Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Alila Resort & Spa – Chandi Dasa

Chandi Dasa is located about 2 hours drive East from Denpasar, Bali. After 3 days and nights of non-stop tomfoolery we decided to head out there and check into the resort for a revival. We were in a group of about 12 people so we even hired a bus. We knew it would be extremely quite out there and more of a nature retreat but that is what we sought. The drive up there was breath taking as we drove through rice paddies, above waterfalls, and past numerous temples which included the infamous Bat Temple. It is actually located in front of a bat cave and the bats perch at the mouth of the cavern where people worship them.

Upon arrival at the resort we were immediately led to an open air living room. In fact everything was open air apart from the bedrooms. We were received by the Dutch manager who told us a bit about the architecture of the resort and the facilities available. We were far away from the hustle and bustle of Kuta and this was a quite place where people come to unwind. I think it was the quietest place I had ever been. But it was beautiful. The design was minimalist and it really accentuated the surrounding lawns and trees. There was no music playing; only the sound of the crashing waves. Apart from just chillaxing, the guests could also mountain bike into villages in the surrounding forests or visit temples.

It is really remarkable how tranquil and quite this place was. And most of the crew was relieved that this would be a booze free day and an early night so we could all recover. The swimming pool was awesome. In fact it is probably the first square swimming pool I have seen. The open lawn had facilities for badminton and boules. Has there ever been a more mellow game than boules? I actually played a few rounds until we got aggressive and tried to take each others balls out. But it was quite soothing.

Although I really admired the exterior of the room blocks, I was not exactly blown away by the interiors. I mean, this place was not insanely expensive but it was pricey and the rooms were pretty small. But they had one hell of a view. I guess you are not really meant to spend the whole day in your room watching TV. The air was cool, the showers were warm, and over all it was comfortable. The soaps were all natural and I really enjoyed the scrub. I actually only went to bed at 8am till about 12pm but it was good from what I remember. A couple of people went for messages to the spa as well and they said it was great. No happy endings though.

Another splendid feature was this gazebo out by the beach access. The beach is not really swim able but this was the perfect spot to perch after lunch. The view was spectacular, there was a magnificent breeze coming in, and we chilled there playing back gammon and other games. While chilling there I saw a few couples walking out and across the beach during sunset. I expected more older people but they were actually quite young. I already felt like our presence was drawing attention. Although we were a group of guys and girls, most of us were not romantic couples.

It progressed as any night would. We started with a couple bottles. Then a couple more. Some dinner. A few bottles of wine. Then some more bottles. The restaurant cleared out. We bring out our ipods and speakers. The staff informs us there is no more booze. We find more booze. Marcus has to leave the hotel at 6am to catch his flight back to London. I told him all day to have it changed. At 12am he says fuck it and everyone starts making calls. An hour later after some intense conversations we eventually get through to some call center in the US and make the changes. Celebrate with the obligatory swings from the Chivas bottle. Thanks to Jimmy.

It was fun and not too messy. A couple of us stayed up till morning just talking in the gazebo. We all share a special bond with each other and it was really easy to open up again. We verbally solved all our personal problems as well as those of the entire planet. Now it is time to put the plan in effect.


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