Sanur Bali
September ~ October 2008

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We wanted a few days in Bali before going home but things didn't exactly go as planned.

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Our original plan of exploring Sanur and doing some diving out at Lembongan and Nusa Penida didn't pan out as I had a doozy of a head  cold.  We would have to save the Mola mola sighting for another time.  Sanur really wasn't all I expected either.  Being on the opposite side of the island we wouldn't be seeing any sunsets at sea but there was a beach and our hotel was directly on the beach with a full view from the dining room.  Unfortunately I can not recommend the Paneeda View Hotel.  The room was certainly adequate with a large bathroom, covered private front porch area with furniture, dressing area, refrigerator and complimentary water and fruit on the first day.  The resort also had three pools and included a full made to order breakfast each day.  And it was quite reasonably priced. 

However, even though all this sounds great on the surface, it was less than so.

The stretch of beach that The Paneeda View is on is probably the worst part of the beach in Sanur.  At high tide the water rose to within a few feet of the dining room steps and at low tide the beach was scattered with seaweed.  There were no chairs from the hotel to lounge on the beach and the sand is just too hot without a chair.

    

  Although the room was adequate the layout was a bit awkward, the dressing area was basically unusable space and the wardrobe, while a nice looking piece of furniture wasn't very useful with no drawers or shelves and only one very high bar for a few hanging things.  They had too much furniture crammed into too small a space.  One day we had no hot water.  The rest of the hotel seems to be in a state of decline or at least deferred maintenance.  The pool areas were overgrown and the poolside furniture pretty worn out.  The breakfasts were a lot of food and prepared to order and tasty.  However this open air dining room seemed to attract a lot of flies.  We did not notice this at any other open air restaurant during our stay.  The staff that we dealt with were always courteous and friendly and seemed eager to please but I would have gladly paid a bit more to be in a more desirable location and with grounds that were a bit more kept.  On the plus side it was only about a ten minute walk to a better beach area and several places to eat and other activities.  On the minus side the walking to "somewhere else" every day got old fast.

Each day we would walk down to the Anjani Beachside Restaurant and Bar where we could rent lounge chairs on the beach.  Their food was great and we had lunch there a few times.  This area of the beach had abundant clean white sand and it was easy to take a quick dip in the ocean to cool off.  At low tide you could walk out to the reef which Bill did on one occasion.

     

A funny story about that reef walk:  There was a couple on some beach chairs not far from ours.  They looked to be a young couple, possibly on a honeymoon.  The young man was Bill's same build with hair the same length (though a bit lighter in color) and on that particular day, they had on the same color and style shorts.  Bill had purchased his from a local vendor and probably so had this young man.  As Bill was walking out to the reef for a bit of exploration the (rather large) young woman spotted him and came running out to apparently go with him.  It wasn't until she got very close that she realized this wasn't her beau!  I sat on the beach taking pictures and wondering why this girl was running after my husband....hmmm.  Later Bill pointed out her companion and their similarity and we got a good laugh.  She watched us warily for the next few days.......  oh yes there are some photos of this event in the beach pictures below.

Sanur has some very high end resorts at one end and some moderate ones with good beach access and chairs but I prefer the Legian or Seminyak side of Bali simply because there seems to be more to do.  We did some exploring in the town but found a couple hours pretty much covered it.  If staying in Sanur I think you would be better off staying in a bit better local hotel with beach chairs and a little closer to the action.  The additional walk every day for activities or chairs and each night for dinner didn't ruin those days in Sanur but they could have been better.  If your looking for upscale the Hyatt was in a good location and had a lot of nice beach chairs.  In the other direction there were several decent looking hotels with nice beaches and chairs that were probably quite affordable but were booked when we were there.  We had dinner one night on the beach at Villa Shanti and were serenaded by local musicians.  Click on either one of our goofy posed photos below to hear the music.

         

On the last night we ate dinner at the restaurant next door to our hotel.  I use the term restaurant rather loosely here as it was an area in the sand with a straw roof and a very large tree in the center.  The kitchen area consisted of a hut behind the dining area and blocked from view, (you probably didn't really want to see).  The bathroom was a free standing outhouse.  The food here was GREAT and the beer was some of the cheapest and there was a wide open view of the ocean.  

      

 

 We still managed some activities such as a ride in a traditional sailing boat, some shopping and Bill did some parasailing.  The colorful sailing boats were common along the beach but a good wind was needed to get a good ride going.  We took advantage one day when there was a bit of wind to take an hour long ride.  We sailed among a group of wind surfers practicing for an upcoming event.  The wind wasn't strong and they were struggling a bit.  But the majority of my time was spent relaxing with a book and a beer on the beach.  There were other activities like glass bottom boat rides, snorkeling trips, scuba trips etc along with the temple tours and white water rafting tours like we did last year.  My cold kept me rather unenthusiastic about doing much more than kicking back and since we had been diving for the past two weeks, Bill didn't seem to mind the relaxing.

For more photos of the Paneeda View Hotel, Sanur Beach, Bills parasailing and our boat ride click below.