Get me outta here!

October 1, 2017

Bali: Bumbu Bali Seminyak


This is a pictures-based post.

Worth the time to visit?
Yes. These pictures look good. the food is great, the service is fantastic. Price is above average, lots of foreigners. Compared to prices in Singapore, this is pretty okay.
In short, make a reservation and GO!

BTO Reno Journey: Air-con Installation

Hi all! Returning with a post on choosing a suitable air-conditioner unit, based on several points:

How we chose our air-conditioner units
  • Price: Ask if the sales guy can exchange the free gifts to discount the selling price. E.g. Exchanging a 32" TV for extra $200 off.
  • Know how big or small your rooms are, so that you can get air-cons with the right power. 
  • Other issues you might want to consider, noise from the compressor, thickness of the air-con pipings.

  • 2 trips or 1 trip? If one trip, be mindful that painters might not be able to paint small gaps, such as between the air-con unit and the side wall. If two, the wall area around the air-con unit will look aesthetically better. TBH, nobody will climb to the top and see...
  • Be open-minded and receptive to all pros and cons of other brands, as some brands have spent quite a bit on marketing, hence people think better of them. 
  • Air-con installation takes the whole day- from 9am to 5pm. Feel free to go somewhere, and come back again. It's a messy procedure, drilling and all.
  • Know roughly where you are going to place your air-con units, because when the installers come, they are going to ask you the same question, and you have to decide on the spot with your partner. Bear in mind that the trunking will be extremely visible, so do decide the path of the trunking as well. Decide whether the air con units will be facing your bed, etc. Because having the air-con directly at your face isn't exactly comfortable, and may cause colds more easily.

Bali: Gabah Restaurant & Bar

This is a pictures-based post.

Worth the time to visit?
Unless you're around the area, which you most likely will!
Make a visit. Food and service is great, you see a decent number of locals, so you know the prices are affordable.

March 17, 2017

JB: Gianni's Trattoria

The place

We were looking around for a place that was opened at 9:30pm around that area, and found this small, quaint restaurant tucked along a pretty quiet street. There's Seven Oaks a stores down, which opens later, but we wanted decent Italian food, so here goes.


Mushroom Soup (RM21)

Salmon Caviar Pizza (RM42)

Seafood Linguine (RM51)

The food, by JB standards, is slightly more expensive than normal. I mean, approximately SGD7 is somewhat similar to a price you'd pay in Singapore. But the portion is definitely larger.

The pizza is a must-order. They have a wood-fired placed at the bar area of the restaurant, so you can see the chef putting the pizzas into the blazing fire.

The prawns are big and fresh. Though pasta was slightly bland, it was saved by the delicious pizza.

Service is reasonable, the ambiance is good. But if you're looking for Italian food, this might be the place.


Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Ambiance: 3/5
Overall: 3
[1- Never visit again, 2-Won't visit unless there's no other option, 3-Perhaps, 4 & 5- Yes!]

Good for? Couples


About it:
Gianni's Trattoria
Address: 110, Jalan Serampang, Taman Pelangi, 80400 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

BTO Reno Journey: Customizing and Making Korean Combination Roller Blinds on EzBuy Prime service

Yes, after surveying the local market for prices and the types of blinds, we're decided to take a gamble...and buy on Taobao, via EzBuy Prime service of course! Since shipping is free (practically!) via Prime, the reviews on the listings are good, seller was quite responsive to my enquiries, and most importantly, the price, design and quality are great, we went ahead and made an order.

You can ask for free samples from the seller and use EzBuy's Ship-for-me service to receive the parcel.

How are the samples look like:

We measured the dimensions ourselves, told the seller the color we want, how many panels. They then told us the price, and I told him my friend (aka Prime) will be making the order and payment for me. So I typed into the comments section with my ID and conversation with the seller, and Prime did the necessary arrangements for me. Voila, and it was ready in a week! Only Prime EzBuy shipping will take awhile, as the parcels are considered bulky.

Price of Korean Combination Roller Blinds for:
3 bedrooms (same size): SGD 4xx
Living room: SGD 2xx
Prime fee: SGD 2.99
Home Delivery: SGD 8.00
Total: SGD 6xx

Some photos of the arrived goods:

Matching the sample with the real stuff...

Installed and looking good!

Feel free to ask us any questions you might have! :)

March 3, 2017

Bali: Four Points by Sheraton Bali, Kuta

The Lobby

The receptionists were very friendly, and we were served some ice popsicles as our welcome refreshments. Very interesting. 

Deluxe Lagoon Access Room

Shower. No rain shower, very basic.

The room is spacious, with a strong Balinese theme to it. We were very excited with the pool access, but was disappointed to find out you can only access the pool from the morning till evening. Oh well, the water was too cold anyway. :)

The pool deck, right beside the room

With all the floating beanbags, we finally got the chance to jump into the pool and chill the morning away. Perfect photo moments.

Shuttle bus schedule for hotel guests

There could be more timings though, as it isn't easy to hail for cabs due to the hotel's location. You can try hailing Grab or Uber, but do so discreetly. 

