Best hotel in Bali?

Old Feb 23, 16, 8:27 pm
  #1  
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Best hotel in Bali?

Planning on being there for 5-6 days as part of a honeymoon trip in late Dec 2016/early Jan 2017. I understand weather is not ideal in Bali at this time of year but want to stay somewhere that maximizes sun/minimize rain (ie I've heard Ubud is rainier than the beaches).

I'm currently booked into the Alila Villas Uluwatu but am wary having taken a closer look and seeing a repeated theme in recent reviews that guest rooms are in need of refurbishment (eg cracked tiles, loose/broken items, dirty/worn furniture) and there are lots of intrusive visitors/events.

Priorities are lots of privacy; large, villa-style accommodations; and nice views or a nice beach. Secondary would be quality of food and proximity to cultural attractions, but really, I don't think we should have to sacrifice any of these at our price point.

Ideally, I'd like to keep things at US$1,200/night or less; of course, the lower the better if I don't have to compromise.

The Amankila seems to be the best; however, the pool suites are out of my price range and I'm not sure I'd feel I'm "missing out" in a "simple" Ocean-View or Garden room. The FS Jimbaran Bay also looks very nice, and I trust FS having stayed at quite a few, but it seems like a large hotel (100+ rooms). But bottom line is there are way too many hotels at or above my price range, and who knows the next time I'll have a chance to go back.
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Old Feb 23, 16, 9:03 pm
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Go with Four Seasons Sayan, particularly if you want a pool suite. Sayan is much smaller by room count and more personalized and spacious than FS Jimbaran Bay, where the relatively high room count makes it feel big and the rooms (villas) feel like they are on top of each other. Don't worry about weather in Ubud in December; it's fine. You will be much closer to--in the middle of-- the cultural sites, feels, and experiences if staying near Ubud.

Amankila is my other favorite in Bali. You won't feel like you're missing out in an Ocean Suite, because you don't really need a pool (six stays, no pool yet for me), but if you had only a garden view I could see where it would feel like you're at the kids' table.

You could always split between amankila and amandari. I've done that and enjoyed it. But my personal preference is FS Sayan over amandari when selecting a resort near Ubud. I find them quite different in architecture and feel, with Sayan more to my liking, and I consider Sayan a better value--especially if you want a pool villa.

All that said, there are many top resorts in your price range that I've never stayed at so can't comment on. And there is no "best hotel in Bali." It's all a matter of taste and what's important to you.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 12:39 am
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Do a split , Amankila & Amanusa .
Both wonderful beach clubs , Kila with black sand & Nusa usual " white " .

They may just upgrade you , mention honeymoon ! Congratulations on wise choices , & at ( to ) start of married life
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Old Feb 24, 16, 2:34 am
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At the moment I am writing this from the Ritz Carlton Mandapa in Ubud.. Extraordinarily nice and well worth consideration (our room pool is bigger than some hotel pools I've seen). Staff can't do enough for you.

In a couple of days we are moving to Amankila. It will be an interesting comparison.

BTW, regarding the rainy season issue, I understand that during December and January this year there was very little rain. We've had sunny mornings each day, the afternoons partly cloudy and a couple of days with rain for an hour or so. It's been perfect (and less crowded with tourists).
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Old Feb 24, 16, 6:12 am
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In Ubud, I would say the Mandapa is the way to go. I have been at the Sayan and Royal Pita Maha (they all share the same river). Also, now the Mandapa does block the view for the Amandari, so keep that in mind.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by mumum17
In Ubud, I would say the Mandapa is the way to go. I have been at the Sayan and Royal Pita Maha (they all share the same river). Also, now the Mandapa does block the view for the Amandari, so keep that in mind.
We honeymooned in Bali Nov, 2014 and split between Kila and Dari (and Jiwo). Mandapa was under construction at the time and began to impede views from Dari even then, so can only imagine what it's like now.

We had our Virtuoso agent book us at all of our Aman stays, and Kila was exceptionally generous with an upgrade to a pool suite and on top of the Bali and Beyond inclusions, offered us a complimentary couples massage at each of the Amans we stayed at. We also really enjoyed the snorkeling trip aboard Aman XII. There was another couple that did the same excursion, but since occupancy was low at the time, they gave us each our own boat!
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Old Feb 24, 16, 8:35 am
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Thanks everyone!

Leaning heavily toward 5-6 nights at the Mandapa...it looks absolutely stunning, and seems like more bang for the buck than Aman.

And I realize asking for the "best hotel in Bali" was kind of silly given the overwhelming wealth of options at even the highest end.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 10:04 am
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A friend just yesterday was telling me about her stay at Mandapa, about which she raved.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 11:56 am
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I have gotten simply stellar feedback about Mandapa. Not yet Virtuoso, but they are offering STARS amenities that will be equal to what the Virtuoso amenities will be (i.e., $100 resort credit, upgrade, free WiFi, and 4 p.m. check-out ... in addition to free breakfast.


