IC Bali Master Thread [merged]

Old Nov 21, 18, 5:05 am
  #1261  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Ended up booking cheapest prepaid rate which ended up being $135++ and included breakfast. Upgraded to a Singaraja Premium room as a Plat AMB.

Staying here now. Nice property. Love the pool, food, friendly staff and proximity to the delicious and cheap beach restaurants.

What I am unhappy with is the room/housekeeping and hotel front end automated email communication.

Room: Mattress is too hard, shower pressure isn't as strong as I'd like. AC in the room could be a bit stronger. The room it self is not dirty but there are definitely some issues such as a stain on the coffee table. First day here ended up killing a couple of bugs and couple of spiders. I get that this is a tropical destination but spiders were both working on spider webs which I noticed without looking for them. In room binders (menus, hotel services etc) all have pages removed out of the binder and just stuck back in loose. Also, the card that you place on the bed to change linens was scribbled on with a pen. I used it first morning to have the linens changed and housekeeping didn't notice that the card itself should be replaced. Bottle opener had a big white stain on it (toothpaste or soap, I hope). None of these things are what I'd normally complain about to the hotel. However, as you can see below they asked for my feedback 1 day into my stay.

Hotel front end communications: It started with an automated email few days prior to my arrival. Standard email offering transportation, various other pre-arrival services in addition to being asked about arrival time of my flight. It also asked about my bed preference stating my request wouldn't be guaranteed. I replied back giving my flight details, said that I didn't need transportation and also pointed out that my booking shows me in a King room. Received a response acknowledging declining transportation, reminding me again that my room bed preference was not guaranteed and that normal check in is 3pm (my flight arrival was 215pm) but they would allow me to check in early if a room is available when I arrive. I found that to be a very odd response. First, if I land at 215pm I am not getting there before 3pm, or if I am it wouldn't be much earlier. Second, hotel doesn't appear to be anywhere near capacity so why even say "based on availability" when I can't see how they wouldn't have rooms available all day long. Just seemed like whoever is responsible for responding to emails is inexperienced and they would be better off not asking questions if their replies will unnecessarily annoy the recipient. Btw: my arrival at the hotel at around 315pm was handled very professionally with no less than 4 people helping me.

After this interaction I received 2 more automated emails slightly different formats again offering transportation and other services. Last one even said that someone will be waiting to meet me at the gate with a hotel sign, even though I didn't partake in the meet and greet service and this service is being offered further in the body of the email. (note: no one met me at the gate) So now we go from a useful pre-arrival hotel service to a broken process that is nothing more than spam.

Finally, my second day here received yet another automated email welcoming me to the hotel from the front office manager asking to email them back with any questions or issues. I wasn't planning on contacting them but used this opportunity to do so mentioning a few of the issues described above. Specifically I mentioned killing bugs/spiders and asking if they can do anything about them, stained bottle opener and stained coffee table. No response a day and a half later. Another technology fail. Why bother sending your guests these messages when replies are not being monitored/acknowledged?

In the end, I am still happy overall with my stay so far but I doubt I'd be coming back.

Last edited by greendx; Nov 21, 18 at 5:12 am
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Old Nov 21, 18, 5:24 am
  #1262  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
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Posts: 4,979
Email conversations with them (select individuals excluded) are often below par. If you are there ask for one of the managers and share your observations and frustrations. Start with some positive stuff and then go into what cam be improved. Works best over there as writing something may get misinterpreted or missed.
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Old Dec 18, 18, 7:13 am
  #1263  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Shanghai and Bavaria
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Posts: 2,987
Just completed a week long stay there. Overall the property is just as outstanding as I was remembering it.

Indeed, club rooms are in need for renovation which will apparently start in January 2019. Club rooms will then move to the 5xxx buiding.

I especially liked the club lounge concept, in particular that evening canapés are now served beach side in the club area from 16:30 to 19:30 h. Quality and also variety were very good. Staff is outstanding, very proactive without being intrusive, very friendly and "laid-back". Spirits could be better at the club, however, this seems to be a weak point in Indonesia in general. That said, for my liking, IC Bali's club concept is significantly better and more sophisticated than at the RC Jakarta that I stayed at afterwards.

Jimbaran beach is one of the reasons to go to Bali and I've yet to find a better property.

Last edited by Chinatrvl; Dec 18, 18 at 7:36 am
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Old Dec 29, 18, 7:16 pm
  #1264  
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At the suggestion of demue, shifting my comments over here ...

Originally Posted by demue
"Latest info is that it will start in early 2019. While overall still well maintained, they are showing their age these days".



