Kerri S's just back....
Just dragged my weary body out of bed as my hyperactive husband woke me up with the Lawn Mower, it's 11 am Sydney Time, oops sorry forgot to change the clocks back for daylight saving, actually only 10 am. We have now been home a little over 24 hours, not enough time for the suntan to fade but enough to start to feel a little human again after that long sleepless flight home. Realise it's only 5 hours but it always feels like 10 to me. Enough of my whinging and onto my report. Will do as much as I can but will obviously have to break it up into parts.
Bit of background info first, we are a family of four from Sydney, Dave 33, Kerri 29, Jaime 6 and Peta 4 (both girls). Oops and a half on the way due start of October, obviously yet to be named but will either be Reece (Girl) or Reife (boy). Dave and I have been travelling to Bali almost every year since 1999 and this was our kids 5th trip. We had always previously stayed at Dynasty with the Kids but last year changed to MBR. We were looking forward to getting back to Dynasty this year. We were flying over with another family of 5 who had never been to Bali before and also meeting two other families over there on the 20th March. One of those comes over every year, the other never been to Bali before.
Flew out on the 16th March 10 am flying Garuda. No delays departing Sydney. Check in etc. went smoothly, no queues through customs, didn't really notice any increased security due to Sept 11, but I wasn't really taking much notice. Did bit of Duty Free, Dave picked up new style Arnette sunnies for only $149.00 which saved about $60.00. Flight over was good, arrived 10 minutes early. Food inflight was fine as far as airline food goes, service was excellent, kids got spoilt as usual. Movie was Shallow Hal, very funny movie. Got into Bali just on 1pm, queues at customs were long and we were at the back. Dave decided to grab all the kids and go and sit up the front next to the wall near the customs desk, the kids and him managed to make enough noise that they felt it would be better if we all skipped the queue and went straight through. Took all our passports into the office, stamped them, we made a small donation of 20,000 to their Xmas Party Fund and we were on our way. For those with small kids this usually works, not the first time Dave has done this. Baggage handlers however got their revenge by making sure our bags were the last out. So all those people that we copped dirty looks off for skipping the queue got a little satisfaction by still getting out quicker. Went through the baggage check section no probs, which was a releif as we had a suitcase full of tubes of blockout we took over for our friend who sells them to the Surf Shops in Kuta/Legian. Would have been an interesting conversation explaining why we needed so much for a 2 week stay. Also had a cask of wine for our friend who was too scared to carry it in. Got out the front and had to wait 10 minutes for San Michele Bus to arrive. Don't normally get transfers but Dave took his Mini Mal over this time and our friend Pete had to work and couldn't pick us up. I am sure the locals would have found a way to get his 8ft board into a taxi, but not sure how many pieces it would have ended up in. Got to hotel within a few minutes of being collected from airport. Was greeted at Dynasty with nice cool drink and smiling staff. We were originally booked into a Family Poolview Room but arranged an upgrade by email two weeks before we left to the Executive Suite at of cost of a little less then $20AUD per night. Our friends were in a Premier Room which are the ones that sleep five. Was pleased that we were given the room we requested being 191, ground floor, kids club side overlooking the main pool. Told our friends we would meet them at the pool. Got to our room and was extremely happy. First room was a large room with a door to the pool and corridor, four seater dining suite, two single beds for the kids, writing table, dresser, mini bar, tv and a Water Cooler which not only produced cold but also hot drinking water, hot enough to make coffee. This was complimentary and replaced when empty. Bathroom had large vanity and separtate shower and bath. Toilet and a bidet or as my four year old keeps telling everyone a bum washer. Main bedroom had king size bed, wardrobes, table and chairs, dresser, tv etc. We were impressed. Stepped out onto large balcony which wrapped around the corner, two small tables and four chairs. First thing we noticed was how empty the hotel was, pool lounges available everywhere. This was to change by the time we left. Weather was awesome, not a cloud in the sky, humidity wasn't too bad at all, normally quite high in March. Grabbed a couple of towels from the towel hut. Noticed different system for this now, used to have towel cards you handed in for a towel, now just signed for them. Boys and towel hut remembered us straight away and couldn't believe how big our kids had got. Jumped into pool which was more like a warm bath. The pool renovation looked sensational. The black stones previously aournd pool had been replaced by small light coloured ones. The ugly plastic grate around the pool replaced with light coloured sandstone. The Volley Ball area has been completed retiled with a slate like material which prevents slipping. There is a large waterfall at the beach end which you can swim under and also a dry area under the waterfall where you can walk through or pull up a lounge chair, alot of people chose this area to get a massage as the massage hut was closed for renovations. There are around 5 statues that spurt water into the pool as well. Two in the toddler pool and I think two in the main pool. Overall the pool now looks great. Swim Up Bar sits around 10 in and 10 out of the pool. Has a marble bar and is very spacious. Unlike some other Pool Bars that you can't stand at as they are too deep there is also standing room around if there are not enough seats. This Bar has happy hour from 5pm to 7pm. We spent a lot of time around this bar as I think Daves bum got permanently attached to one of the seats from 5pm onwards every night.
