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Step back, Step up... on the road to Nusa Dua


Rarely when we travel do we head backwards along an already trodden path, but this time we decided we will.

We've really enjoyed the restful and relaxing time that we've had on the island of Bali, reading, writing, eating good food and drinking refreshing beer.

We've booked a couple of nights in the Swiss Belhotel Bay View hotel in Nusa Dua an area we didn't explore too much 10 days ago. The hotel was great, and although not in the hustle and bustle of the town, free shuttles are provided throughout the day to the beaches, Nusa Dua or Kuta. One slight downside is that the shuttles stop early evening, perhaps to encourage you to eat in the hotel's restaurant, which we did find this over-priced and lacking in flavour. It's not expensive to get a taxi back to the hotel, so we will eat out in the town centres when we return.

The breakfast is a big plus, however, and caters for a range of European, Australian and Asian visitors. One of very few places that we've stayed where they had milk for example.

We loved the infinity pool on the roof overlooking the whole Southern peninsular...simply stunning. 

The room are clean with lots of nice touches. Excellent WiFi service extends across the hotel and into the rooms, so the Airport Express basestation can have a bit of a break too.

Overall, at approx. £30 per night the 4-star Swiss-Belhotel Bay View represents excellent value for money. Check out the deals on



The Balinese Locksmith

Yesterday, we arrived at our hotel close to the town of Ubud called the Lokasari Bungalows Spa and Gallery. It's a busy town and so it's great to arrive at a hotel which lands you in peace and tranquility. In fact, much of Bali is peace and tranquility with it's many statues and constant offerings towards Hinduism through nature-based pallets of offerings.

The view from our hotel balcony is simply stunning which we were almost denied access to since the previous residents had packed up taking the key to the balcony with them. The hotel staff were quick to respond, and no sooner had we mentioned where the key might be, and is there a spare (there wasn't) they had the locksmith pop over.

The little Balinese man arrived with nothing more than a little pouch of tools, in which there were about four or five to choose from.

Within seconds, the lock was picked with a simple pin and basic cut key. He set about dismantling the lock leaving the inner barrel with which his mastery was to about to cut a brand new key. No machines, no template key, just a file and a blank key.

It took him only 2 minutes to make a key, and given the hotel staff were still reassembling the door furniture, he thought he'd make a spare. 2 keys filed and cut within 5 minutes. Amazing.

The Balinese locksmith was curious to know if we had locksmiths in England who could do what he did and manually cut a key from a barrel. I guess we must, but this was nothing short of impressive.

The hotel here is fantastic, one of the best that we've stayed in whilst looking for reasonably priced accommodation (some hotels in Bali can be as much as £1000 a night.) TripAdvisor and other reviews only rate this as 1 star, but what we have here is at least comparable, if not better, than other 2 star places that we've stayed in. I fully recommend this hotel as a place to stay for reaching Ubud town and the sights in middle-Bali.

The staff are friendly, welcoming and very courteous. The modern rooms are airy, spacious and are clean and tidy. Regular (free!) shuttles take you in and out of Ubud town. Perfect.

Lokasari isn't anywhere close to restaurants or cafes so you either need to take the shuttle into the main town or eat at the fairly wide selection of food in it's own cafe. Breakfasts are delicious with fried eggs, toast and the staff even squeezed a rasher or two of bacon onto my plate. Could you ask for much more? I don't think so.

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