Six days, three hotels, two cities. Having snapped up two tickets to Denpasar (DPS) for an incredible $79 per person return on the horrible Air Asia, which happened to coincide with my friend’s birthday, we decided to jet off for a few days to relax in the warmth of Indonesia as the temperatures plummeted in Melbourne.
We spent three nights in Bali. One at the Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran due to our late arrival and its close proximity to the airport for an incredible price, and two nights at the incredible St Regis Bali. We then flew from Denpasar (DPS) to Jakarta (CGK) to spend two more nights checking out the city life, staying at the Keraton at the Plaza (read my previous review here), all SPG properties.
Le Meridien Bali Jambaran
Property: Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran
SPG Category: 4
Dates(s): 26 May, 2015 – 27 May, 2015
Room booked: Classic room, two double beds
Room received: Aqua Studio Suite, two double beds
Award stay: No
For the price, this property exceeded my expectations with the quality of the room, service and breakfast offerings. We were only at the property for a little under 12 hours, as we arrive at around 1 a.m. and had the St Regis Bali vehicle pick us up from the lobby at midday the next morning. However, upon our arrival they had our room keys and information set up and ready to go (it appeared we were the latest arrivals at the property for that night) and quickly processed our check-in. They did, however, forget to take a scan of my credit card, so the butler had to dash back to our room with a portable card transaction machine a few minutes after delivering our bags to get the copy.
The only downside I experienced with this property is that they refused to offer us complimentary transport from the airport. Airport transfer is offered complimentary to all guests staying at the St Regis Bali, so it would have been nice if the Le Meridien Bali Jambaran would offer complimentary transfer too, especially considering that I am an SPG Platinum member.
However, Mas’ud, the chief concierge, claimed by email that:
“Unfortunately we are unable to provide you free airport transfer due to we are working together with the third-party company for all transportation movement”
In retrospect, this is absolutely not true, and all transportation movement is provided directly by the hotel and not by any third-party. I had already told him that we were interested in paying USD$30 per person for airport and visa fast tracking, but he would not budge on the additional transportation cost, which were as follows:
- Toyota Innova van to accommodate maximum 4 persons with small luggage at IDR 250,000++ (AU$25/US$19) per car per way
- Toyota Camry Luxury Sedan to accommodate maximum 2 persons with small luggage at IDR 315,000++ (AU$30/US$24) per car per way
- Toyota Alphard luxury van to accommodate maximum 4 persons with small luggage at IDR 500,000++ (AU$48/US$38 per car per way
I found the lack of honesty and transparency to capitalise on a quick buck to be a bit disappointing.
I found it interested that the main and only bathroom in the suite did not have a hand towel to dry one’s hands after washing them after using the toilet.
I found the “Discovery Corner” at the buffet breakfast to be quite humorous — the selection here was just local Indonesian breakfast cuisine. Clearly this property is targeting the white market.
I must have looked like I was enjoying breakfast, because a waiter came over with an iPad and asked me if I would be willing to provide a review of the breakfast and restaurant.
Having a look at the evacuation plan was rather alarming when I realised that I may just well be in two places at once!
Overall, the Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran was an excellent property for the incredibly low price we paid. I would recommend this property if you are arriving late at night into Denpasar (DPS) airport, as it offers five-star service for a decent rate.
A few days after our stay, I received an email from Mas’ud. Surprisingly, he was directly with his wishes: he wanted me to review the property on Trip Advisor. I don’t really like it when property representatives directly prompt guests to leave positives reviews.
Thank you very much for staying with us and It such a pleasure to be able to accomodate [sic] your stay
May I ask your favor to post your review at the trip advisor and share all your feedbacks ?
Below is the link for you :
Wish you to have a greatt [sic] stay at St. Regis Nusa Dua and Certainly look forward to welcome [sic] you back again in the near future
If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to reach me at the phone number or email address provided in my signature below.
With warmest regards,
St Regis Bali
We arrived at the St Regis Bali Nusa Dua just after noon, having been picked up by the St Regis car service from the Le Meridien Jimbaran where we had spent the previous night. The St Regis Bali now offers complimentary airport/destination transfer to and from the airport as a part of all room rates.
