This was the view from my balcony a little while ago. It looks like I could be at the Sofitel in Manila or in a hotel on Waikiki Beach. But that isn't the Pacific ocean you see there--that's the Indian Ocean, and I'm actually in the W Hotel in Bali. I have meetings here the next two days, and unfortunately, I had to make this quick trip alone because kids wanted to stay home for Halloween, and B had meetings in Manila.
The W Hotel is in Seminyak, and although it's quite nice and near the shopping places and restaurants, it doesn't fit my idea what Bali is.
The last time I was here was long ago in December of 2004. We booked the Sukhavati Retreat (now called Sukhavati Bali Estate), a compound of 6 villas, for the New Year holiday of the whole family. I have some photos in my laptop of that particular trip.
The kids were only 2 and 3 years old then! That's Denny amusing C. The service was so good, that I even remember the name of the manager then (Eka) and Denny, who was the number 2 guy. Upon checking their website, I noticed that Denny is still there and is actually the manager now!
All our villas had these outdoor showers that freaked out the men in the family at first. But after a few days, they got used to it, and it was actually the inspiration of an outdoor shower I now have at home!
This is the main pool in the compound. That's my villa up there, with the breakfast patio overlooking the pool. The kids had a villa of their own, and they were so thrilled to be "alone."
There is still one other villa that is high up the hill and separate from the other five. It also has its own plunge pool. This is the honeymoon villa.
I kept these photos in an "inspiration file" during my house renovation. That honeymoon plunge pool was the guide I had for my pool and deck at home. It's also where I first got the idea of having a full-length bench inside the pool. (It should actually be called the "copycat file").
Here below is the pool at home. And that kid above walking on the bench in Sukhavati is the same one walking on the bench at home, 6 years later!
I found Sukhavati only because I was trying to book another 4-bedroom villa nearby. It was all booked up for the dates we needed, so the owner of that villa so generously told us about this place which was new at that time. It was a lucky find, and turned out to be one of our most memorable New Year's trips.
The only thing about Sukhavati is that it's a distance from everything else. Even if they say it's "20-minutes away" (they always say everything is "20-minutes away"), it's actually about 40-minutes away or more because of the traffic. There were always two vehicles at our disposal so we went out shopping, did elephant rides, had lunches out. But we spent evenings in, dining all together "at home" with our own very attentive personal staff!
So now at the W Hotel, I feel like I'm in a nice hotel, but not really in Bali.
I inspected the design details of the room, as I always do, and am impressed by a number of things. The wall textures are nice--one wall is light green wallpaper, and the other wall behind the bed is a brown leather-textured material.
There's a shelf-like drawer under the sink that pulls out.
The bar is nicely designed, and the little room refrigerator under can breathe easily.
The bathtub and the shower share one big "wet room." A very nice idea if you have the space at home.
And what I think is really clever is that this sliding panel of mother-of-pearl and black shell in a check pattern actually hides a TV behind it. I don't really watch TV, so I can keep it closed the whole evening, while I continue surfing on the net.
But first I better go down to check who has arrived and see what's happening for dinner. Maybe I'll feel more like I'm in Bali when I start seeing the dimly lit gardens and pathways (or when I eat Nasi Goreng).