Book with an OTA or direct

Booking your Ubud accommodation…what’s best Direct, Online Agent or Travel Agent ?

An often asked question in chat groups is how best to book Bali accommodation. We also get asked from Bisma Cottages guests why we are not listed on Online Travel Agent’s (Booking.com, Expedia and Agoda) 

So, its time to share the pros and cons for booking with an OTA, Travel Agent and Direct.  

General Info

OTA – Use templates and do not allow hotels to write their own descriptions. This is so they can use key words for search optimization. This means the best or unique features of the property are often not highlighted. 

Travel Agent  – will have recent info and photos as is provided by hotel. Often description is limited due to space so you are getting a summarized description. 

Hotel – Will always have most up to date info and photos from hotel on website and particularly social media. 

Note: Google take photos from other websites and mix them …not date order from most recent to older.

Location – A recent study says location is the first factor people look for when searching for a hotel.  OTA, Agents and Hotel do all rely on 3rd party maps eg. Google.  Whilst these apps give a good general location, they are not always 100% accurate in Bali (apple maps is definitely not reliable in Bali yet. So when arranging transport to your accommodation it is recommended to use a driver that works for the hotel or is from the area. The last problem you want, particularly after a long flight is not being able to find your accommodation. 

Price – OTA and Agents cannot offer unique packages, inclusions, benefits or services as they have set rate structures, policies and procedures. 

Examples that are not promoted via OTA’s or Agents. 

  1. Bisma Cottages offers specialized packages that include tailored tours, experiences and other inclusions for solo travelers, adventurers, and families. 
  2. Bisma Cottages offers Free Floating Breakfast for minimum 3 night stays. 
  3. Bisma Cottages provides yoga mats in all rooms.  
  4. Monthly (or longer) special rates. 

OTA –  A strategy by some OTA’s is offering a low price as click bait and then adding tax. 

Travel Agent – Most promote complete packages. Airfares, airport transport, accommodation, and other inclusions. Always inclusive of tax. 

Hotel – Hotel will offer wider range of rates and packages as mentioned above.  Bisma Cottages quotes tax inclusive, it has never been our policy to add tax after quoting a room rate.  If a cheaper price is available via an OTA or Agent usually the hotel will price match or even offer cheaper.

Booking Process

OTA –  definitely finalized quickly including payment. Beware many OTAs link to each other so the booking may not always be via the OTA you thought. Also consider affiliate sites, booking.com is strongly into recruiting companies and influencers with high number of followers to link to their site in return for a commission. 

Travel Agent – speed and ease of booking process will vary agent to agent depending on how automated they are. Big benefit is that you have a human to speak with for any questions and if things go wrong. 

Hotel – some hotels will be reliant on online booking systems and in this case booking and payment is via hotel website. Questions would need to be emailed or sent via Whats App.  Bisma Cottages stopped using a booking system in 2020. Bookings can now be made via email, social media messenger, google or what app. Direct messaging is considered to be the way of the future as consumers want questions answered quickly. This suits perfectly with Bisma Cottages as we aim to provide a more personalized service compared to larger Ubud hotels.  

Payment 

OTA  – Offer many payment options via safe and convenient payment gateways.

Travel Agent – this will vary depending on country but most agents seem to be preferring credit cards and so do customers so they can get frequent flyer points.

Hotel  – will probably be more limited with payment options which is not by choice.  This is why many small properties are compelled to use a OTA. Many banks and credit card companies nowadays just don’t want to deal with small business. Big hotels definitely take credit cards, many will accept transfer an all will be happy to take cash 😊 Most properties will take at least two different forms of payment. 

Cancellation and Refunds –  Due to the corona virus travellers have learnt some very important lessons in this area when canceling or delaying their holiday. 

 OTA – only have one set of cancellation and amendment policies which is chosen by the customer at time of booking.

Travel Agent – Are bound by the terms and conditions in their contracts with airlines and hotels. Since agent rates are generally low, cancellation penalties are usually 100%. Due to COVID19 most airlines and hotels did allow credits.

Hotel   – whilst we can speak for all hotels most in Ubud we know during to COVID either refunded or gave the full amount as a credit to be used within a specific time.  Bisma Cottages gave guest two years to use any monies paid in full. 

Note: Using your travel insurance is the best way to get monies refunded if cancellation is beyond your control. Travel Insurance will cover no matter the booking source. 

Communication/Service 

OTA –  The customer cannot contact the hotel direct and vice versa.  OTAs are all about growing their own database and maintaining marketshare. 