Have to continue this later, Dave wants to go buy a DVD player for all his new DVD's. Will get back later with more on Hotel and why our friends ditched the Premier Rooms. Hope I haven't bored you all too death.
I left off earlier with update on Dynasty Pool area. Anyway, so we were in the pool waiting for our friends who travelled with us, I mentioned before that they had booked into a Premier Room. Well two hours had passed and they still hadn't shown up at the Pool. Just as I was about to go in search, one of them appeared on the verandah of a Family Poolview Room. To make a long story short, they had viewed three different Premier Rooms and wasn't happy with any of them. Eventually, the hotel allowed them to upgrade to Family Poolview for additional $10 per night. However, they would not put an extra bed in the room for the third child who is 4. Our friends said that even with this condition it was still better than the Premier Rooms. This got me curious as to how bad they could be so I asked them to show me where they were. We had only ever stayed in Poolview and never really ventured up the other end, other then to walk through reception. If anyone has stayed at the Dynasty they will remember the large wide corridrors with glass type roofs and beatiful gardens with make you feel like you are outside. Well this ends the minute you enter the Premier Room section. It is behind the main reception area but unlike all the other rooms which are Poolside of Reception you actually start heading back towards the main drive. The corridors are narrow and a bit dim, they do open to a verandah kind of area which gives a beautiful view of the laundry and garbage type area. If you are lucky enough you might even get right next to the laundry so you can be lulled to sleep by the sound of industrial dryers. Or even better the sound of the hammering etc going on in the Fun Pub renovations. I could not blame my friends one bit for rejecting the rooms, no balcony, taxi trip to the pool. No thanks. For my mind, if this was the only option I had, as much as I love the Dynasty I would stay at another hotel like MBR which caters to families of 5. It is also very sad to see so many agents push these rooms onto unsuspecting families of four or less who would be much more comfortable in a Family Poolview, Kids Suite or Family Gardenview.
Getting back to the Hotel Renovations, the upper lawn area is closed, but I had a sticky beak and the Pool they are building looks great. It is a narrow long pool with bed type chairs you can lay on. There is a sign up saying that it is due to be finished 1st May. There has also been a double story Sunset Bar being built, should hopefully capture some good views. Unfortunately, Kartika is building some luxurious looking Villas directly in front of Dynasty which has taken away the Beach Views. The Fun Pub Renovations appear to be going strong. The entire of the downstairs lobby was closed off for our last four days so I think some major work is happening down there. The Tropical Cafe has been totally renovated and now has permanent areas established for the Buffet Meals. Area looks great. However, if you stay on the opposite side of the kids club, you may sometimes get a little smoked out by the new Pizza Kitchen. I think that is the renovations pretty much covered, any questions, feel free to ask.
First night we wandered down to All Stars for a quick meal, the place was empty and we were way outnumbered on the street by locals. Food was great, staff were great, family of 4 with beers, soft drinks around 190,000. They have Happy Hour from 6pm to 8 pm, with 25% off all meals and drinks. Sumo Wrestling in the suits four nights a week and is an absolute laugh. Dave had a go, won a small bintang, but probably sweated out the equivalent of a large bintang. He said that it would not be for someone who is claustrophobic.
