I can find my previous trip reports if that helps. Its been a few years since we have been but we will return as its a beautiful place. I would recommend that you spend at least 2 days in Ubud. That is like a tour on its own. The temple dances are magical. There always seems to be a celebration on the go. As well as that, I would hire a driver for a day at least. We didn't anywhere fast as we kept asking him to stop so we could look at yet another stunning view.
We did go into Kuta but really didn't like the place at all. Ok for an evening out but it wasnt for me. We stay in Sanur. The beach is not one of the best but it IS really interesting as you watch the locals fishing or children flying kites. Sanur has plenty of places to eat- its not the place to go for a lively nightlife. Things will wind down and close by midnight. Same for Ubud. Ubud is high up so there are often clouds and it can rain so you don't go to sunbathe. Avoid the big hotels in Ubud and go for the Bali experience- there are some gorgeous places to stay.
Only returned from Burma / Thailand this weekend and have just seen your enquiry.
Do you intend to book a package or will it be DIY. If a package we usually take advantage of any early booking offers as Bali is busy at that eime of year (we have not tried August as it is UK school holidays and we avoid them like the plague).
If you are looking to take a package go for Sanur, for your first visit, - Nusa Dua is contrived and sterile, Kuta is a bit manic with loads of younger Aussies (it is their Spain), Seminyak is expensive and, to us, not really that appealing. As Fiona says, also take a couple of nights in Ubud for the temples, dances, crafts and above all the wonderful inexpensive spas and relaxation.
I have the name of the owner of a trusted local tour company, who has arranged several things for us plus numerous rooms / trips / meals for Janet (my wife's) company. He is one of the few people that I would not hesitate to recommend - his prices are low, he is honest and thoroughly reliable. If you do your own flights his hotel prices can be a lot cheaper than booking directly with hotels (recommend Hyatt club rooms or Puri Santrian - Hyatt mainly for location). His advice is also good!
Please pm me if you want his details. I have major PC problems at present and am very busy after our hol, but will try to get back to you as soon as I am able.
I have done DIY loads of times but never in Asia so recommendations are appreicated. I'll PM you later.
I've stayed at Griya and Puri Santrians and loved them both. I would say that Griya had more lounging areas so you didn't have to get up early to get a sunbed.
For Ubud- I would suggest that you stay somewhere that you don't need transport to get back to. We stayed at Komaneka Monkey Forest Road. It is breathtaking. Monkey Forest Road is right in the middle of Ubud but when you enter its another world- very peaceful.
The first time we stayed at Waka Namya. This was a short distance from Ubud centre but not really walkable( without soaking with sweat by the time you get there). We stayed at a Lanai which is on two floors- bedroom upstairs. It is in your own small walled garden. Amazing place! They had a shuttle which was available whenever you wanted it. They only reason we did not return was that we wanted somewhere we could nip back to easily during the day and could walk back at night.
I want to back now
Ubud will always be busy during the day as that is where everyone goes on trips. It is crazy with traffic in the early evening with folks arriving for the temple dance, but it empties early on. Mind you, that was before the film Eat, Pray, Love. I did recognise places in that film but it is beyond me how she managed to go of to the beach easily- its a bit of a long journey to be doing that
Avoid the super high-end hotels as someone else said. The low-rise Balinese style hotels are much more affordable and give you a really wonderful atmosphere that is much better than staying in a little hotel room. You usually get a pool and lovely breakfast from friendly staff.
Sorry to hear that you've had to postpone Bali. We had to cancel our Thailand trip earlier this year, owing to the illness and death of my wife's father. There is nothing like a good SE Asia trip!
I have just booked a trip to Bali (to buck Janet and I up) for June - a good "package" deal from Hayes and Jarvis.
If there are any specific things that you want me to take a note of, please pm me and I will do my best to get all the answers.
We will be staying in Sanur again, club room at the Hyatt, but will probably take a couple of nights in Ubud, booked locally, weather permitting - we've never tried June before.
Look forward to hearing about Croatia - we have never tried that. Enjoy it!
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