Travel Agent  – it is very difficult to agents to have knowledge of every Bali hotel. Some may try and push you toward hotels they feel comfortable selling or get a better deal. We recommend to book with a travel agent has recently travelled to Bali. 

Hotel   – The hotel knows their property better than anyone so it is definitely better to book direct if you have special requests. Hotels will also upgrade customers who booked direct before those who have booked with an agent. If you are a returning guest definitely book direct as the hotel should have you recorded as a guest. If not make sure they know about it !!

In Summary

OTA – good for searching and doing research. Find a few hotels you like and then contact direct. 

Travel Agent  – if you want a package with flights, transfer and loads of value adds book with a travel agent. 

Hotel  – Direct is always best for communication, price and service.  Most hotels respond to Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs and of course email.   Whats App is the most widely used direct messaging service in Bali. Look out for phone contact numbers +62 8xxx and this will also be used for whats app. Unless the rate is a super deal hotels are happy with deposit and balance paid at check in. So save your money until arriving in Bali. 

Bali was closed for international tourism for 2 years. Domestic tourism was promoted during 2021. During this time no assistance or consideration was given by OTAs. Properties were advised to offer bigger discounts to attract bookings. The commission combined with tax and minimum discounts is now 39%.  

Being a boutique property at Bisma Cottages we want to give the best most personalized service for our guests from start to finish (and beyond ) During 2022 it has been a pleasure to help and get to know our guests prior to arrival. We have been able to presend valuable info about money, transport, healers, wellness etc.  For these reasons plus many others there is no going back !!

Any questions ? Contact Us

hello@bismacottagesubud.com

Intagram @bismacottagesubud

Facebook @bismacottages

Whats App +62 812-3896-0803

*The blog is the opinion of the author and is for information purposes to educate readers about accommodation booking services. 

Happy Holidays Here in Bali – Bali Awards 2022

In Search of the World’s Happiest Holiday Destination

“It’s true…. Every time I land at Bali Airport I feel happy!”

If the travel restrictions of the past couple of years have taught us anything it is that travel makes us happy! Global lockdowns may have stopped our wanderlust for a while but once border restrictions eased millions of travellers resolved to pack their bags and head to wherever made their heart sing. Based on the results of recent International Travel Awards and surveys, Bali gets the votes as ‘The World’s Happiest Holiday Destination’.

According to research conducted by internationally renowned, France based travel company Club Med, Bali has taken out top spot as the happiest location for holiday makers the world over! And why wouldn’t it when one considers affordability, wealth of wellness opportunities and safety, the island’s unique natural beauty and culture along with its worldwide popularity as a friendly and stress-free vacation destination.

Just recently, Bali ranked second in 2023 TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice for the top 25 popular destinations, – only behind Dubai, which has topped the list for two years in a row. The magic of the Island of Gods just cannot be denied. The Balinese people have the biggest smiles and provide the most genuine service are so deserving of this award as their island has bounced back better than ever.

In 2022, Bali placed fourth on the list after only being open for tourism for 8 months, and now the island has jumped another two places this year. Watch out Dubai, Bali is coming for you 😉

“[Bali is] a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy,” wrote TripAdvisor on their website. Ubud also gets a special mention as the ‘ artistic capital ‘ of Bali.

Note: Locals describe Ubud as the centre of Bali’s culture (which includes art), nature and wellness.

As if this isn’t accolade enough, British media money.co.uk recently ranked Indonesia as the Most Beautiful Country in the World; basing their assessment on its unique natural wonders including volcanoes, tropical forests, coral reefs and UNESCO world heritage sites, not to mention the archipelago’s 50,000 kilometres of stunning coastline!

And if wellness options, outdoor adventures and picture-perfect scenery seem to be the secrets to Bali’s success as a sought-after holiday destination then happy holiday hunters need look no further than Ubud. Sliding in at Number 3 in internationally acclaimed Travel + Leisure’s list of ‘The 25 Best Cities in the World’ Ubud is rated in the top three for food, culture and friendliness. Its myriad of accommodation options ranging from budget to bougee sets this scenic mountain top town up as a worthy competitor to the beachside favourites Seminyak and Canggu.

