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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

The Komeneka at Bisma

Nobody does luxury like the Balinese. one of my favorite things about Bali is the service and the wonderful aesthetic you find throughout the island. This time we are here to relax. The Mad Dash has taken us from Rome to Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka, Bangkok and Burma and  I can think of nothing I'd rather do after all that than sit by a private pool. Komeneka Bisma may be the perfect place for all the time I  plan to do nothing!

Because we are on a long trip, value was a central concern when I was choosing the hotels in Bali. I was looking for luxury, but at a reasonable price. I looked at Bisma but the pool villas were outside our budget this time around. However, when they offered to move us I was very happy to accept and we were very comfortable here.
The service was superb and lets be honest - we all know I'm fussy! One morning I wasn't feeling great and slept till 1pm. When I woke I fancied breakfast but realized it was over. I called room service to find out what "breakfast like" items they might have on the menu, "Oh", they said, "we can send you your breakfast now", amazing!
If you want something they don't have on the menu just ask and they will try and accommodate you. They offer a fabulous afternoon tea which can be taken in the restaurant or in your room, or if you prefer you can take it at one of their other hotel. Just let them know and they will send you over there in one of their cars, it's all included of course. Feel free to try their spa, or to take a yoga class, just let us know when you want to come back, really they mean it!
This is a hotel which is all about the rooms, yes there is a gorgeous main pool (at the top) and a shady pool at the spa (below) but it's the large private pool in your own room that is the real attraction.
Dorky but happy, above! It's the combination of value, aesthetics and service that draws me back to Ubud time and time again. It remains my first choice for relaxation, it's just a magical place. Though I have to say that on this trip we were stunned by the changes in Bali and the incredible increase in traffic. I was glad that we didn't plan on touring around because I'm not sure it looks like much fun.