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Intriguing IndonesiaNovember 24, 2011 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent
|The water temple of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan in Bali.|
Indonesia is made up of approximately 17,000 islands scattered throughout the South Pacific. As such, it may seem a difficult destination for your well-heeled clients to navigate. But, once agents know all that Indonesia has to offer in terms of luxury travel, it won’t be hard to sell this exotic destination.
Among the most well-known islands in Indonesia are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan (formerly Borneo), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), the Maluku Islands and Papua. Because the country is so spread out (spanning one-eighth the circumference of the globe), it is exceedingly diverse. Its more than 250 ethnic groups live among ancient temples, palatial ruins, royal water gardens, terraced rice fields and more, making it one of the world’s most unique destinations.
Indonesia is a major sell for newlyweds because of the inherent romantic atmosphere. Bali is the number one destination in Indonesia for honeymooners because of its high number of luxury resorts and spas.
If your clients are honeymooning in Ubud, you cannot go wrong booking them at The Ubud Village Resort & Spa, a luxury resort that intersperses local Balinese heritage with over-the-top luxury. The resort is all-villa; each with swimming pools set in a private garden, satellite TV, DVD players, sunken bathtubs, indoor and outdoor showers and more. The property promotes romantic luxury with its rice paddy terraces, coconut palms, lotus ponds and private rice paddies. To book this resort, travel agents can contact Gus Oka at [email protected].
Some of the great couples’ activities in Ubud include cultural performances, which are held every night; visiting key historical attractions such as Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi, Pura Kehen and Tirtha Empul Temple; and enjoying the lush natural landscape, characterized by rolling rice paddies. Tip: Northeast of Ubud town center is one of the best spots to view Bali’s rice terraces.
Nusa Dua is another popular location on Bali for honeymooners. It’s a beachfront location with white sand and is home to the island’s major five-star resorts and international restaurants. Recommend Conrad Bali to your newlyweds, which is set on private tropical gardens and lagoons, complete with waterfalls and pools. The property has 353 guest rooms, including 54 Conrad Suites. In addition, the resort has its own Jiwa Spa and a Wellness Studio. A choice of three restaurants and two bars is available. The resort even has its own wedding facilities should your clients decide to tie the knot there. Travel agents with questions can reach out to General Manager Michael Burchett ([email protected]; 011-62-361-778-788).
Nusa Dua is characterized by its tranquil swimming pools beneath coconut trees, numerous art galleries and shops, and if your clients are golf enthusiasts, Nusa Dua will be an easy sell. One of the three top-notch golf courses in Bali is in Nusa Dua: the Nusa Dua Golf and Country Club. Make sure to book a tee time at the club, as it is very popular ([email protected]; 011-62-361-771-791).
Nature enthusiasts will love Nusa Dua for its walking paths, as well. The Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa beachfront are connected via a walking path, and we hear that morning strolls are the best. The footpath runs in front of the Ayodya Resort to the Grand Mirage, approximately 4.5 miles.
If your VIP clients love to shop, Indonesia is just the place to be, especially the capital city Jakarta. Many world famous modern fashion brands are available in Indonesia, primarily in the big cities. Plaza Indonesia, for example, in the heart of Jakarta, has become the home of high-class shopping. It’s a haven for fashionistas looking for haute couture and jewelry. Your clients can make a day of it in this shopping oasis as it is home to a movie theater, a music venue and a restaurant.
Plaza Senayan is one of the most well-established shopping centers in Jakarta. It holds a reputation for sophistication and elegance, and sits right in the heart of Jakarta’s Central Business District. Alternatively, the brand new Senayan City has an exclusive mall atmosphere that spans a massive 800,000 square feet of space. It houses 418 retail spaces, gourmet supermarkets and international department stores in five levels. VIP shoppers will love the name brands, such as Topshop Topman, Miss Selfridge, Bebe, Zara, Armani Exchange, Guess and more.
If it is local crafts your clients are after, Jakarta provides a wealth of options. Surabaya Street, for example, is a top purveyor of antique goods, from wood sculptures, masks, ornaments, lamps, telescopes and more. Note: Tell your clients to haggle. It is highly recommended to compare the price between one kiosk and another.
No doubt, one of Indonesia’s most important assets is its geographical location. With 50,000 miles of coastline, the archipelago is the largest in the world. The country is home to 4,000 different species of fish, 10 times the number found in the Caribbean, making it one of the world’s premier diving destinations.
|Balinese cultural performances can be a highlight of a visit to Indonesia.|
For an out-of-this-world diving experience, Raja Ampat is a must. Divers can head for a lagoon where huge schools of jacks and barracudas swim among sea turtles, black manta rays and other marine species. The Raja Ampat island group consists of over 610 islands, but the largest are Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool. Divers can enjoy Raja Ampat year-round, but it is important to note that October or November provides the best viewing.
Banda is another top location for diving enthusiasts. Located in the Spice Islands, Banda is seeing a growing reputation among the diving elite. It’s a relatively remote island and has been able to maintain the purity of its habitats and fish species. Some of the creatures worth mentioning are the dogtooth tuna and mobula rays. Divers will also be able to see fusiliers and thousands of redtoothed triggerfish. Cetaceans are frequent, as well, along with dolphins, orcas and other whale species.
March and April and mid-to-late September to early-to-mid December are the best times for diving in the Banda Sea. It is not recommended to arrange underwater excursions outside of these months.