My review of the Luxurious Conrad Bali
The Conrad Bali is a 5-star luxury located along the strip of hotels in the Nusa Dua area of Bali, Indonesia. This hotel opened in 2004 and since then it has quickly established itself as one of the premiere resorts in Bali and an excellent edition to the Conrad portfolio of hotels around the world. I had the opportunity to stay at the Conrad Bali for 6 nights last year in May and I have to say it was it was a fantastic time. Before we get into my experiences, let’s set the stage so you can learn a bit more about the hotel.
A little about the Conrad Bali
Set within verdant tropical gardens, the Conrad Bali offers an outdoor pool, as well as 5-star rooms with free Wi-Fi. A rooftop terrace provides panoramic views of the beach.
This beachfront hotel offers supervised child care/activities, a concierge and 24 hours room service. The wellness and health facilities include a sauna and a jacuzzi. Staff can help plan tours, and can assist with car hire.
The luxurious feel of each of the 286 guest room and 67 suites at the Conrad Bali is complemented by facilities like coffee makers, flat-screen TVs and mini bars. Features include slippers, premium movie channels and a pillow menu. Bathroom amenities include a separate bath, bathrobes and a shower.
Enjoy Barbecue and Japanese cuisines at the Conrad Bali’s restaurant, or unwind with a drink at the bar. For those preferring to dine out, the surrounding neighbourhood offers a number of bars and restaurants serving a choice of varied cuisines.
The Conrad Bali conveniently offers free parking. Nusa Dua town centre is within a 10 minute drive.
The Lobby & Entrance
Once I got off my taxi, the concierge on staff quickly came to me and made sure I was well taken care of. The put my bags on a trolly and walked me to the front desk where I stood in line to check in. I finally got a chance to look around and you realize how grand, luxurious and at the same time modern the entire lobby area is. Marble lines the floors from end to end, making it feel like you’re in a ballroom. A beautiful arrangement of flowers that form a giant sphere stands in the middle when you walk in is both unique and special. There’s a sense of Balinese traditional and culture here as well as all the staff are dressed in very elegant maroon and tan colored dresses and shirts. You look a bit more closely and you can see bits and pieces of Balinese culture engraved and embedded everywhere. As the light reflects off the marble, you look above and you see a very high ceiling and then you feel the breeze of fresh Indian Ocean air that circulates through as it goes from the opposite end of the lobby, an open air and has a spectacular view of the pool and beach below to the front entrance. Light music is playing from the bar just behind to complete the experience.
I literally had a moment to myself where I thought “wow I can’t believe I’m here”.
After a very smooth check-in process, the front desk lady walked me to the room and showed me around to make sure everything was satisfactory (I love that about 5-star hotels). She handed me my card, bowed and said thank you in Indonesian and left me alone to have another freak-out moment of “WOW WOW WOW”! As a Diamond member we were upgraded so not only did we have the standard King that came standard with TV, balcony with a lovely view of the lagoon/beach below, full shower/bath, lots of closet and shelf space but on top we also had another full living area with more couches, another tv, another balcony, access to a terrace that had it’s own warm-tub (we tried it later and realized it wasn’t really a hot tub), kitchenette and another bathroom. I was just blown away. The pictures will give you a better idea of what I mean. This truly sets a new benchmark in my mind and sets Conrad above all others.
Our Room: 4116
Let me start off and say that this resort is massive. I don’t know how many square acres it is but it took us a few days to explore every piece of it.
The lagoon & pool – One of the staff told us that the man-made lagoon which really means a pool that connects from end to end of the resort is the largest in Bali. It’s pretty impressive. We used the lagoon a few times to cool off in the day and it was really awesome to take a swim from the pool out to the narrow passage ways that could take you to one side of the resort and then swim your way back to the other side of the resort. There are also other pools in the resort that were a bit more private. If memory serves me right, there was one where the Rin restaurant which was very private and I believe an adult’s only pool. This was a good secluded place that not too many people trafficked but we liked to be out in the sun and by the beach.
The beach – Having been to the Caribbean resorts, I am a little biased and I will flat-out say that the sand here isn’t fabulous. The beach is there but the sand isn’t the white-sand kind that you’er thinking of. It’s a bit rocky and also not very expansive. We did take a dip once and tried out some snorkelling but really didn’t do too much on the beach itself. The beach was great for romantic strolls and we did some other guests lay out their beach towels to do some sunbathing.
