One of my favourite Bali restaurants overlooking Seminyak beach is the recently renovated Chez Gado Gado restaurant. The renovations feature a huge Wantilan roof, which sets off an inviting fine dining area now with more tables and chairs, which are all under cover. The famous deck area has been raised marginally to give diners a more delightful view of the floodlit Indian Ocean. Chef Quib said his icon fine dining venue is now open for dinner and he is ready to take on the competition with a new and exciting menu of delicious meals being prepared in a new world class kitchen.

 

  1. I came across your blog and wanted to say thank you for putting the guide together. My husband and I will be traveling to Bali the first week of November (to take advantage of the off-peak season) from Los Angeles. We have 2 weeks and Ubud is definitely one of the destination. We also look forward to the beach. We are in our 40’s and prefer the quiet beach. I read that Sanur is a good spot but the beach isn’t great. Do you recommend a day or two in Lombok? My husband would like to swim and relax on a nice beach. Is transport from Bali to Lombok easy and can I make this decision last minute? We are planning to visit Monkey Forest, water raft in Ubud, and visit a temple or two. We are are more interested in the culture then the party scene. Thanks in advance for your help. Cheers!

    • Hello Helen and family,
      Nice timing, my wife and I and also five members of our immediate family have just returned from a month of enjoying the wonderful tropical weather in Bali. We are from Western Australia, which is only a three and a half hour flight from Perth where the weather is miserable at this time of year. If we lived on the east coast, you could add another five and half hours flying time.
      Assuming you have not been to Bali before I will endeavour to answer your questions and add some suggestions for your consideration.
      In recent years the weather patterns around the world have changed immensely so you may be lucky or unlucky because traditionally November through to March is the monsoon season, which means heavy rain and higher humidity. However having said that, it does not rain all day every day but rather at night mostly and sudden downpours during the day. Of course this causes the humidity to increase. The chances are that you wont be bothered by it so please don’t be put off altogether because you can live with it and you will enjoy a great holiday.
      Sanur and Nusa Dua are on the eastern side of the island where there are beautiful white sandy beaches to enjoy and also calm water because of the reef running along most of that coastline. The beaches on the western side are open to the Indian Ocean and are famous for a number of world class surfing beaches.
      Reading between the lines, I think you should stay on the east coast to enjoy what is on offer there and watch the sun come up rather than a spectacular sunset.
      Clearly, the two sides of the island are as different as chalk and cheese and at the same time offer the tourist different and exciting things to do and see. My suggestion to you is the west coast being Kuta, Tuban Legian, Seminyak and Canggu should definately be on your program to visit by day and night.
      Fortunately, you can travel between both in about twenty minutes by taxi at a very cheap rate. For example the flagfall is Rp 5000 (.50 cents) plus the same for each kilometer travelled. USD$20 should get you from one side to the other and back( but get a quote). The other option to consider is to go through one of the many private transport operators for around $40 depending on the time you engage them for.( once again get a quote) The Bluebird Taxi Group are the most reliable and respected taxi service on the island.
      Two new hotels which we had a look at in the last couple of weeks are: The Royal Santrian, luxury beach villas at Tanjung Benoa (east coast) an amazing place with a beautiful beach and lots of water sports to entertain you. http://www.theroyalsantrian.com .Also on the west coast the new W retreat and Spa Bali- Seminyak, this will blow you away too. http://www.explorewhotels.com/baliseminyak
      I have no idea of your accommodation budget so you are best advised to ask how much gets you what on Tripadvisor. Google tripadvisor bali forum for information about anything and anywhere on the island.
      Lombok is certainly worth a look and is like Bali of many years ago in lots of ways. To get there you have three options, Plane, Ferry and fastboat. A new International airport is due to open on October 1st this year. If you decide to go,I have a friend whom you should contact to discuss these options and also a plan of what to do i.e maybe the Gili islands also for example. Contact Eric +6281916485818 or once you are on the island, ring these Kuta #’s 081933072217, 087860931857. It can be a bit confusing using phones in Bali so it will pay you to read the section on communications, transport, money matters etc. on my website.
      Ubud is where you will find out about the Balinese culture, museums, art etc. To get the best out of your visit it would pay you to engage a guide for the day. Your Ubud hotel will oblige in this regard.
      As a suggestion only you may like to checkout the Amandari Hotel +62361975333 or google amandari hotel ubud bali, for a look at this fantastic location overlooking the Ayung river where you go white water rafting, which bye the way is safe and professionally managed.
      If you visit the monkey forrest and I hope you do, be warned that rabbies has been rife in Bali of recent times and monkeys are a carrier like dogs & batts so you don’t need to be scratched or bitten by these guys. Also monkeys will relieve you of your necklace, earings and your sunnies if you are not carefull and take them to their trainers. The message is, the less jewelry you have the better and you don’t need sunnies under the forrest canopy.Your guide should point these dangers out to you.
      Once again read as much as you can about Bali before your arrival to help minimise any traumas developing during your stay.
      Thank you for your kind words and I sincerely hope your Bali holiday is everything you wish for.
      Cheers
      Mike.

