Bali Break. Those were the two words Rambi was trying to sell to me a few months before our wedding. I had no idea what it was, and so he explained. For our honeymoon he wants us to experience Amanresorts’ Bali Break offer: three nights in one or more of the three Amanresorts in Bali, the Island of the Gods.
One thing’s for sure, it wasn’t going to be cheap. And with the ballooning wedding expenses and the El Nido vacation booked, do we really need this honeymoon? That was my main thought. But come to think of it, we have been to most of Southeast Asia but Bali had been one of the places we’ve missed. Throw Amanresorts into the equation and the answer should be easy. Need I mention the then-fiance, an aspiring Aman Junkie, was relentless? And so I gave in and he started clicking away on his laptop. Booked. Amanresorts, Bali, here we come.
To maximize this once in a lifetime experience, we decided to stay on three of the five Aman properties in Indonesia namely Amanusa, Amandari and Amankila. This meant that we would only have one night in each resort. We did this so we can get to experience the different styles of the three resorts as well as the different areas of Bali. We booked the package through a Virtuoso travel agent which enabled us to get free perks like free lunch/dinners, massages as well as other freebies.
Finally, the day came for our much awaited honeymoon! The cheapest flight available to Bali was with Cebu Pacific, no surprise there. On that note, I think that we are the first Aman customers ever to arrive in a low-cost carrier like CebuPac as compared to flying via Cathay or Philippine Airlines business class. :)) In fact, I remember one of the Aman representatives telling me that he didn’t realize there was a direct flight from Manila at that time. Probably, because this was the first time they picked up someone arriving from CebuPacific!
Our flight was at 4:30AM and we were supposed to check in at least two hours earlier. We arrived at the airport at 3:30, thirty minutes later than we had planned because I had to finish packing my things, but still confident that we had time to spare thanks to online check-ins. Then we saw the queue for the travel tax payment. Uh-oh. By 4:00 I was finally at the beginning of the line, ready to pay Php1,620.00 so I could fly out of the country, my husband was at the side shooting me a stressed and angry look. He whined that we still had to line for immigration and baggage checks and airport terminal fees, in short, we were not gonna make it.
I chose to stay positive and we actually made it to our flight, but not before realizing that I left the flight itinerary at the check-in counter. Again, my husband was annoyed and started to stress over the fact that the immigration officer in Bali might ask for a copy of our flight back to the Manila. He fumbled with his phone to find a copy in his email but was unsuccessful. It was just about time for take-off and we hoped this wouldn’t be an issue at our destination.
After an uneventful 3 1/2 hour flight, we finally arrived in Bali. Upon deplaning, we saw a guy in the arrivals area with our names on a piece of placard. It turns out that he’s an immigration officer and he’s there to personally escort us out of the airport. Outside, there was the Aman driver who was patiently waiting. Talk about great service from the get go!
The great start definitely set the tone for our short honeymoon stay in Bali. Stay tuned for the rest!