The beach huts – Now this deserves its own section because this is what I LOVE about Conrad Bali. If we weren’t out doing stuff on the island or anywhere else, this is where we wanted to be. There are a bunch of these square beach huts situated around where the beach becomes grass. They are all hand-made with wood making the base, frame and roof of the hut. On all four sides, there are slidable wooden framed glass doors that can be open or closed. There are also roll down shades that can be anchored lower or higher depending on the time of day. In the hut itself are bamboo mats and an assortment of large triangle and cylindrical pillows that you could lie on for reading, relaxing or snoozing. It was just about the best place to be on the resort. We would have a few doors open to let the ocean breeze carry through, lay out some snacks and water, bust out a good book and cuddle with the one you love.
On the far left side of the beach if you’re facing the ocean there are some guys running some water sports. They’re not free but we did bargain with the guys there to get a pretty cheap ride on their “flying fish”.
On the right side of the resort, there’s a bit of a stone walkway that juts out into the water and kind of forms a mini bay as part of the resort. At the very end of the pier there’s a traditional pagoda looking thing which I will call really a gazebo. We didn’t venture out there but did wake up one morning to take some amazing sunrise photos.
There’s also the Jiwa Spa in the resort but we didn’t get to go there mainly because the prices were a bit too high for us. Talking to other guests though, everyone said they had a good experience there.
Lastly there is of course the spectacular wedding chapel that is unlike anything else I’ve seen before. Standing on its own, it’s elevated by it’s own pond as guests can make their way into the chapel via stone pathway. The chapel is in the shape of an acute triangle with glass lining the roof and clean white straight lines setting the structure. If there’s a place to be saying “I do” in front of friends and family, this minimalistic and romantic chapel set on its own pool of water and just behind the Indian Ocean is one of a kind.
Breakfast – As Diamond members we were able to eat breakfast at either Suku which was the main restaurant right underneath the lobby or at the Conrad Suites Lounge where executive guests could have a bit more of a private breakfast. We ate at Saku 4 times and twice at the Conrad Suites Lounge. We felt that the selection at Suku was better so we ended up eating there instead most of the time. The food for breakfast was INCREDIBLE! They had probably the widest selection of foods I had ever had up to that point. There would be all the standard stuff but on top of that they had local dishes such as curries, noodles, fried rice, soups, a wide assortment of tropical fruits, incredible self-serve tap of freshly squeezed juices, a pancake station and local desserts and pastries. I was in heaven every morning! What would happen each day was we’d sleep in so we’d start eating at around 10AM and so when lunch rolled around, we were never that hungry! Food coma. Best way to start the day.
Lunch – For lunch we were either usually out of the resort or so full from breakfast that we just skipped it.
Dinner – The only dinner we had at the resort was at Rin – the Japanese restaurant. Tucked in the back right side of the resort, it’s where the Conrad Suites are and as you walk into the restaurant, you almost feel like you’re walking into somewhere mystic. The satin sheets flap thorough the air, and the candles pave the way. It’s a very modern and minimal type of decor that heavily emphasizes black and white. We opted to sit outside since we didn’t have an issue with bugs the whole trip. We had the area all to ourselves which in itself was pretty amazing. The ambiance is definitely something special as the pool to the right is glowing, reflecting the moonlight from above, the satin sheets quietly flap in the air while the candle whisps to the left and right all the while you’re relaxing on this really comfortable bench. Sadly I can’t remember exactly what we had but I do remember it being delicious and I know there was sashimi involved. With the budget we had for this though, it wasn’t a lot of food, truth be told. Our total came out to $65 CAD (after 15% off).
Wish we could’ve tried some of the other restaurants but they were a bit out of our budget so we decided to try a lot of great restaurants outside including Bumbu Bali and Musashi which were all fantastic.
As a HHonors Diamond member a lot of us are pretty particular about the benefits we get. With Conrad Bali, everything met my expectations and I got what I knew I was getting. I was recognized as a Diamond member right away and were granted all the benefits I expected.
