Livin' at the Ritz

Wow. The Ritz is nice.

We got picked up at the airport and driven to the resort, where a lady welcomed us with leis around our necks. Haha, it was so damned cliche. And yet, I thoroughly enjoyed it. (I think that deep down inside me, maybe I really want to be one of those loud-Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, huge-ass-camera-toting, red-faced-sunburned fat tourists.)

We're seated at a table with two cups of sweet nectar -- nectar of the gods, I dare say it was -- and soaked in the beauty of the resort as they processed the check-in, before leading us personally to the room.

Swim shorts.
Ocean Pool.

Their new Ocean Pool is amazing. It's a pool filled with seawater -- filtered, some salt content removed (to make it more bearable), and warmed -- overlooking the ocean. And it's one of those infinity edge pools too, so from inside the pool, it looks like you're practically swimming in the ocean. (Of course, it's halfway up the cliff face, so you can actually see down to the cabanas and the beach and the restaurant.) We spent that evening in the pool, taking photos with the sunset as our background.

That is a great way to spend an evening.

Get this: the other swimming pool is open 24 hours for those wee-hours-swimming cravings that we all get (though towels are only provided until 7pm, you can keep them for the night if you like). This resort has everything in it; you could easily stay on the resort and never leave to visit the real Bali.

And I think they almost hope you don't: a taxi ride into Kuta (the nearest city) is about 60,000 rupiah ($7US). Round trip makes it 120,000. And the Ritz knows that, because they price their meals just so that you'd spend that difference in their restaurant, but save you the time and trouble ... which is why we ended up having Thai food at the Ritz on the first night.

One last comment: service is impeccable, and heads and shoulders above just about every other place on the island. Every employee greets you as you walk by, morning noon or night. Every employee: waiters, hostesses, cleaning staff, gardeners, everyone.

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