Bali hotels: please help me choose one!

Old Sep 14th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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Bali hotels: please help me choose one!

My husband and I will be spending 3 nights and 4 days in Bali this Christmas, and we're trying to finalize our hotel arrangement. We did a lot of research on these hotels here through past posts as well as TA, and came up with the following:

Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Tree Spa: This one is very nice, and we almost have no concerns with it. If anyone has stayed here, can you tell me a little bit more about their restaurant and the location?

Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa: this hotel appears to be less boutique, and more like a large hotel/resort feeling. The con for us is that we won't have a private villa, with our own private pool. The plus here is the beach access--can anyone tell me about the beach? Is it worth to have that, and sacrifice the peace and quiet of having a secluded villa? We also are trying to get a package deal with the spa services included. Has anyone used their spa?

Maya Ubud Resort & Spa: this hotel looks to be reasonably priced, but from the website, it lacks charms that I feel like I get from the Kupu-kupu or Tembok Bali.

Spa Village Tembok Bali Resort: since this one is an all-inclusive (meals etc), can you tell me about the quality of their meals? Since this place is also out of the way--it would be difficult trying to get out of the resort for an alternative meals.

We both don't have any preference being in one part of Bali versus the other, but are leaning toward having a nice hotel with private pool, and ideally on the beach, which unfortunately none of these hotels have both. But we're trying to finalize and book our accommodation soon since they're all getting booked. Thanks in advance for your help!!
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 08:21 PM
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why are you set on a small private pool?
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Old Sep 14th, 2009, 09:07 PM
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h2, I've visited many of the resorts on your list but haven't actually stayed at any of them. I think the first decision that you have to make is whether you want to be in Ubud -- inland -- or in South Bali on the beach. I like both areas a lot, but they are so very different that I'd suggest that you think about where you want to be before you even start looking at accommodations.

Robbietravels recently did a very thoroough report on Kupukupu Barong. I haven't been there for years, but she sure convinced me to give it a try. To me, the location of Kupukupu is better than that of the Maya. Also, my impression is that the Maya gets a lot of tour groups.

In Ubud I'd also look at Kayumanis and Como Shambhala as well. Como and their sister property Uma Ubud have wonderful spa facilities.

Tembok really is in an out of the way place -- could be a wonderful experience, but I'd probe a little more deeply on that. Again, there's a Fodor's poster who was recently there. Do a search under "brusselschap".

I think you could do better at the beach than the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel. Even at Nusa Dua there are newer and nicer options. The St. Regis, which is brand new, is supposed to be very luxe, but I haven't visited yet.

Nusa Dua is a resort enclave. The beach is long and sandy, the water sometimes good for swimming, sometimes very shallow. The problem is that it's fairly isolated from everything else except Nusa Dua.

My personal favorite for the beach is the Seminyak area. It's a active beach with heavy surf and spectacular sunsets. Many, many choices for restaurants, shops and spas in the area. If you want to be right on the beach I'd look at the Legian Seminyak or the Sofitel. There are also many villa complexes in the area, which though not directly ON the beach have good access. Look at Villa Asri, The Elysian, Laksmana Villas.

All the resorts overcharge painfully for the period between Christmas and New Years so to stay in budget you may have to downgrade a notch. It does appear that it's going to be a busy holiday season in Bali this year so you're right to try to wrap up your reservations early.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 03:10 AM
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Please skip Nusa Dua. It's a sterile beach with no Balinese feel at all. Large resorts with no local flavor. They could be anywhere in the world. Take a look at Sanur. Very pleasant.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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I'd cross Nusa Dua Beach Hotel off your list immediately. Indeed, I cross Nusa Dua off your list. If you want a beach choose a different one. If you want a taste of Bali choose inland near Ubud.
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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rhkkmk, I wanted a private pool so that I could have a little privacy, peace and quiet. Thanks Gpanda and Kathie, we took Nusa Dua off the list.

Marmot, thanks for the additional recommendations, I sent them all emails asking for availability. I will check on robbie's trip report. I do believe I picked up the kupu2 recommendation from brusselchap's recent trip there. Did he do a trip report on the resort?
Thanks everyone!
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Old Sep 15th, 2009, 08:09 PM
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a wonderful place in ubud is alam shanti--- only 8 rooms and very nice and reasonable---the pool is almost private there...

good you cut nusa dua....its horrible, but some of the hotels are of course very nice, but you could be at miami beach or costa del sol....
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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rhkkmk, yea, we haven't been able to connect to AS. Will continue to follow up.
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Old Sep 16th, 2009, 09:40 AM
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they are very good at responding....you would love it there....ask for gangga room---the most expensive, but right next to the pool which is rarely used....any room would be fine..
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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 04:07 AM
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h2, let me know if you're still reading this thread. I just spend a few days at Como Shambhala and can tell you more about it.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 10:19 PM
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I would like to hear of your experience at Como Shambhala. It sounds amazing! What activities did you choose?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 11:06 PM
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rivet, I'll start a new thread on Como.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Ubud is lovely. Nusa Dua is sterile upmarket tourist strip.
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