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Sep 1, 2008

Island of the Gods

by Jenny Chua


Swoon into paradise. A baritone gong sounds just as the deepest teal teases your eyes. Hints of sea-salted air float down from a spellbinding view of Tanah Lot, Bali´s age-old temple on a rocky outpost lulled by the Indian Ocean. This is the view welcoming you to Le Meridien Nirwana, in the islet of Indonesia.

 

Instead of doors, the wide open entrance is formed by the warm afternoon breeze accompanied by musicians serenading the gently flaming dusk with the Balinese gamelan. Le Meridien kisses the cliff’s edge as the lapping ocean weaves in and out of view from airy spaces in luxurious lounges, delicious dining areas and waterfall-fed bathing pools.

 

Paradise has a lot of things in store. On Nirwana´s terraced grounds you can find a mask carver relaxing underneath a bale, waiting to show you his craft. A few acres beyond, a magical lulur awaits you at the in-house spa with a traditional treatment to glisten and smooth the skin of Balinese brides-to-be. In the evening, candles twinkle around a stone coliseum with pillows laid out to enjoy the evening’s outdoor movie.

 

Just outside its inconspicuous entrance, another kind of activity buzzes. Balinese flock in files, carefully arranged flowers and gifts elegantly crowning their heads, moving across the bustling market towards Tanah Lot temple, intricately carved from volcanic rock. It’s a startlingly beautiful contrast to the brightly coloured lace worn by locals.

 

The high point of the Le Meridien experience though, is not what’s on the inside. It’s the richness of possibilities waiting for you outside the comforts of your room. At the end of each day, nothing can top laying back on one of its garden bales on the bluff. Right before you, a marvellous sunset performance paints Tanah Lot. It’s yours to cherish, unlike any other souvenir.

 

http://www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1836

 
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