Arriving at 11pm at the Hotel Santika Siligita in Bali, tired after a long flight, the immediate signs aren’t too appealing: a driveway with security guard off a busy thoroughfare in Nusa Dua, and a tiled lobby mostly deserted. At reception, a woman is complaining loudly to a staff member that a driver had tried to rip her off. Obligingly he orders her another cab.

It’s when I wake next morning and wander down to breakfast that I’m reminded again how pleasant it is to visit southeast Asia, especially Bali.

IMG_1158A large, high-ceilinged breakfast terrace served by smiling staff in traditional Balinese gear looks out over an enormous blue swimming pool surrounded by walled tropical gardens of lawns, frangipani trees and shrubbery. On one side, a sign emblazoned with “Uluwatu Spa” beckons. I could relax here.

Breakfast is a feast with a bewildering choice, from fresh papaya and other local fruits to an omelette station and western fare, with eclectic Asian choices including braised or fried chilli fish, curried chicken, nasi goreng, stuffed cabbage, salads, pastries and much else.

The three-star Hotel Santika Siligita is set near the centre of Nusa Dua, a MICE hub in Bali. It’s 30 minutes’ drive from the airport and about five minutes by free shuttle bus to good beaches and shopping. It has 153 rooms with high-speed wifi connection – something that some higher-priced chains, like Hilton, still, incredibly, don’t offer non-member guests – tea- and coffee-making facilities, safe deposit box, LCD TV and cable channels.

The hotel itself includes six well-equipped meeting rooms, and full banquet facilities are available for larger gatherings and special events.

“We’re part of a strong local company that has over forty very reasonably priced hotels throughout Indonesia,“ says Ni Wayan Yoni (pictured, above), Assistant Sales Manager for the Hotel Santika Siligita Nusa Dua.

19“We recently hosted a five-day conference for a business group of 70 people here very successfully, and we can easily accommodate up to 140 people theatre-style.”

The half-day rate including lunches is USD 23, for a full day it’s USD 35, and for full board that includes lunch and dinner it’s USD 40. And even these rates are subject to negotiation, says Wayan Yoni. The online room rate starts from USD 29 a night, including breakfast, which, notwithstanding the value-for-money reputation of many Asian three-star hotels, is reasonable indeed.

Meetings clients are roughly split between local and international groups, with a significant number of MICE visitors from Singapore, Korea, China, Germany and, to a lesser extent, Australia, she says.

The Santika hotel group includes two-star Amaris properties, three-star Santika branded hotels and Santika Premier hotels which incorporate a collection of four-star properties. The Royal Collection is a brand of boutique Villa properties under the Samaya and Kayana brands.

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