Bali is more popular than ever with West Australian travellers and many are choosing to spend key moments of their lives on the Island of Gods. Gone are the days when inviting 20 friends up to Seminyak to celebrate a birthday was seen as extravagant.
And a glut of cheap flights has seen the number of West Australians getting married on the Indonesian island rise dramatically, according to Michael Burchett, director of the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) and general manager of the Conrad Bali.
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"Access to Bali is so easy from Perth," Mr Burchett says. "People see it as a central location, particularly if they have family in other parts of Asia or in Europe, and they can combine the wedding with a holiday.
"It's a special place with a positive energy and warm, friendly people. Australians love this and not only are we seeing people marry in Bali but also more couples choosing to go to Bali to renew their vows."
With a strong Australian dollar, Mr Burchett believes getting married in Bali is good value with the cost of flights, chapel hire, flowers and dinner similar to, or cheaper than, arranging a wedding in Perth.
The Conrad Bali, a luxury hotel at Tanjung Benoa, hosted about 458 ceremonies last year of which more than 20 involved Perth couples. Mr Burchett says these rising figures are consistent across all 110 BHA member hotels.
A seven-strong wedding planning team organises ceremonies for up to 400 guests in the Conrad's floating gardens, at a traditional beach-side bale or in Infinity, a striking 12m-high marble and glass triangular building. The elegant 60-seat chapel is surrounded by pools and marble walkways.
Read the full article by NIALL McILROY, The West Australian
Earlier: Experience Fabulous Conrad Bali