IC Bali Master Thread [merged]

Old May 18, 20, 3:14 pm
  #1336  
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As Atacama40 points out, RA stays can be delightful: you pay for a modest room and get treated like a princeling. The'll even throw in airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But all that is irrelevant if you are not RA, and not prepared to pay the very signifcant club surcharge.

So unless you do pay the spikey price of club use, you're simply staying at a nice hotel that will gouge you every which way for the little things in life: like breakfast

It might be an idea to up status by buying Ambassador, it won't get you the frills of club access, but there'll be some sort of room upgrade and some rather complicated rebate of $20 or so to cover your breakfast bill (well, part of it )
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Old May 19, 20, 3:54 am
  #1337  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by BA_Jfan View Post
Thanks for the info. How was IC Singapore while your at it? Flying into SIN and was thinking of staying there.
No worries. Not a regular at SIN, maybe a couple stays per year for past few years but they treat you well.

Hotel is consistent and is my experience good. It's near perfectly located with the MTR a 4 min work out under the hotel and all under cover. You can get anywhere in SIN with ease and cheaply. Mind you can also walk pretty well anywhere of merit from there are well bar the Botanical Gardens.

Rooms and hotel are always well maintained and serviced. I see the same elderly maintenance guy every time walking round with a perpetual can of satin white paint and a sign writers brush every stay repairing the corridor paintwork :-) Pool I always think could do with a mild upgrade but is clean and spacious and not a hardship spend an afternoon at.

Upgrades are more structured than they used to be but consistent if not as generous as in past but I cannot complain. Have had mad huge upgrades in past ... a little less so more recent times but still fine. The mall side rooms are a little noisy. Would suggest to avoid those.

Lounge service is excellent and always has been. Service is tight, knowledgeable and staff well turned out, polished and entertaining. Breakfast in lounge solid as is the one at Ash & Elm downstairs ... if a little busy. Strangely never eaten at the IC other than lounge or breakfast ... oh and afternoon tea is a good experience.

Last stop I had, the cocktail/bar area downstairs (forget the name) was being refreshed and the cocktail guys toured the lounge each evening and were very entertaining. Maybe they still doing that. I didn't visit it personally but the son in law and daughter did and where impressed .... and poorer! :-)

The hotel car from airport is pricey and you can find more cost effective and as polished options. The daughter and co took the train last time and were happy enough with it. Personally after 14 hours and too much pop I'd always take the hotel car whatever the cost!

Walk out to any number of great food places is a doddle. Work the lounge from early to close then have a stroll out and there are tons of good options at modest money

Flying into SIN for us (UK) is by far the best option .... breakup of flying, change of pace, easy cheap flights out from SIN. And SIN is an easy BA miles flight to get in first which we do with an Amex 241 and miles. Then a change of pace and aircraft width out to Bali. Note of caution though .... Bali passport control is a pain in the .... I'm told it's usually so. Took us maybe an hour, maybe more to clear. Now someone at the IC Bali told us of a way to fast track that but I forget how. More experienced Bali hands will know I'm sure but whatever the cost take it!!! :-) Also flights out to Bali are possible but from memory means from Gatwick for us which is dead time. Or lower service options from MAN and regional. Again not so familiar with that save to say EK would be a good option if you not in a hurry.

No a stop at IC SIN is never a hardship for me. More regular stayers have a few criticisms but less so me. It's reasonable value and offers do come up. And as for SIN itself I'm sure you know but loads to do, great places to eat especially for such a small foot print. Definitely do it.
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Old May 19, 20, 4:00 am
  #1338  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
As Atacama40 points out, RA stays can be delightful: you pay for a modest room and get treated like a princeling. The'll even throw in airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But all that is irrelevant if you are not RA, and not prepared to pay the very signifcant club surcharge.

So unless you do pay the spikey price of club use, you're simply staying at a nice hotel that will gouge you every which way for the little things in life: like breakfast

It might be an idea to up status by buying Ambassador, it won't get you the frills of club access, but there'll be some sort of room upgrade and some rather complicated rebate of $20 or so to cover your breakfast bill (well, part of it )
Is a good point Ian. No have no experience of charging systems outside of RA.

Just out of curiosity, how much is that please? I ask as donating points to another daughter and partner to go soon as this current situ is cleared. Usually I get them some concessional RA transferred .... most hotels will do with a little friendly discussion but not guaranteed. Would be useful have a feel for the cost hit in the worst case. Cheers
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Old May 19, 20, 5:36 am
  #1339  
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Originally Posted by Atacama40 View Post
Is a good point Ian. No have no experience of charging systems outside of RA.

