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Spectacular, Superb Luxury (Ritz-Carlton, Bali)

Spectacular, Superb Luxury (Ritz-Carlton, Bali)

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Old May 12, 18, 10:16 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
The dealbreaker with Aman, Bulgari etc etc was that the living spaces are all outdoors. Once nightfalls I'm unsure how you enjoy it with the Mosquitos.

I was pleasantly surprised by the soft and hard product. It was of a much higher standard than I could have anticipated. I had prepared myself for the 'resort factory' comments that some have made, but found it anything but.
The Bulgari is dreadful.

No mosquito issues at Amankila when we were there and it was just after a big rain period.
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Old May 13, 18, 2:45 am
  #17  
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Thanks for the RC Bali Cliff Villa review! Sounds like a fabulous stay. So glad you enjoyed yourselves.

I think some of the challenge here for Bali (and so many other locations with good luxury options) is that it actually isn’t a zero sum game—and yet too many feel it must or should be. It’s possible that there are many good luxury options that can be more comparable than people might believe. Yet that seems to surprise so many or be impossible for so many to believe...or even consider.

In most places, including Bali, there are a myriad of wonderful luxury options, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. There isn’t a best place. There may be a best place for each of us, but not necessarily for everyone at large. Usually, though, there isn’t a best place for anyone—there really are several best places that equally can suit us based on our preferences for the moment. So we pick the one that seems best at the time based on whatever criteria matter most to us at that time and run with it.

I deal with this issue with college counseling all the time. Just because Harvard and Stanford and Yale are more selective and more prestigious to most doesn’t mean they deliver a better educational experience or even have the best students. There are many more colleges and universities that can deliver just as well if not better, and there are many more colleges and universities that can have students as bright based on whatever metric you prefer to use (though most metrics are, not surprisingly, flawed—just like hotel rankings and ratings!). The same can be just as true with luxury hotels, my friends.

So the Ritz Carlton Bali shouldn’t surprise anyone (as much as it seems to in this Luxury Forum!) as a possible place to have an outstanding luxury holiday to the highest standard—especially when staying in one of its nicest level of accommodation. It may not be to everyone’s liking or preference, but then it’s pretty rare for that to not be the case!

Some people are perhaps considering the RC Bali only from the perspective of its entry level of lower category accommodations. Thats a mistake.

Aman is fantastic in Indonesia, but it’s not even close to being the only luxury game in Bali now—and it hasn’t been for quite some time. It’s not even necessarily the best luxury game in Bali now, especially after recent takeovers and brand and leadership changes. So why are so many surprised when another luxury hotel that’s bigger can deliver, too?
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Last edited by bhrubin; May 13, 18 at 2:52 am
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Old May 13, 18, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by DeepUnderground View Post
I will never understand staying at a place like this in Bali when you can have a private villa and an army of staff for so cheap....however, looks nice.
I'll bite, what, exactly, would I need "an army of staff" for?

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Old May 13, 18, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
The Bulgari is dreadful.

No mosquito issues at Amankila when we were there and it was just after a big rain period.
Originally Posted by Cityflyer10 View Post
Thanks for the report. Villa looks nice and service sounds great but definitely too large of a property for my taste. Different strokes for different folks...


The bamboo xylophone, light breeze, and lit pools of Amankila make for probably one of the better hotel restaurant ambiences. Truly a delightful way to end the day in paradise!


Originally Posted by BESVISOR View Post
And maybe more so to your point...Aman would be completely different type of get-away as there's no TV in the room (only in the library) so it's really for those who wants to be in that environment and need to unplug.
However, I asked the team to place mosquito candles all over client's exterior space and hopefully that helped enough with it.

When we visited Kila, we actually spent a large part of the night having dinner then just hang out in the main restaurant/bar area where they had arranged some performances by the candle lit pools...really relaxing. But I can see how some would find this to be unappealing.

But it sounds like you've had an amazing trip! It's always nice to have your expectations exceeded ... That's the dream
RC is too large a property but would likely suit those who have not experienced Amans . The breakfast menu looks rather run of the mill .

At Kila , TVs can always be arranged as with anything within legal means , this AMAN ethos still holds .
But please do not make this request like us ( as one should try to go without except that the iPads cannot stream what we need to watch ) ..
In our numerous stays at Kila , mosquitoes have not been an issue though you get flies at times which is remedied with candles .
However , there are geckos - & they take care of the mosquitoes

Amankila Suite comes with dedicated butlers .

