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Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
web: bali.grand.hyatt.com
email: bali.grand@hyatt.com

By Aaron Rosen and Brett Ravage, Correspondents

Referred to by the locals as "The Island of the Gods," Bali is a lush combination of tropical jungle and long sandy beaches surrounded by warm, blue water. With reliably perfect weather and a warm and welcoming native culture, it is easy to refer to Bali as "paradise."

Nusa Dua refers to the southeastern corner of the island and the location of the island's premiere luxury resorts and hotels. Established in the late 70's by the Bali Tourism Development Corporation in an effort to protect Bali's natural environment, Nusa Dua is now home to luxury resorts like the Grand Hyatt Bali, and many other first-class resorts and hotels that care as much about protecting the island as they do about caring for their guests. Nusa Dua is crisscrossed with beautifully maintained streets, gorgeous public fountains, and beautiful hotels and resorts.

Like the fabled Balinese water palaces of old, Grand Hyatt Bali is a cluster of four ethnic villages set amidst an inter-linking system of cascading waterfalls, landscaped gardens and lagoons that meander through 40 acres of lush tropical gardens in Nusa Dua.

The Grand Hyatt Bali // has 750 of the most charming guest rooms, appointed with rich wood and natural fabrics. The decor harkens back to a colorful past with local woodcarvings, intricate ikat patterns, locally made furniture and stone carvings. Each room has individually controlled air-conditioning and humidity controls, private bath and shower, hairdryer, radio, satellite TV, international direct dial telephone, mini-bar, room safe and balcony. Some unique features of the average room include a cozy sunroom lounge strewn with batik-covered cushions, and a bathroom that opens up to the bedroom.

The Regency Club // assures an extra level of personalized service and amenities, with private swimming pool and concierge and butler service. Here the rooms are the size of suites, some on split-level, with spacious bathrooms and balconies that open out to the tranquil water gardens and the sea.

Places to See // Ubud: Located in the central hills of the island, Ubud is the cultural center of Bali and a must-see destination for anyone interested in Bali's art, crafts, music and dance. While Ubud's recent growth has engulfed several neighboring villages, the cultural character and integrity of Ubud has been preserved. In addition, the countryside surrounding Ubud remains relatively unspoiled, and is filled with ancient temples, gorgeous jungle scenery, and art centers in small neighboring villages.

Monkey Forest // near Sangeh Just outside the village of Sangeh stands the monkey forest of Bukit Sari. The monkey forest is located on the site of an ancient Hindu Temple, and it is on the walls of the temple that the monkeys are found. On the site of the monkey forest is a local market aimed at tourists. A local merchant acts as your guide, leading you through the monkey-filled temple, and ensuring that the monkeys behave themselves. After your tour, the merchant brings you to his stall where you may purchase trinkets or souvenirs.

Tanah Lot // is one of the most important and venerated sea temples for the Balinese. It is an ancient stone temple perched on a rocky islet just at the edge of the sea. During high tide, the temple is completely surrounded by water. Tanah Lot offers one the most spectacular sunset views anywhere, and is a favorite destination for photographers and tourists alike.

Places to Eat // With five impressive restaurants within the resort, you don't even need to leave the Grand Hyatt Bali for a great meal. Salsa Verde This is a fun Italian restaurant situated at the beachfront with a Californian decor. From the waitresses' uniforms, designed by famous Indonesian designer Itang Yunasz, to the uniquely designed menus, Salsa Verde is a flamboyant and exotic dining experience. Salsa Verde features wood oven-baked pizzas made with the freshest ingredients, freshly made pastas, risottos, dolci and gelati. Pasar Sengol is designed as an open-air amphitheater, featuring nightly live performances. Situated at heart of the resort, it is built on different levels and has natural stone walkways lined with food stalls. One price entitles you to eat as much as you want from any of the food stalls. The food available includes Indian tandoori chicken, Chinese noodles, Italian pasta, dessert items, seafood and a tremendous variety of fresh fruit.

