When (and how) to get the best hotel deal

When (and how) to get the best hotel deal

When it comes to the best time to book a hotel, it can sometimes seem like running the gauntlet between competing suppliers, deals and locations. Hundreds of sites clamour for your attention and depending on where and when you want to go the process can be laborious and frustrating.

While booking aggregators tend to advertise themselves as a gateway to low-cost holidays, in most cases a savvy mix of timing, research and booking directly with the hotel or resort will result in getting what you want and when you want it.

Be flexible with travel times (if you can)

Depending on your life stage, flexibility around travel dates can be a challenge. After all, there are only certain times of year for school holidays and leave. Increasingly the changing nature of work means more of us than ever have the opportunity to travel on a varying schedule.
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The Karma Guide to… traditional Balinese massage

The Karma Guide to… traditional Balinese massage

One of the biggest attractions when holidaying on the island of Bali is to experience one of the ‘Island of the Gods’ natural spa treatments. The most popular of these is the traditional Balinese massage.

So, what makes traditional Balinese massage so unique and where does it originate from?

The heart of tradition

The Balinese people have long valued the health benefits of massage; for centuries the Balinese have regularly massaged their newborn babies for health and well-being. Each village has a village healer who is skilled in massage. While in the past massage was usually only given when someone was very unwell today the traditional Balinese massage is popular amongst the millions of international guests Bali welcomes each year.

The origins of Balinese massage

From 600-800 AD Hinduism and Buddhism were introduced into Indonesia via traders along the spice route archipelago, so the thinking goes that they brought their massage rituals with them.
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Five of the best Indian festivals

Five of the best Indian festivals

Have you ever travelled to India? If you’re thinking about an Indian sojourn, then it makes sense to align your trip with some of the best Indian festivals.

Hinduism is India’s predominant religion and is called ‘the eternal tradition’ by scholars, who believe it to be the world’s oldest religion with no single founder. Thousands of years of history, myth, ritual and tradition combine to produce some of the most spectacular celebrations on earth.

Holi

Holi is Hinduism’s spring festival of colour – a celebration of good over evil signified by the start of spring and a day to meet others in love, laughter, fun, and to forgive transgressions.

Over a full night and a day – starting on the evening of Purnima in Hindu month of Phalgun – participants gather to perform rituals then as day dawns to run through the streets throwing brightly coloured powders at each other no matter if it’s a friend or stranger.
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Bali’s healing powers much more than skin deep

Bali’s healing powers much more than skin deep

With a culture centred on daily temple offerings, spirituality, sacred prayer and community, Bali is already the world’s best spa and wellness destination. Balinese women have long massaged their babies to promote circulation, and the locals have been downing Jamu turmeric shots long before the brightly coloured orange root was named a ‘superfood’.

The ‘island of the gods’ offers a diverse landscape of beach, mountains, jungle, rice fields, and urban life – all of which provide a sublime backdrop to beautiful spas, retreats and wellness experiences. For the wellness seeker, there’s no other place like Bali on earth.

The world’s No.1 Yoga Hub

There are not many places in the world where you find over fifty yoga retreats all situated within a one to two-hour drive from each other, yet Bali has almost an overabundance of choice. Yoga venues range from eco-bamboo structures set in the rice fields to rustic yoga shacks on secluded beaches and phenomenal yoga bales in the mountains – Bali offers travellers beautiful spaces to move, meditate and breathe.
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The Karma guide to Bali’s traditional cuisine

The Karma guide to Bali’s traditional cuisine

Bali’s traditional cuisine draws on indigenous staples, pan-Indonesian influences, Indian – and even Chinese -flavours that have moved with populations over time.

With the majority of Bali’s people predominantly Hindu, the local cuisine differs from the rest of the archipelago. Much of Bali’s native food culture springs from their profound spirituality and worship of the gods, with some dishes prepared specifically for ceremonies and to mark important communal celebrations.

Of course, all this means that those visiting Bali will experience something on the plate they won’t find anywhere else on earth.

Babi Guling (suckling pig)

Rather unique to Indonesia, given the predominantly Muslim population, Bali can claim one of the best suckling pig recipes anywhere. Babu Guling is a small pig roasted to perfection and flavoured with an aromatic spice paste which includes shallots, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and turmeric.

Usually served with Lawar – a delicately spiced salad made with green beans, fresh coconut, coconut milk, palm sugar and lime leaves – and rice, Babi Guling is often enjoyed communally during big celebrations, such as Galungan, or weddings.
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