Next day we took our friends down to Kuta Art Market, taught them the art of bartering and showed them where Matahari was. We are not big market buyers more into the surf shop stuff. Probably can't help too much with prices, but our friends paid the normal 15000 to 20000 for shirts and 20000 to 30000 for shorts. Not sure about dresses. We buy a lot of timber, but hard to price as depends on the intricacy and work involved. If anyone wants a price on something specific I might be able to help, just ask. Kids got Baby G watched for 15000 and Lazer Lights for same price. Both broke before we left. Pretty much just went back to hotel around lunch and worked on relaxing and tan. Dave went for a surf but was a little disappointed with wave size. Water down the beach a lot cleaner than last year.
That night we went to Poco Loco, this was quite full. Found the service not as good as usual but maybe we just got the Dodgy Bros. waitress. Meal with Drinks 200,000. Food was great as usual.
Next day took our friends down Melasti Street Markets, by this stage they had pretty much mastered the art of bartering and were quite confident to be let loose by themselves. Gave us a chance to visit Backdoor which is the surf shop opposite Bali Rock. Picked up a cute little black wrap around Badgirl skirt for 80,000. Bargain. Called into Bali Rock for a coke and caught up with all the staff. Picked up a few of my Glitter Sandals that I live in, three pairs for 105,000. Ended up coming home with 10 pairs, one in every colour. Still haven't worn so of the ones I bought last year yet but I am sure some of my friends will pilfer my new ones in a flash. Dave grabbed a pair of leather sandlas for 40000 on the corner Jalan Melasti and Legian. Started to wander up Jalan Legian but the kids hit the wall so we took them back to hotel. Again relaxed and worked on tan, Dave went for a surf. Unfortunately Dave came off a wave on a reef and ended up with a nice gash full of coral in his foot. Called the nurse who recommended stitches, yeah right. He got her to clean it, whacked on a bandaid and went off to the bar. After, what felt like a zillion visits to Apotiks (Chemists) I managed to get some Waterproof Bandaids so he could continue to surf and swim. To his credit he did keep it dry for 36 hours. Also bought him so Amoxyl for 20,000 and antibitic cream. Cream was useless and the Savlon Powder and airing seemed to heal it in no time. Beginning to sound a bit like local GP, so I will continue. That night as Dave couldn't really wear a shoe we ate the Buffet at the hotel. Pasta night 79000 each, kids eat free. Great Feed and was really relaxing as kids had made friends by this stage and they all went off to play which let us relax a little.
Next day, we put the kids in Kids Club, this is free but if you leave them for lunch costs 26000, includes a Kids Meal, there are around 10 choices, Soft Drink and Ice Cream. The girls loved it. Dave and I grabbed some of our Rupiah and decided to do some serious shopping. Didn't mention in my first just back, but we took most of our spending money in Rupiah over there as we got a rate of 5500 in Sydney through a friend so I can't give any info on Money Changers, Rates etc.
We started off at Bemo Corner and by the first surf shop had spent 700000. For this we bought heaps though. Dave got two really nice pairs of cord material board shorts, heaps of T Shirts and I got a pair of three quarter BadGirl pants. This shop is great. It is also called Backdoor and I presume is the same as the Backdoor in Jalan Melasti. By the time we got to Surfer Girl we had nearly run out of money. Just enough to grab a great little volcom dress for 150,000 and hipster mambo pants for 171,000. I realise that this probably sounds a lot in rupiah but when you convert to AUD this is cheap. We would learn later however, that we could get cheaper. By the time we got to Kuta Lines we had about 30,000 left. Time to go back. got back to hotel, kids refused to leave kids club so we thought we would take a walk down the beach. First we checked out the Private Bungalows of the Santika Hotel next door, someone recently did a Just Back Report on this place and raved about it, I can now understand why. Extremely private, nice pool, fantastic aspect. Also checked out Santika Hotel, bit smaller than Dynasty but much quieter. Not a kid in site. Bliss for couples. Wandered down to Ramada Bintang, nice hotel but I expected more, the pool in the brochure looks so much larger. Pool looks a tad tired and in need of update. Stopped at Pantai for a coke and check out the Menu. Looked good. Put that on our list of musts. Continued on to Holiday Inn. Much preferred this to Ramada, nice little private beach area, nice pool, looked like somewhere we would enjoy only a tad too far from everything. But hey transport in Bali is so cheap would not stop me from staying there. Again Pool looked a little tired, but I am staying at the Dynasty which has a brand new pool area, so that is bound to happen. That night we again ate at the hotel as Dave wanted to air his foot and I think I had walked him out of energy that day. The Dynasty has a policy of eat three buffets get fourth free. Dynasty Buffets are good and good value so we didn't mind eating there twice in two nights.
