Bali – Day 1 at the Ayana Resort

Where to start? Yes, I will be splitting this information into 3 parts – pretty much one part for each day. There were some interesting things that cropped up occasionally and trying to piece all the fun information into one entry would be…well…too long even for me! And I like to type! This was our first getaway since moving to Singapore 2 months ago and it was sorely needed. Yes, we missed the Formula 1 night race which was the same weekend but what can you do?

Overall it was a fantastic, relaxing, great-weather (no humidity!) trip and we expect to stay at the resort again. The Ayana Resort and Spa is located on the cliffs above Jimbaran Bay in Bali (

This was a much-needed respite from the stress that is my wife’s work; her 11-12 hour days here in Singapore. It is all about her well being at this point since I, the “guy tai”, still don’t really work unless you consider I do the laundry. You would think laundry is not time consuming but our washer is the size of an ice cream maker and it takes several loads to get 2 days worth of clothes washed. I know…at least we have one

Let us begin. Day 1: I thought we weren’t going to make it. Our flight was at 12:15 PM and I hoped to try the MRT (subway), which meant out of the house by 10:15 AM. We left at 11:00 AM. Work never stops for YAW even on the mornings we are headed for a stress-free, relaxing time away from…work! When got in the taxi (too late for the MRT), the driver asked our flight time. He chuckled for a good 5 minutes after we told him it was in an hour and 15 minutes. See, sometimes the airport is a 30-minute drive and then there is immigration, getting through the terminals, and lots of security.  Every flight, yes every flight out of Changi Airport is international. Weird huh? Not much need for a commuter jet to go to the other side of the small city-state.

He got us there in 15 minutes.  We breezed through customs making it to the gate with a good 30 minutes to spare! Ah… this is going well now.

The flight left 30 minutes late. Nothing else exciting there. I had just picked up and began reading Return to a Sexy Island by Neil Humphreys. He is another “Ang Mo” (white-guy) but originally from the U.K.  He has lived in Singapore and Australia for a while and has written quite a few books about his life here. A friend here compared me to him so I thought I better check it out. It was a great read and I recommend it with a caveat. Now that we live here I can picture many of the things he talks about and it makes me laugh. “I’ve seen that too” I think. Not so sure it will be as understandable for the non-Singaporeans but it is very entertaining.

Landed in Bali. First stop is the $25 fee for the entry visa. Next was the one hour line to get through immigration because we did not want to pay the $100 “hurry up’ fee offered by the guys at the back of the line.

When we finally got through, a host from the resort was there to greet us (we found out later they can meet up to 45 people per day). The drive to the resort was a 45-minute trip in heavy traffic, over a few dirt one-lane roads, pass a lot of run-down buildings, and while avoiding the mass amounts of scooters and motorbikes zooming in and out of traffic. It is a sight to see when the dad is holding one child in his lap and the 2nd child is squeezed between the dad and the mom, her straddling the back of the scooter. I didn’t really know much about Bali and I was surprised at its large size and its poorness. It was like driving through Tijuana , Mexico.

The resort gate had one security guard, armed, checking in the car while the other guard had a bomb-sniffing dog walked around the car. Interesting. Another thing I did not expect! Going into the grounds, over 70 hectares, seemed a bit dry and tired but once we go to the main lobby, well then the awe inspiring beauty started.

Unfortunately my first experience with the resort at check in was a little frustrating but luckily it was my only real negative experience the entire stay. There were some issues about the included breakfast (they said it did not, I said it did) and for some reason no one could easily agree to let us stay one more day! We wanted to stay an extra day and had already changed our return flight. Before we left, we figured a 3-day trip was needed. I had sent an email to the resort, which had not been read, but this was the most challenging communication. We just wanted to checkout one day later. Could we? “We’ll check and get back to you”. Really? Don’t most hotels love it when a guest will stay an extra day?

When we checked back later after dinner, it had all been worked out. (Well except for when we were locked out of our room Sunday since the keys had been set for 2 days, not 3). Ahh. Now we can relax. Yes, I was worried we would wake up hungry and have to fight the whole breakfast thing again. It was included and now we could eat. That is part 2.

The room was very ice with a partial ocean view and overlooking the main central area of the hotel.  But as the hotel bellboy walked us into the room, I wasn’t sure to tip him. We did not research this before we left! There is no tipping in Singapore but what about Bali? Still not sure but we do know they also include the 10% service charge in every food bill so maybe it is similar.

We ate dinner that night at the hotel’s Italian restaurant. All the eateries are outside in large covered pagodas and the weather and scenery was wonderful. The food a little saucy but overall very good for an Italian place on Bali!.The bill was only 1,228,150. Not bad. Ha, you do the math! I can tell you the food and drink prices are much better than in Singapore. I could go on but this is enough for the first day. See you in Part 2.