Within a matter of hours, you can immerse yourself in a totally different culture and climate. Bali is a great getaway place for all manner of holidays, be it surfing, shopping, or a family escape. Being only 8.62 degrees south of the Equator, it's always 'summer'. Sometimes too hot. Sometimes too humid, and occasionally a little wet - but not for long. There are downpours and then it dries up and the sun shines through.
After not having travelled to Bali for 25 years, we went there on a whim! We are neither Generation X nor Y. More like Baby Boomers. No matter what your age, you will fit in here.
My husband was reading the Travel section of the Sunday Newspaper and saw the promo. I smiled and nodded approvingly. Within ten minutes we had ourselves a holiday. We also had a fabulous deal, and something like 12 months to use it.
Getting to the Pan Pacific Nirwana Resort at Tanah Lot was easy. On arrival at Denpasar Airport, the 'meet and greet' person with the sign sporting our name ushered us to a driver who delivered us, in air-conditioned comfort, to the hotel through the hustle and bustle and craziness of the afternoon peak hour. It didn't matter. The scenery was great and the thousands of motor scooters zipping past kept us entertained for the one and one half hour's crawl through the traffic.
The wait was worth it. The wow factor of the view was enough to keep us happy for eight days. I hadn't paid much attention to the deal, apart from the price which was very reasonable. I didn't bother reading the fine print! And, I didn't need anyone reciting it in detail after what had become a long journey. My attitude changed in an instant: Included were: daily breakfasts; eight one hour Spa Treatments; a romantic dinner for two in 'Driftwood" their top restaurant; a cooking class for two; a lunch for two at the Golfers Terrace; a guided walk; yoga classes; and I don't remember what else! The accommodation component of the holiday cost us the same as we would have paid for the Spa Treatments in Sydney. This was looking good.
What to do? Relax: Swim, sleep, read books, gaze out to sea as you laze in one of the many ocean-side balé. There are four swimming pools surrounded by sun beds, recliners and balés. A few waterslides make for fun for the young and young-at-heart.
Play Golf: With so much to do, we only found time to play two rounds. The course is nice, the hire clubs were pretty good, and the caddies were a great help in many ways. Firstly, giving some good tips, and secondly retrieving lost balls from gullies and rice paddies. Booking an early tee time allows you to avoid the heat of the day.
Visit Tanah Lot Temple: This was a surprise. Little did I know that on the other side of the fence behind the 7th green was a village. You could see the Temple from almost everywhere, but the village, the eateries and market stalls were a surprise. It soon became apparent that Sunset at Tanah Lot was a major tourist attraction. There was tranquility on one side of the fence, and mayhem on the other!
After a full day of activity, eating in the resort is a good fallback situation, particularly if you've attended one of the Happy Hours in either the Sunset Lounge or the Driftwood Bar, or Cocktails on the lawn. If you do feel like venturing out, the Concierges can recommend several good restaurants a short taxi ride away.
Shopping: Opportunities abound here for the keen shopper. The Resort offers information and outings to Seminyak and Kuta, with the Concierges keen to point you in the right direction.
Explore Bali: There are many touristy things to do outside the resort. These include the Monkey Forest, a choice of Safari Parks, Coffee Plantations and tours of the Countryside.
Business or Honeymoon: Both an obvious offering of the Resort. During our stay, a massive marquee appeared on the foreshore to celebrate a wedding with at least 200 guests. That was topped off with an impressive fireworks display.
Booking your trip: Look out for Deals. We booked through Luxury Escapes, a company that runs all sorts of travel deals within a limited purchasing window. 'Pan Pacific' have their own 'specials' package offers, and some Google searching revealed other sites like 'Best Hotel Offers' coming in at 50% off the published price.