Sunday, August 13, 2017

Basking in Bali: Day 3 at Holiday Inn Bali Benoa (Jan 2017)

a giant sitting area, one of a few, at the hotel lobby. A must-have photo op after our check in.
Late check in at Holiday Inn Bali Benoa

From the cultural heart of the island we moved to Tanjung Beach area famous for its water sports activities. We arrived at Holiday In Bali Benoa at about 7pm with our bags and McDonald’s takeaway dinner. The resort was chosen by the company and was where we had our meeting and company gatherings for the next 2 days. Some of my colleagues from Singapore, Japan and Indonesia arrived earlier and have already checked in. We were among the last ones to check in for the day.

"Holiday Inn Bali Benoa offers travellers a fresh, modern, and family-friendly stay."
It is about 15 minutes drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. The resort has themed rooms for families with young children, a Kids Club, four pools, a gym, several chill out lounge zones, free wi-fi, and their signature Tea Tree Spa.

Address: Jl. Pratama No.86, Benoa, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Contact details: +62 361 8947888

Upon check in I was informed by the receptionist that the resort had 100% occupancy (wow!) and they could not accommodate our request for 2 adjoining rooms or rooms next to each other. The good news was that one was upgraded to a pool-access room and the other to a partial ocean view room. The only downside was that the rooms were 4 floors apart. The kids took the pool-access room (of course!). My husband and I settled for the partial ocean view.

We brought the kids to their room first. Having stayed in several Holiday Inn hotel rooms years ago, we were delightedly surprised at how luxurious the room was. It was spacious. The lounge chairs at the veranda overlooking the pool was inviting especially on a hot and humid night. We had to give it a miss on our first night though as we could not wait to gobble up our takeaway dinner.

After dinner and chatting, we decided to walk around the hotel grounds before settling in for the night. We immediately loved the pool and the boys’ first agenda for the following day was swimming. The boys also saw the gym and put that in their to-visit list.
at the bridge connecting the rooms to the restaurant - Pasar.
Behind us is the pool which the boys couldn't wait to jump into.
We went all the way out to the beach area and sat for a while at the comfortable lounging area.
now are these not such comfy lounge seats???
After soaking in the night sea breeze, we headed back to the boys’ room and let them settle in. I left their belongings with them, gave them instructions (eg. where to keep their dirty clothes, brush their teeth, fix their bed, etc) and made sure they could contact us anytime (using the hotel phone or whatsapp). It was one of those few times during our holidays when the boys had to stay in a separate room but this was the only time we were not on the same floor. We gave them specific instructions not to go out, to double lock the door and to keep us the lines of communication open (there's free wi-fi after all!). Thanks to technology, free wi-fi, sending and receiving messages these days are more convenient. It also gave us comfort that we were staying in a relatively secure hotel.

When the giving of instructions were done and good night kisses given out, us parents retired to the partial ocean view room allocated to us. The room had a different layout from our kids’ room. It was also spacious but there was a sitting area and a balcony where we could have a view of the ocean.

Our partial ocean view room:

simple but functional and really comfortable

Good night for now. It was a tiring day having explored the island from the central west to the southeast. Looking forward for a relaxing day tomorrow.

DAY 3: Company gathering

We were supposed to wake up early for the sunrise to which the boys also set up their alarm clocks for. But we found our beds more inviting and we thought we still had 2 more opportunities to watch the sunrise in the next few days so we dozed off until it was time for breakfast.
Breakfast was at the hotel restaurant called Pasar. It was just across the pool access room. We had the option to have our meals inside the restaurant or go for Al fresco. Of course, we opted for the outdoors.
I noticed these sign boards at the restaurant and fell in love with them.
Hoping to find something we could bring back and display at home.
This was the first time my family met some of my colleagues (and vice versa) and also the first time I am meeting some of the colleagues from Indonesia and Japan. Brief introductions were made. A good spread of breakfast items were savoured. Then the families separated for a few hours as the company staff went for official business and the families went for rest, relaxation, swim by the pool or laze by the beach.

I left the boys to enjoy the pool while I join the rest of the team for the scheduled meeting. We finished a little past 12 noon and rejoined with our families for lunch at Pasar.
the boys at the pool

the boys checking out the beach

The rest of the afternoon was free and easy and we spent it at the pool and by the sea.
me watching the boys while lounging. Again, I could get used to this!

a Jacuzzi at the middle of the pool area

at the end of the pool area, closer to the hotel lobby is the swim up bar
guests were not too keen on jumping into the water. It was not crystal clear but we still made it work for us.
By dinner time, we were ready to be with the group again for a specially arranged BBQ buffet dinner and some singing with the live band afterwards. The bosses led and the team members followed with their renditions of various famous songs.

My boys were asked to go up on stage to sing. My boss tried to convince Ira to give it a try, but he failed. Kelvin was a bit hesitant at first. He reconsidered when he knew that he could sing with one of my Filipino colleagues. They discussed what song they were going to sing and agreed on “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.

The shy, hesitant teenager of mine turned out to be more confident on stage and eventually finished the song with a bang. And went on for a second song as I cheered that he knew what the band was playing on the background immediately after they finished the first song.

Few more songs by other staff members. Few more sips of alcohol. And I found myself on stage singing with a colleague - our rendition of Madonna’s “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from the movie Evita. It was probably the alcohol singing.

The night ended with everyone having a great time. One by one, we disappeared into our hotel rooms. The boys decided they would go to the gym again so we accompanied them for a few minutes. Then we left the boys to continue their workout for the next half an hour or so.

They said their good nights when they returned to their rooms and that was it for our last night at Holiday Inn Bali Benoa.

Day 4: Check out

Our last breakfast and final hours to enjoy the pool and the beach before we checked out from this relaxing haven.

We took photos by the beach, in our respective rooms and at the lobby as we bid farewell to our home for the weekend. It was such a great experience to stay at Holiday Inn Bali Benoa. We did not expect it to be this much fun - and we haven’t even tried any watersports or island hopping.
goodbye, pool access room...
goodbye, balcony with a view...
our partial view of the sea
goodbye, Bali Benoa beach
we liked this special wash area with a giant clay jar and a wooden ladle
Thank you, Holiday Inn Bali Benoa! Till we stay with you again.
our mandatory check out photo
big, spacious room with pool access
the boys definitely enjoyed their stay in this room
stylish lobby of the hotel
I liked the circular sofa arrangement as the center piece of the lobby

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