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First Bali Trip - Hotel Recommendations? Amex FHR vs other? (Consolidated)

First Bali Trip - Hotel Recommendations? Amex FHR vs other? (Consolidated)

Old Nov 9, 16, 12:10 pm
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First Bali Trip - Hotel Recommendations? Amex FHR vs other? (Consolidated)

Hello All - In a few months I will be going to bali for 8 days and am hoping to get recommendations on hotels/locations/ and booking methods.

Ideally I would like to do 2 nights in Nusa Dua , 2 nights in Ubud, then last 4 nights back at the beach. Based on what I've read here I'm thinking either Amanusa/ St. Regis /Ritz Carlton in Nusa, then Mandapa Reserve/ 4 seasons Sayan / Amandari for 2 nights, then back to the beach. I'd love to hear some feedback from others who have done similarly, and have any do's and don'ts.

I've read that the Aman hotels have "seamless" transfers which are appealing, so eager to get clarification on what all that entails over just a pick up/ arrival gift?

Lastly- comparing booking methods, would anyone recommend Amex FHR over Virtuoso benefits or other affiliated booking services such as 4 seasons preferred partners? Which seem to have a better track record for "upgrade on arrival"

Ultimately my budget is 1k a night or less for the best all around Bali experience I can get, and hopefully booking through a service that adds the most value.

Thanks in advance
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Old Nov 9, 16, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by 2manyredeyes View Post
Hello All - In a few months I will be going to bali for 8 days and am hoping to get recommendations on hotels/locations/ and booking methods.

Ideally I would like to do 2 nights in Nusa Dua , 2 nights in Ubud, then last 4 nights back at the beach. Based on what I've read here I'm thinking either Amanusa/ St. Regis /Ritz Carlton in Nusa, then Mandapa Reserve/ 4 seasons Sayan / Amandari for 2 nights, then back to the beach. I'd love to hear some feedback from others who have done similarly, and have any do's and don'ts.

I've read that the Aman hotels have "seamless" transfers which are appealing, so eager to get clarification on what all that entails over just a pick up/ arrival gift?

Lastly- comparing booking methods, would anyone recommend Amex FHR over Virtuoso benefits or other affiliated booking services such as 4 seasons preferred partners? Which seem to have a better track record for "upgrade on arrival"

Ultimately my budget is 1k a night or less for the best all around Bali experience I can get, and hopefully booking through a service that adds the most value.

Thanks in advance
First of all welcome to FT.

I'm a huge fan of Aman resorts so would definitely recommend Amanusa/Amandari and I would add in Amankila... The Aman Bali Experience might be a good option

That all being said, Chedi Club in Ubud is a great option too... whatever it is; I think that most people have had good luck with Aman pickups in other resorts...

i would most definitely go with a travel agent. They can help arrange all the transfers.. there are tons here, and all seem to be pretty solid... much better option than FHR (unless you absolutely need late checkout; though that is possible to be arranged too)... Mine was able to negotiate confirmed upgrade on booking....

My TR is around here somewhere... I'ld also recommend LM225s as well to see Chedi Club.. if I were to go back to Ubud I would go with Chedi...

I'm sure Kage will link in about 3-5 mins...

FDW
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Old Nov 9, 16, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by 2manyredeyes View Post
Hello All - In a few months I will be going to bali for 8 days and am hoping to get recommendations on hotels/locations/ and booking methods.

Ideally I would like to do 2 nights in Nusa Dua , 2 nights in Ubud, then last 4 nights back at the beach. Based on what I've read here I'm thinking either Amanusa/ St. Regis /Ritz Carlton in Nusa, then Mandapa Reserve/ 4 seasons Sayan / Amandari for 2 nights, then back to the beach. I'd love to hear some feedback from others who have done similarly, and have any do's and don'ts.

I've read that the Aman hotels have "seamless" transfers which are appealing, so eager to get clarification on what all that entails over just a pick up/ arrival gift?

Lastly- comparing booking methods, would anyone recommend Amex FHR over Virtuoso benefits or other affiliated booking services such as 4 seasons preferred partners? Which seem to have a better track record for "upgrade on arrival"

Ultimately my budget is 1k a night or less for the best all around Bali experience I can get, and hopefully booking through a service that adds the most value.

