Bali Villas and Boutiques

17 Apr
Our villa - I miss it sooo much

Our villa - I miss it sooo much

If you thought that we splashed out in luxury in Thailand, you should have seen us in Bali: a deluxe room in one of the antique but modern villas, the streets lined with designer boutiques (all imitation of course) and going for a bite and a drink in one of the lounge restaurants – wow. My ears were twittering and my eyes were blinking because I didn’t know how to handle all of this wealth, me being a country side boy that grew used to bamboo huts in Laos

We avoided Kuta, the surfer paradise which to me looked more like an Asian version of Lloret del Mar or Torremolinos. That was the place described in my ‘South-East Asia on a Shoestring’ guidebook. We booked ourselves into Seminyak, and definitely left ‘our shoestrings’ behind. We were now in Gucci, instead of C&A. We tried to find the beach – the star of Bali – but couldn’t find it…

The pool was the only nice thing in Bangpli - luckily it was night

The pool was the only nice thing in Bangpli - luckily it was night

Getting to Bali from Bangkok was cheap and easy – thanx to Air Asia. The little inconvenience being that we were flying at 6am, meaning we had to get up at an inhumane hour to get a taxi to the airport. We had booked ourselves into a Thai family hotel (Banglpli) in the middle of nowhere, but only 20 minutes from the airport (which is close, compared to the usual one hour drive between Bangkok city and Suvarnabhumi airport). It was recommended to me by German travelers in Loas, and they loved the pool and the wifi. And I must say that was the only positive thing about the hotel. Food was basic, rooms were bare, the bathroom outside on the balcony, grubby men around with even worse looking girls…

Super modern entrance with hanging plants and babbling water

Super modern entrance with hanging plants and babbling water

Let’s say the basic Bangkok hotel only added to the astonishment and awe when we arrived in Annora Villas. There was an open modern reception area, with mirrors, lounge chairs and soft lights. I’ll never forget the cute woman at the reception that came to greet us with ‘hello MisteRRRR Tony’ as soon was we got out of the airport taxi. How on Earth did they know? A more personal welcome is not possible.

The mermaid in the pool

The mermaid in the pool

We had booked Annora Villa over the internet. There were some pictures on the site, but it hadn’t dawned to me where we would land. We were escorted (bags carried by the porters) through a modern hallway, with hanging plants and a simulated stream of water gurgling underneath our feet. We passed a cosy candle-lit (at night) restaurant furnished with local rotan chairs and tables and Balinese decorations. The swimming pool was too good to be true, it was an organic shaped blue oasis in the middle of natural grey stone, dotted with blossoming trees here and there.

Open living room, groovy

Open living room, with welcome drink

Our room was not a room, it was like an apartment. An entrance hall with a white stone garden and some antique jars. Dark wooden stairs leading up to the open living room: table for two, couches, flat screen television & DVD (!), but only one or two walls. The rest was open – like having your living room on the balcony with a view over the pool. The fans were gently purring and spreading their gentle breeze. Strategically located spot lights and floor lamps made the idyllic picture complete. Coffee, tea, mini-bar conveniently tucked away in the corner.

Bedroom bliss

Bedroom bliss

The bed room was next to our living room: huge mirror, lights and spots everywhere, 3 fluffy pillows per person, closet with bathrobes and slippers, safe-deposit. Well – all the things I had never had before in any of the places I stayed. But the best was still to come: the bathroom. Wall size mirror, a stone garden in one of the corners, plush towels, antique bottles of shampoos, lotions and potions – and the top of the bill:

  • The bathtub filled with petals called for a photoshoot

    The bathtub filled with petals called for a photoshoot

    The marble stone bathtub filled with flower petals

I had to catch my breath for a while. But half an hour later, when we were sunning ourselves at the (as good as) private pool (nobody else around), we decided that we would extend the 2 days into 5 days of bliss. My friend’s idea of 2 days here, then a day upcountry in Ubud, and then 2 more days in another Villa place in Seminyak, was not really compatible with the slow pace I had adopted over the months of traveling. I like to stay put in places where I like it, even if it costs 100US$ per night (you would maybe get a youth hostel room for this price in Europe…).

The cleanihg staff descending on our villa - taking off their shoes of course

The cleanihg staff descending on our villa - taking off their shoes of course

The staff was soooooo sweet. Even the cleaning staff (5 of them that descended on your villa at the same time – wow) always had a little chat. Every time we passed the reception they would greet me ‘Hello MisteRRR Tony. How aRRRe you today’ (with the strong Indonesian rolling RRR). Each night we got to choose our breakfast for the next day and what time we wanted it to be brought to our room. They’d give us a little polite buzz in the room before bringing it over, in Balinese costume and with a big smile…

  • I miss the place already

We got so much addicted to our Villa that actually we didn’t leave it very much. We had a few lazy days at the pool, probably far too much time on the internet than is good for us, having some friends coming over, reading a book, soaking up the sun (getting a serious bikini line!), watching some of the pirated DVDs we bought for a dollar a piece,…

  • Life does not get much better than this.

5 Responses to “Bali Villas and Boutiques”

  1. Frans ok 29 April 2009 at 10:23 #

    nice pic… really miss the moments at Anora villas….
    Good times…

  2. Frans ok 30 April 2009 at 06:39 #

    be continue ur trip… keep smile…

  3. fabrice 30 April 2009 at 09:27 #

    Say hello for me to the boys working in the Seminyak gay village (the bar staff, not the hustlers…)


  4. Andhi 8 May 2009 at 19:32 #

    bAli still welcome for u…

  5. wie bali 10 November 2009 at 04:52 #

    nice review…!
    thanks for sharing

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