Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hard Rock Café Beach Club

Located on Kuta Beach Bali, the Hard Rock Beach Club/Hotel is a very popular destination for international and domestic tourists visiting Bali. As a matter of fact, I have stayed there numerous times and found majority of the hotel guests I run into are from Jakarta or Surabaya. The larger group after locals seems to be Japanese. The entrance way of the hotel is a bit rundown now but the huge guitar and amplifier is still a bit of a show stopper. The back side of the amp, facing the lobby, is popular place for tourists to take pictures upon arrival or departure. I admit that I have a few over there on my HDD as well.

The main lobby of the hotel is the Stage Bar. This is a bar with a stage for the house band directly over it. It’s a cool place to stop for a beer on your way out of the hotel or on your way back in after a hot day in the city. It is usually pretty quite in the day time but some hotel guests like to chill out there in the evenings. There is a channel on the TV in the rooms that allows you to watch the Stage Bar, and the performing band of course.

Just to the right of the Stage Bar is the ever popular HRC gear shop, selling a variety of HRC merchandise at ridiculously expensive prices. It is a bit of a novelty for the tourists. It has also proved useful to some friends of mine who found themselves at the wrong end of a ‘drinking malfunction’ while bar hopping.

Although I do not stay at the HRC hotel, it does sport one of the largest free form pools in Bali and the pool bar is a fun place to chill. The pool itself is partly like a beach with the water rolling onto a sandy shore where one could indulge in a game of beach volleyball, should one find themselves excessively energized on a vacation. I for one am not that one. But the shallow beach area is ideal for toddlers. You can let them play on the shore without worrying about one of them being pulled away by an oversized wave. Also there are some pretty hot chicks around the pool who love to meet local guys who can take them for private tours around the island.

The oversized pool is fringed with these little cabana’s that can be rented out on a daily basis for about Rp.150,000. They contain 2 deck chairs, a dressing table with mirror, a small table, 2 lounge chairs, a waste basket, and a ceiling fan. There are also large curtains that can be drawn to insure privacy. Some of the cabana’s open directly out onto the water. There are a few that I observed which are more “private” than the others. You can order food, drinks, and even massages inside the cabanas.

I would much rather stay in the pool at the villa but this is still a great place for the kids to hang out and interact with other kids. It is also an ideal spot to kill time while friends or relatives visiting Bali for the first time take a walk through Kuta, shopping for souvenirs. I found the place to be a little bit run down compared to when I stayed there 2 years ago, but the service is still decent and the Balinese staff ever friendly. For fun loving honeymooners and groups looking to enjoy the resort lifes style, the HRC Beach Club can be a fun place to stay, provided you have a phat wad of cash to spend as well.

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