Thanks in advance
I would argue that Four Seasons Sayan in Ubud is a significantly better choice than both Amandari and Chedi Club. Try to get a villa, though, ideally on Ayung river.

It's a magical place, with a hard product that inspires awe, top notch service and good food.
Chedi Club is more like a good four star hotel with five star service - great bang for the buck, but not awe inspiring. Amandari has great service and great food, but hard product feels very dated, especially for the price tag.

If useful to get a feel, compare this:

To this:

My 0.02$.

Last edited by 0bsidian; Nov 9, 16 at 2:19 pm
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Old Nov 9, 16, 3:01 pm
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Thanks all for your input so far, the Amans have the lead for now, but its a tough call to make with this competition.

In regards to booking it sounds like going through a virtuoso travel adviser will add the most value here. If anyone reading this is one please feel free to reach out, or if anyone has a had a good experience with one in particular let me know.

I have also noticed that last second offers seem to pop up such as "4th night free" at all Bali Amans through 12/31/16. Is it worth waiting to see if this offer is extended to spring? or is it merely seasonal? As winter is a lower occupancy period

Thanks in Advance !
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Old Nov 9, 16, 3:17 pm
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also Undiscovered Indonesia for low rates and other Exclusives for inclusions

FHR free night has continued to be offered, but no way to predict

edit - some here have reported aman packing/unpacking

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Nov 14, 16 at 11:43 am
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Old Nov 9, 16, 4:48 pm
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We've been to all of the Indonesian Amans and both FS Bali. Amanusa, Amandari and Amankila would allow you to take advantage of the Aman packages that bundle them together with complementary activites. They are each in stunning locations, have a sense of place (culture) and will give you a fantastic feel for the island. There could be upgrades using a Virtuoso agent (yes you can request ahead of time) and they will discreetly note your preferences from one property to the next, help you pack and unpack, etc.....very civilized.
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Old Nov 9, 16, 7:32 pm
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For that type of itinerary, sticking with Aman makes perfect sense. You'll benefit from their best deals and packages by combining properties, and as you note everything will be seamless the whole way through.
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Old Nov 9, 16, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
For that type of itinerary, sticking with Aman makes perfect sense. You'll benefit from their best deals and packages by combining properties, and as you note everything will be seamless the whole way through.
Originally Posted by 2manyredeyes View Post
Thanks all for your input so far, the Amans have the lead for now, but its a tough call to make with this competition.

In regards to booking it sounds like going through a virtuoso travel adviser will add the most value here. If anyone reading this is one please feel free to reach out, or if anyone has a had a good experience with one in particular let me know.

I have also noticed that last second offers seem to pop up such as "4th night free" at all Bali Amans through 12/31/16. Is it worth waiting to see if this offer is extended to spring? or is it merely seasonal? As winter is a lower occupancy period

Thanks in Advance !
Welcome to FT & to this forum in particular

Will be there at the Amans again in early January .
Best email the GMs for advice & information .. They will customize to your needs & preferences

Mike ' s suggestion should be taken seriously
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Old Nov 10, 16, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
For that type of itinerary, sticking with Aman makes perfect sense. You'll benefit from their best deals and packages by combining properties, and as you note everything will be seamless the whole way through.
Also works out cheaper, to be honest!

I reckon if you added up the various stays at a Four Seasons vs an Aman, taking into account food etc - it would work out cheaper at the Amans; and this was back when Aman's rates were USD 750-900/night in Bali.
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Old Nov 10, 16, 4:23 am
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Also works out cheaper, to be honest!

I reckon if you added up the various stays at a Four Seasons vs an Aman, taking into account food etc - it would work out cheaper at the Amans; and this was back when Aman's rates were USD 750-900/night in Bali.

I am not sure that sure, at least not on room rate (but food price was comparable, from memory).
Let's analyse two scenarios, using January as benchmark:

Scenario 1:

2 nights at Amanusa, 3 nights at Amankila, 3 nights at Amandari
Rates used: Undiscovered Indonesia
Total cost: $4,840 (605$ per night)

Scenario 2:

2 nights at Amanusa, 3 nights at Amankila, 3 nights at Four Seasons Sayan in Ubud
Rates used: Undiscovered Indonesia for Aman, third night free for FS Sayan
Total cost: $4,477 (605$ per night at Aman, 484$ per night at FS)

Conclusion: total room rate is lower when replacing Amandari with FS Sayan.