Yet despite Ubud’s growing popularity, there’s no need to spend a fortune on high end accommodation. 2022 Travel and Hospitality Awards (THA) – an annual event designed to celebrate those organizations that are excelling in the field of travel and hospitality recently recognised Ubud’s very own Bisma Cottages as the Best Cottages of the Year 2022 for Bali, Indonesia. Their panel of judges comprising of Internationally recognised travel enthusiasts, bloggers, and experts works independently to choose the best hotels, tour operators, and other organizations that are doing well in the industry. This prestigious title was awarded to Bisma Cottages on the basis of its uniqueness, quality of services and facilities and exceptional levels of customer care across a number of categories.

All of this for less than USD $100 per night in a locations central to Ubud Palace, Ubud Market, Monkey Forest, Campuhan Ridge Walk and Yoga Barn. Travellers can easily enjoy this happy holiday destination without putting a dent in their wallet!

Insider Tips About Money in Bali

Not sure how best to manage money during your stay in Bali? We’ve got some insider tips to ensure you know about everything from cash to credit cards and where the best places are to use both!

The Basics
Navigating a new country can be challenging, especially for travellers to the island of Bali for the first time. Get your head around the local cash and you’ll be a step ahead. Bali uses Indonesian Rupiah – referred to as IDR or Rp on price lists, menus and websites. The smallest denomination in notes is 1,000 with 100,000 the largest note so yes, you can become a millionaire in minutes.

 

Exchange rates vary a little daily however it can be confusing to work out how much you are spending in your own currency! Money changers advertise conversion rates based on $1 or unit of currency compared to Indonesian Rupiah. Be careful with the zeros so not to hand over 100,000 instead of a 10,000. Because all those zeros are also exhausting to write, businesses often leave them out when they put together price lists, so if you see 69K it really means Rp 69,000.

  • USD
  • 1.00
  • 5.00
  • 10.00
  • 60.00
  • 100.00
  • IDR
  • 15,000
  • 75,000
  • 150,000
  • 750,000
  • 1,500,000
  • AUD
  • 1.00
  • 5.00
  • 10.00
  • 50.00
  • 100.00
  • IDR
  • 10,000
  • 50,000
  • 100,000
  • 500,000
  • 1,000,000

Money Changers

Usually it’s best to wait until you get to your destination to change your currency as you’re certain to secure a better exchange rate than back home. That said, there are a few things to know about changing money in Bali.

There are many money changers at the airport after you clear customs and while they are considered to be reputable, the rate is generally a bit lower than on the street.

There are many money changers in the tourist areas but understandably not in rural villages. Choose an AUTHORISED MONEY CHANGER with NO COMMISION. Most money changers are honest and genuine but there are a few who will take advantage of the newcombers and give less cash. Do not use places promising an exchange rate way higher than others and you should be fine. It’s important to recount your money yourself BEFORE leaving the premises and remember that rates tend to drop over the weekends.

The closest money exchange to Bisma Cottages is PT Ubud Valasindo. Look out for the green sign as you walk to the end of Bisma Street then turn right into Raya Ubud and it is about 25m further down on the left.

Debit Cards
For those who favour debit cards to carrying cash, there are a few things to remember. While you can use your local bank debit card in most ATMs there may be very high fees associated with withdrawals and currency change. Some businesses also add a fee to purchases using cards. Remember your PIN number, as unlike many other countries there is no tap and pay in Bali.

Many travellers use Travel Money cards during their stay on the island – Wise Multi Currency Card is a big favourite. There are a number of advantages to this as you can transfer a specific amount to the card without risking loss of your local bank debit card or the contents of your account! Wise offers over 40 currencies, decent exchange rates, low conversion fees and no international transaction fees!

ATM’S
Try to avoid ATMs in convenience stores and use ATMs attached to major banks like CIMB Niaga, Commonwealth, Maybank and Permata which distribute up to 3 million Rupiah in one transaction when you need larger withdrawals. Other ATMs may only allow up to RP 1,500,000 per withdrawal. Similar to all tourist destinations, skimmers have been discovered on occasion at ATMs in Bali so cover your hand when entering your PIN and try not to keep large amounts of cash in that account.

REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR CARD! For those travellers from Australia and New Zealand who are familiar with ATMs that gives the card before the cash, it can be easy to leave your card in the machine and have it swallowed up by the ATM before you realise and return to retrieve it. This can make for much frustration and devastating delays to your daily plans!

Credit Cards
Credit cards are a handy way to pay for larger bills like accommodation, restaurants and larger tourist attractions but generally cannot be used in smaller businesses like markets, warungs, food courts, guest houses or drivers. For these services in Bali, cash is definitely still king! Same as debit cards PIN numbers are used (no tap and pay) Despite Bali’s quite sophisticated banking systems, communication lines can sometimes be down which means your card transaction will not go through so always have cash too.