Just out of curiosity, how much is that please? I ask as donating points to another daughter and partner to go soon as this current situ is cleared. Usually I get them some concessional RA transferred .... most hotels will do with a little friendly discussion but not guaranteed. Would be useful have a feel for the cost hit in the worst case. Cheers
Off the cuff I think anywhere between USD100 and USD150, depending on whether they quote the regular differential between club and regular or offer a favoured rate. There a hefty ++ to add on to that.

Among recent service reductions, the hotel reduced the evening club-fest down to two hours from 5pm, and cut the beach-side bar out of club benefits.

Not the smartest of moves, but i'd imagine the club hours were changed in part to encourage guests to move on to the very expensive restaurants: otherwise the club itself was a good restaurant alternative. Now, unless you want to start drinking at 5pm (), you're only left with an hour or so to enjoy the spread.

I think management saw the evening use of the beach bar (Sunset Bar?) as an opportunity cost - i.e. we'd continue using it, but this time pay. Sadly, the idea that club guests (except the RA ones.....) ARE paying indirectly for their drinks doesn't esem to have sunk in.

All in all the hotel is a superb deal for RAs.

But i'd suggest for others a regular room, or an Ambassador-fuelled upgrade, give access to the hotel's splendid grounds and the beach: and for those who don't mind 10 minutes' walk, the cafes, restaurants and beach shacks offer a bigger, longer and more fun bang-for-bucks than the lounge.
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Old May 19, 20, 5:50 am
  #1340  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Off the cuff I think anywhere between USD100 and USD150, depending on whether they quote the regular differential between club and regular or offer a favoured rate. There a hefty ++ to add on to that.

Among recent service reductions, the hotel reduced the evening club-fest down to two hours from 5pm, and cut the beach-side bar out of club benefits.

Not the smartest of moves, but i'd imagine the club hours were changed in part to encourage guests to move on to the very expensive restaurants: otherwise the club itself was a good restaurant alternative. Now, unless you want to start drinking at 5pm (), you're only left with an hour or so to enjoy the spread.

I think management saw the evening use of the beach bar (Sunset Bar?) as an opportunity cost - i.e. we'd continue using it, but this time pay. Sadly, the idea that club guests (except the RA ones.....) ARE paying indirectly for their drinks doesn't esem to have sunk in.

All in all the hotel is a superb deal for RAs.

But i'd suggest for others a regular room, or an Ambassador-fuelled upgrade, give access to the hotel's splendid grounds and the beach: and for those who don't mind 10 minutes' walk, the cafes, restaurants and beach shacks offer a bigger, longer and more fun bang-for-bucks than the lounge.
Wow yes that's a poor cost saving set of options and spoil the whole point of the club elevation.

The unit cost in it's own right is 'sort of' ok for travelling small groups and I'd say depending on social style can still be value .... for those of happy to start at 5. :-) but the somewhat mean cost savings dilute that significantly. The whole point of paying a chunk of money is to feel indulged and dare I say, special. Start to dilute that and then as you say, better to utilise the hotel infrastructure and go elsewhere. Disappointing

And yes lots of acceptable outlets up and down the beach side. I've had less success hitting a really good one but I think is just bad luck on our part ... most other folks have found good options. The ones turning right up the beach seem a little better. We struggled after two nights over dosing on every form of grilled fish! :-) Think we were lazy on the search having took to the lounge one minute after opening :-)
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Old May 19, 20, 3:47 pm
  #1341  
 
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I have been visiting the IC Bali since early 2003 when it and the Island were recovering from the terrorist bombing. That first visit was so outstanding that I have returned regularly.

Over the years I have seen the hotel improve and mature. It was always expensive, except in 2003! But I found using points and paying the supplement to upgrade to club to be superb value, especially with children or young adults. My last visit was August 2019 which was 40,000 plus 200USD ++ Not cheap but we got a duplex, breakfast for 4, soft drinks all day by the pool, afternoon tea, drinks from 5-7 and the club lounge spread such that dinner was not always required.Airport transfers and frankly outstanding service most of the time.
it was clear last August that there had been enhancements. Sunset bar Is no longer a club benefit but they had provided a second beach bar exclusive to club guests albeit an uncomfortable and poor offer. But there was still the lounge and club pool. It was clear there had been a change of management strategy. Offers to encourage guests to eat and drink had vanished and discounts at the spa too. They were clearly chasing cash and trying to Extract or squeeze every buck out of guests.

interestingly their focus was China but the Chinese had an average stay length of 4 days according to senior staff we met. Europeans were around a week.
they have a lot of returning guests and we recognised several guests from previous years.

When I booked for this August cash rates were an eye watering and frankly ludicrous $480 a night for a club room. Points plus cash were 40000 plus $220++ and I booked st this rate. They have to pay for the refurbishment somehow which has been slow and confused. With club wings being done latterly.

it remains a great place to spend a week or two though and I hope we can get there in August.