Next day the rest of our friends are arriving from Sydney, so we are pretty excited to to see them. Did more Surf Shops in Jalan Legian in the morning but this time starting from Melasti. Again ran out of money and was back at Hotel at Lunch. Our friends Peter lives in Bali at Nusa Dua with his Balinese wife and kids. He makes surfboards for a living and has been over there for around 12 years. They had called and were coming to meet us for dinner that night. Our friends got to Hotel about 2pm. They both had Family Poolview Rooms but the opposite side to us. Since there was so many of us we decided that night to wander down to Pantai for dinner. To all those people that were enjoying a peaceful meal there on Wednesday 20th March, I apologise. 10 Adults and 11 children later, their peaceful meal was soured. Pantai was fantastic, cheap food but fantastice food. I think our meal for 4 with drinks was around 150,000. This restaurant has a great aspect and it's good to see you can still get a great meal on the beach without having to pay La Lucciola and Ke De Ta prices. Pantai is on the beach in between the Ramada and Holiday Inn.
Just to a answer a few questions from previous reports before I start.
* Dave informs me that you can hire long or shortbaords on the beach from 15000 to 40000 per hour, cheaper if you hire for the day. Board quality depends on what you want to pay.
* Boats to take you out to airport reefs are around 20000. Make sure you don't pay them until they come back to get you.
* The boys also hired boats to take the down to Uluwatu and Padang Padang. Worked out around 35000 per hour. Between the four of them that is very cheap though.
* Glitter sandals that I bought were from the second shoe shop up from Bali Rock heading towards Jalan Legian.
I think that was it.
On our fifth day we had an Air Con Mini Bus from San Michele with a driver and guide for 8 hours. They had thrown this in for us in our package at no cost and we weren't really fussed whether we used it or not. As David still had the cut in his foot that we were trying to heal, we decided that we may as well spend a day away from the pool and beach. Bus picked us up at 9.00 and we spent the first hour driving around trying different chemists for Waterproof Bandaids. No luck. We then headed up to Ubud as kids wanted to visit the Monkey Forest. Drive up was nice, relatively no traffic. Got to monkey forest along with what seemed like three coach loads of Japanese Tourists all armed with their cameras. At first they seemed more interested in taking photos of our kids more than the monkeys. I have no idea why, and it was quite amusing to watch. They left after about 10 minutes and we were left alone with only a scattering of other tourists to wander the forest. It was actually extremely tranquil and peaceful, the tall tress provided plenty of shade and the sounds of the monkeys in the forest was fascinating. We weren't attached by any ferocious monekys and all in all really enjoyed our time there. Next stop was the markers, Ketut our driver dropped us off and said they would pick us back up in 1 1/2 hours as there was no where to park the minibus. BIG mistake. The markets were awful. There was plenty to buy, but it was extremely hot. The kids were whinging and the sellers kept grabbing them. The army and police were there knocking down peoples little stores while all the locals stood there and watched. We had no idea why this was happening and didn't want to ask. Peta (my four year old) nearly got knocked out by a peice of falling timber. We bought a few little timber items that we could have easily bought in Kuta/Legian but that was about it. The markets in Ubud are not very well laid out, and there are a lot of open trenches that little feet could easily slip down. We had been there before but not with the kids and would probably not take them back there again. After about 30 minutes we had had enough and decided just to wander down Monkey Forest Road and browse in the shops. This was much better. I had said in my previous posts that we weren't really big market shoppers and preferred the fixed priced places, so we really should have known better. We stopped for a coke in a restaurant and pretty much decided that Ubud wasn't our scene. Before I get flamed and lectured on the ins and outs of Ubud, I realise that there is probably much more to Ubud than the markets and the shops in Monket Forest Road, but this is just my opinion, I think all in all we were just really hot and the kids were tired and we probably had a bit of a negative attitude at the time. The army and polisi in the markets were extremely intimidating and that probably got us off to a bad start at the beginning. Anyway, we were