The Art of Luxury

Wonderful Conrad Bali is the perfect beachfront resort to hole up during Bali’s holy day of Nyepi – or on any day of the year.

A stay at Conrad Bali, on a secluded, quiet section of Tanjung Benoa Beach, well regarded for its water sports and powdery white sands, on Bali’s southern coastline, is lovely any time of the year.

The luxury resort comes endorsed not only by a slew of awards, including “Indonesia’s Top 25 Hotels,” and TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice 2013, but with the lofty standards you would expect from Hilton Worldwide. It has five-star comforts, yet the 353-room beachfront resort is environmentally clean and community-committed, while its nurturing – without any pretentiousness – goes far beyond the integrated resort complex itself, with an ultra-friendly yet efficient team that goes the extra distance.

Conrad Bali does a fine balancing act of accommodating (literally) all types of guests, from couples and families to corporate types and groups, with exceptional facilities and services and extensive guestroom options. The latter include Deluxe Lagoon Suites fronting a beautiful azure lagoon pool that connects the accommodation wings (simply swim from your balcony) and the exclusive Conrad Suites that operate like a private hotel within a hotel, with its own pool, personalized service and enhanced privacy.

Enjoying accolades as one of Indonesia’s most family-friendly resorts, Conrad Bali offers family suites and interconnecting rooms, the Kura Kura Kids Club with all-day supervised activities – even a safe artificial beach area within the lagoon.

Simultaneously, couples appreciate the kid-free areas, such as the Conrad Suites and the ultra-private Couple Spa Villas at the acclaimed Jiwa Spa to indulge in the tranquil water gardens and multiple-hour treatments and, for wedded bliss, can take advantage of the stunning beachfront Infinity Wedding Chapel, plus other wedding venues and packages.

My stay, however, coincided with Nyepi, the “Day of Silence” and the first day of the Balinese New Year, when from 6AM for 24 hours, Bali’s Hindus stay silent in meditation, fasting and self-reflection on the past year. No one on the island is allowed out on the streets as travel anywhere is strictly prohibited – even the international airport is closed – with activities, noise and lighting kept to minimum. Tourists are not exempt and must remain on their hotel grounds the entire 24 hours, so what better place than the beachfront Conrad to make the most of a special Nyepi Hotel Package and a perfect opportunity to relax, diffuse and reflect?

Although guests must all stay on-resort, the property’s 6.8 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens affords a sense of spaciousness and privacy, even during Nyepi. Like at other resorts, most facilities operate as usual, leaving little chance of guests being bored. Throughout the year, Conrad Bali provides a broad range of daily activities (many, complimentary) from beach volleyball to Nusa Dua bicycle tours. On this holy day, however, activities focus on a cultural angle – even in the Kids Club – such as traditional Balinese dress-up and dancing.

I opted, however, to participate in a two-day batik workshop, learning how to create traditional hand-made batik in a “Master of Arts” class in partnership with iconic Indonesian Batik designer and producer, Iwan Tirta Private Collection. As part of Conrad’s the first series of Living Lobby Art Exhibition, four quarterly exhibitions are being displayed throughout the year in the East Lobby Lounge, with related workshops taking place; a series highlighting masterful works that represent Indonesia’s indigenous art and cultural heritage, presenting guests with unique interactive opportunities.

Alternatively, the beach may have been off-limits, but I still managed to enjoy the 33-metre pool and lagoon, being greeted by staff with icy cold face towels and bottled water. Across the island, lights go dim post-dusk on Nyepi Day; although beach side and glass-encased, we were still able to dine at the signature restaurant, Eight Degrees South, as at other F&B venues, by romantic candlelight. That night, lacking a day’s worth of pollution, the inky night sky was stupendous, studded with twinkling stars, while on the post-Nyepi morning, distant volcanoes were visible through the coconut palms. Yes, this “Day of Silence” made me appreciate Conrad Bali even more – it speaks my kind of language.

Conrad Bali

168 Jalan Pratama, Tanjung Benoa,

Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia,

T:  (+62) 361 778788

E: reservations@conradbali.com

www.ConradBali.com

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