The grounds are stunning, the beach fabulous. I like the surrounding area as there are a few decent places to eat aside from the beach, that offer exceptional value and great food.

the hotelís Japanese restaurant Ku is exceptional but Pricey. The Italian and poolside cafe were average in my view and overpriced, even for an IC.

cash rates are now lower than any point since around 2010 and I will shortly cancel my points booking and book for cash. Just need Bali to open and the FCO to relax travel advice.

i love it, I wish I didnít as the world is a big place.

getting to Bali is now a one hop from LHR with Qatar, Turkish ( very impressive) Cathay all being great. Via Singapore allows for good two centre and a brilliant flight with KLM on 5th freedom. But I must say Turkish airlines non stop to Europe was by far the best flight to and from the island I have had.

enjoy the island of the gods.
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Old May 20, 20, 4:30 am
  #1342  
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Originally Posted by Atacama40 View Post
Wow yes that's a poor cost saving set of options and spoil the whole point of the club elevation.

The unit cost in it's own right is 'sort of' ok for travelling small groups and I'd say depending on social style can still be value .... for those of happy to start at 5. :-)

Sure, different strokes etc. And Binman, in a party of four, clearly found value in $244 a night for the frills. I wouldn't, you might, he did

Dependence on the chinese market, reported by Binman, turned out badly for Bali in general, and I guess for the IC. I was in Bali earlier in the year, before the full extent of the pandemic kicked in, but already the place had been emptied of the chinese groups - meaning the Hilton Garden Inn by the airport was like a ghost ship for our last night before an early flight.
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Old May 22, 20, 3:23 am
  #1343  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Some of the current rates I'm seeing for Aug -Dec 2020 seem to have less of a drastic 'spread' between Singaraja Premium and Club rooms, e.g. ~80USD++ (21%). That's more palatable in my book, but only time will tell.

Rates are still on the higher end (~310$++ for Club) compared to some of the offer rates out there for Marriott, Independent etc. properties that come at 50% rate reduction with lots of benefits included, buy prepaid which is tricky of course.
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Old May 23, 20, 7:34 am
  #1344  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Sorry as no wiki attached I've had to ask some questions on the IC Bali.
Do you get club room Privelidges if you are Ambassador status and book using points like free breakfasts?
Has everyone who are Ambassador booking on points always got a decent room upgrade to suites?
Thanks in advance. T71
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Old May 23, 20, 12:03 pm
  #1345  
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Originally Posted by Tilly71 View Post
Sorry as no wiki attached I've had to ask some questions on the IC Bali.
Do you get club room Privelidges if you are Ambassador status and book using points like free breakfasts?
Has everyone who are Ambassador booking on points always got a decent room upgrade to suites?
Thanks in advance. T71
You're expecting just a bit too much !!!

You might get an upgraded room. That's it.
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Old May 24, 20, 2:20 am
  #1346  
 
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Originally Posted by Tilly71 View Post
Sorry as no wiki attached I've had to ask some questions on the IC Bali.
Do you get club room Privelidges if you are Ambassador status and book using points like free breakfasts?
Has everyone who are Ambassador booking on points always got a decent room upgrade to suites?
Thanks in advance. T71
You will not get club as an Ambassador unless You pay the supplement. You may get an upgrade.

If you pay the supplement to club room you will get an upgrade to Duplex suite. My last email from them regarding point / cash suggested they would offer rates to almost all club room types including suites.

they restrict free upgrades and operate strictly within the IHG guidelines..... in my experience.
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Old Yesterday, 7:02 am
  #1347  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Originally Posted by Tilly71 View Post
Sorry as no wiki attached I've had to ask some questions on the IC Bali.
Do you get club room Privelidges if you are Ambassador status and book using points like free breakfasts?
Has everyone who are Ambassador booking on points always got a decent room upgrade to suites?
Thanks in advance. T71
Originally Posted by binman View Post
You will not get club as an Ambassador unless You pay the supplement. You may get an upgrade.

If you pay the supplement to club room you will get an upgrade to Duplex suite. My last email from them regarding point / cash suggested they would offer rates to almost all club room types including suites.

they restrict free upgrades and operate strictly within the IHG guidelines..... in my experience.
I have 2 upcoming stays at IC Bali as Spire Ambassador, both upgraded moments after the reservation was made.

Singaraja Premium room with Club using Ambassador certificate -> Upgraded to Club Premium suite ( Duplex suite)

Singaraja Premium room cash booking- > Duplex suite


Both stays are back to back but no Club on the second one. So as binman points out, they are doing the upgrades by the book. As the stays are upcoming things may change but my advice is book the room/supplement you want and let any upgrade be a pleasant surprise.
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