Friday, 6 December 2013

The Flora Hotel Kuta

Moving away from the Pullman at 1.7 million a night, I stayed in the Flora Hotel just up from the Ramayana hotel next to Kuta Sqaure. This is a small well run and looked after hotel tucked away from noise and for 300k a night well worth staying in.
For 300k you got breakfast ( I never ate there, we went to the beach but it looked OK) a welcome drink of somesort which was more than welcome, happy smiling staff. Very clean basic room, TV with dodgy Ariel but still could watch it, a view of the pool, nice bathroom with hot water.

The hotel itself is not nothing to look at but for a few nights to recover and hide away then for the price it is another great example of affordable and safe accommodation in Bali.

There were 2 small pools one for kids and one for adults. Each room had a shared balcony which could become annoying if the people next you wanted to shout at each other all night. The rooms were smoking I guess as there were ashtrays but there was hint of smoke in the room.

Checking in was very simple and even with me being early that was no problem. 10 minutes and I was in my room. Checking out just as simple.

Not much of a review but to be honest I was in the hotel for about 12 hours most of that asleep. But I would go back and stay there again as it was comfortable and relaxed.

If I was to grumble, it was 10 minutes to the beach. Oh the agony! and 15 minutes to Discovery Mall and so on....

The lobby looking into the street

From the lobby looking at the pool

For more information go here

Pullman Bali Legion Nirwana

I managed to stay here for a conference. The hotel is big with a number of pools and lots of rooms. There are several restaurants and ball rooms and lots of open space.

The hotel is right on the end of Kuta Beach. If you follow the one way road past Beach Walk Mall and keep going, just before you turn right there it is.

The beach is across the road which great stuff and some of the rooms have the sunset view as well which must be great. Mine never.

My room was on the ground floor facing the pool. As normal with conferences it was a shared room, so two single beds. The room was big and there was a TV on the wall. There was an adjoining room next to ours which acted as living room with a huge TV and Sofa but we had no direct access from the bedroom so had to go outside and enter it that way. We never bothered.
The bath room had a bath, shower, toilet and a big window so you could watch TV in the bath. The lighting was sparse and made the bathroom dark. The shower should have been impressive but the main shower head control was broken so I had to use the other smaller shower head. That had also seen better days, and for a new 5 star hotel was not great.
The water bottles were not replaced for the 2 night stay so we ran out of water and had to ask for more.

In the room were 2 umbrellas which did come in handy but I am not sure what would happen if you left them somewhere, as in how they would return to the room.

The breakfast was good because being Bali lots of Pork Bacon and plenty of choice. Chasing the coffee down was a ordeal as the staff seemed reluctant to return to tables to refill.
Lunch was good with lots of choice again but I felt it was not as good as the Aston in Bogor for quality or size of the choice. But still I ate heartily.

Our room was 1.7 million a night Bed and Breakfast. Would I pay that to stay there again? No. Would I pay to stay there again? No. Despite the closeness to the beach and some bars, you can find that in many places in Kuta and for me Bali is about exploring not staying in Hotels. I am sure for the sun seeker it would be ideal but again there are better value hotels in the same area.

Looking into the main resort

The lobby

For more information do click here

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bulakan Beach House Carita

Recently, I had the chance to stay in Carita overnight with my team from work as part of a team building exercise. We travelled down from Jakarta on a Saturday afternoon and then got to the Beach houses around 5.30pm.
There were 29 of us and the ground floor of a villa had been book for all of us to sleep and wash in with the food provided outside next to the beach.

Bulakan beach is opposite the volcano of Kracatoa and we could see in the evening but not in the morning.

The actual resort if you can call it that comprised of a 2 main buildings for sleeping and staying, an outside seating and play area, its own private beach sort of and also a pier that went into the sea and you could sit and watch the sea and the waves. There was also a small swimming pool which I never ventured into as it was always full of kids and adults.

Near to the resort were very tiny shops that sold this and that and if you needed beer then it was 23,000 a can. 2km down the road heading into Carita there was an indomaret which was good. But never sold beer.

The room I was in was shared between 5 of us so I slept on a mattress on the floor, The ceiling leaked and there was one one plug socket so getting phones charged was a hassle.
The bathroom was OK but nothing special. Cold water shower and a western toilets. Bedding, towels, pillows were not included.

 The welcome sign on your way in
 The Pier from the resort
 Food was served for just us and under another tent for other people staying
 A view of the beach from the pier
 The grounds
 The room
 Seating area and assorted westerners
 Our building but we were on the ground floor
 Thats as close as I got to the pool
 The pier
The entrance to our building

For a quick weekend away for a change and a chance to be by the beach then it was perfect. However if you are not going with 28 others then perhaps try the hotels along Anyer instead. But if you want cheap and cheerful and to spend your time with a large group then it is idea. Bring some gang leads and a towel and a jacket for the evening as it does chill down.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Aston Hotel and Resort Bogor

I stayed that the Aston Hotel and Resort for work because I was attending a conference for my conference. The Aston is tucked away in a brand new complex alledgedly 5 minutes from the center of Bogor (maybe at 3am) and 45 minutes from Jakarta (thats pretty accurate if you drive at 130kph or more).
Like most newly developed places the roads in and out have not been thought about at all and so the last 30 minutes from the toll to the hotel was a very bumpy ride.

The hotel itself is huge. There are 3 towers for the rooms, several conference centers and swimming pools. 2 Bars and a couple of dining areas. Service was quick and smooth.

The room I was in was a twin share condo. It was in tower 3 and about a short walk to reception using escalators, bridges and walkways. However because it was raining so much the walk ways were wet and dangerous due to the slipping hazard and the escalators were not always switched on so they were quite simply just stairs. There were lifts but I am not that lazy. So I walked.

Back to the room. The room was small but comfortable and had 2 TV's. One in the bedroom and one in the small living area. There was a microwave and fridge and plenty of free water. The TV channels were good but the reception was not that great.
The beds were very narrow and the pillows far too big to sleep comfortably. But the room was warm compared to the coolness of the area. There was a balcony which was very nice to sit out in the evening and first thing in the morning although that did seem to attract misquitos.

The shower was powerful and had plenty of hot water to use.

One of the drawbacks of the place was the fact it was far from anywhere. There is a Lawsons, Indomart and a billards room next to it so getting snacks etc was easy and also ATMS. Pizza hut was a way from the hotel but I am sure you could negoiate with someone to take you there.
The bar in the hotel was ok if not a little pricey and the conference did manage to drink them dry.  However the room service menu and speed was great and they took either cash or credit card and the food was big and filling.

On top of which was the free wifi which was fast, simple and available throughout the whole resort which in my opinion was the best wifi I have experienced in a hotel in Indonesia so far.

As someone who attended a conference it was a great place to stay but I dont thinks I would stay there otherwise as without a car you could be stuck if you needed to get anywhere. There are no taxis in Bogor. Just motorbikes and minibuses, none of which stop at the resort or close by.

Click here for more details:

View of one of the pools from one of the restaurants

A river runs through the resort, at speed when I took this!

The living area Kitchenette


Living area and fellow Conference attendee James

Small bedroom, big pillows

Seating area outside