WaterCourt Cafe // is an open-air theme restaurant, located between the South and West villages of the resort. The Watercourt Cafe is situated in the middle of lotus ponds and lush gardens, and features traditional Balinese architecture. The restaurant serves Western and Asian breakfasts, and in the evening, a brasserie style menu is prepared from which you make selections. Under supervision of the famous Japanese restaurant chain of the same name, Inagiku was built to resemble a traditional Japanese country home, and is located near the lobby of the resort. Renowned for its tempura, one will no doubt find the teppanyaki and sushi bars just as delectable. For private functions, Tatami rooms are available. Mei Yan Located in the center of the hotel, surrounded by blue lagoons is the Mei Yan Cafe. The interior is casually decorated with original antique Chinese birdcages, Chinese lanterns and rich wooden paneling that is reminiscent of a Shanghai tea-house. The wide array of Indonesian cuisine and seafood specialties in a wonderful setting makes a perfect combination for dining. Outside the Resort is a restaurant deserving of special mention: Bumbu Bali Restaurant and Cooking School Bali's first authentic Balinese restaurant was created following the principles used in designing a traditional Balinese home compound. Conceptualized by Heinz von Holzen, author of the highly acclaimed book, The Food of Bali, and his wife, Puji, Bumbu Bali was designed by well-known local architect, Ketut Artant. The restaurant features authentic Balinese food prepared by local chefs in an open kitchen. http://www.balifood.com

Shopping // While staying at the Grand Hyatt Bali, one only need take a short trip to the market just across the street for access to all the shopping you need. There you can find a large variety of clothing, leather goods, crafts and toys. The service is generally good and the prices are excellent due to the low value of the local currency, the rupiah. For more serious shopping, a quick trip to Kuta, just west of Nusa Dua, should fit the bill. In Kuta the main street that runs along the beach is lined with shops selling swimwear, traditional clothing and sarongs, jewelry, and crafts. If you are looking for traditional art and Balinese crafts, by far the best place to go is Ubud. There you will find countless local shops selling sculptures, paintings, woodcarving, ceramics, jewelry and furniture made by local artisans.

Activities // The activities at the Grand Hyatt Bali are endless. No matter what time of the day there is always something to do. Some of the activities that the resort offers are: aerobics, outrigger sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, deep sea fishin, and boogey boarding The hotel even has something called "Camp Nusa" which is a day camp for kids with activities such as tennis, arts and crafts, traditional dancing and cooking lessons. There is so much to do at the Grand Hyatt, you almost never have to leave the resort.

Transportation // The Grand Hyatt Bali is located about 15km away from the Ngurah Rai International Airport, which is about a 20 minute drive by car or taxi. When calling to make your reservations with the hotel, tell them you would like to be picked up at the airport. The Grand Hyatt Bali has a shuttle that runs back and forth between the airport and the resort. Metered taxis are also available for transportation around the island.

Tips // The beautiful breeze off the water can be very deceiving. The sun is very strong, so it is important to bring sun block, sun glasses, and a wide-brimmed hat. Always bargain. Not only for clothing and art, but for food and taxi services as well. Hire a driver for at least one full day. Plan your trip and decide what you want to see and do before you leave. When you hire the driver, they will plan the best route for your day trip. Bring some kind of water sandal to explore the beach during low tide or even just to play in the water. Much of Bali's beaches are very rocky.

By Aaron Rosen and Brett Ravage, Correspondents

Our trip to Bali was absolutely perfect! The island, landscaping, architecture, and natural environment combine to create a truly magical setting. The Grand Hyatt was so accommodating and beautiful, not to mention, all encompassing.

There are so many activities to do right on the premises, from swimming and watersports, to restaurants and dancing, that we hated to leave the resort. The staff makes you feel so welcome, as if they are receiving you into their home; they were only too happy to answer questions and make us comfortable.The rooms and facilities are beautiful but simple, as if the designers of the hotel were truly in touch with the local culture.

We highly recommend traveling to Bali and staying at the Grand Hyatt. The only complaint we had was that we wish we had more time. There is so much to do, see, and enjoy in Bali that you should really plan to stay for at least 2 weeks.


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