As the founder of Lonely Planet, Tony Wheeler celebrates fifty years since the first of his guidebooks was published.
The esteemed explorer has been reflecting on his favorite destinations. Of course, Bali features on the list.
In an article authored for the Sydney Morning Herald’s Traveler Magazine, Wheeler shares his fifty all-time top travel destinations.
Broken down into categories like ‘five utterly weird destinations’, which includes the North Korean capital Pyongyang, and five ‘I’m not going there places,’ Wheeler’s reflections on more than fifty years of travel are wild and exciting.
Of course, no mention of global tourism destinations would be complete without a mention of the Island of the Gods.
Wheeler is Australian, and Lonely Planet is a proudly Australian publication, although it is now US-owned.
@balikami.com Ini Pantai Kuta 🌤 #pantaikuta #kutabeach #balikami #balikamicom ♬ original sound – Sevi
The South East Asia edition of Lonely Planet has been in print for fifty years now and has been revised across 19 editions.
For many backpackers heading to Bali before the rise of the internet, the Lonely Planet guide was the go-to companion for travel planning and is still a heavily relied upon source of information for travelers.
So what does the founder of Lonely Planet have to say about Bali in 2023? Although he has traveled all over the world, there is still one small hotel in classic Kuta that captures his heart.
Poppies at Kuta Beach is one of the most famous hotels in all of Bali. Not because of its high-flying luxury, although it is incredibly comfortable, but because of its long and treasured history.
Langit cerah, semua indah! Hello from Kuta Beach-Bali 😉♬ original sound – Melali Bali
Poppies, according to Wheeler, remains as charming and homely as ever, despite the rapid rise of tourism development in Kuta and the surrounding tourism resorts of Seminyak, Legian, and Jimbaran.
Wheeler describes a step through the gateway to Poppies to “that lush garden and suddenly the Kuta noise and confusion is a light year away.”
He notes that he has stayed at all manner of five-star establishments in Bali, including Jimbaran Bay, the Como Shambhala, the Amandari, and the Four Seasons Sayan, but that humble Poppies can keep up with the best of them.
Poppies is famous amongst the first generation of holidaymakers and travelers in Bali, as for a long time, it was one of the only hotels in the Kuta Beach area.
Known to this day as ‘heaven in the heart of Kuta’, the quaint and charming Poppies offer guests that chance to stay in traditional holiday cottages in the truly boutique hotel complex.
Open now for more than fifty years, the hotel cottages, pool, and gardens remains as lush and homely as they did in the 1970s.
The hotel was opened on the 12th of January 1973 by a local woman by the name of Zenik Sukenny, known as Jenik, with the support of some early visitors to Bali from the USA.
Poppies have been welcoming guests, new and old, for over fifty years. The hotel employed over 120 staff, many of whom have been working for the company for over twenty years.
Poppies affords guests the timeless generous hospitality that the island of Bali is so well known for.
And with a team of staff so loyal to the company and the guests, returning visitors are welcomed by familiar faces.
It is not only the founder of Lonely Planet who gives Poppies a huge thumbs up; the hotel has received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for seven years in a row.
As newly developed tourism resorts like Canggu and Uluwatu are attracting bigger and bigger crowds, areas like Kuta remain steadfast in their charm.
As perfect for a classic beachside vacation as it was fifty years ago, there is a lot to love about a stay in Kuta.
The area is particularly popular with Australian tourists, who continue to be the most frequent visitors to Bali here in 2023, just as they were in the 1970s.
Plan Your Next Bali Vacation:
Book The Best English Speaking Drivers For Airport Transfers & Tours
Choose From Thousands of Bali Hotels, Resorts, and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
For the latest Bali News & Debate Join our Facebook Community
SUBSCRIBE TO NEW POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Bali Sun’s latest breaking news, straight to your inbox.