Sun, 25 Nov 2001

Celebrate your holiday in style in Bali

Rita A. Widiadana and I Wayan Juniarta, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar

Let's cherish the year that has almost passed and welcome the one to come with joy and glory. This is a happy moment to celebrate with your loved ones.

If you want to experience something different faraway from your tight schedule, why not fly to Bali for some leisure time.

Unlike in previous years, Bali is rather quiet now since the global economy is slowing down and a large number or frequent travellers now think twice before taking a commercial flight.

It doesn't mean that Bali has lost its charm. Numerous traditional art performances are ready to welcome year-end holidaymakers. Many star-rated hotels and exquisite bungalows have been busy preparing special events to greet the coming year.

It could be a blessing in disguise for local tourists to spend the Idul Fitri holiday, Christmas and New Year's Eve in Bali as most hotels have cut their rates and are charging guests local currency rather than the greenback.

Most of all, year-end celebrations in Bali will start in early December.

On Dec. 1, fashion lovers will be delighted with a major fashion extravaganza called Fashion Fusion held in conjunction with the Ritz-Carlton Bali's fifth anniversary. The three-day event will include a lavish gala dinner and fashion parade featuring noted designers like Mardiana Ika and jewelry designer Runi Palar.

Starting Dec. 9 through Dec. 19, Bali will, for the first time, host the World Final of the Metropolitan Top Model 2001, a joint event between the Paris-based Metropolitan Modeling Agency, BAPP and the Sheraton Bali.

"The event is expected to improve the image of Bali in particular, and Indonesia in general, as a safe place to visit and stay," commented Magdalena Wenas from BAPP. Representatives from more than 50 countries will participate in the world final.

"We haven't received any cancellations from participating countries and everything is still on schedule," said Erick Rikmawan, a senior public relations officer.

Other events await you. For New Year's Eve, Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel in Kuta is staging a Colorful Night, with plenty of attractions and extravaganza shows. The event will take place in the Kharisma Ballroom.

"We expect more than 1,000 guests will attend the New Year's celebration," said Deddy Sasmita, the hotel's public relations manager. "The theme 'colorful' will be reflected in the variety of programs and decorations," Deddy commented.

"We are encouraging party-goers to wear extravagant and colorful costumes to create a cheerful night," he said.

Fashion shows, music concerts and acrobatic shows are on the menu, not to mention a delightful New Year's buffet dinner.

Hard Rock Hotel Bali in Kuta is preparing a memorable Christmas and New Year package for every member of your family. On Christmas Eve, the hotel is putting on a Christmas Eve Dinner at Gamelan Restaurant and Cabana Poolside Restaurant.

On Dec. 25, Christmas Day Brunch will be served at Gamelan Restaurant. Also on Christmas Day, your children will have the opportunity to take part in a karaoke competition and Christmas Decoration competition at Lil'Rock.

On New Year's, Hard Rock Hotel will entertain its guests with the "Rockin's Circus" celebration. Australian band The Crave and Electric Dollhouse will make the day memorable for you.

Electric Dollhouse performers will enliven the party with a series of performances like juggling, stilt walking, dynamic aerial shows and daring fire acts.

And last but not least, the door prize. Some luck person will win a free stay at the exotic Hard Rock Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand, as a holiday bonus.

Bali Padma Hotel is also staging impressive Idul Fitri, Christmas and New Year events.

For Idul Fitri, which falls on Dec. 16 and Dec. 17, the hotel will serve Lebaran East Meets West buffet at Taman Ayun Restaurant on Monday Dec. 17.

Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner will be served on Dec. 24 with traditional Christmas dishes.

Japanese cuisine will be served on Christmas Day. Santa Claus will be there to see the kids, bringing excitement to their breakfast.

For beach lovers, greeting New Year's in a beach party is one choice.

In the Sanur area, west of Denpasar, several hotels including the Bali Hyatt are busy preparing holiday festivities. Bali Hyatt is putting on a Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner at the Wantilan Cafi.

A special community Christmas Mass will be held on the night of Dec. 24 at 10 p.m. in Rinjani Hall. Children will also be treated with a Children's Christmas Party on Dec. 25 in Rinjani Hall with Santa Claus as the guest of honor.

On New Year's Eve, the partying will continue with a stylish colorful cocktail reception at Wantilan Cafi. While Mom and Dad dance the night away, the hotel staff will entertain the kids at the Children's New Year Celebration, where there will be fun and excitement with games, a magician, jugglers and lots of entertainment.

In the Nusa Dua upmarket holiday resorts, the Grand Hyatt also has some interesting programs.

Emeralda Ayu Kusuma, the hotel's PR manager, said "We are very optimistic that we will have extremely good year-end business."

The hotel is targeting domestic guests, especially in conjunction with Idul Fitri, Christmas and New Year holidays.

"We are charging our guests in rupiah and offering our Pesona Rupiah Package, which is valid for Indonesians and KITAS holders," she added.

Other luxury hotel, the Sheraton Laguna, Nusa Dua, is offering attractive packages. The Manuaba Children's Choir will entertain diners at the hotel's Christmas Eve Dinner at the Cafi Lagoon. The cafe will put on a traditional Christmas Buffet the next day.

On the New Year's Eve, the hotel will stage Le Cabaret 2002, a live band and cabaret dancers who will entertain you throughout the night.

Various other options are also available.

At the newly opened Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) cultural park in Jimbaran Hill, south of Denpasar, you can celebrate at a unique New Year's party.

Organized by Panorama Tour and PT Marga Giri Kencana, the party has a theme of Kampung Bali in which the entire park will be decorated to resemble a traditional Balinese village, complete with a night market and open stages on which a large variety of Balinese performing arts will be staged.

The climax of the Kampung Bali Countdown to 2002 will be a colorful fireworks display.

Bali has an abundance of choices for you and your family to welcome the New Year. Happy Holidays.