Once in a while, you will receive a beautiful story like this - shared by one of our guests, Michael Hayden from UK, that reminds us why we do what we do and why we love doing it.
Here is the story, shared in loving memory of Julie Hayden...
Good morning to the Mulia Management.
Some years ago we enjoyed a quite stunning stay at The Mulia for Christmas, although sadly my wife, Julie, was diagnosed with different cancers the following year, and passed away after over 41-years of marriage in May this year. Our holiday with you was more or less the last one we had together abroad, as she was too ill to travel any great distances in the years that followed.
As I used to be a race driver and motor-sport photo/journalist, it was suggested I write a story of my racing and home life, primarily for the grand-children as they grew older, but also for anyone else who might be interested. One of the chapters covers our holidays abroad, copied below, which might be of interest to you, as our whole stay was simply stunning and really beyond words, and Julie absolutely loved the place (me too by the way!). Even now I still use The Mulia carrier bag we were given by our butler all those years ago.
The Mulia - Nusa Dua, Bali - Christmas 2015
Julie had excelled herself for this one. After a few days at a pleasant retreat in Ubud, which looked resplendent with Christmas Tree decorations in the open foyer, we moved to another location for stage 2. It was quite surreal with the feeling of openness at the Ubud retreat, and the heat, despite knowing back home in the UK, it was anything but hot!
So, after a few days we moved a little further south to Nusa Dua, and into what was arguably the most exotic hotel we had ever been in. The Mulia, the Tripadviser no.1 choice, is a 5-star boutique all-suite resort hotel, and was the sort of place where I would look at Julie upon arrival, as I had done once in Washington DC, USA, and I would ask, “We have already definitely paid for this stay, haven’t we?”
Enjoying views of the Indian Ocean, offering total privacy and relaxation, The Mulia in Bali, offers a selection of one and two bedroom suites, each with a patio/balcony, with an adjacent Jacuzzi, a balcony day bed, spacious living area, state-of-the-art entertainment system, and indulgent oversized bedrooms, and, the only way to say this, a truly amazing toilet and shower! The interior and outdoor spaces intertwine, offering views of a vast pool visible through the dining room window, decorated with beautifully crafted Balinese statues. The infinity pool flows to the beach and towards the Indian Ocean.
After being delivered to the hotel reception area by electric buggy, and greeted at the drive-in entrance, we were expertly assisted to Reception by two very attentive staff, where I was shocked to be told, “we have called for your butler who will be here in a few moments.” I waited until the lady was distracted before catching Julie’s eye. She just smiled and shrugged her shoulders, later claiming it had been as much a surprise for her as it had been for me!
Our “butler” said he was there to make sure our stay was as comfortable as possible, and if we wanted a bath running, the Jacuzzi switching on, a cup of tea making, the bed covers rolling back, bags unpacking… then we must call him. He must have seen the look on my face when he said, “Mr. Hayden, this is what I am employed to do, so when you want anything, please call me… and time of the day or night.”
Somewhat taken aback I thanked him, but it was the start of a holiday that was full of surprises, with a personalised attention to detail neither of us had ever experienced before, as a few examples will serve to show:
One day we decided to walk the Resort, which is split into three areas. I suppose we were at the ‘classiest’ end, because whilst we were able to eat and drink wherever we wished to go, The Mulia hotel was not available to a non-guest user from elsewhere on the Resort, unless they paid extra for the privilege. We were greeted at Reception with, “Good morning, Mr. & Mrs. Hayden, it is so nice to see you this morning, can I call your butler to drive you where you would like to go?” Having our names remembered was one thing, but wanting to take us everywhere in electric buggies was another.
On another occasion we were able to escape the buggy, much to our ever-present driver’s surprise, when we said we would like to walk in the dark to the Soleil, one of the nearby restaurants probably less than 100 yards away. Not long afterwards a voice in the bushes greeted us with, “Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Hayden, have a nice evening.”
The voice belonged to a member of the hotel security team, who were present 24/7 throughout the area. Julie and I decided all the hotel staff must be in ever-present contact with each other, to make sure their guests were safely and well looked after. We joked about staff talking, presidential style, into wrist microphones, “The Hayden’s are on the move, be alert, watch out for them,” but what if it was not a joke and they really did?
No matter which restaurant we chose to eat in, we were always greeted by name, and received attentive service. Even simply calling for a drink at the Mulia Resort, separate from the hotel, the young lady behind the bar, three days after our last visit, recognised me and asked if we, “Would you like the same drinks we had on our last visit?” Seriously?
“OK”, I grinned back at her, “What did we have?” but she was right! And when we were about to leave, she immediately noticed we were getting ready, and asked if we wanted her to call our “butler” at The Mulia, and his buggy, for a lift back!
Christmas Day, spent in a quiet end-cabana by the pool-side, factor 50 cream in place, with whatever we wanted to drink and eat, meant Christmas could never be quite the same ever again. Even the 10-minute deluge that caught us out on the beach one day did not put a dampener on the week. There was no point running, and by the time we reached the doors back into the hotel from the beach, two staff members were waiting with towels to help the two, happy, laughing sodden guests to their room.
Like I have written a number of times, I was never sure how Julie was able to find such places to stay and within our holiday budget. She never failed and had always wanted a job where she could help other people book holidays, only when she looked at advertised vacancies, they always wanted suitable travel qualifications for the vacant roles. Julie certainly had the qualifications; it was called ‘experience in the field’. Those travel agents really had no idea what such a skilful person they were missing out on.
Thank you Michael and Julie for honouring us to be a part of your journey.