Tipping
While there is no expectation to tip, especially if service or quality is poor, tipping is acceptable and graciously appreciated by the Balinese. This is especially the case for small businesses like warungs, shops, drivers and spas where the service fee passed on to employees may be small or non-existent.  In hotels, larger restaurants and bars, tax and service, (those ++ charges) are usually added to your bill at the time of payment, so you have already paid the extra. That aside, the average salary for locals is significantly less than most other countries yet they still face incremental increased costs of living with petrol and electricity rising 30% and 18% respectively in 2022! Considering this, the fact that most did not receive any income for two years over COVID and that the minimum wage in Bali is barely over USD 200 a month, that extra $2 in their pocket can mean food for the family.

The smiles on the faces of the Balinese are testament to their appreciation for the return of tourism to the island, despite their desperate struggles over the past two years and you’d be hard pressed to find more genuine and personable people! So if you enjoy service with a big Balinese smile, then think about rounding up the Rupiah rather than haggling for a lower price. While the amount to tip is up to each individual, the minimum recommended is  10%. When a massage is only USD 10 another $1 isn’t even a cup of coffee back home. Giving a little extra the smile in return will be priceless.

Final Tips
Most advice about bringing money to Bali is simply common sense but it’s wise to have a minimum of two options for your spending money. Choose to bring a credit or debit card but always have some ready Rupiah on hand as Indonesia is still very much a cash economy! In general, Bali is quite safe and if you heed these few tips, you’ll keep your cash:

Use the hotel safety box
Always be aware of your bag.
Keep it inside your clothing or under the seat if you are on motorbike as there can be the occasional bag snatch.
Try to use ATMs at banks or ones that have security guards.
Remember your PIN numbers.

The Balinese are big believers in Karma and more often than not if you leave your bag or belongings somewhere, they will usually returned to you!

Enjoy your time in paradise. Om Swasiastu…

Travel & Hospitality Awards

United Kingdom, 2nd April 2021

Winners of the 2021 Travel & Hospitality Awards have just been announced and Bisma Cottages is a proud winner in the Asia Travel Awards programme.
The independent awards are an annual celebration of excellence across all sectors of the travel industry.

The past year has certainly been the toughest for hotels in Bali, so it is even more rewarding to receive worldwide recognition from the London based Travel & Hospitality Awards.

R Selection of award recipients for 2021 was based on reviews from multiple third-party sources, whereby a panel of experts analysed submission material, reviewed customer feedback and compared the facilities of each entrant.

Winners had to demonstrate their uniqueness, quality of services, and facilities and exceptional levels of customer care across a varietyof categories.

Even after such an extraordinary year, over 4,000 nominations were received for this year’s programme and the standard of entries was exceptionally high. The judging panel had great difficulty in narrowing down the entries; the winners reflecting the very best in travel and hospitality standards. “We were overwhelmed by the quality of entries this year. We hope this guide will be a useful tool for discerning travelers planning their next getaway. Congratulations once again to all our winners.”

As a proud 2021 award winner, Bisma Cottages offer Ubud’s best value, boutique accommodation. Located in town only five minutes walk to Ubud Monkey Forest and15 minutes to Ubud Palace & Market, guests can choose from three accommodation options: One & Two Bedroom Cottages are cosy, wooden Bali bungalow style with larger, more modern Deluxe Cottages boasting a stunning rice field view. Bisma Cottages is sustainable too, so you can feel good about staying at this piece of green paradise.

One of the reasons Bisma Cottages is a Travel & Hospitality Awards winner is their ability to go above and beyond their competitors. This is largely due to management’s prior experience across a number of Bali’s 5 star hotels., Now seeking a more relaxed and rewarding work life balance, they are lending this expertise to Bisma Cottages’ boutique accommodation experience.

For complete details of the available range of specialised packages, retreats and tours go to www.bismacottagesubud.com

You Want Transport?

Its a familiar catch cry greeting visitors from the moment they pass customs to exit the airport and hollered from corners in tourist hubs, outside clubs and happening hot spots across Bali!  For some first time travellers, navigating this islands veritable minefield of transport options can result in confusion and a costly trip to your destination, leaving holidaymakers with a sour start to their adventures. Heres a little heads up to get you acquainted with whats on offer and the best way on wheels to make the most of your stay. 

