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Majestic Mount Agung in northeast Bali, the 3,000-metre volcano whose slopes are home to the Balinese Mother Temple Pura Besakih, is rumbling for the first time in over 50 years. While the sudden seismic activity is cause for a formal alert and scientific surveillance, everything else is business as usual for most of us here in Bali.

Elite Havens Luxury Villa Rentals continues to welcome guests everyday to our fully-staffed holiday villas, all of which are well out of harm’s way, most being located along the western sunset coast or on the southern Bukit peninsula. The International Airport in Bali is operating normally as are all scheduled ferries and fast boats to and from The Island of the Gods.

No volcanic ash has been detected and this is continually being monitored via satellite imagery.  Unable to predict the likelihood of an eruption, volcanologists and researchers have provided commentary to inform risk mitigation.

The Indonesian government announced that areas inside a 9-12 km radius of Mt. Agung would be at the greatest risk of direct impacts from a potential explosion.

The rest of Bali – nearly 6,000 km2 of agricultural land, urban centres and trendy tourist haunts between its sandy shores – will likely not be affected at all. The physical distance of commercial neighbourhoods from Bali’s peaks and the direction of regular wind patterns over the Indian Ocean give volcanic ash a slim chance of spreading in the south. 

Rest assured the Balinese people who live on the slopes and foothills of mighty Agung have already been evacuated to ensure their safety and they are receiving support from the community and disaster relief organisations until further notice.

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Tai Hara on Bali and Beaches

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Tai Hara in Bali at Dea Villas in Canggu

How Bali unexpectedly became a very special place for the former Home and Away Heartthrob

Growing up on Australia’s Gold Coast with a love of surfing, it would have been natural for Tai Hara to join the schools of Aussies who habitually take breaks on Bali’s shores, but he had no strong ties to Indonesia (his heritage is Australian-Japanese) and he didn’t want to follow the trend of his fellow surfers.

Tai Hara poses at Seminyak Villa Sayang d'Amour

It wasn’t until 2015, when a friend’s 30th birthday party lured the actor to Bali, that he finally got hooked. It turned out the island was more exotic, welcoming and multi-faceted than he’d ever imagined. One look at his Instagram account and you’ll see the self-proclaimed “frangipani fella” posting plenty of pictures to suggest that he pops over to Bali at the drop of a hat.

‘We’re fortunate it’s so close to home.’ He likens the convenience and respite of short breaks in Bali to his experience whilst filming for Home and Away in Palm Beach, New South Wales, of which he said, ‘It’s so magic. It feels like you’re far away. It’s quite wild to be only an hour away [from Sydney].’

Most days, after acting for the TV series, he would stay at Palm Beach to surf and swim, taking full advantage of the opportunity to escape from ordinary city living. The character of the real Palm Beach is nothing like its depiction as Summer Bay on Home and Away – ‘a lot of drama and action and crime and death. The opposite of what you want at the beach.’

But his most loved beaches are those in Northern New South Wales. ‘Byron Bay, Lennox Head… That whole pocket is home to me. There’s a beautiful light house and a whale migration. It’s where the bush meets the coast in Australia.’

The soft spot he feels for home is irreplaceable, but the avid surfer also seems to enjoy plenty of other beaches all over the world. He and his wife visited their first Atlantic beach in Delaware, USA, by taking romantic walks on the beach, wearing stars and stripes and waving sparklers on 4th of July, and eating beach fries on the boardwalk – an all-American holiday.

Tai Hara Surfing in Bali

Evidently what Tai Hara loves most about Bali are its beaches.

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Obama in Bali: All the Pictures

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Obama Bali Holiday Labaran June 2017

How does the former First Family handle a holiday in Bali? By touring the island’s delights, that’s how. 

See all the photos of Barack, Michelle, Sasha and Malia, The Obamas during their recent visit to The Island of the Gods, where they caused quite a stir of excitement and brought about many “thumbs-up.”

 

Obama Jet Arrive Bali

(1) The 44th U.S. President and family arrived in Bali, Indonesia on 23rd June 2017 aboard a private jet and were warmly greeted by a well organised line of people and two large cars.

One of the ladies wore a comfortable-looking white-coloured pull-over as she disembarked the aircraft, which is excellent flight attire.

 

Obamas Jet at Bali Airport

(2) Mr. Obama received a welcome handshake from Bali Governor, Made Mangku Pastika.

It is not known what was in the lonesome bag or why it had such prominence in this blurry photo.

 

Barack Obama at Tirta Empul Bali Temple

(3) For a visit to the Tirta Empul Temple outside of Ubud, a relaxed and informal Mr. Obama had the “Dad abroad look” nailed as he gestured to something in the distance.

Meanwhile, the man in the light-blue shirt stood with a wonderfully authoritative pose. It’s nothing short of majestic.

 

Obama Handshake Bali Temple

(4) Dressed in his favourite dark blue jeans and conventional white polo,  Mr. O warmly greeted hosts with his double-handed handshake and famous golden smile.

 

Sasha Obama and Malia Obama sightseeing in Bali

(5) Wearing the traditional garment known as sarong or selendang, Sasha and Malia Obama made sure they didn’t miss a shot with both a phone and chunky DSLR on hand.

