Work & Play in Bali

Last year August our website was hacked, actually to the point that it could not be saved at all anymore! Now we have a beautiful, brand new site, built by ourselves so we can adjust it any way we like it. Oh so proud! It took a little bit longer than expected, but we have been working on it just since January and only when our ‘regular’ work was finished. So, finally, after a year we are online again!

With all our efforts to build the website, an invitation to a website and online marketing conference couldn’t be timed more perfectly. Jacqueline and I travelled in May to Bali for an intense 3-day conference hosted by CBI, a branch of the Dutch ministry. It was even better than expected! All the tips & tricks we heard, we implemented directly into the design and functionality of the site. The site is not perfect yet, but it will always be an ongoing process.

Bali being one of the most popular destinations for our guests as it is part of the Discover Bali tour, we also took the time to check out a few hotels. We need to know if the hotels we send our guest to are still ok and as they can age quickly, a survey is an important part of the job!

The seminar was held in Denpasar, so we stayed in Sanur; a popular beach town just 20-30 minutes from the airport with many hotels. It has been a while for us both that we stayed in Sanur, but it is still a lovely part of Bali. Not as crowded as Kuta area, but many restaurants, some shops and a nice beach with lots of possibilities for activities. Very suitable for couples and families. You can visit the art market to stroll around for a little while or ofcourse go souvenir hunting before your flight back. The 5 KM long stret

ched beach has a serene, relaxed feel about it and is separated with the beach front cafes and hotels by a beach walk. This we saw is mainly used by sporty expats and tourists who went for morning runs. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for all of this, except for a lovely dinner at CharMING and a fantastic breakfast at Tandjung Sari. Even if you are not staying at Tandjung Sari, I’d recommend going there for breakfast once, it is amazing! Take your pick from the elaborate menu and you will have a table set with fresh baked croissants, muffins, eggs benedict, pancakes, fruit platter, home made muesli, etc. That’s how a heavenly morning starts with a setting on the beachside.

Compared to other Sanur restaurants, CharMING is a bit pricey, but hey – we live in Makassar, Sulawesi where top restaurants are scarce. When in Bali we do like to eat the things we can’t get here! CharMING has a beautiful, romantic decor with a large open garden terrace and wooden panels on the wall, tables are well spaced from each other, live background music that is not too loud, attentive staff and ofcourse delicious food and drinks. The menu is a mix of French and Asian dishes. The escargots au gratin and baby back pork ribs were absolute winners. CharMING is a restaurant that would fit perfectly in the area of Seminyak where you can already find an abundance of trendy restaurants serving top food. Sanur has been behind in that for a while, but it seems to be catching up!

After 2 days of the conference we had one day off and planned to go northeast to the Karangasam area as a new hotel is opened there which we thought would suit Tari Travel perfectly. And it sure did! Karangasem is an area quite untouched by tourism, so you can still see and feel traditional Bali there. The new colonial-like lodge only has seven simple, but charming bungalows and there is a restaurant area which feels very homey. The place is set within a beautifully maintained garden, which includes a swimming pool. But it is mainly the area that makes this place such a gem. We are now setting up a longer walk (4-5 hours) passing rice fields and small villages in the area for our guests to enjoy. A traditional lunch in the local community will ofcourse be included as well for interaction with the people living there. We will definitely let you know when it has become a Tari Travel Insight Bali tour! And don’t forget to check out our other Insight Bali Tours.

Not too far from the lodge is another hotel we find ourselves to offer our guests lately. This one is a small, quite luxurious hillside hotel overlooking the sea. We visited this place for lunch as it is famous for the healthy food and drinks they serve. We were not disappointed! Fresh made hummus and salads accompanied by a healthy veggie/fruit shake (most ingredients grown in their own garden) in a stunning setting. Gorgeous!

On the day we left for Makassar we had a one-on-one session with one of the hosts from the conference who personally checked the website with us. We had planned the site to go live a lot sooner, but it took some time implementing a few of his great tips! The meeting with him was set in his hotel in Sanur, beachside… Yes, we love our work! And food, as you might have noticed 😉

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