Tag Archive: vacation

5 Star Amenities In A Rugged Spot For A Relaxing Vacation

While some people enjoy vacationing in all the hot spots of the world where their time away from home is like one giant party filled with exciting things to see and do and enjoy staying in elegant hotels or private villas with all the mod cons, other people enjoy those quiet vacations where they can simply relax and soak up the sun and explore places off the beaten track and those quiet B and B’s or small budget hotels. Still others love a combination of the two, enjoy those elegant private villa surroundings and the quiet ruggedness of being off the beaten track. However, finding a combination of a quiet spot to vacation and the elegant living of a 5 star resort all in one place isn’t always easy. That is what makes Bali’s Bukit peninsula such a welcome change for many people.

Imagine: a beautiful limestone peninsula with rugged cliffs overlooking the ocean, mountains in the distance, spectacular beaches, and a quiet relaxed way of life. Where the most exciting activities of any day is taking a motorbike to the beach and watching the surfers challenge those big waves, or taking a quiet swim and looking for sea shells.

Then choosing to drive along the beaches and exploring the sea caves that date back to prehistoric time or taking the time to visit the quaint little sea temples that dot the peninsula’s coast. Then after a quiet day of exploring, swimming or simply enjoying the beach return to a spectacular villa where you can have a relaxing massage before heading outside to a perfectly appointed table overlooking the ocean where you will enjoy a wonderful meal cooked by a talented chef.

Well, you don’t have to imagine such a holiday. It can be yours. The Bukit peninsula is an unspoiled haven where you can relax and enjoy your days. Nightlife is practically nonexistent unless you want to drive 30 to 45 miles so having a comfortable place to stay during the evening is almost a must and what could be better than staying at one of the plush villas this area has to offer.

There are several around but, perhaps the most beautiful and centrally located is the Suluban Cliff Bali. Located between two world class surfing beaches Uluwatu and Padang Padang, and only a ten minute walk from quiet Suluban beach and a 15 minute drive from the Kuta golf course and a 5 minute drive from the Uluwatu temple. This villa has four charming suites that are beautifully appointed and the main villa has a comfortable living area where you can spend time, meet the other guests or simply enjoy a quiet evening. Complete with awesome views from every part of the Villa estate to relaxing spa and pool this Villa has everything to make your stay in the Bukit as luxurious as it is peaceful.

While the Bukit peninsula may not be for everyone those who enjoy a quiet and rugged vacation spot while enjoying the comfort and elegance of a 5 star resort will find this part of Bali a dream come true.

Tropical Vacation Homes – Investment or Destination?

Buying a vacation home for investment may be a great idea in these troubled economic times. Be certain to give location thoughtful consideration. You may pay more initially for a great location, but think things through and you could recover those extra dollars spent for a tropical location. You needed venture beyond the United States to acquire tropical vacations homes. The real property laws of countries outside the United States can be complex and issues of clear title can be overwhelming. As a practical matter, in many countries, foreigners cannot own real property. So keep your investment in the United States.

Owning a vacation home in a desirable tourist spot has the potential to make the property pay for itself by listing it on the vacation rental market. When you aren’t using it, rental income can offset those mortgage payments, maintenance costs, and property taxes!

Due to the current recession/depression, there are some real bargains awaiting you in the market.

There are also financial risks so stay within your means. I urge you to consult an experienced financial advisor to help you assess the risk/benefit of purchasing a vacation home. Arrange an appointment with your banker to get your mortgage pre-approved. This will posture you to act swiftly when you locate the right property.

Now if you are planning to rent a vacation home in your tropical destination, you don’t have the same concerns that we have discussed earlier. Your main goal is to locate a property in the destination of choice that meets your budget and your needs. I’ve mentioned in other articles that I’ve written to broaden your search by using the following terms: holiday rentals, self-catering rentals, holiday cottages, tourist rentals, agriturism (in Italy), ferienwohnungen (in Germany) and gites (in France). These terms will give you more hits than vacation rental or vacation home.

Bali is always an excellent choice for a tropical vacation. The Balinese are well versed in providing the accommodations most Westerners expect and then some. Bali is the the poster child for tropical destinations. Thailand is great as well. Both destinations offer Western friendly accommodations, gorgeous beaches, friendly people and incredible scenery. There are countless leisure pursuits such as golf, tennis, swimming, diving, snorkeling, sailing and shopping to name but a few.

