Felice) and our great friend from Perth, Paul. We then had another friend from Perth decide 1 month before departure that he would come too (now 5 in total). Surprise travel buddies arriving 1 week after we had …… my brother in-law and sister in-law and their 1 year old child, another friend from Perth plus my hairdresser of 17 years and his partner.

Customs at Denpasar airport:

Beware, have that Rp50,000 handy if you have over the limit liquor (we had 8 litres for 3 weeks). Only 1 litre is allowed per person and this is what the customs book states at Denpasar airport. However one of our ex-pat friends said that you are in fact allowed 1 litre per week of your stay. I don't know if there is any truth in this – maybe someone can clarify. Anyway that Rp50,000 never left my husbands top pocket instead we finished up paying AUS$40.00. He only had a AUS$50 note. Would you believe they gave him two AUS$5 notes in change!! Figure that one out??????

Oh, if you require a receipt for you bribe (oops sorry payment of excess liquor) they will have to destroy your liquor but if you don't want a receipt it is okay to take it with you! Hmmmm.

Mandira Hotel:

As always we had a wonderful stay at this hotel. Met so many nice people around the pool and bar area and caught up with a few familiar faces from last year (hi John and Karen, congratulations again on your wedding anniversary!). Only one drama (if you an call it that) at the Mandira (please take note of this if you plan to stay here)…. Our holiday brochures stated that the hotel had 24 hour room service (as it did last year and the year before) however on their new room service menus it stated that the kitchen closed at 10pm. Not great when you have planned to have a few very late nights at the clubs and want a snack when you get back to your room in the wee small hours. Anyway. I spoke to the new GM on our second day, explained the discrepancy between room menus and travel brochures. All was fixed within half a day so everyone was happy again. They haven't changed the kitchen closing time on the room service menu as yet, so don't be afraid to order after 10pm.

Four Seasons Hotel – Jimbaran:

We stayed at this gorgeous hotel for 1 night (thanks CJ for your report way back in March on this hotel. If it wasn't for you we would never have experience such LUXURY).

If you would like to have your own private villa with:…..
separate dining pavilion with day bed, chairs with footrests, dining table and bar fridge and amenity cupboard including toaster, kettle, knives and forks etc. etc….. with ice bucket replenished Free of charge twice a day, separate sleeping pavilion (king size bed, mozzie net, air-con. Ceiling fan), huge hallway that leads into this most AMAZING bathroom with bathsalts, after shower gel, herbal soaps, shavers, shaving cream, cotton buds (q-tips), tooth brush & tooth paste, make-up remover swabs …the list goes on.. and on. Another room attached to the bathroom had a separate shower and loo (with phone), outdoor garden shower, private plunge pool (watch out for the floaties!) and two sun beds with a market umbrella.

… then go for it for a special occasion. Or if you can afford it – well just book in for your entire holiday (lucky for some!!)

One word of warning though …. The food and beverage is EXPENSIVE (ie AUS$20 for a steak sandwich). We brought our own wine and nibblies (see Dijon further down the page). We decided that as a once off we would order dinner which consisted of salad, soup, spring rolls and noodles (grand total of AUS$120.00). Cheap at half the price – NOT!!!!!!! (and fairly average).

We had a very romantic memorable experience and now I know why the host of this forum calls it 'The Ultimate Indulgence'.


Visited one of our all time favourites, Kori's in Kuta – still one of the best for food, service and price. They have just extended to include a cigar and cognac room – VERY flash.

Went to Kafe Warisan – expensive but still great food (not sure about the service though) 5 people Rp1.8 million (this did include 3 bottles of West Australian wines 5 entrées, 4 main meals and three deserts plus cocktails to start).
Discovered a fabulous restaurant – Spago in Sanur. What can I say, food, service, atmosphere was all impeccable and went back there twice. Really worth a try if you want to dine at a VERY NICE restaurant. 10 of us went one night for a 'GLAM NIGHT OUT'. Try their Crème Brulee (to die for and a huge serving – enough for two people).
Dijon was a great find. This is a fairly new place that is open 7 days a week and sells 'continental deli stuff' cheeses, pate, french stick bread, butter, olives, artichokes dips, salsa, crackers the list goes on and on. It is on the left hand side of the round-about where that statue of the god wrapped in a serpent is (on your way from Kuta to Sanur)

Ketut Warung (Jalan Padma Ultara) still our favourite for Nasi Champur RP19,000. Huge and yummo!

Padma Hotel – Pizzeria for their chrispy chicken sandwiches, cottage pie and pizza.
Ryoshi Japanese Restaurant, Jalan Melasti– for everything on the menu.


A must is… 'A' Bar, Buddha Bar and Loco Bar (all in Seminyak)

Double Six (for a dance).

Forget the Sari Club. It apparently closed for non-payment of taxes but may have opened again for those interested.

Great swimming pool experiences:

Visited Hard Rock Hotel and booked into a private Cabana for the day - 12 people. They don't have fridge's in the Cabana as in previous years (maybe because everyone was bringing in their own duty free and just ordering mixes). We got around this by buying a few Bintangs every now and then and ordering buckets of ice, glasses and mixers (for our duty free). They now have Hard Rock Zoo in one of the cabanas where you can have an up close and personal with snakes, parrots, fruit bats, rabbits and the most adorable 1 year old monkey. This was a huge hit with kids and adults alike. Some really great photo opportunities here.

Bali Cliff pool

To summarise this pool – JUST AMAZING. The local Ulluwatu monkeys come down mid afternoon for their feed of fruit courtesy of the pool bar staff who throw fruit out for the families of monkeys to devour. Also another great photo opportunity here in the safety of the pool with camera in hand – no monkey is going to steal your camera or valuables here! You do however have to pay for the privilege to use this pool Rp100,000 per person for the day including towels – if you order food/beverages to the value of Rp100,000 per person you get your deposit back.

Well I have rambled on long enough, there was so much that we squeezed into 3 weeks it would be impossible to mention everything. I hope that some of the information above is new and helpful to at least some of your travelling to Bali. I will however have to mention the following disappointments:

We didn't get to Sammy & Susies Bar on the beach as often as planned,
Didn't catch up with some forumers as planned – you know who you are.. specially CJ, Barry Walsh's daughter, Brian from Woolongong and Clive and Peggy from Adelaide,
Didn't experience Casa Luna cooking school (see Felice's just back a week or so ago), and

Didn't want to get on the plane to come home again…….


Stacy & Pete

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