At Amankila, an upgrade at booking from Garden to Ocean Suite is often available just by asking.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 12:09 pm
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We stayed in Amandari, Alila Villas Ulutawu and Amankila in December (over Christmas) 2013 and I preferred Alila Villas out of all 3. The villa/room is amazing and the personal butler service was exceptional; I thought the food was the best out of all 3 resorts too. However, there are not many activities to do there and you always are made to feel more special at Aman from all the staff, whereas at Alila you're made special by your butler. The service was still great from everyone else, but not up to the Aman standard.

Interestingly I was chatting to the GM of Amanjiwo just a few months ago and he mentioned how much he liked it there too when he stayed last year. I'd hope it has not deteriorated massively in 2 years, as I thoroughly enjoyed our time there.
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Old Feb 24, 16, 2:00 pm
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I can't comment on the hotels being discussed but if you haven't been to Bali before I think you should stay in Ubud - you may disappointed in Balinese beaches if your handle gives any clues to where you live. I hate black sand beaches - too hot and not attractive to look at and the area where Amanusa is is just an enclave of 4 and 5 star hotels far removed from anything Balinese.

So Mandapa looks like the best choice - may even try it myself next time we visit if the reviews are that good.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by quitecontrary
I can't comment on the hotels being discussed but if you haven't been to Bali before I think you should stay in Ubud - you may disappointed in Balinese beaches if your handle gives any clues to where you live. I hate black sand beaches - too hot and not attractive to look at and the area where Amanusa is is just an enclave of 4 and 5 star hotels far removed from anything Balinese.

So Mandapa looks like the best choice - may even try it myself next time we visit if the reviews are that good.
Handle is just for anonymity and because I like it -- I live far, far, far from any nice beaches.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC
Do a split , Amankila & Amanusa .
Both wonderful beach clubs , Kila with black sand & Nusa usual " white " .

They may just upgrade you , mention honeymoon ! Congratulations on wise choices , & at ( to ) start of married life
Originally Posted by jantaoYVR
We honeymooned in Bali Nov, 2014 and split between Kila and Dari (and Jiwo). Mandapa was under construction at the time and began to impede views from Dari even then, so can only imagine what it's like now.

We had our Virtuoso agent book us at all of our Aman stays, and Kila was exceptionally generous with an upgrade to a pool suite and on top of the Bali and Beyond inclusions, offered us a complimentary couples massage at each of the Amans we stayed at. We also really enjoyed the snorkeling trip aboard Aman XII. There was another couple that did the same excursion, but since occupancy was low at the time, they gave us each our own boat!
Originally Posted by aa213bb
A friend just yesterday was telling me about her stay at Mandapa, about which she raved.
Well , if you are planning on a " beach " honeymoon , then Ubud isn ' t the area in Bali you would want to be . The traffic in Ubud is horrendous .
But assume you will just stay in ?

Think I posted something on this on another thread , from Amandari you sort of see RC lower down off to the right of the main pool . Dari is high up & the views have not been drastically marred through the years even with new developments popping up . Thank goodness .

Many moons ago , when it was still Begawan Giri , we somehow received sandfly bites which took what seems like forever to disappear . Thankfully , we were off to Amanusa & the team there knew the problem immediately when more started popping up !
The spa there , at the now COMO , was lower like Mandapa position , doubt it will have this problem though . Pray not ..

Generally , we now stay at Kila & Nusa away from crowds & visit others at other hotels , if need be . Always a relief to return " home " to Amans , where the service though not flawless is still way ahead of other ' top rated ' hotels . Plus the beach bales just to watch the waves .. Enjoy the sea breeze , complimentary refreshments / sea sports , etc

Last edited by FlyerEC; Feb 25, 16 at 5:38 pm
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Old Feb 25, 16, 9:54 pm
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Can't say enough wonderful things about The Chedi Club - Ubud. Wowed on every level, most specifically the food, service, grounds and location (just outside Ubud, did not hit any of the traffic people talk about).

Amankila - I might get booed here, but sort of meh, even with the honeymoon benefits (1 activity, massages, champagne, bath). It's beautiful, but the beach is not what I look for and the large oil tankers in and out of the next door Pertamina port really do spoil the view.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by benjahman
Can't say enough wonderful things about The Chedi Club - Ubud. Wowed on every level, most specifically the food, service, grounds and location (just outside Ubud, did not hit any of the traffic people talk about).

Amankila - I might get booed here, but sort of meh, even with the honeymoon benefits (1 activity, massages, champagne, bath). It's beautiful, but the beach is not what I look for and the large oil tankers in and out of the next door Pertamina port really do spoil the view.
I say this in every thread that the Chedi is mentioned, but wow is right - what an absolutely amazing property. Maybe not the best hotel I've ever been to, but it is still the one my SO and I look back on most fondly. The rate is a steal for what is included, as well (laundry, minibar, butler, etc.).
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