Loose taps, wonky door lock to balcony, stained and grubby valance to the bed, noisy aircon, grainy TV reception, a channel list that doesn't match the channels, bedside mains plug/socket linked to the master switch (no phone charging with the lights off) - these may be attributable to age, but they're problems maintenance and caring a damn can resolve. Sure, the room had charm, and might once have had elegance: but it's now fading into drabness.

Midget sized bathrobe and slippers are different issues: and in a $400 a night club-room "don't have" isn't really the expected response to a request for a robe that doesn't tie round my chest.

Oh .. and they got the bill wrong But that's just carelessness.

and then my stay posted as Non-qualifying. Never rains but it pours.



And no, the RA-free minibar doesn't include the food items: i never thought that it did, so that gem of unsolicited advice they offered was wrong.

Despite all this I received a constant barrage of emails before, during and after my stay. Contact opportunities I believe they call them. When the email gets wrong the details of how to find the hotel driver at DPS, you wonder who is behind the nonsense. A fully-fledged old-style printed adieu letter from the GM (no less) told me the expected temperature for my departure day (32 degrees, surprise!), and imparted the news that tax is no longer collected at the airport (it hasn't been collected at the airport for quite some years). The effort might be better spent getting the little things right.


Any one of these glitches can crop up at a hotel and I wouldn't bat an eyelid. But when they all turn up within a two night stay AND I discover they regularly screw up the points business - there is something wrong. Or maybe I was extremely unlucky.

The lounge is an impressive feature, and the cocktail hour is a comfortable three hours. But the buffet is pretty basic, and on the only night we bothered to go to the lounge, the hot items were about as impressive as the Two Island-heavy wine list (Australian grapes vinified in Bali). The second night we made do with the nicer options, beers and G&T at the beach-side bar.

It's a pity, the beach and grounds are a delight, and the staff are well-meaning and it's nice to have the airport pick-up and drop: but it's not on my list of hotels to return to in hurry.

I last stayed maybe 10 years back. Clearly I wasn't overly impressed then. We'll see if they have got their act into gear after a further decade
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Old Dec 29, 18, 7:28 pm
  #1265  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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I ended up writing a 3* review of my stay which never posted to IHG.com. Instead, I was contacted by their customer service in response to me contacting them (I didn't), thanking me for being a Spire Ambassador (only Plat AMB) and apologizing for my the issues that I described in the review which they said the hotel would address. Shortly after I received an email from IC Bali, the same front office manager that the automated emails are addressed from. He apologized and said he would add 15K points to my account for my troubles. A week later no points, no further communication so I replied back to customer service asking them what happened to my review and when it would be published. Also explained the situation with the points. They replied a couple of days later ignoring my review question and saying they would contact the hotel again regarding points. Couple of days later points posted.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 12:31 am
  #1266  
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Originally Posted by greendx View Post
Hotel front end communications: It started with an automated email few days prior to my arrival. Standard email offering transportation, various other pre-arrival services in addition to being asked about arrival time of my flight. It also asked about my bed preference stating my request wouldn't be guaranteed.

........Just seemed like whoever is responsible for responding to emails is inexperienced and they would be better off not asking questions if their replies will unnecessarily annoy the recipient.

After this interaction I received 2 more automated emails slightly different formats again offering transportation and other services. Last one even said that someone will be waiting to meet me at the gate with a hotel sign, even though I didn't partake in the meet and greet service and this service is being offered further in the body of the email. (note: no one met me at the gate)

So now we go from a useful pre-arrival hotel service to a broken process that is nothing more than spam.

Finally, my second day here received yet another automated email welcoming me to the hotel from the front office manager asking to email them back with any questions or issues.


I hadn't read this earlier a post, but your experience of the barrage of useless emails mirrored mine. I received a total of of six communications. This included a purportedly personal but totally pointless goodbye from the GM, printed on comfortingly expensive looking stationery.

One email, the one about the airport pick-up, might have been useful: but they spoilt that by getting it wrong.

You might overlook these excesses as harmless silliness: but when the rest of the stay drifts awry you begin to wonder if the fragile marketing veneer is covering up a lack of old fashioned management skills.
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Old Dec 30, 18, 1:24 am
  #1267  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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I echo your gripes. They get so many small things wrong it is not even funny any longer and careless doesn't explain it either. Incapable and lack of proper "nuts and bolts" management maybe.

I would agree that management team is resting on glories of certain hotel awards and thinking people will keep dropping 400US$ plus 21% for what is often a patchy experience on the best of days. The new management team (GM & Resort Manager) was quick to raise prices for things like F&B, e.g. Room service, KO, charging for Club pool bale use and so forth without any visible or felt improvements.

One staff was a bit gloating and telling me the last time around that occupancy has been very good for months (not sure I buy it, but fine) until I said that certainly that is easier done when over 100 rooms were out of inventory due to renovations .

