Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Le Meridien Nirwana Golf & Spa Resort, Bali

This is a long overdue post on our holiday in Bali on September 2007. It was a free and easy holiday as we did away with the usual tours since this is not our first visit. Instead we booked our own van and driver to take us around the island. Our guide and driver, Pak Made Widana, was introduced to us by a friend and we booked his services via email. He was very obliging and regaled us with his anecdotes on the Balinese’s way of life.

Our Air Asia flight arrived at Denpasar airport at 7:45pm. As we’re told it takes between 45 mins to 1 hour to get to the resort at Tanah Lot, we requested Pak Made to drop us at the nearest KFC for some takeaway. That would be our dinner for the day. The KFC meals were different from those in Malaysia. Instead of the usual fries to go with the fried chicken, in Bali steamed rice is served with the chicken instead.

We finally arrived at the Le Meridien Nirwana Golf & Spa Resort at 9:15pm. A gong was sounded in the lobby entrance to mark our arrival, followed by a hotel staff who greeted us with a frangipani lei. It’s the first time our daughter has been greeted this way in a hotel, so she was very pleased. As with all Starwood properties, check-in is done in a very comfy sofa in the lobby where guests are served a welcome drink. Once check-in is completed we were escorted to our room by the guest services officer.
Our room was located in a separate building as the Le Meridien Nirwana’s grounds are vast and wide. Our superior room is located a short walk from the pools. The resort features 4 magnificent pools including a wading pool for kids. Beautiful cascading waterfalls are part of the pools’ features as well as water slides. Our daughter had so much fun playing in the pool this resort definitely gets her vote!
The lush 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman has been awarded “Best Golf Course in Asia” for 4 years in a row.
The best part of the resort for me is the view. The first thing that greeted us the next morning when we opened our window, was this breathtaking view of the sparkling emerald green Indian Ocean! This just took my breath away! The iconic Tanah Lot temple can be seen from the resort grounds, so breakfast at Cendana Restaurant was a treat, both in terms of food and first-class view!

Landscaped gardens and rice terraces are also integrated into the resort grounds. Local farmers tend to the rice terraces and proceeds are split among the villagers. The rice terraces are easily accessible so it's a wonderful learning opportunity for city kids. Le Meridien also organizes activities for guests in the morning. Of all the Starwood resorts that we’ve stayed in, Le Meridien Nirwana gets the vote for resort with the most breathtaking view. It’s simply unbelievable to open your window and gaze out at the Tanah Lot temple perched majestically on a rock in the Indian Ocean.

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