Bali 2014 – Aeroplan Sale: In Bali and the Kupu Kupu Barong Resort – PART 4 of 5
I landed at DPS airport on time. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any special handling (ex. for Star Alliance Gold or NEXUS), and had to wait through a fairly long line. As a Canadian, I was eligible for a Visa on Arrival. I had taken out $35USD in Canada to pay for the visa. You can pay in other currencies, however they will give you a crappy conversion rate. I do not know whether you can pay by credit card.
Once you pay for your visa, I had to wait in a new line to clear immigration. Going through was simple enough, and I was greeted by my hotel driver with a sign.
The drive between DPS airport and Kupu Kupu Barong is about 90 minutes. If you’re from a colder climate, you’ll immediately feel the heat once you step out of the airport, which is a pretty constant 30C year-round, + a billion degrees in humidex 😉
Happily the driver had cold water and Coca-Cola available for the ride. It’s a very pretty drive, going through rice paddies and arty towns. The roads in Bali are mad, with hundreds of motorcyclists zipping through the traffic.
Kupu Kupu Barong
I first started my search for a hotel using hotelscombined.com and trivago.com. I decided I would stay at Kupu Kupu Barong. I then searched for the best price. Surprisingly, the best price I could find was with Orbitz, which had a 20% off coupon available. I typically find the prices on Orbitz, even after coupon use, to be similar to rates on Orbitz-based sites like RatestoGo.com. The rate on Orbitz was a good 100$ cheaper for the three nights.
After applying the Orbitz coupon, the price for the three nights in a “Deluxe Suite” was 311.94$. However, I also used TopCashBack, which with a referral gave me a total of 14.90$ cash-back. Further, I also got 9.36$ in Orbitz Bucks. My end total was 287.68$, or 95.89 a night.
Disclosure: before my stay, I emailed the hotel using my DCTA email address and not my personal one. I requested a complimentary upgrade and was granted a significant one to a Duplex Villa. If I paid for this room, even using the above booking method, it would have been about 743$ for the three nights.
Once I arrived at the hotel I was greeted with a glass of fresh juice and a cold towel. My butler introduced himself and took my bags to my villa.
We walked through stunning winding paths, and arrived at villa 24. It was absolutely stunning. It was two floors, with a deck. The main floor had a living room (and fresh fruit!), and a bathroom larger than my apartment. The bathroom had a tiled bathtub/shower, a toilet room, and a private pool. Being a l’Occitane en Provence branded hotel, all the bathroom amenities were by them.
Upstairs was a canopy bed, a sitting area, and a beautiful view of the valley and the Ayung River.
The hotel premises were beautiful. They were very well manicured, with a seemingly constant cleaning crew.
The staff at the hotel were great. Every single time you walked by a staff member, be it your butler or a workman, they would bow and ask if you’re having a good day. It did get tiring at times as a 5 minute walk might have you encounter 5 staff members, but it was pleasant nonetheless.
All bookings with this hotel include breakfast and an afternoon tea. The breakfast options were very good. I stuck with the Western Style breakfast, having poached eggs and sausage with lots of fresh juice. I tried the afternoon tea once and thought it was pretty bland and of poor quality.
The hotel offers a free hourly shuttle to Ubud, ending at 17:00. It’s too far (and hot) to walk to Ubud from the hotel. They were always very prompt.
– Every morning ~4am the roosters surrounding the hotel woke me up. It was charming on the first night, but after that it was irritating.
– The hotel bar and spa were ludicrously expensive. An hour massage was something like 100$, whereas a (great) hour massage in town was 8$. I did not try the quality of the hotel spa, but I can’t imagine them being any better than the already awesome city spas.
– There was no individual shower, it was only attached to the bathtub. Whenever I used the shower head, water sprayed all over the room. They really need to get a shower curtain surrounding the bathtub.
– The A/C in the villa was of poor quality and didn’t work very well. The same goes with the WiFi throughout the hotel.
– The floors in the hotel were extremely slippery, and I almost fell a couple times. I would not suggest an elderly person stay here for risk of slipping.
This isn’t a “travel blog”, rather it’s a “review” blog so I won’t talk about what I did in Bali too much. However, I highly recommend taking a whitewater rafting tour on the Ayung River. It’s a pretty tame experience (largely level II rapids), but it’s absolutely stunning. Also, spend as much time as you can visiting the temples in the area. They’re gorgeous and serene. Last, try to eat in Ubud as much as you can. The prices are extremely cheap and the food is very tasty. I highly recommend Fair Warung Bale, which is just off the main drag and has delicious food and cheap Bintang beer. Best of all, it’s a charity restaurant, where proceeds go to a foundation that provides medical care for the area.
AND GO TO MONKEY FOREST. 600 MONKEYS ROAM FREE. IT’S AMAZING. IT’S WONDERFUL. YOU WILL BE ATTACKED. A MONKEY MUGGED ME AND STOLE MY WATER BOTTLE, EMPTIED IT, GOT ANGRY, AND THREW IT AT ME. IT WAS WONDERFUL.