In recent years transport competitors Gojek, Grab and cab company, BlueBird have created online Apps that are easy to use, in English, fully trackable and completely up front as far as booking and securing fares from your hotel or villa. Return travellers to Bali often seek out the reliable driver or local friend they have used on earlier trips. Other transport options like local motorbike taxis or unmetered cabs are a bit of a pot luckaffair and unless youre prepared to haggle hard or get out and walk if you and your driver cant come to an agreement, these fares can be fraught with danger and a dent in your wallet!

While the online options are super convenient, competitive and readily available in the major tourist areas of Kuta, Legian and most of Seminyak, Banjars in other areas like Berawa, Canggu and Umalas often pose restrictions on these companies as far as pickups go and if ignored can result in somewhat unpleasant altercations between travellers and local village transport representatives. No holiday fun here! 

Up the hill and a little farther from the madding crowd of Kuta, Ubud is a slightly different story. Neither Gojek nor metered taxis (aka BlueBird) are available in Ubud so the only options for getting about town are the local area transport providers, private drivers or your hotel shuttle. Perfect if you want to flop and drop for a while at your resort or villa on the edge of town, but a little pricey for peeps who are keen to explore the village and town centre so a solution is to stay within walking distance of it all!  

Boutique resort, Bisma Cottages benefits from being close to the action yet secluded enough to keep its quiet ambience and rural charm. Located on a no-through-road for cars, Bisma Cottages is a casual 5 mins walk to Monkey Forest and 15 mins to the Palace, Central Market and stunning Campuhan Ridge. Bisma Cottage is on a quiet road and within the resort guests can enjoy the quiet calm of this intimate accommodation, the most peaceful rooms being the Deluxe Cottages which also boast uninterrupted rice field views. With a good spa across the way, restaurant next door and coffee up the road, Bisma Cottages has holiday necessities at its doorstep. For travellers looking further afield than their feet will take them, the hotel has a car available or can assist with negotiation at their tour desk.

Bali’s Nyepi Day During COVID19

Nyepi is Bali’s  “Day of Silence” and  this year is Sunday March 14th 2021. It is a Hindu celebration mainly in Bali. Nyepi Day is a day of silence, fasting and meditation for the Balinese. The evening prior usually there is a parade of Ogoh Ogoh (paper mache monsters) in every village to scare aware the evil spirits. The monsters represent all objects, people or anything that can disrupt human life. The tradition has for the second year been significantly restricted due to COVID19.  Other ceremonies including Melasti which usually is a spectacular procession of Balinese walking to the beach or rivers for purification have been limited to capacity of 50 persons.

This Nyepi also marks a year since Bali was effected by COVID19.  The economic effects have been severe. Businesses closing, either temporarily or permanently has lead to 2 million people being unemployed. With minimal government assistance they are now struggling.  So this Nyep will certainly be a time of deep refection.

Observed from 6.a.m 14th March until 6.a.m 15th March, Nyepi is silent so the bad spirits scared aware the night before do not return. It is also a day reserved for self reflection.  The main restrictions are no lightning fire (and light must be keep low), no working, no entertainment or pleasure no traveling and for some no talking or eating at all.

The effect of these restrictions is that Bali and its usual bustling streets are empty. There is little or no noise from TV or Radios and few sign of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the pecalang, traditional security who patrol the street to ensure the prohibitions are being followed. Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu Holiday, non Hindu residents and tourists are not exempt from restrictions. Although they are free to do as they wish inside their hotel, no one is allowed on to the beaches or streets and the airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The exception granted are for emergency vehicles responding to life threatening conditions and women about give to birth.

On day after Nyepi, known as Ngembak Geni (Relighting the fire), Social activity picks up again quickly, as families and friends gather to ask forgiveness from one another, and to perform certain religious ritual together. Fires and electricity are allowed again, and cooking of food resumes.

If you are lucky enough to be staying in Bali on the Day of Silence, enjoy this special time. Nyepi is definitely something different and original that you cannot experience anywhere else in the world!

Why visit Tirta Empul Temple and try a Balinese Water Purification Ritual ?

Tirtha Empul known as Holy Spring Temple when translated to English, is one of the special Hindu temples in Bali. Located close to Ubud in the village of Tampaksiring, the Balinese people visit here a couple of times per year or every full moon if they are from this area.

However non Hindu Indonesians also visit, so irrespective of religion all are welcome at the Holy Spring Temple. Have you see the photos of Barack Obama and family here ?

