A very good trip well organised and provided by DAF
An excellent service - will be booking again for next year
Very good service and will use again when needed.
Philippa returned my email straight away and helped me change my flight from Bali without any drama or stress. She will always be the one I call for my travelling.
Jessie was fantastic! Will definitely be in touch again for our next trip
Finn is excellent. We have always looked to him over the years for our holidays. His recommendations are always spot on and service is impeccable.
As travel plans went it was a simple enough plan but had numerous opportunities to go badly wrong - from layovers to airport hotels being available etc. Courtney ensured everything went smoothly with a knowledgeable, experienced and well travelled eye on our plans. I’m very grateful as it was the first time I’d taken my young family longhaul so it was very important it worked out.
The team were amazing and looked after us so well when we needed to change our flight due to illness.
I want to thank Ralph Summers for helping me book my travel to Bali. Also a massive thank you to Karina Evans on the 24/7 team who helped me with flight issues after missing my connecting flight. DialAFlight have been amazing and will definitely be using them again.
Everything worked as planned and as someone who doesn't travel much, it was very reassuring.
Jonathan was very helpful booking the flights and kept in touch right till take off.
Amazing service by DialAFlight from start to finish.
The assistance I received at the airports was very efficient and helpful. Thank you for arranging
Michael is always excellent
Courtney was really great right from the beginning. All the flights worked well and it was easy to change the last one, with Courtney's help. Fab service
Everything as expected. I didn't even bother checking or researching anywhere else and just trusted DialAFlight to find me the best deal to fit what I wanted.
Amazing service from Travis, quick response when I had a question on holiday
Thanks for your help - great service. I have used you many times
Ian Newton was exceptional helping to arrange a holiday to Singapore and Bali. Will be back in touch to arrange our next trip
Best people to plan your holidays to perfection.
Donovan was just brilliant and organised everything perfectly. We had an amazing family holiday in Bali and everything went smoothly.
Excellent service! Nicholas was just brilliant, always available and helpful for any questions. The journey itself went smoothly and even after we had an accident that required disability help through the airports, Nick at the very last minute requested it and it was a huge help! Could not recommend enough and will 100% be using for all future trips
Top quality service at all times
Exceptional service! Had the most amazing holiday ever. Everything was arranged as discussed and planned we had no issues with anything. Will be using Colin Barlow and DialAFlight in the future and will continue to recommend to friends and family. Thanks for a perfect experience
Finn was very helpful and kept calling to check all was good, not overly though. I would recommend you to everyone. Our holiday was fantastic and all of the hotels were gorgeous
No suggestions as it was all excellent. Have been telling all our friends to give you a try
Excellent service - they take the angst out of travel for me
Everything went according to plan even KLM got the assistance right - first time in three itineraries.
Always a brilliant service
Bali was the place friends kept telling me I should visit. Surely nowhere could be that fabulous - but it lived up to the hype. I loved it.
There was an enormous sense of tradition, belief in family values and beautiful aesthetics - there's nowhere like it.
I hadn't gone with any intention of searching for new fabrics or inspiration for designs - after all, I really had no idea what I would find.
It is so spiritual - it's astonishing how many temples there are. I arrived after an exhausting Fashion Week, but from the moment I entered Alila Villas Soori - the most amazing hotel I've seen - I felt thoroughly relaxed.
Alila Villas Soori is on Bali's south-west coast in the Tabanan regency, 20 minutes from Tanah Lot temple, the island's most sacred. It's one of Bali's prettiest regions, between the sea and rice terraces, with mystical Mount Batukaru in the distance.
My bedroom overlooked a glorious beach - the sand black and volcanic.
When I woke on the first morning, it felt almost enchanted. It had been stormy overnight and the beach was full of people collecting driftwood for fuel. Some were dragging away large pieces to turn into sculptures, to sell to tourists.
I had incredible spa treatments. ?They make their own soaps - volcanic, rice and cinnamon - all beautifully scented. And I saw how they use volcanic sand in body scrubs
The hotel's Cotta restaurant had a French and a local chef, together creating a magnificent fusion of French and Balinese.
After three days it was time to explore. The mountains in the centre of the island were a two-hour drive, but worth it.
I was in the picturesque Bali you see in guidebooks - rice fields and irrigation ditches everywhere.
I went whitewater rafting - and all around were stunning temples and rice fields. It was one of the greatest outdoor adventures I've ever had.
Later I thought I could hear music. When I asked what it was, I was told: 'It's the monks praying.'
There were often religious processions, and I was able to enjoy it all at close quarters.
For the second part of my stay, I moved to the Alila Villas Uluwatu at the south of the island. It was in a gorgeous area, above limestone cliffs and sandy beaches - very smart and fashionable, yet very tranquil.
A pool was set high above the Indian Ocean, with one of the world's best views.
I was surprised to find a well-stocked library, with books about traditional crafts such as weaving and basket-making.
My guide took me to a museum in Denpasar focusing on local handicrafts, with displays of traditional textiles and hand-made masks and tapestries.
Then I went on a bit of a 'treasure hunt' to learn more about the local dyeing techniques of batik and ikat. I discovered beautiful ikat weaves using gold and silver threads. I was learning about the culture and history of Bali through its crafts.
I bought so much local handiwork I had to buy a second suitcase.
I came across antiques shops where they have lots of textiles - some hundreds of years old - which you can buy.
At a temple at Uluwatu, on a cliff edge, I saw people performing a traditional dance.
There was a choir of 70 men who sang and then went into a meditation dance called a kecak -extraordinary.
What I saw in Bali proved to be a source of inspiration for my designs. I took many pictures, and I'm going to translate my experiences into some very modern, glamorous, Julien Macdonald designs.
I'm sitting surrounded by batik, ikat and incense - ready to go to work.
My ten days in Bali simply weren't enough. I'm already planning another trip.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - October 2015
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