finally picked up by the San Michele Bus and they took us a Restaurant about five minutes away. I had asked to go somewhere overlooking Rice Fields and probably should have done my research here before I went and got a name of a place. Anyway, they took us to a restaurant that was overlooking a rice field but it looked like it hadn't been used for about a year and considering it was end of rainy season should probably have been a tad greener. It looked extremely dry and more like a cow paddock. The restaurant was however clean and got a nice breeze which was cooling. What the restaurant lacked in views it made up for in food. Our lunch was absolutely delicious, and if I could remember the name of the restaurant I would highly recommend it. After lunch we decided we were ready to head back to Tuban via a Surf Factory Outlet our friend Pete had told us about. Driver and guide had never heard of it, but with my scratchy directions Pete had give me we found it. It is on the Ngurai Bypass about 400 metres down from the Bali Mall/Galleria but on the opposited side of the road. We went in and were pleased that we had stopped. From memory I will list what I can remember that we bought with prices. Mens Rip Curl Button Up Collared Shirts 122,000 (heaps of designs). Volcom Dresses 90,000 (I had already bought one for 150,000 in Kuta) Rip Curl Dresses Ranging 70,000 to 150,000. Kids Billabong Hats 15,000. Billabong Backpack 30,000. Got three denim girls Billabong Sleeveless Jackets for 50,000. Spyderbilt Denim Shorts for Ladies 60,000. Roxy and Billabong Shirts for ladies 70,000. Mens coloured and white T-Shirts from 80,000. Ladies Billagong Bikini 122,000. There was more that we bought but I think that will give you a general idea. We ended up going back there again later in the trip as we ran out of money the first time. Continued on then back to the hotel for a swim. Our friends had decided to eat the Buffet at the hotel that night as it was Satay Night and good value. Yet again the food was great. The next three days we pretty much spend doing shopping here and there and relaxing. Dave was back in the surf but now had an ear infection as did Peta. Called the Doctor at the hotel and $220 AUD later they were both armed with Drops and Anitbiotics. Their ears were never so bad to cause them a large amount of pain as we called the doctor as soon as they both felt it coming on. Dave ahs had a bad ear infection in Bali before and learnt his lesson to nip it is the bud as early as possible. Friday Night I think we went to Impala Seafood just down the road from Dynasty just before Kartika. Had never eaten there before and could not believe how nice the food was. Restaurant was packed, which is always a good sign as you know that the food is getting turned over at a good rate and not sitting in the fridges waiting to go off. This restaurant has an Indonsian Menu and a Western Menu, huge variety of food, and you can order either small, medium or large. This is a good idea for the Indo food if you want to try a few things. Meals and Drinks for 4 came to 200,000. Saturday Night we were all suppose to meet at Nagasari for dinner at 6.30. Unfortunately, Mullo and Billy went to meet Louie the Greek (another friend who was over there) at Benny's Cafe for a beer in the afternoon and forgot the name of the restaurant or so they claim. We waited a while and ended up ordering without them. Food was OK, not as good as in previous years. We sat at the cushion tables which the kids enjoyed, was actually more expensive than what we had remembered. All in all we had a good night but would not be returning there for dinner again this trip. Sunday ate at the hotel as it was Roast Night, Dave loves his Roasts and was looking forward to it all day. Food was great. This meal was free as we had already eaten there three times previously. Works out to be great value.
One the Monday wee all decided to go to Waterbom Park. Had been there in previous years and always had a good time. We purchased the tickets from Daddys across the street from the Hotel. forgot to mention in previous posts I think where we went for breakfast. A lot of the time we gave the kids something at the hotel from Room Service as Dave was out surfing and I wasn't hungry or we went across to Daddys which is an old favourite of ours. However at 90,000 for four probably isn't one of the cheapest brekkys you can get in Bali but the quality of food is fantastic. We did venture up to Melasti one morning and had brekky at Bali Too which is 12500 for Buffet or 15,000 for American Brekky. Food was nice but found the Eggs very greasy as did my friend along with her Pancake. Apart from that, if your down that way, worth a visit for Brekky.