In more recent times international travellers staying in Ubud have also included a visit to Tirta Empul to find out more about Balinese water purification.  Initially it was those healing from a life trauma. But now with the realisation that the inner being is just as important as the outer, holiday time is a good time to reset, let go and refocus before returning home. Even if you feel there isn’t any emotions or energy that need shifting you may be surprised.

Visitors can simply come by yourself and bathe in the pools or have a Balinese person escort you, who will explain the temple’s history. local customs and assist with the water blessing which makes the whole experience much more meaningful.

There are three pools that represent past life, present life and future life. The first fountain is for cleansing chakras and the others mostly represent different emotions that humans need to keep control such as jealousy. You need to put the crown of your head under each fountain and say your personal mantra. However, be careful the last two fountains are for bathing only dead bodies so make sure you don’t use these (another good reason to have a guide)

There is much more here than just the holy spring pools that has made the temple famous. You can view the pond where the spring water appears from the ground before being syphoned into the pools. The individual temple buildings known as Asagan are used daily for placing the beautiful handmade offerings and keeping safe musical instruments and barong costume for bigger ceremonies. You will see the ladies, men and cute kids dressed in Balinese traditional dress which is required to enter the central temple area for prayer. Visitors are not allowed here but you can easily peer through the gate, taking photos is permitted.  We were lucky last visit and saw the Tirta Empul in all her glory dressed up for the big ceremony that happens every six months.

There is Balinese version of a wishing well where you wish for three things out loud, take three steps and then throw a coin over your shoulder. If the coin lands in the well you wish will come true, if not keep trying until you have success!!

Up on the hill is a more modern looking building which is known as the Presidents Palace. This was built by the first President of Indonesia, Pak Soekarno. from 1957 – 1963 after the land was gifted by the King of Gianyar to the Indonesian Government.  The Palace is still used for meetings.

As you exit there are some market stalls. You can support these local people by making a small purchase. A thank you for sharing their beautiful place with us. I bought a gorgeous pineapple shaped wooden cheese board !

Tirta Empul is a super special place to visit and one of the temples that will give you a true Bali experience. It’s a beautiful site and the experience is so unique, definitely one to remember and that will become a highlight of your Bali holiday.

We recommend you include as one of the stops during Bisma Cottages Ubud Highlights Tour or early morning for a more personal experience. Both are personally escorted by our Manager a Tampaksiring local. He will make all the arrangements for the water blessing and his mum will personally make all the offerings. If you are not into the water purification, this Temple is still well worth a visit.

What our guests are saying…..

“I followed the instructions and went from water fountain to water fountain, sounds simple?  Yes, but I could never have guessed as to the effect. All in our group agreed the experience was amazing. As I left the water,I felt a combination of peace and joy. A truly unforgettable experience.❤️  “

“We really loved coming here and did feel totally renewed afterwards! We will for sure visit again when next staying in Ubud. A combination of introspection for however long the process takes you, coupled with the invigorating fresh water is a combination that does leave you feeling spiritually cleansed afterwards, no matter what you believe in.”

“This was one of the highlights of our Bali trip. We loved the experience for its authenticity and cultural significance in Balinese traditions. It’s a beautiful site and the experience is so unique, it’s definitely one to remember!”

“The water blessing couldn’t have some at a better time for me. The experience was really profound, and I felt such a mental clarity afterwards. After months of emotional turmoil, I felt cleansed and grounded. It was a truly magical experience.”

10 Tips

  1. Weekends can be busy. Try and go weekdays if possible.
  2. To respect local custom wear a top that covers your shoulders.
  3. If you are going to do the water blessing bring a swimwear, towel, hair tie and
  4. Bring coins for the wishing well.
  5. Allocate enough time to do the water blessing and have a look around. Minimum 2 hours,
  6. Be respectful to the Balinese people who are praying, meditating or bathing. Remember it’s their place and we are lucky they are willing to share it with us.
  7. Be mindful of the tradition here, particularly in relation to dress code. When entering the pool women should wear conservative swimwear covered by a special green sarong and red sash that will be provided.
  8. Buy some of the mini bananas from the ladies – they are much more sweet, tasty (and yummy) than at home.
  9. Have an Indonesian lunch after finished. You will be hungry! There is a great restaurant nearby.
  10. If Tirta Empul is closed or busy due to a ceremony our Manager can recommend other holy springs in the area.

Bonus Tip – Ladies be prepared to get your hair wet. This is part of the purification ritual. If you don’t want to fully participate then better to be an observer.

