Monday, January 16, 2012

Bali with Gusto: Seminyak

I fell in love with the beach and sunset in Seminyak the last time I visited Bali so when I went back for a post-birthday treat this year I made sure to stay in the area.

Evidently, I’m not the only one captivated by this place. Luxury brands have built posh, sprawling enclaves along the beach. True to my mantra of affordable luxury, I set out to research the best value for money option in the area. I discovered the Royal Beach Resort (formerly Sofitel). Rate in the hotel website quoted $300/night but, using a travel search engine (Kayak.com), I discovered a booking agent offering rooms at $180 a night including taxes and daily buffet breakfast.

Like most Balinese establishments, the resort was elegantly furnished and beautifully laid out. The grounds were well trimmed and accented with lotus ponds, footbridges, fountains and frangipani trees. From the main pool area, I enjoyed the sight of the beach and the palm shade.

My room was clean but dated, with a gaping space between the lounge seat and the TV that was screaming to be occupied by an office desk. There was a small balcony that offered a view of the pond.

Breakfast was an extensive selection of breads and pastries, cereals, hot meals, soup, Japanese appetizers, salads and fresh fruits. It’s my favorite meal of the day but one I don’t usually have so I indulged to my heart’s content.

For the price that I paid per room, I got a good deal, especially given its ideal location in Seminyak, not to mention its proximity to Gado-Gado restaurant (or Ku De Ta for those who love to party). 

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