Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bali High - A Honeymoon Worthy Hotel (Part I), Komaneka Bisma

As I am sure I mentioned before, Bali was the honeymoon Husband J and I did not take right after our wedding in 2009. Honestly, I really wanted to stay at nicer hotels on this trip if we could. Bali has a range of hotel and private villa options, some for under $100 USD per night. You'll be spoiled for choice should you decide to ever travel here.

Our first hotel stop in Bali was the Komaneka Bisma in Ubud, Bali's artistic center. It's the newest hotel in the Komaneka hotel family as there is one right in the very center of Ubud on Monkey Forest Road as well as another hotel about 2o minutes away in Tanggayuda. While doing research for the trip, many sites were lamenting (and some rejoicing) that Ubud would get a bump in tourism from the release of "Eat, Pray, Love." Look, just go to Ubud. The copious amount of art, the beauty of the landscape, the relaxed vibe (minus all of the traffic at times) is totally worth a stay in Ubud. It's also a great place to use as a base for daytripping to sites all over the island. See my posts on the sites we saw, and I think you'll agree.

Let's take a tour of the room. I knew that this was a newer hotel and that the rooms would be nice, but I did not expect them to be so darn large. When I mentioned to Husband J that these were the low-end rooms, he was pretty shocked.

Our very large balcony

The view from our very large balcony
The Komaneka is built into a valley of sorts and has its own rice terrace, which many of the rooms overlook. There is actually someone on staff who takes care of the rice terrace, and we would see him out in the mornings and early evenings doing his thing.

Honestly, I just wanted to sit out there and stare even when I felt like I was being eaten by bugs (even with our high percentage DEET bug cream, I will say that feeling never truly went away while in Ubud). I loved hearing the birds, insects, and taking in the smell of the mud and grass all while never leaving my room.

One morning we had breakfast on our balcony. There's nothing like early morning bird sounds with your freshly squeezed papaya juice. By the way, I was just joking with my ILs this weekend that based on our pics, it looks like Husband J had a great time in Bali...without me! I will definitely get in front of the camera more next trip.

Our Bed upon arrival
The main portion of the room was divided in two. One portion had a king sized bed with night tables at each bedside. A long desk divided the bed area from the front portion of the room, which was comprised of living area that had a small loveseat with a large raised flat screen TV. I will say that the TV reception wasn't all that great, but we weren't exactly there for TV watching (minus a few hours of the World Cup).

Let's talk bathrooms, y'all. This has got to be THE nicest bathroom I've ever had in a hotel. It was GIGANTIC!! I am lucky enough to have more than one bathroom in my Brooklyn apartment (even though the second one is the size of a very small closet), and I think I can easily fit both of my bathrooms into this huge one. I dream of double sinks one day in my everyday life. The tub was phenomenal, and I did use it. Let me show you the shower...

You can have a party in this bad boy! Does this pic show you how big it is? I think you can easily fit four people in there. The shower has great water pressure. I am one of those types who likes steaming up the bathroom with hot water, which was readily available and didn't run out (I hate when that happens!).

One of my favorite things about our room at the Komaneka were the touches of Balinese art. I love these Garuda-shaped bottle tops.

The artistic touches extended to the common areas of the hotel too.
Cool, life size human sculptures made of wire in the dining room.

The super modern decor of the lobby

There is a large fountain-like pool in the center of the lobby.
Taken our first morning. There was quite a bit of rain.

The view from the lobby area to Komaneka's rice terrace.
A rainy morning

So let's get down to the nitty gritty. Here are the pros and cons of the Komaneka Bisma from my perspective:

1. If you are planning on getting some spa treatments, I'd advise on getting them elsewhere. The spa facilities from what I saw are actually gorgeously appointed and in a breathtaking spot. BUT the spa is MAD expensive!! For example, the Komaneka's massages cost $95-$120 USD, which is what one can pay for a variety of spa treatments here in NYC. You can get a hour-long massage in Ubud for less than $10 US (although the spa may not be as nice). Save your money and look elsewhere.

2. If you plan on being here for more than 5 days or so breakfast might become a bit repetitive as there are only so many options on their menu.

3. If you are planning to walk from the Komaneka Bisma to the center of town, i.e, Monkey Forest Road or Ubud Main Street (which is easy to do), make sure you're wearing some solid shoes as there are many areas on the walk where the road is in pretty rough shape.

4. There were barely any covers on the bed. Sheets, yes, but I need a blanket. If you are going to have the AC blasting all the time, then I needs me some more bedding beside the thin sheet that we were given. There were no blankets in the room. Look, Caribbean people do not have thick blood that can live in sub-zero degree surroundings! :) It was a pain trying to fiddle with the AC. It was often too hot or too cold. We couldn't keep the door of the balcony open because we definitely didn't want any bugs (You guys didn't want me to come back with Dengue Fever, did you?) I guess we could have asked for a blanket, but I was disappointed that there really wasn't anything in the room to really cover ourselves.

(Can you tell I had to reach here for cons? I really liked it here.)

1. All the little extras. Can I list them here for you?
-A cookie jar constantly filled with what tasted like homemade mini-cookies. YUM!!
-Outside slippers and bedtime slipper and indoor slippers...lots of slippers
-Komaneka nightgowns...loved these! (they were left out each night for us with evening turn down service)
-a little bedtime story every night with turndown service
There might be some that I am forgetting....
2. I have never been called by name by ANY hotel staff before. Maybe I don't stay in nice enough places? Also everyone at the hotel greeted us with a smile wherever we went. It made us wonder if they are really this nice or trained to be that nice. I think for the Balinese, it's a bit of both.

3. The room was extremely large, well-appointed and laid out in a way that was helpful. We even had a great walk-in closet that also served as a small luggage room. Everything about the room was well thought out, and we had everything we could have wanted or needed there (minus the blankets).

4. Proximity to central Ubud by foot and car. We really were in the heart of everything, and we could walk to all of the shops, galleries and restaurants on Monkey Forest Road and Ubud's other central streets. The hotel does provide a shuttle usually on a schedule, BUT they spoiled us a bit and took us where we wanted to go as long as the car was available. I liked having multiple options for getting around central Ubud.

5. It's a beautiful, beautiful place.


BigAppleNosh said...

Great review - I love all your pictures! And I'm glad that I'm not the only one who dreams of double sinks (one day, one day...)

Sara said...

Thanks for such a detailed review!! It looks like an amazing place- WOAH shower is right!- how can you go wrong with slippers and cookies. What a wonderful way to start your travels off as husband and wife :-)

kristi said...

Thank you for sharing.
Great posting!
Bali luxury accommodation.


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