Contact Bisma Cottages Reservations to Prebook.
Facebook – Bisma Cottages Ubud.
Instagram @bismacottages.
Email hello@bismacottagesubud.com

Plan Your Return To Paradise

Had enough of #stayhome ?

Dreaming of the day when we can travel once again to an exotic island paradise and put this pandemic behind us?

Believe it or not now is a great time to be planning your post Corona trip. The travel restrictions won’t last forever planning and dreaming now can be a wonderful way to nurture hope and excitement and keep your mind focused on all the good things that will be possible again.

Secure Ubud accommodation today and take advantage of Bisma Cottages’ ‘Stay Later Save Now’ offers. A delightful boutique retreat located right in the heart of all Ubud has to offer, Bisma Cottages is getting ready for travellers return to Bali and they’re giving until 30th June 2022 to redeem vouchers at incredible room rates.

Bisma’s intimate cottages are ideal for couples, friends and families and they are offering accommodation vouchers for 2 nights stays from as little as RP 1,100,000 (approx.US$70/AU$110)        including free use of bicycles, yoga mats, drinking water, tea and coffee plus a signature Bali  Floating Breakfast.  Save 25% on transport and tours around Ubud’s unique attractions as well as 10% off those sensational spa sessions that we all craved during COVID lockdown at Putri Spa, conveniently located just across the street from the hotel.

If 2 nights is not long enough in the Ubud Hood then there are 7 night vouchers from RP 4,000,000 (US$275/AU$400).  Better yet get a 7 voucher with a deposit of only RP 500,000 (US$40/AU$50) per person. All prices include government tax.

Not only are Bisma Cottages’ Stay Later – Save Now vouchers flexible on booking dates, Bisma Cottages are waiving all blackout periods with dates only subject to availability, and if you have to change no problem as long as a little advance notice is given. Even if you are unable to make a booking by June, 2022, there is the flexibility of transferring accommodation vouchers to friends and family! Don’t just dream it. Do it!

Along with the rest of the world, Bali has felt the fallout from COVID-19, but with the majority of the island’s population reliant in some way on tourism and without the safety net of any social security, the struggle for survival is real.  Choose to book your stay now then Bisma Cottages can plan for the future, sustain employment for their Balinese staff whilst implementing vital COVID CARE, maintenance and cleaning programs to keep guests safe & secure with peace of mind.

Check out Bisma Cottages COVID CARE protocol https://bismacottagesubud.com/covid19-in-bali/

Ubud is Bali’s cultural and wellness center, it is surrounded by rainforest and terraced rice paddies, dotted with Hindu temples. Now one of Bali’s most famous locations, a minimum of 3 nights is needed to experience the true feeling of the place and its people. Bisma Cottages is a little slice of paradise and being a small property, they offer a more personalized service. The Manager, an Ubud local speaks great English and is available to accompany guest on tours in the hotel car.

The time is now to get ready to create new memories. Complete details to buy a STAY LATER SAVE NOW voucher at https://bismacottagesubud.com/room-rates/#staylater and and start planning for your next trip to paradise.

Trekking To The Top Of The World

With our wanderlust  wings clipped lately, many of us are itching for the moment when we’re able to satisfy our desire for travel. Though currently limited to channel surfing and onscreen adventures, many are already turning their Bali Dreaming into planning mode to be ready to roll once restrictions are finally lifted.

Having been confined to #stayhome it’s little wonder that many of us are seeking an outdoors holiday and what better way to witness the wonders of Bali than with a guided sunrise hike up Mt Batur.

Staying in Ubud will mean a not such an early start as if you were staying in the southern tourist areas but you will still need to set that alarm because pick up is around 2.30am. If you are not an early riser fear not as there  is still time to sneak in a little snooze in the car as the transport from Bisma Cottages to the start is around an hour.

The Mt Batur sunrise climb is often the highlights of their Bali holiday. The moderate, 1717m climb is more than doable for anyone with a medium fitness (and no fear of heights) with your 1.5 hours of hiking rewarded with an awesome vantage point to witness the first light of day while munching on a well-earned brekkie of bananas and a fresh boiled egg sandwich cooked via volcanic steam from the mountain herself! Simply sit back and relax with a hot cuppa and your camera ready as this is sure to be one of the most memorable sunrises you will ever see!

There are several reputable local tour companies offering guided treks to Mt Batur and the team at Bisma Cottages is happy to recommend one and arrange tour bookings. Basic tours start from around US$45 per person and include air-conditioned hotel transfers, English speaking guide, flashlights, mineral water, Geopark entrance fees and a small breakfast. You can also expand your Mt Batur trek to include a trip to the hot springs near the volcano to ease aching legs and limbs, post climb!