      • Hi Helen,
        Thanks for the update. Could you please forward your last email to this address to keep our communications in order on the blog. Much appreciated.
        Your choice of accommondation sounds good and also the Hyatt would be a very good choice also. You will find with most accounts in Bali i.e hotels and restaurants will add between 15 & 21% to the price. Some will say it’s included but it’s always worth checking. The Hyatt becomes $121 per night in your case and probably plus breakfast. I’m sorry but most bali type bungalows within your budget on the beach front have long gone to make way for huge developments without any character. (they call it progress???). Here are a couple of suggestions on the west coast for your consideration, which are okay and should fit the budget. Hotel Kumala Pantai (Legian beach) http://www.kumalapantai.com, email [email protected] Also Sari Bunga Hotel (Legian beach), please google. both places are in excellent locations and are popular. The rates are always open to negotiation. You will fit into the low season with your booking so you will get a good deal.
        Phones can be a problem in Bali and if you havn’t already done so it will pay you to read the blog on communications. My wife and daughters rent a bali phone each just for good local communications between themselves. I use my own on international roam for different reasons. The cheapest for you would be using the local land line from your hotel for ringing any local numbers. My friend Charlie will look after you well, he is a character and does know his backyard very well. Please mention my name to ensure he does the right thing by you.
        Cheers
        Mike

        • Hi Mike

          Thanks for your reply. Here is the email I sent to you prior to your last reply:

          I’m so grateful for all you do! My husband (also Mike) and I thank you!
          Everything you have suggested sounds great and I will definitely look into it. I am doing a lot of research right now (tripadvisory, blogs, lonely planet book) on where to stay. At times, it is overwhelming. For example- some of the hotels recommended by lonely planet got mixed reviews on tripadvisory. So I feel like I am back to square one. We are the mid-rangers (between USD$80.00 to $130 a night), so trying to find a place to stay that is enjoyable, quiet, clean, great view, and valuable takes a bit more digging. We don’t require luxury but would like to stay at one nicer place. So far, I found Alila Manggis Resort or Alila Ubud appealing at a price we can afford. And that’s probably the only one nicer place we will stay on our trip, the rest would be less than $100 a night. We also like to stay in a traditional balinese cottage to soak in the culture rather than in a big resort type. So, we really want to mix in our experience. The other less-expensive places I found – Tegal Sari (Ubud), and Hyatt (Sanur). Hyatt is actually recommended by Lonely Planet and it is only $100 a night, and on the beach. Although I’m not a big fan of big resort style, it is reasonable! There are so many choices and that is why I feel so overwhelmed :o)

          I plan to pick 3 places to stay for our 2 weeks vacation – Ubud, Sanur, and (undecided). I read that it is easy to travel around the island so there is no need to stay at too many places. We do plan on hiring a driver and I will definitely call the one you recommended on your blog.

          I also looked into our mobile phone company on international roaming, and it is expensive (@ $4.00 a minute). Since my husband and I will be together all the time, and we have no need to call the States, do you recommend that we get our own phone connection at Bali? or is it easy to just use the local phone?

          I have a million more questions to ask you but I feel I need to do my homework first. That’s if you don’t mind answering. you have been extrememly kind and helpful. Should I ask you directly on your blog?

          Thanks Mike!

          Helen

          • Thanks Helen & Mike, much appreciated, I sincerely hope all of your hard work pays off for you both. We will be overseas again from 15th Oct for a few weeks, so if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to email before we leave. As a matter of interest we have been doing our research too for this trip which is our first-time to Egypt. Hmmmm could be interesting?

            Cheers

            Mike & Anne