Getting back to Waterbom, our tickets were from memory 126,000 per adult and 76,000 for kids over five, under five are free. Family pass is 350,000.
Waterbom was great as usual. Few changed since last year. There is a new speed slide which the kids absolutely loved. Also Eurobungy which is 50,000 for 10 minutes for kids and 60,000 for adults. There is a new food outlet section which can be a bit confusing at first, but gives your wide choice as to eating options. Lots of little counters with different things, you order what you want from each, get a docket then take all your dockets to a register pay, grab a table and hope that all the corresponding food for your dockets arrive. Which it did by the way. I much prefer the old food counters instead. One order, they bring it to your lounge chair, much more civlalised. Can imagine the new system would be chaos on a busy day. Luckily for us the park was relatively quiet so there were no queues for slides etc. The lazy river also has a new feature wall (may be new or I just never noticed it before) as you float past there are some concrete monkeys shooting water at you out of their mouths and other parts of their bodies (use your imaginations). Quite funny to look at. We had a fantastic day and would definintely go back again.
That night we had already pre-arranged babysitters with the hotel at 20,000 rupiah per hour and decided we would head off to Seminyak to a new Pub we had heard about. Luckily our taxi driver had heard of The Bush Telegraph, our friends weren't so lucky and arrived 30 minutes after us and two taxis later. it is opposite Santa Fe in Seminyak just off Jalan Legian. The actual Pub was here in Sydney for the 2000 Olympics. The new owners bought it and transported it to Bali. Big screen TV showing all major sporting events. Extrmely Aussie orientated, big fake croc on the front verandah, fosters on tap. Aussie menu. Food was awesome. Nice to sit out on verandah and watch the passing foot traffic. Would definitely go back. Imported steaks with different types of sauces, chips and veges from 45,000. Would definitely recommend this pub. Even just to drop in for a beer.
Just getting back to the Hotel, forgot to mention before, all the usual activities are still happening, frog races, bingo, volleyball. Live entertainment with dinner, happy hour from five, love buckets (cocktail 1 litre) for 45,000. Kids Club Staff have not changed and the staff were excellent with the kids.
I might leave it at that for today. Still to come is Green Garden Spa where I went for a full pampering, and the drama of one of the kids breaking their leg at the hotel.
We had a 2.5 hour pampering last friday. Will go into more detai in our next just back report. But it pretty much covered Hotel Pick Up and Return, Juice on Arrival. Floral Bath Foot Scrub. Full Body Massage. Head Massage. Facial. Full Body Scrub and Floral Bath to wash it all off at the end. Was sensational. Also had the option of using Jacuzzi and Steam Bath but didn't have time. Total cost 242,000 rupiah. Translated to less then $50 AUD. Definitely recommend it. Ideal thing to do as a couple.
Also get tea and cake when its over. Hope this helps.
PS. Scrub does not rub off your tan, my skin still feels great and I never
peeled or went dry and flaky like normal after the flight home.
A bit more ...
Green Garden Spa - We were approached at dinner one night at Pantai by the staff of Green Garden Spa offering a pampering package. It sounded all right so I booked it for two days later. Cost was 242,000 and included the following.