Treks run pretty much every day but it’s advisable to opt for dry season dates from April through to September for more chance of a cloud free sunrise and safer climb. Wet season weather can cause parts of the track to become slippery, especially on the downward trek so wear appropriate footwear so you can be sure to make it to the summit.

Whilst regarded as a safe excursion for all ages, there are a few things to know before you go:

  • Set your alarm but get some sleep before you climb. You’ll need the energy!
  • Be sure to book a guide who will take you to the summit
  • Wear layered clothing. You will be hot during the climb but the mountain air is pretty frosty at the top so bring a jacket or a blanket.
  • Wear walking shoes/runners with a decent grip!
  • Be sure to have enough battery on your phone or camera so you don’t miss one of Bali’s best photo ops!
  • Listen to your guide to get some great info about Mt Batur and the surrounding areas. Some of these guys have been trekking here for 25 years so they know A LOT!
  • Be cautious on the downward trek. There can be areas of loose rock which can be slippery.
  • Bring a little extra cash with you. Tipping is optional but if you’ve enjoyed the experience, show your appreciation with a small gratuity.
  • Prepare to be on top of the world!

Visit bismacottagesubud.com for full details about their Family Package, Rooms, Rates, Tours and More.

BISMA COTTAGES
Jalan Bisma No. 35, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Ph: +62 815 5701 849
Email : hello@bismacottagesubud.com
Website : www.bismacottagesubud.com

Choosing Mountains Over Mayhem – Ubud For Families

Bali holidays need not be all beach clubs, Bintangs and battling crowds. While popular tourist areas in the south continue to draw the party crowd and beach lovers, many visitors are now seeking a more real and relaxed Bali experience.

About an hour’s drive from the international airport and into cooler climates, Ubud has become a firm favourite for families and xenophiles who are after an alternative to beaches and noisy bars. Originally famed for being the island’s artisan’s hub, there’s much more to Ubud than galleries and workshops with its impressive list of sights, activities and experiences for every age group.

Outdoorsy types will love the many walking trails that crisscross Ubud area such as Campuhan Ridge offering stunning views of rice fields, river valleys with quaint open-air cafes that beckon for stops along the way! A short drive from Ubud town centre affords views of one of the world’s most iconic rice terraces along with adrenalin fueled attractions such as swings to propel you up and over the valley below! Many of Bali’s most picturesque waterfalls are located close to Ubud along with many other culturally significant sites and temples.

For families with a day of action in mind, the Ayung River is home to a number of top rated white water rafting companies or you can opt for quad biking adventures, downhill cycling tours and even a sunrise mountain climb. Ubud boasts some of Bali’s best culinary offerings from family friendly casual eateries and cosy coffee shops to fine dining from Michelin star chefs!

While there are abundant villa options for families, many of these are located on the outskirts of town and can pose a strain the purse strings. Bisma Cottages is a boutique property located within walking distance of Ubud’s must see attractions and offers family friendly accommodation at an affordable price. Despite its central location, Bisma Cottages is situated on a quiet no through road fringed by rice fields. Just five minute’s walk and guests will find themselves at Ubud’s renowned Monkey Forest with a fifteen minute stroll in the opposite direction landing them at the Ubud Royal Palace, Ubud Market or Campuhan Ridge walk. Central Ubud is ideal for pedestrians with accessible footpaths and plenty of opportunity for retail therapy!

Providing a refreshing and affordable alternative to some of the larger, less personable accommodation options, Bisma Cottages is well suited to families of all ages. Their Deluxe cottage features a queen size four poster bed and separate living area with a large day bed and ample room for another extra bed to accommodate a family of four in comfort. It’s an ideal choice for families with smaller children while Bisma’s two bedroom adjoining cottages are perfect for tweens or teens needing a little more privacy and space to themselves. The cottages frame a delightful pool area ready for RnR after a day out and about! Check out Bisma Cottages’ Family Package deal including 3 nights in a 2 bedroom cottage and FREE Ubud Highlights Full Day Tour.

Visit bismacottagesubud.com for full details about their Family Package, Rooms, Rates, Tours and More.

 

BISMA COTTAGES

Jalan Bisma No. 35, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Ph: +62 815 5701 849
Email : hello@bismacottagesubud.com
Website : www.bismacottagesubud.com