Every time I make a list of things that represent my gratitude, love, and appreciation, there is one subject repeating over and over again. And today I will tell you a story. This is not a love story, it’s a story about love. About passion, people, and hospitality played in another league.
Vlad and I celebrated 10 years of love in Bali. First in Sanur, and then in Nusa Dua – the “Beverly Hills” of this amazing island.
Nusa Dua is an ocean resort with white beaches, beautiful cliffs, fabulous hotels and private clubs with infinity pools. A lot of people have told me this part of the island is more commercial, not even close to the “real Bali”. And I have one answer for them: “It depends!” Maybe you didn’t choose the right place. Maybe you didn’t have the time to stop and breathe, to really see the temples, the people, the traditions.
This is my story.
1. On a Monday afternoon, I’ve entered a minimalistic open space, where the ocean is the VIP guest. The ladies and gentlemen from The Ritz-Carlton Nusa Dua are ready to fulfill your dreams. A smooth and elegant check-in process. Smiles and stories – but not those you are used to. A real interest, a sense of kindness and openness I’ve never seen in any other place.
2. After a short ride with a boogie, we discovered our amazing Junior Lagoon Suite.
* a splendid white room, with simple and very comfortable Balinese furniture, with paradise-beds, with a marble bathroom adorned with frangipani flowers and orchids, with a step-in closet, a living room and a terrace with a day-bed.
* they have EVERYTHING in here. Even the things you never thought are possible. The comfort is at the art & innovation level.
* the lagoon is deep blue and inviting, and we celebrated our anniversary swimming at 1 AM, in the most scented and fresh air on the island.
3. If someone would ask me what is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, my answer would be: ‘The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge’. Why? Because I feel like home. OK, a very sophisticated, elegant, luxurious home. What do I love about this place? The way it makes me feel. The memories. The stories.
4. I’ve stayed at 5 Ritz-Carlton hotels until now, and I can wholeheartedly say that the food is out-of-this-world! From the western dishes to the local ones, from the cocktails to the amuse-bouche, and then the most delicious and fabulous desserts in the world.
5. In one afternoon, we had dinner at an Indonesian traditional restaurant – Bejana – on a cliff. Open kitchen. Magical smiles. Perfect dishes. A very romantic place, from where you can see the entire property and the ocean.
6. The gardens. Fully blossomed trees. Frangipani. Huge spaces where you can run barefoot in the grass. Hundreds of fish and water lilies. Infinity pools. Little cabanas and day-beds along the shore. A white sand beach. Temples. The resort priest and Balinese ceremonies on the beach. This place will buy you time. Time for yourself. Time to relax. Time to feel.
7. You will find in here a spectacular chapel, where you can have your wedding or a sacred ceremony, with the ocean as your only witness.
8. You can enjoy a lot of activities: from making the Canang sari (Balinese offering) to dancing and cooking. Or even making your own perfume – because they have a wonderful studio where you can learn to create the perfect essence of your memories.
9. And, of course, you have a luxurious SPA, fitness center, a salon, yoga lessons, a hydrotherapy pool, a Balinese Bathing Pool. All are inspired by ritualistic cleansing ceremonies that play an important part in traditional Balinese Hinduism.
10. Oh, they even have a movie night – on the beach, with popcorn and beer. A library full of cooking and design Indonesian books. And, of course, the Ritz-Kids programme, where the little ones are spoiled and surprised with their favorite cartoons characters and games.
But it’s the people that I love the most at The Ritz-Carlton (Nusa Dua and all over the world).
Did you know that they have a truly revolutionary custom? If a client needs help, or it is their birthday, or for no particular reason at all – the ladies and gentlemen from the Ritz-Carlton are free to create unforgettable memories for them! No rules, no budget restriction, no approvals.
They use their imagination and playfulness, they go and do something amazing. I can tell you: THESE stories of love and passion are the reason I am in love with the Ritz-Carlton.
At the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, they’ve surprised me with a dinner at a different restaurant every night. At the Ritz-Carlton DIFC, they’ve welcomed me with a huge cake with all my travels on it. At the Ritz-Carlton Dubai, I received fruits, cheese, and traditional desserts. At the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, they’ve made me a picture with a leather frame, they’ve printed a Facebook pic and gave me a chocolate and gold cake. At the Ritz-Carlton Nusa Dua, they’ve found out I am a very matinal person, and they surprised me with an amazing breakfast on the beach, at the sunrise – with my own chef.
Not to mention the diversity, acceptance, kindness, freedom, vulnerability, and love. Exactly what I write about in here. The Ritz-Carlton is creating the new world. A world we would all love to live in. And they are really playing in another league.
So, on my list of abundance, appreciation, and love, there is always the Ritz-Carlton. Because, you know, when you see that the world of your dreams is real, you fall in love. Forever.