But service is renowned at IndonAmans so even in other suites , one is well taken care of bar unforeseen circumstances .. like various senior management taken ill ( simultaneously ) suddenly & a volcano erupts .
There are more pressing issues then !
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Last edited by FlyerEC; May 13, 18 at 7:38 am
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Old May 13, 18, 6:32 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post






RC is too large a property but would likely suit those who have not experienced Amans . The breakfast menu looks rather run of the mill .

At Kila , TVs can always be arranged as with anything within legal means , this AMAN ethos still holds .
But please do not make this request like us ( as one should try to go without except that the iPads cannot stream what we need to watch ) ..
In our numerous stays at Kila , mosquitoes have not been an issue though you get flies at times which is remedied with candles .
However , there are geckos - & they take care of the mosquitoes

Amankila Suite comes with dedicated butlers .

But service is renowned at IndonAmans so even in other suites , one is well taken care of bar unforeseen circumstances .. like various senior management taken ill ( simultaneously ) suddenly & a volcano erupts .
There are more pressing issues then !
Agreed! And that's why we're looking to return to Kila in July to celebrate a birthday It was our first Aman and holds a special/nostalgic place!
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Old May 13, 18, 7:50 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by DeepUnderground View Post
I will never understand staying at a place like this in Bali when you can have a private villa and an army of staff for so cheap....however, looks nice.
Personally, I don't like the AirBnB concept because I do not wish to be in someone's home and I also question the security of having my valuables in a property that can be accessed by others.

Many of my friends fo private villas in Bali and they are certainly much cheaper, but for the same reason of security I chose not to use this option.

Staying a hotel also means there are standard operating procedures for when things go wrong and there is comfort associated with service recovery will generally occur.

One of my work contacts told me when they left their last private villa stay the staff demanded an extra $800 before letting them leave...
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Old May 13, 18, 8:24 pm
  #22  
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Originally Posted by DeepUnderground View Post
I will never understand staying at a place like this in Bali when you can have a private villa and an army of staff for so cheap....however, looks nice.
Until I can get a guarantee in writing from villa owners/management companies that the villa air con cools to at least 17 C, along with some cogent reassurance/reviews that I won’t be disappointed and have to move, there is no chance of us ever staying in a proper villa or any home rental through Airbnb. An army of staff doesn’t replace air con for me.
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Old May 13, 18, 8:56 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


Until I can get a guarantee in writing from villa owners/management companies that the villa air con cools to at least 17 C, along with some cogent reassurance/reviews that I won’t be disappointed and have to move, there is no chance of us ever staying in a proper villa or any home rental through Airbnb. An army of staff doesn’t replace air con for me.
The last private villa I stayed at in Phuket, Thailand, the villa manager specifically told me "this air con doesn't go below 27 C. It will break down".

Oooooooooooookay then.
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Old May 14, 18, 6:21 pm
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Thanks for the great review. One question though, does the resort have a private beach and is it directly reachable from the hotel compound or with some considerable walking distance? Did you get to try the restaurants in the resort as well and how was the quality?
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Old May 14, 18, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by BENLEE View Post
Thanks for the great review. One question though, does the resort have a private beach and is it directly reachable from the hotel compound or with some considerable walking distance? Did you get to try the restaurants in the resort as well and how was the quality?
The hotel has a beach directly out the front with a Surfbreak that make it very calm. They have staff every morning that appear to be cleaning and raking the beach. The tides are very high and low that the water comes all the way in and out of the Surfbreak.

We ate in Breezes once with the Monday night BBQ and the food was great. We ate in the main breakfast restaurant once to compare with the club and the food was similar, however the specific a la carte items in the club lounge were chargeable.

We ate room service twice and it was excellent. We didn't try the Indonesian restaurant but did try those items off the menu,

TBH, with all the food offerings in the club lounge and dedicated chefs we ate most of our meals there.
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Old May 15, 18, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by m0hamed View Post
Personally, I don't like the AirBnB concept because I do not wish to be in someone's home and I also question the security of having my valuables in a property that can be accessed by others.

Many of my friends fo private villas in Bali and they are certainly much cheaper, but for the same reason of security I chose not to use this option.

Staying a hotel also means there are standard operating procedures for when things go wrong and there is comfort associated with service recovery will generally occur.

One of my work contacts told me when they left their last private villa stay the staff demanded an extra $800 before letting them leave...

My best stay at any property ever, was a private villa rental in Bali.
Resorts are the antithesis of the Bali experience for me, although I understand that priorities can shift if you have a family in tow and require access to a kids club etc.

