Long Weekend in Bali

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  1. calvinoeh
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    calvinoeh Milepoint Guide

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    This trip was a "semi-continuation" of our winter adventure in Beijing and China. Instead of routing our BMI redemption directly back from Penang from China, we did a virtual stopover in Singapore, flying back to Penang on Air Asia and ending the redemption with a Singapore to Bali business class flight a couple of weeks during a long weekend in Malaysia. We figured we could use some sun after freezing our butts off in China.

    Instead of our usual short hop on Air Asia to Singapore, we decided try out Tiger Airways instead for the first time. The flight on Tiger Airways was also slightly cheaper and we would visit the Budget Terminal for the first time as well.

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    For our four nights in Bali, we decided to stay at the Conrad after reading great reviews on the hotel. We split the stay with a cash booking on the first three nights and a points+cash redemption on the last night.

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    Lydia had some expiring Krisflyer miles that were just enough for a economy class redemption on Singapore Airlines after the 15% online booking discount. I decided to join her in economy using some Krisflyer miles as well thinking that the extra miles in business class would not be worth it for the relatively short flights to Singapore and Penang.

    As usual, the trip report will be available on my blog with installments below:
     
  2. calvinoeh
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    Penang to Bali

    We were dropped off at the airport two and a half hours by a friend on his way to the office. The Tiger Airways counters were not opened yet when we got there and we met other passengers who were similarly trying to find the correct check-in counters. Thankfully, the contract check-in agents for Tiger Airways finally arrived soon after and we were the first few to get checked-in.

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    Surprisingly, the Tiger Airways plane from Singapore arrived to Penang more than an hour before scheduled departure. It looks like we were going to be departing on time or so we thought. Boarding didn't start until thirty minutes before departure and when finally everyone was on board, there was not enough overhead cabin space for hand luggage. This caused some bags to be checked in and for the flight to get delayed for thirty minutes trying to sort the mess out. I was thinking to myself at this point on why we didn't start boarding early so that we might have departed on time. It was another 30 minutes after doors were closed before we finally departed for Singapore. Point here to Air Asia for on time departure!

    We got to Singapore with an hour delay and parked at a pretty far parking bay. Similar to the LCCT in Kuala Lumpur, there are no aerobridges at the Singapore Budget Terminal. It took us a good 15 minute hike before we made it through immigration. Our bags were soon out and we hoped on of the free buses that would take us to Terminal 2. Here's where the Singapore Budget terminal beats LCCT - the transfer from LCCT to the main terminal building is via some dingy bus service that costs RM5 per person.

    There were no lines at the business class check-in counters and we got our boarding passes and bags checked in to Bali. After going through security and immigration, we decided to head over to the Silverkris Lounge in Terminal 3 first since we've never visited the one in Terminal 3 before and we needed to be back in Terminal 2 for our flight later.

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    Main Food Area​

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  3. pearl girl
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    pearl girl Silver Member

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    Look forward to the remainder of your report.
     
  4. calvinoeh
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    Conrad Bali

    The Conrad Bali lived up to the hype and reputation. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and it is now one of our favorite hotels. The hotel was well kept with lush green gardens, multiple pools and amazing views.



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    Main Entrance​




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    Lobby​

    We were greeted with a cold refreshing towel and iced drink during check-in. We were provided the welcome letter at check-in and told that we were upgraded to the next level room and breakfast was complimentary in the main restaurant due to my Hilton Honors Gold Status. I was disappointed that there was no mention of the usage of the Executive lounge so I asked before we left. The guy helping us at check-in told us it was either the upgrade or the lounge usage. In that case, I informed him that I would have gone with the lounge usage instead and went to check with this manager for a couple of minutes and came back and told us that they've made an exception for us this time and would grant us lounge access and provided us with a new welcome letter stating that benefit.



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    The Conrad Bali Monkeys​

    We were upgraded to a corner garden view room that was pretty large. Waiting for us in the room were the infamous Conrad toys that Lydia has now made her personal mission of collecting. Our favorite part of the room was the huge bath tub that could fit both of us in it. Sorry, no pictures with us in that to share.

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  5. calvinoeh
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    Exploring Bali

    We could have just spent the entire trip just relaxing and lazing around the Conrad but we didn't since it was our first time in Bali and we wanted to see the major spots. We hired a car and driver for a day to take us around. We found the driver from tripadvisor and pre-booked him for ~$40 USD for ~6 hours. He was responsive to my queries over email and we were very happy with the level of service received. He unexpectedly even acted as a guide in walking together with us and explaining the the places we visited. Needless to say we left him a pretty good tip. Let me know if you want his contact.

    Our first stop of the day was visiting the temple at Uluwatu, which was a temple situated on a picturesque cliffs.
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  6. calvinoeh
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    Food in Bali

    As expected, the food in Bali was great and in some ways, pretty similar to Malay food we got back in Malaysia. There were some dishes that tasted new to me as I couldn't recognize the spices being used and some were spicy and definitely packed some kick which I always enjoy.

    One of our favorite restaurants that we tried was Bumbu Bali. We liked it so much we ate there twice. It is nearby to the Conrad and in spite of being only a 10 minute walk away, they do offer pick ups which we did use when it was raining during our first visit. What I particularly liked about Bumbu was the quality of food served. I would summarize it was perfectly cooked Balinese cuisine. For example, the seafood that we ordered on one night was perfectly cooked with tender squid and shrimp. It was almost fine dining without the "frou-frouness".
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    Satay and appetizers​

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    Soup​

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  7. calvinoeh
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    Penang to Bali

    Singapore Airlines flies three flights daily to and from Singapore. We were flying out of Bali on the morning flight and would have preferred the afternoon departure giving us more time at the Conrad but could not get award availability on that flight. We left for the airport after a quick last breakfast at the Conrad and got to the airport with plenty of time left since there was no traffic.

    There were no lines at the business class counters which we used thanks to my Star Gold Status. With bags tagged all the way to Penang and boarding passes and lounge invite in hand, we paid the 150,000 IDR departure tax/fine before proceeding through security and immigration.
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    Singapore Airlines uses the "Premier Lounge" in Bali. The lounge was spacious with adequate seating and an outdoor/smoking area with views of the ocean and tarmac. Even though they were serving breakfast with cooked to order eggs, we just had a couple more cups of coffee since we already had a substantial breakfast at the Conrad. One major disappointment was that there was no free Wifi in the lounge and you had to purchase Wifi time from the lounge desk.

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    View from the lounge​
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    Cooked to order eggs​
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    Outdoor area​

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