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Unearth Bali

Article by Escape Travel

Every year, thousands of Australians flock to Bali for flop and shop style holidays. For many, this ticks the box of an overseas holiday and it’s a shopaholic’s delight, returning with bags crammed full of wooden carvings, handmade trinkets and cheap clothes they may not find back home. Books andtravel memoirs, such as Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, have without doubtuprooted the raw culturein Baliand planted the idea that it isa destination for self-discovery. Escape Travelmarketing manager Karen Cookesaidthe book and its movie launch in October hadcreated anewbreedof travellers, who aremotivated bywholesomeexperiences,beyond the bustle of Kuta Beach and shopping culture at Seminyak.”Thoseafter something a little more can find tranquillityin secluded regionsofeast, central and southwest Bali, where life remains untouched by tourism and deeply steeped in tradition” said Karen.”We have noticed that women in particular are looking for travel experiences where they can reconnect spiritually or mentally, while also having the opportunity toindulge in great food, be pampered with spa treatments and learn about a new culture.””Times have changed in the sphere ofindependent travel too, withmore womentravelling solo nowadays, compared to10 years ago.In Bali, organic is a term that has been budding for centuries,the healing benefits of acupuncture has been hailed for years and yogic meditation is practised daily. Ingredients are so fresh they come straight from the earth to the table each day, while massage oils, body soaps and facial cleaners are made from plants, nuts and fruits, all grown locally.” Resorts have certainly been doing their part to sustain a thriving economy for the Balinese people, integrating organically made products in spa treatments and creating cultural activities for guests to If you’re looking for Bali holidays, Alilia Hotels& Resorts and Alila Villashave captured the essenceofthe Balineselifestyle and reflected itthrougha contemporary, yetsurprisingly different travel experience. Start a journey of enlightenment in East Bali at seaside resort Alila Manggis, close to the village of Candi Dasa and among the coconut groves near the great Mount Ayung. Here foodies must try the Organic Garden Cooking School, where they can learn the secrets of Balinese cuisine from internationally renowned executive Chef Nyoman Santika in a hands-on cooking session. Not only will it leave a lasting impression on your taste buds, it is an amazing expression of the passion that ignites authentic Indonesian dishes. At dusk, you will fall in love with Alila Manggis’ signature tea, which combines the perfect balance of ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon and honey to invigorate the senses, while at dinner, Seasalt can arrange for you to be served in a private bure by the sea. More artistic adventurers should check Alila Ubud, high up on the edge of the rich green Ayung River valley in central Bali. Alila Ubud is a haven of tranquillity, offering stunning treetop views and resident forest monkeys. There is plenty to do for active spirits, all led by the onsite leisure concierge. Wander through verdant rice terraces and banana plantations on a hillside trek, where you can meet a local family and even drink young coconut juice from a coconut husk. Or, visit the compound of the village high priest to receive a traditional Balinese blessing, and then visit a local herbal therapist for an all over body assessment. The culinary highlight is without doubt the five-course degustation dinner at Plantation, created daily from seasonal produce by executive Chef Eelke Plasmeijer and his team. Those looking for an upscale their holiday can retreat to the luxurious Alila Villas Soori, framed by black sand beaches in southwest Bali, not far from the famous Tanah Lot Temple in the Tabanan district. These lavish villas are inspired by contemporary Asian architecture and cleverly designed to fit seamlessly into the natural environment, complete with a personal butler. Guests can choice from a one-bedroom, three-bedroom or a residence villa, each featuring a private pool, LCD televisions, Apple TV and iPod, an espresso machine and in-villa dining menu. Dining possibilities are endless, with your choice of three restaurants on-site offering everything from exquisite continental cuisine to Indonesian specialities at Cotta, wholesome grills to fresh sashimi at Coast, and casual bites at Drift. You can even take it off-site for a destination dining experience amid the rice paddies, on the beach or atop the headland at dusk.For contemporary beachfront living at its best, take in the view and the wow factor of Alila Villas Uluwatu, poised on atop limestone cliffs andoverlooking the ocean. This coastal retreat is completely eco-friendly, embracing Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles, and flawlessly integrates indoor with outdoor spaces in a maze of cool stone corridors, giant breakout cabanas and low-line architecture. Guests are chauffeur-driven around the 84-villa resort by buggy and have the choice to feast on the refreshing modern flavours at Cire or tuck into traditional family-style fare at Warung.And, of course, there’s every opportunityto invigorate your senses withthe fragrances of honey and vanilla in a signature facial or an avocado hair smoothie,or float away to pure relaxation to sounds of Balinese rhythms during a hot stone massage. Alila truly goes over and beyond any expectations to deliver a service that surprising different in every way, yet simply outstanding. Whether its romance, cuisine, conscious living, seclusion or spirituality you are after, any Alila experience will leave you longing for more. It is never too late to start a journey of enlightenment, so speak to a travel consultant about the options available to suit your budget.Escape Travel offers a range of accommodation rates and package deals for all Alila Hotels, Resorts and Villas in Bali. ALILA VILLAS ULUWATU Stay 5 nights, pay for 4 From 15* per person twin share, this package includes five nights accommodation at the 5-star Alila Villas Soori in a Beach Villa, breakfast daily and return private car airport transfers. Guests also receive an Alila Welcome package comprising of his and hers Balinese sarong, will have access to WI-FI access in the villas and public areas, and complimentary tai chi, yoga and body balance. Package is valid for travel from Oct 23 to Dec 19, 2010.ALILA VILLAS SOORIStay 5 nights, pay for 4 From 65* per person twin share, including five nights accommodation at the Alila Villas Uluwatu in a One Bedroom Villa with a private pool, breakfast daily, and return private car airport transfers. Guests also receive free his and hers custom designed Balinese sarong, will have access to WI-FI access in the villas and public areas, and complimentary tai chi, yoga and body balance. Honeymooners receive romantic villa set up with flowers and scented candles, a selection of Alila room amenities placed in the villa prior to arrival. Package is valid for travel from Oct 23 to Dec 19, 2010.ALILA UBUDStay 4 nights, pay for 3 From 5* per person twin share, this package includes four nights accommodation at the Alila Ubud Hotel in a Deluxe Room, breakfast daily and return airport transfers. Guests also receive free hotel scheduled shuttle service to Ubud town, daily afternoon tea, complimentary tai chi and yoga, Friday cocktails by the pool and free WI-FI internet connection. Package is valid for travel from Jan 6 to Mar 31, 2011. To book or for more information and other great holiday packages, phoneEscape Travel on 1300799 783 or see High resolution imagesattached. Factsheets are available.Interviews can be arranged upon request. <u>ENDS: Media enquiries to Deana Puglisi on (07) 3170 8106</u>

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ENDS: Media enquiries to Deana Puglisi on (07) 3170 8106

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