 

Michelle Obama in Bali

(6) Michelle Obama confidently led the way in her brand-new sneakers as the family explored the site.

 

Obama waving in Bali

(7) Barack Obama waved to the many onlookers vying for his attention.

Better than nothing.

 

Obama at Bali Temple 2017

(8) Apparently it was tricky to get a good photo.

 

Obama tall tourist visiting Bali

(9) The presence of a shorter man in the posse almost cleared the way for an unobstructed view of Mr. Obama playing tourist. 

 

Barack and Michelle in Bali

(10)  As it turned out, his edgy specs and over-shoulder straps would catch your eye in any photo.

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Canggu Club Changes Name to Finns Recreation Club

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Finns Recreation Club

June 2017 kicks off with an update (and a party) right on time before Bali’s happening high tourist season. Canggu Club teams up with Finns Beach Club and takes the name:

FINNS RECREATION CLUB

By any name, the sizeable compound on both sides of Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa is not your average rec club. Beyond its watchful entrances, Finns Recreation Club has a modern gym, tennis courts, an outdoor sports field, a 25-metre lap pool, fitness classes and programmes, personal trainers, a high-end spa, eateries and bars, a business centre and an array of activities for kids – Junior Sport Academy, Splash Waterpark, Strike Ten Pin Bowling, Bounce Trampoline Centre and Cubby Kids Club.

 

With exhaustive facilities and a prestigious reputation, why change a thing? Because Finns.

The other side of the partnership is just as good. Finns Beach Club opened at Berawa Beach in June 2016 and quickly made its way into every travel blogger’s list of the “Best Beach Clubs in Bali” and beyond.

 

By joining forces, Finns Recreation Club and Finns Beach Club are Canggu’s celebrity power couple, and the pair hopes to charm Bali’s residents and visitors alike.

With two cooperating venues offering worthwhile activities for all ages, poolside relaxation, events, entertainment and all-day dining, everyone wins. Perhaps the best news of all, complimentary door to door transportation back and forth throughout the day means it’s never been easier for families and groups to split up and meet up for different activities around Canggu throughout a day.

Also in the business of delivering effortless luxury experiences, Elite Havens Luxury Villa Rentals is pleased about the new opportunities this brings to our guests. Those wanting to rent a villa with Finns Bali membership included or arrange Finns Bali guest passes for a day, week or more, simply ask your Villa Specialist or Villa Manager to assist.

Finns memberships are tiered, with the upper echelons enjoying the most open-handed benefits. According to Finns’ PR, all members can expect more benefits as part of the change, with entry to both venues (and no minimum spend) being the most obvious of the perks. Rewarding loyal patrons who might be inconvenienced by the changes will likely prove to be a wise move.

FINNS BEACH CLUB 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY

Another smart play by Finns is the start of an After Dark event series at Finns Beach Club.

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Amilla Fushi Villa Residences Joins Elite Havens Luxury Villa Rentals Portfolio

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Elite Havens Group, Asia’s leading luxury real estate, villa marketing and management distribution company, is delighted to announce the addition of Amilla Fushi Villa Residences in UNESCO protected Baa Atoll, Maldives to its outstanding portfolio of luxury villas.

This acquisition in the coveted Maldives represents an exciting expansion into new territories for Elite Havens and furthers their collection of exceptional holiday villas located in the best islands in the world, Bali, Lombok, Phuket and Sri Lanka.

“We are delighted to represent and market Amilla Fushi Villa Residences,” said Jon Stonham, CEO of the Elite Havens Group. “The Maldives are rightfully perceived as the pinnacle of tropical island beauty and luxury and this coupled with the superb experience Amilla Fushi offers their guests we are proud to welcome these eight stunning villas to our portfolio.”

2-the-great-beach-residence-absolute-perfection

Amilla Fushi Villa Residences are part of Amilla Fushi Island Resort. There are eight villas in total, comprising Amilla – the Amilla villa estate (six bedrooms), six Amilla – 4 bedroom villa residences (four bedrooms) and Amilla – the great beach villa residence (eight bedrooms). There is an exceptional variety of international dining venues, from poolside treats at chilled-out foodie hub baazaar to sophisticated, overwater dining at Feeling Koi.

Beachside BBQ’s or picnics are held at The Emperor Beach Club, and to top it all off there is the Wine Shop & Cellar Door and General Store with café and deli. Other facilities include a dive & water sports centre with a Marine Biology section, two tennis courts managed by Jim Courier Tennis, a photography studio, a lifestyle shop, a kid’s club and a full spa with wellness facilities, and for the health conscious a clean & lean café and personal training studio managed by Bodyism.

amilla-beach-villa-residences-fun-watersports

The Amilla Fushi Resort is owned and developed by Coastline Investments in partnership with The Small Maldives Island Co. as their island custodians.

Michael C. Flynn, Chairman of The Small Maldives Island Co. said, “We have long admired Elite Havens for their high level of expertise in villa distribution and marketing services. We know that this relationship is going to open up significant new opportunities for us all.”

amilla-beach-villa-residences-sail-in-natural-beauty

Mark Hehir,

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