We just came back from Bali and didn't stay at the IC, but a boutique resort in a 1bdrm private pool villa in Ubud and I still saved myself a nice chunk of cash doing so for what was a more refined experience. YMMV.

Last edited by demue; Dec 30, 18 at 1:33 am
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Old Dec 31, 18, 10:19 pm
  #1268  
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Originally Posted by demue View Post
One staff was a bit gloating and telling me the last time around that occupancy has been very good for months (not sure I buy it, but fine) until I said that certainly that is easier done when over 100 rooms were out of inventory due to renovations .
A lot of rooms during my stay were taken up by cruise passengers joining, or leaving, their ship. I can't believe the cruise line would be be paying top whack for those rooms. So while rooms may well be occupied, revenue per room isn't necessarily at its high spot.
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Old Jan 20, 19, 7:06 am
  #1269  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Taking into account comments here that email communication is not IC Bali's strong suit:

I booked 5 nights on points in April. Have read that I would likely be able to upgrade to a club room for $$, so I wrote the hotel asking for an offer. No reply. Has anybody any experience upgrading a basic points room? I would just like to know what I can expect and not be surprised when I get there with, "Oh, that will be 300/night (or whatever)."

Again, willing to pay for the upgrade if it matches value provided.

Thanks for any info.
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Old Jan 20, 19, 2:06 pm
  #1270  
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Originally Posted by gregorio1 View Post
Taking into account comments here that email communication is not IC Bali's strong suit:

I booked 5 nights on points in April. Have read that I would likely be able to upgrade to a club room for $$, so I wrote the hotel asking for an offer. No reply. Has anybody any experience upgrading a basic points room? I would just like to know what I can expect and not be surprised when I get there with, "Oh, that will be 300/night (or whatever)."

Again, willing to pay for the upgrade if it matches value provided.

Thanks for any info.
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That should work for ya. If it doesn’t let me know. I have others as we stay there often—headed there next month, to be honest. 😬
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Old Jan 20, 19, 7:17 pm
  #1271  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
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Originally Posted by gregorio1 View Post
Taking into account comments here that email communication is not IC Bali's strong suit:

I booked 5 nights on points in April. Have read that I would likely be able to upgrade to a club room for $$, so I wrote the hotel asking for an offer. No reply. Has anybody any experience upgrading a basic points room? I would just like to know what I can expect and not be surprised when I get there with, "Oh, that will be 300/night (or whatever)."

Again, willing to pay for the upgrade if it matches value provided.

Thanks for any info.
If you go a few pages back in this thread you will see reports that of late the first offer will likely be a quote that takes BAR for Classic / Jimbaran Deluxe vs. BAR for Club room and tells you to pay the difference in rate between the two which can exceed 200$ before 21% tax and service are added. Not very attractive.

Beyond that maybe down to your negotiation skills. For 200$ a day you can create your own Club experience and have much more substantial food throughout the day with a couple of drinks and all that.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 4:22 pm
  #1272  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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I did wonder if anything had changed. Alas, no. Demue's posit was right on: 200 USD + tax.

Um, no thanks.
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Old Jan 21, 19, 6:43 pm
  #1273  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
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Keep in mind that they also offer various dinning packages too where you basically buy F&B credit and get more value added to your room account, e.g. 1m IDR bought upfront gets you 1.25m IDR credit. Various sizes / amounts available if one plans for spending on hotel dinning. You can buy packages.multiple time throughout your stay, just buy some before applying charges as it doesn't work retroactively for obvious reasons.
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Old Jan 24, 19, 9:24 am
  #1274  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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I used points + free nights (Chase) to book a 6 night stay and inquired about Club upgrade privileges and was told:

should you wish to have Club privileges we are very pleased to offer a preferential rate of USD 200 +21%VAT/room/night for you to have room upgrade to our Club InterContinental Room inclusive with Club Benefits.
YIKES. The problem is that I do love the club privileges (between my wife and I, I estimate we usually put down 8-10 cocktails every night, plus hors d'oeuvres, plus breakfast...I suspect we'd come out ahead by just paying a la carte, but it is nice to just not worry about it.

The base room is going for $140/night, and the club room is going for $265/night, so the $200/night up-charge feels particularly crappy.

Has anyone successfully negotiated the rate down?
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Old Jan 25, 19, 12:23 am
  #1275  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SIN (LEJ once a year)
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Posts: 4,979
Use the rate comparison you shared for your stay period and argue that under these circumstances Club access should max be 120$US before 21% and see what they say. In the past this worked just fine, but these days with current management reason seems to be in shorter supply.

But be aware that they will compare Best Flex rates against one another and there they usually maintain the spread of >200$US .
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