Upon our arrival, we were seated on a couch near the concierge desk to process our check-in. The following SPG Platinum amenities are offered at the St Regis Bali:
- 500 Starpoints
- One time Signature Bali Mary at King Cole Bar for two persons
- One time 30 minute reflexology massage for two persons
I chose the 30 minute reflexology for two as I deemed it to be a higher value than 500 Starpoints.
After a welcome drink and a few forms to sign, the chief butler, Carlos Constanzo, came over to personally greet us to Nusa Dua.
Carlos told us that he had personally organized a room upgrade for us. Having booked a Plunge Pool Suite, I was a little surprised that we had been upgraded, as SPG Platinum members on FlyerTalk have previous discussed that the St Regis Bali rarely provides additional upgrades to Platinum members (although the property reports that SPG Platinum members that book the regular St Regis Suites are normally upgraded to the St Regis Ocean View or St Regis Plunge Pool Suites), and the property only partly participates in the SPG program. Despite this, we were upgraded to the one bedroom St Regis Lagoon Villa – a four category upgrade! After the Plunge Pool Suite, the room classes above are the Orchid Suite, the Grande Astor Suite and the Gardenia Villa.
Carlos advised us they were just putting the finishing touches on our room, and that he would like to invite us for a personal tour of the property with himself while we waited for the room finalization. During the tour on his golf buggie, which the butlers use to transport themselves and hotel guests around the resort, Carlos discussed with us his experience training St Regis butlers all over the APAC region, which was of particular interest to me, as well as showing us the various features of the resort – the award-winning Boneka and Kayuputi restaurants, the King Cole bar, and a short tour of the Remede spa and beach.
At the conclusion of the tour, he took us directly to our room in his golf buggie. As we entered, we realized why it had taken so long to finalise the room.
I think it’s easiest to display the size and luxury of the room through a video:
Here are some additional photos.
Additionally, there were a few welcome items waiting for us in the villa on our arrival.
Additionally, after mentioning that it was my travel partner’s birthday on the day before our check in, we returned to the villa later in the afternoon to find a bouquet of flowers added to the table.
That afternoon, we headed down to the Remede spa for our Platinum amenity 30 minute reflexology.
On the roof of the treatment rooms, a rather spacious dome can be seen displaying the room and butterflies that look like stars. Super relaxing.
After our incredibly relaxing reflexology, we decided to walk around the resort a little bit. It’s interesting to note that if you walk along the beach from the St Regis, you will find a row of additional luxury hotels.
That afternoon, we enjoyed the high tea at the King Cole bar. I felt extremely ill for a few hours after the high tea.
The following morning we headed down to the buffet breakfast at the “award-winning” Boneka restaurant. From reading FlyerTalk threads, it appears that buffet breakfast used to be offered as a part of all room rates to all room guests, but this has recently changed. If you are considering a stay at the St Regis Nusa Dua, make sure breakfast is included in your room rate! Alternatively, if you’re an SPG Platinum member, you can choose your Platinum amenity to be a free breakfast for two.
The only failing point of this property was that their good morning cards contained temperatures in Fahrenheit. The hell?!
At the conclusion of our stay, we utilised the complimentary transfer back to Denpasar (DPS) airport’s domestic terminal as we were continuing our journey to Jakarta (CGK). Not only did the driver promptly and professionally get us there, but he also escorted us to the check-in area, stayed with us while we waited for our tickets, and helped us with our bags all the way to security!
Overall, I had an extremely enjoyable stay at the St Regis Bali Nusa Dua and absolutely recommend this property to anyone considering a resort-style stay in Bali. Due Bali’s close proximity to Australia, and the St Regis Nusa Dua’s close proximity to Denpasar airport, it is definitely achievable to flee the country for a quick weekend getaway to excessive luxury.
As we moved on to Jakarta, we next stayed at Starwood’s Keraton at the Plaza, a Luxury Collection Hotel. I have previously stayed at the Keraton, so I won’t re-review it (although I have posted some additional updates to the original review). You can see the review from my first stay at the Keraton at the Plaza here.