August 9, 2014

Review: St. Regis Bali Resort

Sheraton JFK Hilton JFK Conrad New York
St. Regis Bali Resort
Exploring Bali
Singapore Airlines 777 Business Class Bali to Singapore
Conrad Singapore
Exploring Singapore
Singapore Airlines The Private Room
Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class Singapore to Los Angeles

The ride to the St. Regis took about an hour as we wound our way through villages and down to the coast through a mix of rain and sun.  We had arranged transportation through the St. Regis so when we arrived, they were expecting us and our room was ready despite it being a couple of hours before check-in.  Check-in was processed in the lobby while seated enjoying a welcome drink.  All of our Platinum benefits were explained (a few extras given that breakfast is included for all resort guests) and then we were shown to our room.  The only odd part about check-in is that you're seated in chairs in the lobby but the agent has to run back and forth to the desk with your credit card, passport, etc...which seemingly makes things inefficient.  But we were relaxed and on vacation so didn't really care.

Welcome to the St. Regis Bali

Welcome drink

Lobby shot

The grounds of this property are beautifully maintained.  There are 110 rooms (vs. about 60 at the Four Seasons) many of which are villas so the guest to room ratio is higher.  My guess is that there were about 300 people staying at the resort during our stay.  But between the size of the beach, lagoon pool, and other stuff to do in Bali, it never really felt crowded.

I used points for this stay (113,500 SPG points for 3 nights) and while that's a lot of points, I think it was worth it.  We entered the pool suite and despite having seen many pictures and read dozens of reviews, were still blown away.  The foyer had 6 bottles of water - 3 still and 3 sparkling that were replenished multiple times per day.  On the wall, there was a beach bag and sun hats for use at the resort and to take home after.  Then there was the desk and large sitting area.  There was a small curtain dividing the "bedroom" and sitting area as well.  The bathroom was definitely a highlight with a huge tub, massive vanity, and dual head shower.  But the "pool" part of the suite was my favorite part.  The outdoor space contained the pool, half a dozen chairs for sitting, a dining table, two lounge chairs, and the day bed gazebo which I relaxed on each morning while Emily was still asleep.  The room was on the first floor and while there were rooms on either side of us and a path that led right by the room, the property is so well landscaped it felt completely private.

Complimentary beach bag and hats

Still or sparkling?

Suite sitting area

Bed with anniversary towel art


Tub with rose petal art

Shower time

Fresh fruit replenished daily

Day bed gazebo

Looking back at the room

One of the perks of the St. Regis "butler service" is (which is free for all guests) the morning "wake up call" which is basically a complimentary coffee delivery.  You just call and they bring you whatever you'd like.  So we woke up to cappuccinos by the pool each morning which was an awesome way to start the day.  Another perk is free pressing which we definitely took advantage of.  They will even unpack your suitcase but that seems a bit excessive - something I would probably never take advantage of.  Our butler (Keta) was fantastic.  She would greet us by name correctly despite both of us having different last names. That was actually a common theme throughout the property which was impressive.

Morning "Wake up Call"

The overall service level was pretty off the charts.  Emily dropped her iPhone in the pool one morning and we were able to get it out and start drying it off immediately. Being 8,000 miles away from home, we weren't sure if they hotel would understand when we called and asked for some "dry rice in a bag."  They definitely understood and were in our room with the rice within 5 minutes.  After a 36 hour stay in that rice bag, we turned Emily's phone on in Singapore and it was good as new.  Not sure if the speed at which they delivered the rice mattered but we like to think that it did.

The food at the hotel was awesome.  Breakfast was probably the best spread I've seen anywhere in the world.  The river lobster omelet (which they are famous for) was as good as I had expected.

River lobster omelette

We found the restaurants to be pricey as you would expect at this type of property but room service was actually a steal.  We ended up eating in our "backyard" twice.  Each meal cost less than $50 USD AI with booze.  The menu was huge and each night we had our food in less than 40 minutes.  Not a bad way to end the day.

View from the lobby looking at the beach

View from the boardwalk

The other night we celebrated our anniversary at the hotel's fine dining restaurant.  Kayuputi is located right on the beach and people come from all over Bali to eat at this place.  The food was excellent but definitely overpriced.  That said, we had a great time and the service was really spectacular - proactively offering suggestions on allergy free dishes for Emily and surprising us with an anniversary dessert.

St. Regis Bali beach

More beach

We spent our days relaxing on the beach, swimming in the giant salt water lagoon, and taking long walks on the Nusa Dua boardwalk.  The boardwalk is a paved path that runs for about 5 miles between the beach and resorts and we greatly enjoyed all of our walks.  Liquor was expensive at the hotel so we did walk one morning to grab some beer.   Even in the grocery store, a six pack was about $15 USD but that was way better than $35 in the mini bar or $60 in the hotel restaurants!

One last Bintang on the beach

On our last morning we enjoyed one last breakfast, cappuccino, and walk on the beach before being driven to the airport (complimentary) in a hotel car.  We were met on the curb at the airport by a hotel employee who helped us through security, check-in, departure tax station and left us at immigration with a smile.  This part blew me away.  Kudos to the St. Regis Bali for such impressive service.

All in all, we loved this resort.  Nusa Dua is a very quite and safe part of Bali and we were able to just relax and enjoy the beautiful resort.  I wouldn't travel to Bali solely to stay at this property since it is a western resort in a more sterile part of the island.  But combined with a trip to Ubud, we both thought this was a great way to end our stay.  

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