MS EMMA & BIG BOSS IN BALI – LUCKY 13

23/11/11 Wednesday

There is something inexplicably ‘holidays’ about launching into your own pool before breakfast. As a kid, my overly cautious and conservative mother would always make my sister and I wait until after lunch at least, and even then we had to wait an hour to ‘let our food go down’ before getting in the pool or hitting the beach during summer holidays. Not so the case now and as a show of my inherent laziness I take a dip at 9.50 in the morning after nowt but a scratch of my bollocks and a decent fart. Because I can.

We enjoy a room service breakfast and catch a bit of Richard Quest on CNN. Maybe it’s because of its familiarity (i.e CNN in Australia, Hong Kong, the US or England shows the same programming at the same time) but the times I am overseas I always find myself tuning in to CNN. We watch some Quest and I toy with a new twitter account: “richardqueststeeth’. I realise cannot concentrate on a word being said. I’m transfixed with those choppers and his (ahem) shall we say distinct delivery style?

There are worse ways to spend your holiday...

Ms Emma gets herself some in-room massage action (not from me. Get your minds out of the gutter. For shame!) and I contemplate what to do with my time by launching once again into the pool. It is a hot day, and one must have the appropriate surrounds in which to think, no? Thank you.

We still haven’t heard from the functions representative at the Anantara about a costing for their venue for a wedding. Ms Emma knows the PR rep at The Padma Resort in Legian and has arranged a meeting later that afternoon for us to sit down.

The drive from The Elysian to the Padma is, shall we say, ‘most interesting’. We have had people from home telling us about a story that ‘A Current Affair’ aired the night previous in Oz about the schoolies shenanigans in Kuta and the slow drive along Legian leaves no doubt that there is an oversupply of cockheads suddenly in the area as opposed to the previous couple of days. There are lots of kids on motor scooters with no helmets and bare feet, Bintang singlets and on a few scooters, even kids trying to ride with open Bintang stubbies. That’s all well and good, except their riding skills are woeful and – if you’ve ever been stuck in Legian, Seminyak or Kuta during peak traffic times – you really need your wits about you. The road laws, as I’ve written previously, are that there pretty much are NO road laws and the incident and fatality stats on the island are woefully high. I know I’m being overly conservative and a bit of a fuddy-duddy, but what I see leaves me in no doubt of the high likelihood of a serious injury to these revelers if they aren’t careful. But what can you do? We’ve all been that age. You think you’re indestructible. Go figure.

We arrive at the Padma Resort and sit down with Pia and Nancy from the hotel. Nancy is the Hotel’s events coordinator. We exchange pleasantries and get down to business. I leave most of the talking to Ms Emma. This is her first wedding (my second) and it will definitely be her day, so I just want her to make sure that she gets what she wants in terms of what the venues offer and so forth. Initially, I’m not too wowed by what’s on offer, the photos of previous weddings don’t thrill me too much, so I kinda tune out of what’s being said.

Pia and Nancy then take us on a tour of the Padma; a simply amazing place. A resort in every sense of the word, it is beset with lush, green lawns, perfectly manicured gardens and the scent of tropical flowers filling the air. The pool area is immense; it’s relatively busy, yet there’s still plenty of lounges available, and people aren’t looking crowded in the pool. We’re shown a number of areas that the resort has which they use for wedding ceremonies and I’m still politely non-plussed as I’m set on the Anantara & SOS.

Nancy takes us to the Padma’s Presidential Suite and I am – frankly – blown away. We enter through a side access point, which lands us in the middle of a sprawling lawn and garden area. The actual ‘suite’ is to our right. To our left is a water feature and a ‘stage’ area, which also doubles as the alter for their wedding ceremonies. The altar provides an uninterrupted view of Legian Beach and faces the sunset. During the ceremony, guests can be seated or standing, depending on what the couple chooses. Giddy up.

As we walk to the main suite, we’re shown the pool – ideal for guests if the weather ends up being hot and also lends itself to the vibe of a relaxed holiday wedding, as revellers can cool down if the urge takes them. Inside the Villa it’s all ornate and most intricate traditional Balinese wood carving work brilliantly meshed with modern appliances and fittings. There is an enormous Master Bedroom on one wing of the suite, which Nancy tells us is usually used by the Bridal party to prepare with the groomsmen have the opposite wing.

The villa has it’s own commercial kitchen, has a fully stocked bar for functions and if it happens to rain during the event, the suite is big enough to accommodate guest lists of around 30-50 comfortably. The entire ‘compound’ would be ours for the day of the ceremony with a late check-out organised or the following day so the Bride and Groom can just crash after the guests have been herded out. They take care of all the decorating (in liaison with us, of course) preparation, catering, furniture bump-in and clean up, the celebrant, staff escorting guests from the lobby to the suite… basically anything and everything you can think of except for the invitations and RSVP shtick; THAT stuff, you have to do yourself. I am floored by this place and thoughts of the Anantara and SOS as a possible wedding and reception venue, as well as the disappointment of not being able to use KuDeTa blissfully fade away.

There are huge plusses to using the Padma: mainly privacy, a beach view and a welcoming expansive outdoor and indoor space. Most significantly, as Ms Emma and I agree on on the drive back to The Elysian, it means that the ceremony AND the reception are at the same place, thus eliminating the headache of transporting people from one place to another – big concern when it can take you a half an hour to drive what you can walk in the same time and someone’s Dad (points to self) will be 72 years old, have two artificial knees and an artificial hip. Their price – while higher than Ku’s, is probably cheaper in the long run, given that it also includes things such as decor, slightly higher F&B allowance and a night’s accommodation to name just a few differences.

We’re well aware that some people will be disappointed that we’ve chosen to get married in Bali, and might see our call to get hitched in Bali, in the middle of the year as a bit selfish, so we are really keen to give the people who can make it a great time and a wedding experience that would be difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce in Australia. We’re buoyed by what we’ve seen at the Padma. After the disappointment of KuDeTa, the Padma has put some wind in our wedding planning sails.

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