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InterContinental Bali Resort
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Jalan Raya Uluwatu 45, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia
(0)36 170 1888
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Fabulous Service, Gorgeous Grounds & Ideal Location in Jimbaran Bay
New York, New York
October 14, 2010
Best of IgoUgo
While Bali isn't necessarily known for white sand beaches the caliber of those ringing the islands of Hawaii or French Polynesia, for our first trip to Indonesia we still wanted to stay at a beachside resort rather than one of the Ubud compounds ...
While Bali isn't necessarily known for white sand beaches the caliber of those ringing the islands of Hawaii or French Polynesia, for our first trip to Indonesia we still wanted to stay at a beachside resort rather than one of the Ubud compounds with views of rice terraces. We narrowed down our search to the southern shores and focused on Jimbaran Bay, Seminyak, and Nusa Dua. We settled on Jimbaran Bay, despite its close proximity to Ngurah Rai International Airport in the capital city of Denpasar.
There are many excellent luxury and high-end hotels in Bali, so it can be tough to choose the right lodging. We're fans of the InterContinental chain and recently stayed at the ICs in French Polynesia so it was sort of a no-brainer to give InterContinental Bali Resort a try.
If you don't already have elite status at this chain, you can buy into the Ambassador program. You're guaranteed one-category room upgrades, free Internet access, fresh fruit and mineral water in your room, late check-out, a free weekend night certificate, and 5,000 Priority Club points. I highly recommend joining this program before your book your stay at the InterContinental Bali. It's definitely worth the $200 fee, especially if you plan to stay at more than one InterContinental property during the next year.
Arriving in Bali
It took three airplanes and nearly 24 hours to travel from the East Coast of the United States to Bali. We were dead tired when we arrived at the airport and were glad we had pre-booked car service pick-up with the resort. Our driver was waiting and we were in the air-conditioned Mercedes sedan in no time. Bottles of cold water were in the backseat, which was welcome since it was quite humid when we arrived. The drive to the resort took about 15-20 minutes.
As we stepped out of the car upon arrival at the hotel, a concierge greeted us and whisked us off to the Club InterContinental Lounge for check-in. (We had booked concierge-level accommodations. There are two other types of accommodations at the 418-room InterContinental Bali Resort: Resort Classic and Singaraja.
We booked a Club room and, due to our status with the chain, were upgraded to a Club Duplex suite with traditional Balinese furnishings. We loved having two levels and two bathrooms! The lower level included a half bath, work area and wet bar, spacious living room, dining room, and balcony. The second level was dedicated to the bedroom (with king-size bed) and gorgeous marble bathroom with a whirlpool tub and separate shower.
The bathroom was stocked with Molten Brown shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel and the closet was stocked with several cans of mosquito repellant, a hairdryer, and umbrella. (The room was cleaned twice a day and was spotless at all times.)
Club-level accommodations entitle visitors to complimentary breakfast at five different breakfast venues, including the Club InterContinental Lounge with both indoor and outdoor seating, Club InterContinental pool, Taman Gita Terrace and Bella Singaraja restaurants, or in-room dining. Club guests can also visit the lounge throughout the day for complimentary juice, soda, coffee and tea as well as a snack menu and afternoon tea. From 5–8pm, the lounge serves appetizers and complimentary house wine.
The made-to-order snack menu was extensive (about 10 items from which to choose) and the buffet always had scrumptious items on offer, like local fruit, spring rolls, sushi, cheese and crackers, satay, homemade biscuits and cookies, and chocolates.
Club guests also have 24-hour access to a butler and use of the private Club InterContinental pool (children with families are discouraged from using this pool since the resort tries to keep this area quiet and peaceful). If you are traveling with kids, Club-level rooms include unlimited children's programs at Planet Trekkers, the resort's childcare facility. We don't have kids but we did walk by Planet Trekkers a few times and the children seemed to be having a grand old time.
The resort grounds are immaculately kept by a team of gardeners that tend to the lily ponds, flowering trees, and on-site temple. The ponds are home to many koi and other types of fish, as well as a few water monitor lizards. (My husband actually watched one of these dragon-like creatures stalk and catch a bird!)
Dragon statues, decorated each day with red hibiscuses, line the stone walkways near the koi ponds and Balinese Pool. In the evening, thousands of candles are set out along all of the walkways throughout the resort. It's incredibly romantic!
Guests can lounge and play at six different pools and on the beach. Throughout the resort you'll find many hideaway spots where you can sit and relax, chat with your traveling companions, or read a good book. We especially loved the bale in front of Bella Singaraja restaurant due to the mini-pool decorated with water-spitting frog statues.
In the evening, bales at the beach's edge are transformed into private enclaves for romantic dinners.
I admit that we are total food snobs. (What can I say? We're New Yorkers.) Each and every meal at the InterContinental Bali was exquisite. In fact, I'm still dreaming about the grilled Wagyu short ribs I ordered one evening at Bella Singaraja, the pork satay and fruit fritters at Jimbaran Gardens, and a Malaysian noodle dish I selected from the room service menu.
Breakfasts were especially nice. While we normally steer clear of buffets, the InterContinental Bali puts on an amazing spread that will please everyone. Western options—like omelets, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, and pastries—were available along with an extensive array of Indonesian, Chinese, and Japanese options. The spicy chicken and coconut rice was a surprisingly good choice for breakfast! The fresh fruit and juice presentation was also very impressive. Taman Gita Terrace and Bella Singaraja offered the most varied selection at breakfast.
Turtle Release & Other Activities
The InterContinental Bali offers quite a few cultural (Intro to the Art of Balinese Offerings, Balinese Cooking, Painting, and Wood Carving) and eco-friendly programs and we really enjoyed the sea turtle release on the beach in front of the Sunset Bar. Turtles are an endangered species in Indonesia and the IC Bali is doing what it can to repopulate the area. For about 150,000 rupiah per turtle, you get to release a turtle into the sea and receive a signed certificate and photograph marking the occasion. This is a must-do!
The resort also offers bike tours, Bayu Suci (similar to Tai Chi), stand-up paddle board or sea kayaking with the Rip Curl School of Surf, beach soccer and volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, tennis, and more.
We didn't visit the onsite Spa Uluwatu, but other guests we chatted with raved about the massage treatments. (There's also a full beauty parlor within the spa.)
We've traveled all over the world but can honestly say that the friendliest welcome we've received was from the staff at the InterContinental Bali. The Balinese people are generous of spirit and made us feel at home from the moment we checked in. We celebrated our anniversary and my husband's birthday during our vacation and so many members of the staff helped us mark those occasions. (The resort even sent us two cakes to commemorate each event.)
What We Loved about the InterContinental Bali Resort
* the staff—everyone was friendly and helpful
* watching the sun set over the resort's white sand beach
* releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean
* the bales situated next to the Club InterContinental and Balinese pools
* Club InterContinental Lounge
* Meals at Jimbaran Gardens and Bella Singaraja
* Proximity to major sightseeing destinations (we highly recommend private guide Putu Sudiana of http://www.yourbalidriver.com )
We wouldn't hesitate to recommend the InterContinental Bali Resort. We'll definitely visit again soon.
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