Last edited by 0bsidian; Nov 10, 16 at 4:48 am
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Old Nov 10, 16, 5:38 am
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
Also works out cheaper, to be honest!

I reckon if you added up the various stays at a Four Seasons vs an Aman, taking into account food etc - it would work out cheaper at the Amans; and this was back when Aman's rates were USD 750-900/night in Bali.
Originally Posted by 0bsidian View Post
I am not sure that sure, at least not on room rate (but food price was comparable, from memory).
Let's analyse two scenarios, using January as benchmark:

Scenario 1:

2 nights at Amanusa, 3 nights at Amankila, 3 nights at Amandari
Rates used: Undiscovered Indonesia
Total cost: $4,840 (605$ per night)

Scenario 2:

2 nights at Amanusa, 3 nights at Amankila, 3 nights at Four Seasons Sayan in Ubud
Rates used: Undiscovered Indonesia for Aman, third night free for FS Sayan
Total cost: $4,477 (605$ per night at Aman, 484$ per night at FS)

Conclusion: total room rate is lower when replacing Amandari with FS Sayan.
Well , Amans include complimentary excursions & transfers .
At times , stays come with full board ! So the complimentary sailing , water sports , cycling & such help to work off the excesses
Just cut number of days at Dari or 2 max .

Actually , chinmoylad & Amanjunkies like yours truly ( despite getting special rates at FS , etcetera ) have worked out what is overall best . Email Mark S who covers all Indon Amans & concurrently GM of Nusa .

Have a wonderful time
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Old Nov 10, 16, 5:56 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post
Well , Amans include complimentary excursions & transfers .
At times , stays come with full board ! So the complimentary sailing , water sports , cycling & such help to work off the excesses
Just cut number of days at Dari or 2 max .

Actually , chinmoylad & Amanjunkies like yours truly ( despite getting special rates at FS , etcetera ) have worked out what is overall best . Email Mark S who covers all Indon Amans & concurrently GM of Nusa .

Have a wonderful time
Well, actually, the Undiscovered Indonesia rate does not come with any of the excursions or full board plans that you mention. So if OP books with a travel agent who can negotiate those inclusions, more power to him (but frankly, at a rate of 600$ and for a first timer as OP, I wouldn't count on it).

But if we are to compare rate vs. rate and inclusion vs. inclusion, FS still comes on top.

Just to be clear: I am not trying to convince OP to stay at FS. I just wanted to respectfully point out that it's not actually true that Aman is cheaper than FS as indicated above.

I personally loved the Bali Amans (I just think there are better options in Ubud).

Last edited by 0bsidian; Nov 10, 16 at 6:05 am
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Old Nov 10, 16, 7:08 am
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Originally Posted by 0bsidian View Post
Well, actually, the Undiscovered Indonesia rate does not come with any of the excursions or full board plans that you mention. So if OP books with a travel agent who can negotiate those inclusions, more power to him (but frankly, at a rate of 600$ and for a first timer as OP, I wouldn't count on it).

But if we are to compare rate vs. rate and inclusion vs. inclusion, FS still comes on top.

Just to be clear: I am not trying to convince OP to stay at FS. I just wanted to respectfully point out that it's not actually true that Aman is cheaper than FS as indicated above.

I personally loved the Bali Amans (I just think there are better options in Ubud).
Personally , I think there are better or other options in Ubud too .
Just that some of us prefer day trips there .
Also too " touristy " - hordes , if you can read between the lines , where visitors normally frequent .
If one stays at an Aman , they know how to get around all the hoopla ..

For a first timer , Aman is an excellent introduction to the island & beyond .
Perhaps if the OP cares to venture , Wana will be quite an experience too .
Save Jiwo for another trip @:-)

Looking forward to January , though not the best time for Bali , rather more humid then
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Old Nov 10, 16, 2:03 pm
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My two cents...I wish we had stayed at Chedi Club instead of Sayan. This was in 2014, so things might have changed.
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Old Nov 10, 16, 2:10 pm
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Thanks again all for the insights and recommendations.
Is full board often negotiable at these resorts? ( haven't seen it mentioned in any advertised packages ) If so, is it something the travel adviser should attempt to organize or should I contact the GM directly with a cash offer? Just trying to understand the ins and outs of the Aman hotels as each experience seems highly tailored to each individuals tastes.

Thanks All
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