I was picked up at the hotel reception in an Air Con Mini Bus and taken to the new Green Garden Resort which is opposite Holiday Inn. The Green Garden Resort itself looks lovely, very small, but great pool, rooms are lovely and good position on the beach, perfect place for couples who want a little peace but not be too far from Kuta. First you are taken to the restaurant and give a welcome drink which is like some sort of nectar, then you are politely asked to pay the cashier in advance (found it strange that we paid in advance but this is Bali). Forgot to mention that I did pay a deposit when I originally booked of 50,000 which was given back to me when they picked me up. I then was taken back downstairs to a room by the pool, it had two massage beds in it that were tastefully decorated and a gorgeous bathroom with huge bath. I was given a sarong to put on and told to strip down and put on these paper like pants, lets just say that the best way too describe them is that they look like the pilcher things you put on over cloth nappies, only prob is they only come in one size, I am a size 10 and found them extremely uncomfortable, elastic was really tight. I did have the forsight of wearing a bikini that was not a favourite and knew that it wouldn't worry me should it get stained (it didn't by the way). Anyway, saronged up I was then sat down in a chair and my feet put in a bowl of warm water filled with flowers and my feet were scrubbed and massaged. After this I was laid down and give a massage for what felt like around one hour. Then a facial, the cosmetics that they used smelled awesome, the room was really peacheful and there was soft balinese music playing in the background. I was then completely covered in this gritty yellow stuff which to me looked like powdered curry, this was left to dry then rubbed off me. By this stage we are probably two hours into the whole process, I was so relaxed by this time I could have slept so easily. Once the body scrub was finished I was taken into the bathroom and left there to soak in a lemon scented bath filled with Flowers Petals. It smelled so nice. I must have soaked there for about half an hour and washed the rest of the yellow scrub off then went back out into the room and sat down yet again and had moisturiser rubbed into my legs and arms. I was bought a piece of cake and a cup of ginger tea whilst this was happening. After this I was told that I was free to use the jacuzzi or steam room next to the pool should I wish or they could take me back to the hotel. I chose to go back to the hotel as my skin just felt awesome and I didn't want to sweat or wash away that feeling. Would highly recommend the Green Garden Spa.
On arrival back to the hotel was given some bad news about one of the little girls that was travelling with us, that morning the punching bag in the kids club had fallen off its rope and landed on her foot. At the time it didn't look too bad, she wasn't crying and just told her parents that it hurt a little to walk, they iced it and made her rest for most of the day thinking it was a sprain, by the time I got back it was black and really swollen, her father went up to reception and reported the accident, the hotel were awesome, within twenty minutes there was a doctor, he requested x-rays, they were whisked off to the hospital by the hotel straight away, a couple of hours later they were back reporting that it was sprained and she needed to stay off it for a few days. Hotel immediately took down the punching bag, replaced the sand in it with something lighter then hung it back up using much stronger rope and that many knots in it only an act of god was going to make it fall again. Unfortunately though, the next day another doctor took a look at the xrays and contacted the hotel and our friends and advised that her ankle was actually broken, this happened to be three hours before they were leaving back to Sydney so they chose to wait to get it set in Sydney so they could get an opinion from the hospital in Sydney. Doctors here confirmed what the doctors in Bali had said. She ended up in plaster and on crutches for eight weeks. I would like to say that the Hotel were fantastic in the way they handled the incident and our friends would stay at the Dynasty again in a heartbeat.
Before I finish off on this report, I can't remember if I mentioned the night
we had at Teras Restaurant in Seminyak. We had been to this restaurant before
and found the food amazing but got a bad waitress and service wasn't great,
didn't have that problem this time. The menu is Italian and prices probably a
tad above moderate, but the food is well worth it. I had Veal wrapped in
Proscuitto on a bed of Mash Potato with an Italian Salad, best meal I had on our
trip. Dave had a Pizza and our friends all had different types of Pasta. The
setting of this restaurant is rooftop open air and gorgeous on a nice night. We
also received complimentary bread and after our meals they bought out test tubes
filled with some sort of alcoholic concoction that smelt strong. Being pregnant
I didn't partake but lets just say the rest of the party were quite giggly
afterwards. This meal cost us 230,000 including our kids meals who sat at a
separate table next to us and had a ball chatting to the staff. This restaurant
was practically empty when we arrived but was filling up fast when we left
around 8.30. We definitely planned on going back there before we left, but as
you know time flies when you are over there and we just didn't get around to it.
Would higly recommend this restaurant for a fine meal.
Last few days in Bali we spent just doing the last bit of shopping and lots of relaxing around the pool and down the beach. Took a walk down to Kartika Plaza (Now called Discovery Kartika) and couldn't believe how great the hotel looks. Anyone who has booked this hotel won't be disappointed as far as facilities, position etc.
Some things I have forgot to cover:-
New Beach Road is as other people have confirmed definitely open to traffic, it has been paved and actually looks not too bad, huge difference on the dirt track it was last year. Traffic along the road is not very busy so should not disturb guests staying in hotels along that strip too much.
