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Has anyone here been to the Maldives? Or Bali?

rosetta

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
3,417
Due to work pressures, we still haven't managed to go on honeymoon. :knockout:

We want to go next January, either to the Maldives, or Bali, or somewhere nearby-ish.

We will get about 7 days off only.

We are trying to buy a house, so money is tight, but it's our honeymoon, so we would still like it to be nice and memorable, ya know?

I would love to hear about your experiences in these areas, money saving tips, hotel recommendations, activities etc.

We will be flying out from London.

Thanks in advance to everyone! :))
 

wannaBMrsH

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 27, 2008
Messages
1,049
We went to Maldives for our honeymoon and even though we only spent a few days there, it was truly beautiful, relaxing and memorable.

We stayed at the Sheraton Full Moon and we found a great deal online. The only downside was that the cost we were quoted didn't include the transfers to the hotel or any meals. Meals are very expensive on the islands and there are no taxis as the airport is on one island (Male) and all the hotels are on different islands. Some have boat transfers and others have private plane transfers, but this can range from $60/per person each way to $200/per person each way!

My recommendation would definitely be to try to find a resort that at least includes some of your meals (European Plan) so that you can plan some dinners out and still have others covered. Or to bring some other light snacks (granola bars, crackers, etc.).

Lastly, find a resort with plenty of things to do at the resort because again, there are no taxis and it can be difficult and pricey to island-hop. We only spent four days in the Maldives and we decided to forgo the trip to Male to see the Grand Friday Mosque and the Mulee Aage Palace and instead did a dinner cruise around the atoll. The other big activity we did was a snorkeling trip to a nearby island.

I loved it and even DH ranks it as one of the best trips ever. We definitely both hope to go back again.

Have fun and enjoy the time when you finally get your hubby away from it all!
 

misssoph

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
121
I was recently in Bali, I am from Perth in Western Australia so it is only 4 hour flight, it was however the first time i have been there though I have travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, Middle East etc.
Kuta is horrible.
There are many beautiful resorts an hour or so away, really not too expensive eg $200 night for your own little villa with its own pool.My resort had fabulous food. More staff thn guests. All the resorts are gated with security .Outside the gates usual life goes on. It depends a bit how you feel about luxury surrounded by poverty.
There are issues with Dengue in Bali, some typhoid and recently Legionnaires. The dengue seems to be the biggest problem as it is carried by mosquitoes active throughout the day, especially if you plan to travel to other parts of the globe where there might be other serotypes. Cheers
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Oct 5, 2006
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9,364
I've been to both and absolutely LURVE the Maldives!! :love: :love: :love: , but unfortunately it is very very expensive. We were given a free upgrade (long story) to a water-bungalow (Four Seasons) which sits atop the sea. OMG!! It was absolutely AMAZING!! The food was top-notch too (b/fast was HUGE). I'd like to do it again but at the cost of abt USD1k per night, I don't see that happening any time soon.

I've also been to Bali a few times. Bali is great too but totally different experience from the Maldives. It's a lot more laid-back/ down-to-earth with lots of different types of accomodation (some of which can be quite luxurious). You can also go to Lombok (I've not been but have heard it's great).

There are all sorts of water activities you can do at both, snorkelling, scuba-diving, water-skiing etc. The two places have totally different atmospheres. It'd all depend on what you really want.

Oh, and if its the Maldives, you tend to just stay at one resort and enjoy the company of each other (which is why it's extremely popular with honeymooners). With Bali, you can travel all around the island and enjoy different kinds of sceneries and meet varied people (so for eg. there are lots of back-packers in Bali but you also get some honeymooners and people who go there just for a long weekend/ a few days).
 

rosetta

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
3,417
Thanks everyone!

Does anyone know of an all inclusive resort where you get a choice of which restaurants to eat in?
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
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rosetta|1314810969|3006498 said:
Thanks everyone!

Does anyone know of an all inclusive resort where you get a choice of which restaurants to eat in?
We went to Sandals in St Lucia and it was the WORST choice ever! The food was atrocious and because it was all paid for, they just didn't care! They had several restaurants, but they were all aweful!! :knockout:

I'd still give Bali a try. I wouldn't worry so much abt dengue, really. I mean Singapore has a dengue problem too, but as long as you take precautions, you should be ok. If you're interested, I could link you to some amazing villas, AND excellent (as in top-notch food but not overly expensive) restaurants to go to.
 

rosetta

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
3,417
Phoenix|1314812108|3006515 said:
rosetta|1314810969|3006498 said:
Thanks everyone!

