Bali, Sanur, day 20


Why do I post this? That pattern in the circle is the Philips PM5544 test signal that’s been in use in TV stations for decades. It tells almost everything about a transmission path. Here it tells me I can’t escape my past. Aaaarrrgh!

Only day 20? Time flies when you’re having fun. We’ve been moving around a fair bit — Pemaron, the Astana Hotel and now here at the Artotel, Sanur. There’s a move back to Pemaron on the cards soon. We’ll work on that today.

Meanwhile V has had a nasty accident in the hotel pool. The ladder is made of 2″ diameter stainless steel tubing. That means the rungs are round and slippery, and she slipped along one rung and dislocated her left big toe. Ouch! It must have been painful. I’ve slipped myself, though not that badly.

Trouper that she is, she popped it back into position herself and, back in the room, plunged it into iced water. That seems to have done a lot of good, because she can walk on it and has gone to breakfast while I write this in the room. Later: not so good. A lot of bruising has come on and she really can’t walk on it. The hotel admits it’s their responsibility to provide a doctor, but here we are 90 mins later and still waiting. They suggested massage might help. I don’t think so.

Later still: the Dokter came and has examined the toe, finding no serious damage, but has taped it up with the toe next to it and suggested pain relief strategies. It’s hurting, though.

We had a ding-dong with the hotel over the charge for the doctor though. They thought we said we’d pay for the doctor, but that’s not our recollection. We maintained that it’s a hotel pool fault and they should pay. After some teeth sucking, they’ve agreed.


It’s smaller on the inside than the outside.

That’s another black mark against this hotel.

  • The hotel is not finished building. The room is too small, but the bigger rooms are not finished.
  • It’s not especially comfortable. The mattress is hard. We had to ask for extra chairs.
  • The pillows are too big (high) and stuffed hard. It’s difficult to find a good position. V brought her own, luckily, and we’ve acquired a couple more.
  • The bathroom is all black stone tiles and has no exhaust fan. It smells.
  • The toilet leaks – just water from the fancy washer, luckily.
  • There’s inadequate wardrobe space.
  • The fridge is tiny. You can’t make or keep ice in it. It doesn’t get cold enough.
  • The safe was not working when we arrived and although it’s OK now, it’s not fixed to anything. A brazen thief could walk away with it.
  • There was a very bright light shining above our balcony, but it couldn’t be switched off. It was so bright that we were driven mad by it. They finally brought a ladder and partially unscrewed it, but only after three nights of pulling the curtains tightly closed, so that we couldn’t have the balcony door ajar for the night air.
  • There’s an external steel stairway right next to our balcony, and anyone on it can potentially see into our room.
  • There’s far too much sound leakage from the restaurant up through the atrium and into the room for my liking. This is not a quiet hotel.
  • There’s far too much construction noise, some from within the hotel and some from next door. Hammering, drilling, angle grinding.
  • Although the web advertises a rooftop bar, it’s not finished and not operating.
  • The pool ladder is dangerous – see above.
  • There are numerous small step changes in floor level in the walkways, where I have to watch my feet lest I trip. I saw a young woman slip and fall near the pool a couple of days ago.
  • The floor tiles outside the rooms look awful! They are grey polished concrete and look dirty at all times.
  • The floor in the room always feels dusty, we can’t work out why.
  • The room lighting is crazy. The switching is on one side of the bed only and operates by a master switch, but nothing is labelled. One of the three subordinate switches doesn’t seem to do anything. If I get up in the night, I have no light to see by.
  • The walls in the room are bare smooth concrete, with all the blemishes that concrete has. Ugh. They have an “art” pattern painted on, but it doesn’t help.
  • The aircon keeps switching itself off. I wake in the night too warm, and find it’s off.
  • Some of the furnishings (e.g. bedside cabinets) are made from steel. It feels cold and ugly.
  • As soon as you put the card in the slot on entry, the TV turns on with stupid pop music video that repeats ad infinitum. I’m sick of having to find the remote to turn it off.

On the positive side:

  • The staff are excellent. They realise it’s not finished, but there’s nothing they can do. All they can do is apologise. That’s fair enough.
  • The restaurant breakfast, included in the room rate, is fantastic. Probably the best we’ve had. Again, the wait staff are terrific, always ready to get water, juice, coffee, eggs, whatever. Think of it, and it’s done, almost. It’s good.
  • The coffee comes from proper coffee machines – the beans are ground in the machines. It’s good fresh coffee.
  • The room also has a capsule coffee maker, the Dolce Gusto one. Again, good coffee (says he, with shaking hands).
  • The location is great: right opposite a small shop, with ATMs (that don’t work), an Apotek (chemist) around the corner, a pizza shop with gluten free pastry, a frozen yoghurt shop, plenty of restaurants, and a short 250m walk to a real beach and a great restaurant, the Stiff Chilli. This is an Italian restaurant, Aussie owned now, open to the sea breeze, with a Balinese waiter who can speak passable Italian. How about that? He said he learnt it from tourists. Amazing. Plus he speaks Balinese, Bahasa and English. Pretty good!
  • The sheets and towels are changed every day and the towels are thick, new and pure white. Nice.

That’s enough for now. I won’t labour the point. We had high hopes for this hotel, having booked 14 nights and pre-paid, but we don’t like it much. Eight nights to go.


Bali scoop fman G215 83

Sanur fisherman. (C) PJ Croft 1986, 2016

Some random thoughts on Bali:

  • The use of English is increasing, taking over from Bahasa Indonesian in many instances.
  • Likewise, the intrusion of American cafe and fast food joints. Obesity, here we come.
  • The traffic is often horrendous. It can take 40 minutes to go 5Km.
  • The rubbish in the ocean water is very bad. Plastic bags are often floating by. I shudder to think what else is in there.
  • The locals are as friendly as ever. I’ve never had a bad experience.
  • But they still tout for your business at every opportunity. That’s OK with me.
  • Prices are steadily rising, for we tourists anyway. Some of the restaurant bills are approaching Perth levels. Wine is especially expensive: $8 for a 150ml glass. That’s a small quantity. The quality varies from awful (Hattens) to excellent (Aussie, South African and Chilean wines).

More as I think of it.

Bali gold fisher R3b

(C) PJ Croft 1986, 2016


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