Along Jalan Kartika there is a new huge building what looks like apartments with shops underneath just up from and opposite Art Market, by the time we had left a few of the shops had opened. It is raised above street level and has a nice footway you can walk along. Up further on the same side as Kartika there is another project underway which is going to be a sort of shopping centre called Kuta Boulevarde or something like that, not sure if there is going to be a hotel attached to it or not.
The new Mercure Hotel next to Hard Rock looks nice and if you could land a top floor room on the beach side you would catch some awesome sunsets.
Water down the beach was clean, which is unusual for end of wet season. Although Dave did say that when he was out at the Airport Break where you have to catch the boat out to, he did see what looked like some sewerage. Waves were good whilst we were over there and sometimes the best breaks were the beach ones, mainly down Legian end. If you are planning on taking to the waves and your a beginner it's a good idea to sit and watch the break for a little while, Kuta/Legian can appear calm then all of a sudden produce some huge sets and if they are closing out you can really get hurt. Dave had to rescue a Japanese Tourist who was out on a Boogie Board, he was not a great swimmer and wore canvas shorts full of pockets which naturally filled up with water, he got caught where the waves were breaking and was really in trouble for a while. I am sure this must happen all the time. I personally hate the sand in Bali, to me it is more like dirt, really hard to get out of the grain in your swimmers and it's a dark brownie black colour in some spots. It is also very fine and just doesn't seem to brush off you like the sand here in Sydney, but hell you can't have everything.
We never had a bad meal the whole time we were over there and no-one got Bali Belly. Although I could have quite easily thrown up everytime I walked into Matahari, I cannot stand the smell of that place it seems to get worse every year, I don't if it was because I was pregnant this year and I was more sensitive to it but it really got to me. It smells to me like rotting garbage and you can smell it even as your approach, even our friend who lives there complained about it when we went to grab some snacks one day.
We tended to try to catch the Bluebird Taxi's but after a week or so were just jumping in anything, bartering on a price if the need be, usually worked out the same as a Bluebird anyway. Only bad taxi experience I had was out the front of Legian Beach Hotel, Dave had decided to walk back to hotel with his board and it was a really hot day so thought I would jump a taxi with the girls, only one in sight was a green one, told me he would put the meter on then when we all got in started to ask for 50,000 rupiah to take me to Tuban. I couldn't even be bothered bartering and immediately just got out. Wandered up Melasti and jumped in a White Taxi which put meter on no prob.
Garuda were fantastic as usual, no delays either way, food was edible. Got seats we requested both way. Weren't over on luggage but didn't see them hassling people at the airport over it. Don't know if this is new or not, but I haven't seen it before, the Stewardesses handed out stickers just after we took off which you put on your seat advising if you wanted to be woken up for meals or not. As we weren't leaving until 11pm and arriving 6am, seemed like a good idea for those fortunate people who can actually sleep on a plane, unlike myself. Customs in Sydney was a nightmare, our friends were home within one hour of landing, we for some reason took well over 2 hours and we live 15 minutes from the airport. The kids were so cranky and tired, we just seemed to pick the slowest queue for everything wether it was Duty Free or Immigration. They hassled us a bit at immigration as they didn't think Peta looked like her photo. Eventually, let us go through, then customs went through all our baggage and even checked the soles our shoes. Nothing got taken and we had declared all our wood which all passed. I guess we just must have looked guilty.
All in all we had a fantastic holiday but without sounding jaded we are not
yet planning our next trip, five trips in the last four years has us a little
Bali'd out. All of our friends are heading back in October, but we are going to
give it a miss and go up to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland instead. We still
love Bali but have decided that it is time to start seeing other places in the
world like more of Australia, Tahiti, Maldives, Fiji (I have a very long list),
we would also like to go back to Phuket as it is now seems just as cheap or more
on par with Bali now. There is no doubt we will be back in the next three years
or so but won't be planning anything at this stage. However, when we do return
we will definitely return to the Dynasty as we found this hotel really meets all
of our needs and we will also definitely pack Waterproof Bandaids, it was really
the only thing that we found hard to find and really needed. Hope I haven't
bored you all too death.