Agnes

Agnes

Cincinnati, Ohio, USofA

"We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves." - Pico Iyer "Why We Travel"

October 08, 2014
Rated 5.0

The Smoky Mountains remind me of everything good in life.

1 person found this review helpful
September 30, 2014
Rated 4.0

Krohn Conservatory is beautiful and wonderful and a local treasure- and it used to be free and it no longer is and that makes me (a poor person) sad.

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September 30, 2014
Rated 4.0

How can you just not marvel at this architecture? It's jaw-dropping. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.

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September 30, 2014
Rated 4.0

I've never had a bad experience here- everything is always delicious, and one time I had this most delicious mimosa with an edible hibiscus- it was real nice.

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September 30, 2014
Rated 3.0

We only stayed here for two nights, so we just stayed in one of their less expensive beach villas- and it was still nice. It had a huge bathroom (always a fan). The running water here is salt water ( as Bali has been in a water crisis since 2009) - but I didn't mind at all- they give you all the bottled water you want. It's also just across the street from the beach- which on island where any vehicular transportation is not allowed- is a definite bonus.

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September 30, 2014
Rated 4.0

Maybe it was the two+ hour 'speedboat' ride to get to the Gili Islands or all of the drunk Australians swarming the already narrow streets- whatever it was- visiting the Gili Islands was my least favorite part of my trip to Bali. In the islands' defense, we only visited Gili Trawangan - the largest and most popular island, which (I think) had a lot to do with it. It was filled with tourist traps and though lively- the restaurant/ bar scene here was overwhelming to me. You are freely offered 'sexy mushrooms' and other such things typically illegal- it's usually recommended for foreigners to refrain from such- but there are so many tourists that partake in this complete leniency that this island has a definite 'spring break' type feel.

Although this laxity is incredible to analyze- from a distance- I wanted more of a private, quiet beach experience- which perhaps the other Gili Islands have. Also, you can't enjoy the beach unless you have water shoes. The beach is largely comprised of broken coral reefs and unless you have shoes, it will painful/ if not impossible to get into the water.

P.S. If there is anyway you can avoid the speedboat ride- do it. Even the most iron of stomachs are put to the test.

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September 30, 2014
Rated 5.0

Visiting Uluwatu was breathtaking and certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience- but was not without definite drawbacks. Had it not been for our driver/tour guide I would have been at a complete loss of what to do when we first arrived at Uluwatu. Our driver helped us figure the entrance fee plus the yellow sash, monkey, and fire dance ticket situations- and I am eternally grateful. His expertise helped us to enjoy the awe-inspiring splendor of the Uluwatu Temple.

First of all, though hundreds of years old, Uluwatu is an active temple, so women and men alike must wear clothing that covers their knees and must wear the yellow sash around the waist to show reverence for this sacred spot. With that being said, exploring Uluwatu and the surrounding area is quite a physical endeavor and doing it in a full-length dress- is a challenge (see the picture of me i on the stairs)- but it is completely worth it. The views are stunning and somewhat terrifying as you can get very close to the cliffside which overlooks the Indian Ocean. I've never seen anything like it. As you walk along the trails leading from the forest to the temple you will encounter the infamous monkeys that inhabit the area and if you are not careful or are not ready with a banana for them they will (unapologetically) take whatever they want from you- sunglasses are a favorite, but while I was there I saw one try to make off with someone's unattended backpack. The monkeys, I felt, only added to the wonderful and culturally infused experience of seeing Uluwatu.

If you have the chance, stick around for the Kecak (fire dance) ceremony- I think it takes place at sunset every Friday night. Sure, it is crowded and touristy, but I found it was impressive all the same. I love the Ramayana story and to see it brought to life like this was an experience- just be sure and go to the ceremony space a little before the sun has completely set, as it gets incredibly (like no room whatsoever, lots of sweaty people) crowed.

1 person found this review helpful
Conrad Bali
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Conrad Bali
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$$$

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September 30, 2014
Rated 5.0

Thanks to my boyfriend's Hilton Honors status, I had the luxury of staying in the Conrad Suites here and it is a hotel experience that has not- maybe cannot- be matched. I felt like I was nothing short of royalty. Our room was giant and airy and beautiful- complete with its own balcony offering views of a lush jungle-like setting around our private pool. Staying in the Conrad Suites, we were treated to a free delicious breakfast (poolside) every day with the most impeccable service. Along with breakfast there was also a lunch /tea time and happy hour that were both available to us every day. Every single person working at the Conrad Bali was so incredibly kind and would go out of their way for anything we needed. From the servers at breakfast, to those who attended the pool, to the drivers that we hired to take us sightseeing around Bali- everyone was amazing.The grounds of the Conrad Bali are spectacular in and of themselves. There is a lagoon that wraps around most of the hotel that you are welcome to swim in and if that is not enough you have complete access to the Conrad Bali's beach. I could not recommend staying here enough.

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August 29, 2014
Rated 5.0

Their Bloody Marys are so delicious and the absolute perfect remedy to any hangover blues. Like Cullen said, the bread pudding french toast is something that you just have to get.

3 people found this review helpful
August 29, 2014
Rated 5.0

I echo what Cullen has said about the obnoxious clientele- however, I feel that given the awesome selection of beer they have, it's easy to overlook. I've never felt crowded or too bro'd out. They drink their beers and I drink my beers and we're all happy.

1 person found this review helpful