Restaurant- the al fresco section


Making our own eggs on brioche...

Just some pics of their fancy restroom

There was a good spread during the morning buffet, and the servers are pretty friendly. 

What we think:
Other than the location being slightly difficult to access, as it's situated on a narrow road. It took quite a while for the cabs to horn incoming traffic and slowly chug in. Other than that, the place is great for travellers who want to stay at a well-known hotel group, at a lower cost.

Is it worthwhile to book the Pool Access room? Well, if you intend to explore the rest of Bali, it might not be worth the money, as your room curtains has to be constantly drawn, as other guests can swim over to your room. Which means you can't really have a pool view when you are in the room. But the cost was quite comparable to the regular rooms, so we thought we'd have a try staying at such rooms :)

January 18, 2017

Bali: Ametis Villa @Canggu

Hi all!

It's our first time blogging on our travels, so what's a better way to start- from writing about a luxury villa that we decided to spend a bomb on, in Bali?

The Premier Villa
With a very handy discount app, we spent USD 420 (with 21% tax) for 2 nights in the Premier Villa. (Imagine the price without discount! *gasps*) The Premier Room is like their superior room, and their Imperial Villa's like their deluxe room.

What was being offered when we directly booked with them:

Rate includes Luxury Benefits :
·         Return airport transfer with Ametis exclusive private car
·         Special Cocktails or Mocktails welcome drink based on guest preference and refreshing chilled towel upon arrival
·         A 30 minute relaxing massage
·         Daily breakfast on variation menu
·         Fully complimentary coffee, tea and homemade snack around Ametis villa, 07.00am - 11.00pm
·         Daily complimentary sunset cocktail and canapés at Eternal Restaurant & Lounge, 18.00pm - 20.00pm
·         Daily complimentary afternoon tea at Eternal Restaurant, Lounge or in villa, 16:00pm -18:00pm
·         Daily fresh fruit and flower arrangement in villa
·         Daily Newspaper ( based on Language preference )
·         24 hours drop and pick up service by Ametis private car within Canggu and Seminyak area
·         Personal Butler service
·         24 hours WiFi internet access
·         Complimentary daily stocked mini bar in room
*Imperial Villa Add benefits :
·         Upgrade A 30 minutes massage into A 60 minutes massage
·         Daily complimentary laundry 8 pcs per villa

When we arrived, we were given a very warm welcome by our butler. Instantly, we felt at home.
Lots of attention has been paid to the landscaping in the estate. The villa was big, and looked quite luxurious.

View when we enter the villa

Living, Dining & Kitchen area

Daily fresh fruit and flower arrangement in villa

View of the pool from Living area
The pool is pretty big for a villa, at 1.4 metres deep. 

Beautiful King-size Bed

Our Honeymoon Dessert! 
Sadly, it crumbled quickly into a mess after we explored the house because of the sweltering heat.

Sweet welcome note

Complimentary daily stocked mini bar in room
Yes, 2 bottles of complimentary Bintang beer and the all of the rest here everyday.

Complimentary cookies in the bedroom if you get peckish

Complimentary water in glass bottles. What a luxury.

Bathroom amenities
Unlike hotels, they do not replenish them everyday. But with Oral-B toothbrushes and decently-sized toothpastes, who needs replenishments?

Another small bottle of mineral water for each of us...

Big tub! Comes with bath salts as well.

Friendly house dog!

The room is cleaned twice a day, with a army of people, after all, the villa's huge. We forgot to lock our door in the morning, and a group of people entered, and we panicked slightly, wondering what was happening.

With so much nature around us, the existence of mosquitoes is inevitable. We were given our anti-mozzie kit consisting of a clear bottle of lemongrass spray to bring around, some Baygon mosquito coils, and another spray for the rooms. Yes, the mosquitoes were real. We were each bitten in the hour we arrived, but the lemongrass spray helped tremendously afterwards.

More pictures of how it looks in the sunset, and the bathroom...

Sunset view of the pool...

Separate glass cubicles for the toilet and shower

Night view

Ametis Villa is situated in Canggu area, 20-30 minutes distance from Seminyak city by car (without traffic jam), so if you're looking to spend more time in Seminyak, you might want to take this into consideration, because transport can become an issue, especially for late-nights out at those clubs... (read 'Transport' section below...)

It's a quick 5-8 mins stroll to Canggu Beach, but it's quite a simple beach with nothing much to do, but the good thing is the crowd is definitely so much less than those beaches in Kuta or Seminyak.

Nearby, there are many restaurants and cafes which sell local and foreign food at decent prices. The clothing stores are somewhat expensive, but you're paying for the quality. There're also chic-looking day spas, and guys' barber shops, within walking distance as well.

There're complimentary bicycles which you can just take and go from the Villa, but you have to cycle on the road, together with the other vehicles, and risk them going missing if you decide to go into the stores.

