|Charming Chef Suhaimi spent considerable time discussing my menu options and creating a meal I’d have loved even if my restrictive diet wasn’t necessary. Also, we shared travel stories with him when coincidentally, he’s from Singapore where we’ll be arriving later today. He also lived in Thailand (where we’ll be in three weeks) and then in Dubai which we visited in 2013.|
Our expectations for the Hilton Garden Inn in Denpasar, close to the airport, were few. At IDR $817,705, US $61 per night, we assumed it would be as basic as a hotel room could be.
|My crab and avocado salad was crispy and tart with a lemon garlic olive oil dressing Chef Suhaimi made especially for me.|
|My buttery dish of salmon and vegetables with a tangy tarragon sauce Chef Suhaimi had prepared was flavorful, fresh and seasoned to perfection.|
The fact we’d be at the hotel for less than 24 hours, it wasn’t necessary to stay in an upscale hotel. If it was clean, with free wifi, comfortable bedding and a few amenities, we’d be content.
|Tom, 21 pounds slimmer than when we arrived in Bali two months ago, couldn’t wait to tackle this bread.|
Little did we know that we’d find ourselves in a hotel befitting a nightly IDR $2,681,000, US $200 or more price tag for the low price we’d booked at this Expedia link on our website.
|Tom’s mushroom soup with a Tepenade Crustini.|
We left the villa at 9:45 am, stopped for fuel and for Butu to purchase a SIM card for directions on his phone, as well as one quick restroom breaks (yep, that on the floor toilet again which I figured out how to use this time!). We didn’t arrive at the hotel until 2:45. It was a long five hours in traffic.
|Tom’s lemon chicken entrée with mashed potatoes, and roasted vegetable.|
What a relief it was when we finally pulled into the hotel to see it was considerably more appealing than we’d expected. With security checking both us and our bags and only a few short minutes at the check-in desk we were on our way up to our room on the second floor.
|Tom’s Oreo Raspberry Cheesecake dessert.|
After we settling into our room, we explored the property taking photos and checking out the dinner menu. After the many hours on the road, we had no interest in taking a taxi to dinner and hoped we’d find good options in the hotel.
|We were surprised the reasonable bill for our dinner. Tom had the fixed priced meal, the “Set Western” which included a cocktail of his choice. He chose a frozen Marguerita. This total of tour dinner was IDR $744,150 was US $51.50 including 21% in taxes and gratuity.|
We’d read several excellent reviews at TripAdvisor for both the hotel and restaurant inspiring us to give it a try. We weren’t disappointed at all especially when Chef Suhaimi couldn’t do enough to make an exceptional meal for me.
|Outdoor dining area. It was cloudy and we opted to dine indoors.|
He also spent time chatting with us as we each shared some worldwide experiences. He made the suggestion that we take a photo together as shown here today. We gave him one of our cards so he can check out today’s post.
|Interesting artworks are highlighted throughout the hotel.|
The courses were well paced by a conscientious wait staff, the food fresh, seasoned well, hot and beautifully presented. We never felt rushed or, a sense of waiting too long for the next course. Timing is such an integral aspect of a finely served meal. Without this element, even great food can seem mediocre.
|The swimming pool is much larger than most hotel pool.|
This morning, we decided to try the hotel’s buffet breakfast with made to order omelets, eggs, bacon, waffles and a variety of Balinese dishes. Tom was in his glory when they had donuts, white toast and pastries along with pork bacon and fried eggs.
|View from second level to the bar.|
Of course, Tom has no intention of staying with our way of eating over these next weeks until after we settle in Phuket on July 22nd when I’ll begin cooking again after a three month hiatus. I zipped it up and didn’t say a word.
|The hotel hosts business events providing many ample seating areas for conversations.|
For breakfast I had a delicious fresh egg omelet with veggies, chicken and cheese with a side of bacon, a few bits of gourmet cheeses and steamed broccoli. Once again, we were thrilled with an excellent meal and good service.
|I reached out to touch these beautiful orchids in the lobby to ensure they were real. They were.|
The total bill for breakfast was IDR $242,000, US $18.30 including tax and gratuity. Having prepaid the hotel for our reservation at time of booking all we had to cover was the cost for the two meals at a total of IDR $986,150, US $69.30.
|The hotel’s public areas are tastefully decorated.|
With plenty of Indonesian rupiah remaining, this morning after breakfast I visited the desk to pay the balance in cash and confirm our free shuttle to the airport at 11:45 am.
|The king sized bed is comfortable with fluffy pillows and quality bedding.|
Although we’ll be back in a few months, there is no point in carrying rupiahs to other countries. We have enough rupiah remaining to pay for beverages at the airport during the wait for the flight.
|The bathroom is well appointed and designed with upscale soaps and lotions.|
Tomorrow’s post may not be available until approximately six hours later than usual since we’ll be leaving our hotel by 8:30 am on our way to the Vietnam Embassy to apply for the first of three visas. However, if we find we have time tonight it will appear at our usual time. Please check back! See you soon!
Photo from one year ago today, June 28, 2015:
|This was one of our favorite spots located on William Esplanade in Palm Cove Beach in Australia. The vivid colors reminded us of the village in Placencia, Belize from so long ago. For more details, please click here.|