Does anyone know of an all inclusive resort where you get a choice of which restaurants to eat in?
We went to Sandals in St Lucia and it was the WORST choice ever! The food was atrocious and because it was all paid for, they just didn't care! They had several restaurants, but they were all aweful!! :knockout:

I'd still give Bali a try. I wouldn't worry so much abt dengue, really. I mean Singapore has a dengue problem too, but as long as you take precautions, you should be ok. If you're interested, I could link you to some amazing villas, AND excellent (as in top-notch food but not overly expensive) restaurants to go to.
Yes please Phoenix!

I'm not concerned about dengue as I'm going to another country where it's endemic and will take precautions.

But bad food would make me cry!

My ideal is a private villa with a jacuzzi or plunge pool, or an over water villa. Great food is a must!
 

kelpie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
2,362
I like The Residence chain which has resorts in Tunis, Maldives, Mauritius and Zanzibar. I just came back from Zanzibar haven't been to the others. It was a great deal...$350 a night all inclusive for both of us because they just opened (I think $550 for non residents). They are still working out some kinks but there's no way I'll be able to stay there once the prices go up in the 1500+ range which is supposed to be Dec 18 but they might make an exception if you book before then. Good thing about Zanzibar is you can easily do a combo of safari and beach if you fly into Kilimanjaro first. Really two days is plenty for safari...it gets to the point where you're like, "yawn, another giraffe".
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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9,364
Hi Rosetta,

Here're some links to the villas:

First one, I've used these people before and the villa we stayed at is very nice.

http://www.elitehavensbali.com/elitehavens/elitehavensbali/index.asp

The second one has been recommended to me by a friend. I've never used this service but it's supposed to be very good:

http://www.kissbali.com/

Note that all the villas come (or should do) with a couple of maids, who besides from cleaning yr room and making yr bed, can cook b/fast for you and even lunch and dinner if you so wish. I've tended to eat out for lunch and dinner. (Oh and b/fast should be included in the rental of the villa, not sure abt lunch and/ or dinner).

You can also negotiate for the service of a driver and a car, for the price and hours that you'd want. This should be helpful, esp if you've never been to Bali.

I will try and give you some more details tomorrow, esp infor re restaurants.
 

rosetta

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 7, 2010
Messages
3,417
Hi Phoenix!

Can you tell me where the best place on the island is for beaches, nightlife etc?

Those villas look amazing, I really want to go to Bali now! :love:
 

indecisive

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
1,240
I honeymooned in Bali and fell head over heels in love with it. My friend honeymooned in the Maldives and it is lovely as well but I feel like there is more diversity (rain forest, beach, mountains, volcanoes, lakes, rice terraces, temples, etc) and more to do in Bali. Good luck planning your trip!
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
Phoenix|1314894533|3007473 said:
Hi Rosetta,

Here're some links to the villas:

First one, I've used these people before and the villa we stayed at is very nice.

http://www.elitehavensbali.com/elitehavens/elitehavensbali/index.asp

The second one has been recommended to me by a friend. I've never used this service but it's supposed to be very good:

http://www.kissbali.com/

Note that all the villas come (or should do) with a couple of maids, who besides from cleaning yr room and making yr bed, can cook b/fast for you and even lunch and dinner if you so wish. I've tended to eat out for lunch and dinner. (Oh and b/fast should be included in the rental of the villa, not sure abt lunch and/ or dinner).

You can also negotiate for the service of a driver and a car, for the price and hours that you'd want. This should be helpful, esp if you've never been to Bali.

I will try and give you some more details tomorrow, esp infor re restaurants.


This makes me want to go there immediately!!!
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,364
rosetta|1314997687|3008589 said:
Hi Phoenix!

Can you tell me where the best place on the island is for beaches, nightlife etc?

Those villas look amazing, I really want to go to Bali now! :love:
I like Seminyak and Ubud. Ubud is not a beachy place and is fairly quiet but still def worth going to (day trip or stay overnight).