As mentioned, they have a benefit, 'Return airport transfer with Ametis exclusive private car'. Tell them your flight details or where you wished to be transferred from and they'll gladly pick you up. Not that Bali's transport is costly, but for a place where taxis are very unwilling to turn on their meter, this is great.

Their private vehicles which all has the number plate 88.
Gede is the most friendly driver ever!

As for their '24 hours drop and pick up service by Ametis private car within Canggu and Seminyak area', we weren't so lucky to enjoy it on our first night, which left a slightly sour taste.

We went out for dinner at a restaurant in Seminyak area, which we were duly dropped off at our reserved timing of 8pm. We told him we will require transport back at 11-ish as we wanted to explore the area after dinner. Halfway through at 9-ish, our butler called to tell us to hail a cab, and the villa will reimburse us, with a receipt. A taxi fare receipt in Bali sounds highly improbable to us, but we decided to believe our butler who sounded quite confident. What made things worse was the increasing rain. Luckily, the restaurant helped us hail a taxi.

However, when we got on, the taxi driver insisted on bargaining on the taxi fare, at 200k IDR. We knew it's way too much. We were not given the villa's mobile phone when we left, so lucky us to have bought sufficient credits on our SIM card. We called through and requested to speak to our butler, but he wasn't around and someone else was on the line. His English wasn't too good as well, so that wasn't much help. We had to sit in the cab for the first 5 minutes and try to persuade the driver to turn on the meter. It wasn't a very good experience, and we could have just hailed an Uber which would have made going back easier.

Luckily, the meter was turned on as we persisted, and we reached the Villa. As expected, the taxi did not have receipts. The security guard became the witness to the fare on the meter. The staff, whose voice seemed to be that on the line previously, came out and asked if we were alright and asked about the fare- 75k IDR.

You have to plan your journey the day before with your butler, so they can arrange transport for you. No dilly-dallying, for they will call your villa on the dot and ask if you're heading to the lobby. This might be a factor for people who wish to travel freely.

We were given two spots to drop off at Seminyak on the second day, Bintang Supermarket and Seminyak Square. They call it a 'Private Shuttle Service'. Wherever else you want to go in the afternoon is on your own. Then in the evening, if you wished to return to Ametis, you have to call them 30-mins in advance. Although they might have acceded to your request if you wished to be picked elsewhere, the options were never mentioned.

Their drivers, especially Gede, are all quite friendly and love to share about their culture, so when we asked about food spots, they gladly directed us where to go.

The food comes with cling-foil most of the time, perhaps due to the rain when the butler delivers them to the villa. There're a lot of varieties, from Korean, Japanese, Chinese Set Meals to Mee Goreng. They have the usual omelettes and pancakes as well. The Pineapple Pancakes were delicious.

Welcome Cocktails & Snack

 Daily complimentary afternoon tea at the Lobby (with mosquitoes as companions...)

Daily complimentary sunset cocktail and canapés in-villa

Breakfast Day 1
We chose 3 main courses. Wished we could finish them but we had to rush for a massage soon after. They were delivered in-villa. Slightly cold, but delicious nonetheless.

Breakfast Day 2
Unlike yesterday, we were told we could only choose 2 main courses today, so we did.

While the space is undeniably huge, some parts of it were slightly worn and old. (That's probably why there weren't recent awards listed on the page...) But, I can totally imagine the extravagance of the estate when it first opened its doors to guests.

The bedroom and bathroom, were lined with great lengths of polished filled Travertine, a costly natural stone in Singapore. It made the place all the more luxurious. The grout lines in the bathroom were actually gold- but had turned grey in the dry area of the bathroom. Bathroom tap was leaking and the vertical blinds were grey due to mould. The kitchen and TV cabinets were chipped and the cushion on the sofas and chairs looked quite tired. With a little repair, this place can easily regain its former glory.

The butler service can get stifling at times, being free-and-easy travellers, having to wake up and at least clean up a bit at 8am because we agreed with this timing, when the rainy weather is so good to sleep in... because he will be bringing breakfast soon. Don't dilly-dally too much, if not someone will call your villa while your butler waits outside. If you've had stayed in a hotel, you get to choose what time you want to go for breakfast without much rush. You can also leave the hotel at any time you wish, at your own pace, without worrying about the butler and driver who're waiting outside for you.

That being said, they're really nice people and will try to cater to your needs. The best thing is that they actually remember your names, Ibu and Bapak, which were a really nice touch. We loved the hand-signed welcome note as well.

There are lots of extra activities that the villas for honeymooners and couples looking to celebrate their anniversaries. During our stay, couples had Balinese dancers with dinners in their villa, a full Frangipani-petals walkway into the villa, and even Fireworks arranged! They also do sunset dinners by the beach, and picnics. Well, all with an extra cost, or an 'all-inclusive package' of course :)

Side note: Try their complimentary sachets of coffee, placed in a corner of the pantry. It's fabulous.

It's a good place to explore a quieter part of Bali, and to just chill the day away, suntanning or swimming. Being our first villa-stay experience, it was pretty memorable and we look forward to many more wonderful trips to Bali :)