Here are all the benefits you get as a Diamond member:
- Breakfast from 7AM – 11AM
- Afternoon tea from 3PM – 5PM
- Evening cocktails from 5PM -7 PM
- Complimentary internet access at the Club Lounge between 7AM and 11PM
- Free internet all around the resort
- 15% laundry and dry cleaning
- 15% restaurant and bar accounts
- 15% off Jiwa Spa
- 15% off Business Centre services
Of course you also get the free water everyday and upon arrival, there’s a nice fruit platter waiting for you and an awesome plush monkey you get to keep to add to your Conrad collection of animals. They do not have any rubber duckies though.
I can’t say we used too many of the benefits but breakfast, the room upgrade were pretty much all we needed. Our dinner at Rin also benefited from the 15% off.
We checked out the Club Lounge on one of our first few days but there was no real reason to stay there unless you wanted to be indoors to read a book in their library or use one of their computers. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice building but what’s the point of staying indoors right?
The Staff & Service
A++ all around. When we needed to get a cab to go somewhere, all we had to do was dial the Conrad Service extension on the phone and they took care of it. If we needed towels, we could easily get it from the bar near the pool area. When we were laying down in the beach huts, they would come around with bottles of water and fruits. During breakfast, we always got served promptly. We didn’t have an issue with any of the staff. On the last day I even had a postcard I needed to send. Apparently I had bought the wrong type of stamps but the lady at the business center was kind enough to let me leave my postcard with her and some cash to cover the right stamps. We truly felt like we were in a 5* hotel.
I guess if there’s one thing I would suggest is maybe ensuring there is no solicitation on the beach? There was one day where someone did come by asking about a massage and we either had to dodge this person or vehemently say no. Otherwise, seriously I don’t know what else could be improved. I’m not kidding.
This is not so much of an improvement as something that future guests need to be conscious about. Nusa Dua is on almost a peninsula on the bottom right of the island. Because of it’s location, it is actually not that close to some of the other major areas like Kuta. Traffic during rush hour is pretty horrendous as there is this main round a bit that you have to go through to get anywhere from Nusa Dua and this place is just jammed with cars and scooters in the morning and late afternoon. Travel time is definitely something you have to factor in when you want to travel anywhere far from Nusa Dua.
- We stayed there 6 nights but even that wasn’t enough. We felt that factoring in the many days we spent outside the resort to explore areas like Kuta/Legian/Seminyak, Ubud, Jatiluwih, Jimbaran etc., we really only had 2 days to fully relax at the resort. You need more days in Bali than you think!
- To really save money on the resort, you could do pretty well having a late breakfast, supplement with a small late afternoon snack and then have a big breakfast.
- For breakfast don’t forget that you can order items on a menu as well…it’s not JUST the buffet! They had a great eggs benedict.
- Bumbu Bali which is really close by to the hotel is AMAZING.
- As much as I praise the resort, you really have to go outside to see what Bali is really like.
- That being said, there’s not a whole lot that’s walking distance from the resort. You’ll most likely need to hire a cab.
- If you read more about what we did in Bali, you’ll know that Putu Arnawa as a driver/guide is awesome.
- The snorkelling (at least from what we did) in the Nusa Dua area is nothing to write home about. I would save your money for somewhere else. Perhaps other parts of the island are better. We signed up for a snorkelling tour in Nusa Dua and we barely saw anything. There were 10 tour groups all snorkelling the same area and to make things worse they even had fake scuba divers (the one where they put a giant helmet over your head that is like a flashback of how diving was done in the 1800s or something) underneath. Just meh!
We probably lucked out with the dates we decided to be at the Conrad Bali but it never really seemed that packed. We were always able to get a beach hut and we never felt that there were crowds of people we needed to get away from. There weren’t a lot of kids either so it felt like it was an adults only resort. All 6 nights were quiet and calm which is just how we liked it. Even the restaurants were always pretty empty. I was joking and told Chantelle that I had booked out the entire restaurant for us.
This was my second Conrad (after the Conrad Hong Kong) and everything people had said about the Conrad chain was true. All class. All style. Pure luxury.
To read more about my adventures in Bali and Indonesia check out this section: http://goingawesomeplaces.com/category/blogs/travel/bycountry/indonesia/
Or if you want to dive right in to see our exact itinerary, what we did and some interesting commentary, it starts right from this entry: http://goingawesomeplaces.com/2012/05/28/in-transit-to-bali/
Note: This post was in no way sponsored by Conrad Bali itself so all views in found here are those of my own and have not been biased in any way.
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