Don’t overlook Florida and the Keys. These are domestic destinations to be sure, but as tropical as any Caribbean or Southeast Asian destination. Domestic fares are significantly lower than international fares and the economic crisis has blunted tourism in the region. You can be assured of lower costs for accommodations as a result. There are real travel bargains all along the Gulf Coast. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are great tropical spots in addition to Florida, which we’ve already mentioned. Wherever you decide to travel, do your homework. Thorough research can spare you a lot of unnecessary grief when you arrive at your destination.

If you are buying or renting a tropical vacation home, I hope this article has helped you in some small way.

Tips For Taking A Spiritual Vacation in Bali

The culture of Bali is in sharp contrast to what we are used to in the West. A large percentage of the population are still dependent on farming for their living, people live on less money per day than what we would spend on petrol to get to work, and above all, most of the population is deeply spiritual as well as superstitious. If you want to feel that you’ve reconnected with your simpler side, a Bali vacation is the perfect way to do so. Today we look at some of the spiritual travel options in this tiny Indonesian island.

Temples in Bali

Bali, like many South East Asian countries, holds much of its art, culture and architecture in the temples of the region. Locals have believed for many years that the deities of the local area had a direct influence on the success of their lives, which is why there is such emphasis on inward-looking, on spirituality and on reverence. There are some truly beautiful temples to be accessed only minutes from a range of Bali hotels, including:

* Pura Besakih: This incorporates pre-Hindu beliefs into the temple complex, which consists of five compounds as well as the main temple. There are plenty of day-long Bali tours to Pura Besakih

* Taman Ayun Temple: This temple is around 18 km south of Denpasar, and is much quieter than the other famous and easily accessed temples. It is surrounded by a wide moat and beautifully kept gardens; visitors cannot enter the temple, but you can watch ceremonies being conducted inside.

* Temple of the Meeting of the Three: Intriguing name for an intriguing temple! This particular building has only been there since 1917, but there has always been a temple on this site for over a thousand years.

* Uluwatu temple: There is some controversy about whether the monkeys at Uluwatu temple are tamed or trained to be naughty. But the temple itself is a must-see for a Bali vacation.

* Yeh Pulu Temple: This is said to be a very quiet temple, although visitors are often ‘required’ to give an offering to the temple gods.

Spiritual Festivals

Much as we in the Western world take time off our usual work to be with our friends and family, people in Bali often take time out of their day to honor locally recognized gods and deities. These events are a great way to get insight into the minds and motivations of the Balinese people… simply a very special thing to be around! You can check out most of the temples at any time of year, so if you want to up the ‘heart factor’ of your trip, take your Bali vacation around the dates of the following spiritual festivals:

* January 2 Tempe Kandang – Special day of thanks for the gift of livestock

* February 06 Tumpek Wayang – Special day of thanks for the gift of Art

* February 26 Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday – Moslem Holiday

* February 27 Saraswati – Special day of thanks for the gift of Knowledge

* March 03 Pagerwesi – Special day for meditation to enhance balance in the world

* March 13 Tumpek Landep – Special day of thanks for the gift of metal

* March 15 Tawur Agung Kesanga – Held to welcome Nyepi holiday at every family compound; followed by procession of Ogoh-Ogoh (huge monster / evil dolls)

* March 16 Nyepi – Balinese New Year; The I Saka New Year 1932, the day of absolute silence for Hindu followers

* April 17 Tumpek Uduh or Tumpek Pengatag – Special day of thanks for the gift of fruit-bearing plants

* May 22 Kuningan – Believed to be the ascendant day of ancestral holy spirits and deities, back to the eternity

* May 28 Vaishakha 2554 – Buddhist holiday to celebrate the birth anniversary of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism

* July 31 Tumpek Kandang – Special day of thanks for the gift of livestock

* September 29 Pagerwesi – Special day for meditation to enhance balance in the world

* October 09 Tumpek Landep – Special day of thanks for the gift of metal

* December 07 1 Muharram 1432 H – Moslem New Year

* December 08 Galungan – Praying for the victory of virtue (Dharma) upon evil (Adharma)

* December 18 Kuningan – Believed to be the ascendant day of ancestral holy spirits and deities, back to the eternity

Ancient Spiritual Sites

Bali is beautiful and quiet… unless you are in Denpasar or the other urban areas, there is usually nothing to hear but the wind in the leaves, the faint chattering of monkeys and the call of the ocean! Perfect for meditation and some private yoga sessions. Check out spiritual sites perfect for these practices on your Bali vacation, like the West Bali National Park and Bali Barat National Park.