Escape Kuta’s busy main strip to the relative quiet and spacious Sunset Road, writes Angela Goh
BALI’S popular Kuta area buzzes with its usual boundless energy, overflowing with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops of all types sprouting along narrow lanes and streets.
The congested Kuta-Legian area is good for strolling and browsing but best done on foot, otherwise be prepared to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Treading the warren of lanes wide enough for only one vehicle is both exciting and harrowing, having to dodge vehicular and human traffic.
The din of traffic and the crowds can be overwhelming by the end of the day. To chill in the four-star Ramada Bali Sunset Road Kuta is a welcome away from the frantic scene. Sunset Road, as the name suggests, boasts brilliant sunsets, as well as wider roads.
The modern, airy feel of the hotel restores calm to any harried soul from a long flight or seemingly endless traffic jam. Room categories include Superior Twin and King, Deluxe Twin and King, two and three-bedroom suites.
All rooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows, free WiFi, LCD TV, blackout drapes, individually controlled air-conditioning, separate bathtub and shower area, minibar, in-room safe, tea-coffee making facility, slippers and hair dryer. Each suite has a microwave oven and separate living area.
The Deluxe rooms with pool access are worth the splurge if you intend to spend more time in the hotel. The cosy room opens out to the picturesque lagoon-like shallow pool which extends to the Prigi pool side bar, a splendid watering hole with in-water seating.
Sandekala rooftop restaurant serves Asian fusion dishes for breakfast while at the lobby level, all-day dining Angsoka is bright and airy with a dining counter facing the outside.
Angsoka’s nasi goreng is delicious as with its Friday seafood barbecue buffet dinner. Though a simple, small spread, it offers the all-important grill station for fresh prawns, fish and calamari. The verdict: Kudos to the chef for grilled-to-perfection succulence.
This hotel caters to busloads of tourists, so best to time breakfast for after 8am when the crowd leaves for excursions.
The tourist shuttle Kura-Kura Bus (http://kura2bus.com/) has a pick-up point just outside the hotel lobby. It cost Rp20,000 (RM6.44) to go to Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Rp50,000 to Sanur, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran and Rp80,000 to Ubud (round trip is Rp120,000). More savings can be had with three- and seven-day passes for Rp150,000 and Rp250,000, respectively.
Further afield, the famous Poppies restaurant off Jalan Legian is within easy reach by taxi. Serving exceptional Balinese and western food since 1973, it has not lost its lustre. Along with the mouthwatering mainstay of nasi campur and nasi goreng, go full throttle with the Rijsttafel (rice table) — a sharing platter of nine dishes.
To recover from a hectic day pounding the streets of Kuta on a shopping spree, I head for Ramada’s Sunset Spa at the seventh floor rooftop. The 90-minute aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil followed by a scrub, using rice and turmeric, leaves me relaxed and rejuvenated. Now that’s bliss.
Ramada Sunset Road offers the convenience of Kuta’s shopping and dining experience, yet far enough from the madding crowd.
SCOOT flies to Bali from Singapore thrice daily with connecting flights to Kuala Lumpur. Scoot-Thru is a complimentary service offering seamless flight connection and check-through luggage (for Scoot, Singapore Airlines and SilkAir) at Singapore Changi Airport. Details at www.flyscoot.com
RAMADA BALI SUNSET ROAD KUTA
Sunset Rd No 9 Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung,
Kuta, Bali, Indonesia
TEL: + 62 361 846 8500
STAY 271 rooms and suites.
EAT Sandekala restaurant on the rooftop serves Asian fusion dishes while Angsoka, at the lobby lounge, offers Indonesian selections with assorted sweets and drinks. Prigi poolside bar serves refreshments, including Asian-Western tapas, burgers and sandwiches.
GO Short distance to Kuta beach, Beachwalk shopping centre and Istana Kuta Galeria. Discovery Mall is 3.7km away.
HIGHS Quiet and spacious strip away from the main Kuta area. It is one of the stops for the tourist shuttle, Kura-Kura Bus. Sunset Spa also includes a spa for children. Two rooftop swimming pools and lower ground lagoon pool. A convenience store is next door. 15 minutes’ drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
LOWS Some distance away from the main Kuta strip.
Pictures by ANGELA GOH and courtesy RAMADA BALI SUNSET ROAD KUTA