When in Seminyak, you *have* to go to Ku De Ta and Potato Head for drinks, people watching and most importantly *amazing sunsets"!! :love: :love: Go early so you can get the best seats. Go to Sarong (best restaurants imo), Sardine and Metis. The Living Room is a restaurant but it also has a bar/club thingy. There's a new(ish) club called Double 6 (haven't tried it myself). Karma beach, still in Seminyak, is great (you can have lunch or dinner at Karma Kandara too).

In Ubud, If you don't mind paying more for your dinner, you should try Mozaic, or casual dinner with at Lotus Cafe while you watch the local cultural performance. Rock Bar at Ayana Resort is amazing too.

Nusa Dua and Sanur are supposed to have the best beaches in Bali. I've been but this was a long time ago and cannot remember so can't tell you much, sorry.

Kuta has the most clubs, I *think*, but I do not like it at all - it's rough and is known for having a drug problem. I'd give it a miss, unless you don't mind the rough edges/ something different after the tranquillity (relatively speaking) of say Seminyak. I think it's more suitable for a younger crowd looking to party HARD! (sorry I don't know your age, so this is just a general comment).

I think the best thing for you to do is to decide where to go in Bali (read the two links I sent you plus google around a bit). Once you've picked the location(s), feel free to come back and I can give more detailed advice.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
I have been to bali and I LOVED it - I love it. I want to go back. It's magical and lovely and it's a great place. I was debating between there and Maldives as well and I pretty much came to the conclusion that if it was just my husband and I (and not our 3 kids) then maldives would have possibly won out, but honestly I'm just so gaga for bali... it's diverse and beautiful and just filled with culture.

I think maldives is somewhere I'd go if I didn't want to leave my hotel much other than to walk on sandy beaches. If you want to walk through forests and feed monkeys and body surf and see temples... bali :)
 

justginger

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
3,712
I must be the only person in the world who hates Bali. I've been twice and can't find anything redeeming about it. For the record, we stayed in northern Seminyak both times, so not even in the heart of Kuta's chaos.

The beaches are bleh. No white sand, no turquoise waters. It was a bit silly coming from Perth, when Western Australia beaches are much, much nicer.

We ate at SO many different places, but still couldn't get a good meal. Ku De Ta was...ok. Expensive for Bali standards, and terribly rude service (I suppose the wait staff have had their guts full of the obnoxiously arrogant tourists that seem to flock to Bali). Other places were just mediocre. Lots of grease. We were happy to get home and cook for ourselves again.

We searched for culture, high and low. We found none. What we found was a society of people who were exploited and taken advantage of, over and over. An island with no native trees left for all those wooden trinket dealers in Ubud - they have to import wood from Java now, to feed the insatiable tourist demand for penis carvings. :roll: The traditional silver and batik shops in Ubud felt like a very worn out time-share pitch. Buy, buy buy.

I suppose the worst of it all, what I could not tolerate, was the goading, the haggling, the complete assault by shop owners. "Hey sweetheart, you buy? You want Billabong? How much you pay for Bintang shirt? I give you 982530 for 10 rupiah. Hey sweetheart, come back here, babydoll!" And so on, and so forth. You can't even pause to THINK without multiple men coming up to touch you, push you into their stores. And this was all with a husband next to me - I can't imagine how it would be for a single woman. There were times that I elected to stay in the hotel, simply to have a bit of peace and quiet. I guess when I go on holidays, especially a honeymoon, I want a chance to explore and relax. Bali was not the least bit relaxing for us.

I personally think that Thailand offers more of what people are expecting when they think of Bali. It's amazing how "Eat, Pray, Love" has affected the recognition of Bali - before that book/movie, Bali seemed to be almost unknown to Americans and Europeans. It was a staple tourist destination for Australians though...like Cancun for Americans. Just as Cancun isn't my scene, neither is Bali. I've never been to the Maldives, but having spent my honeymoon in the Cook Islands, that's really more my style. White sands, turquoise waters, friendly locals with unexploited culture.

If you do elect to visit Bali, maybe get out of the Kuta/Legian/Seminyak area? I've heard that WAYYY out of there, it's much more authentic, genuine. More relaxing (in the way of yoga retreats, etc), prettier beaches, etc. Wherever you go, I hope you find it enjoyable. :bigsmile:
 
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