Never stayed at an Aman before but have stays at both SS and Noi coming up.
I will be shocked if the service is anywhere close to what I experienced at Villa Bulung Daya.
The only problem is that it gets booked up all the time now. Would love to return.

(My review for those who are interested: Villa Bulung Daya)

The villa within a resort concept appears to offer the best of both worlds but the price is often many multiples of the private option, unjustifiably so in my opinion.
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Old May 15, 18, 1:49 am
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Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post
My best stay at any property ever, was a private villa rental in Bali.
Resorts are the antithesis of the Bali experience for me, although I understand that priorities can shift if you have a family in tow and require access to a kids club etc.

Never stayed at an Aman before but have stays at both SS and Noi coming up.
I will be shocked if the service is anywhere close to what I experienced at Villa Bulung Daya.
The only problem is that it gets booked up all the time now. Would love to return.

(My review for those who are interested: Villa Bulung Daya)

The villa within a resort concept appears to offer the best of both worlds but the price is often many multiples of the private option, unjustifiably so in my opinion.
Again, the biggest factor against private villas is lack of consistency - you really don't know what you're headed for. I have stayed at many a private villa across Bali, Phuket and Koh Samui and it's a very mixed field which is also usually reflected with price. There's a reason many 3-8 bedroom villas in Bali cost what the Aman charges for 1 night for a 1-bedroom "suite", sans pool. There are also villas across all three that are more in a price-line with the Amans.

The other key factor for many is lack of facilities. Villas can be far too isolated in terms of people, they're in their own little bubble and you're stuck with those you know, both good and bad - this can also hurt F&B options in terms of what the chef is capable of.
Some/many villas don't have service staff overnight (some do of course). Can you get that meal at 4am?

But in the end, it really does depend on what the end user is after. Everyone is different - and while even on FlyerTalk (luxury hotel forum) everyone is quite different, I'd say it's a much more homogenous group than comparing across TripAdvisor, Trivago, Booking.com, Hotels.com etc or even comparing the average T+L or Conde Nast Traveler reader with a Flyertalk Luxury Hotel forum member.

Most resorts are also not Amans (or its ilk). When you say resort, I think you're imagining something more similar to a Ritz-Carlton Nusa Dua or a Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay Bali vs an Aman or its ilk.

Again, it's not for everyone - everyone's personal preferences are different. I know of many who prefer a Ritz-Carlton Nusa Dua to an Aman, which isn't to say they are wrong, it's just what they prefer.

Similarly, I'm sure there are many who prefer private villas to an Aman resort, or prefer AirBnB to "5-star hotels" or prefer backpacking and staying in hostels to staying at any hotel/paying more than USD 10/night.
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Last edited by chinmoylad; May 15, 18 at 1:57 am
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Old May 15, 18, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Thanks for the RC Bali Cliff Villa review! Sounds like a fabulous stay. So glad you enjoyed yourselves.


I think some of the challenge here for Bali (and so many other locations with good luxury options) is that it actually isn’t a zero sum game—and yet too many feel it must or should be. It’s possible that there are many good luxury options that can be more comparable than people might believe. Yet that seems to surprise so many or be impossible for so many to believe...or even consider.

In most places, including Bali, there are a myriad of wonderful luxury options, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. There isn’t a best place. There may be a best place for each of us, but not necessarily for everyone at large. Usually, though, there isn’t a best place for anyone—there really are several best places that equally can suit us based on our preferences for the moment. So we pick the one that seems best at the time based on whatever criteria matter most to us at that time and run with it.

I deal with this issue with college counseling all the time. Just because Harvard and Stanford and Yale are more selective and more prestigious to most doesn’t mean they deliver a better educational experience or even have the best students. There are many more colleges and universities that can deliver just as well if not better, and there are many more colleges and universities that can have students as bright based on whatever metric you prefer to use (though most metrics are, not surprisingly, flawed—just like hotel rankings and ratings!). The same can be just as true with luxury hotels, my friends.

So the Ritz Carlton Bali shouldn’t surprise anyone (as much as it seems to in this Luxury Forum!) as a possible place to have an outstanding luxury holiday to the highest standard—especially when staying in one of its nicest level of accommodation. It may not be to everyone’s liking or preference, but then it’s pretty rare for that to not be the case!

Some people are perhaps considering the RC Bali only from the perspective of its entry level of lower category accommodations. Thats a mistake.

Aman is fantastic in Indonesia, but it’s not even close to being the only luxury game in Bali now—and it hasn’t been for quite some time. It’s not even necessarily the best luxury game in Bali now, especially after recent takeovers and brand and leadership changes. So why are so many surprised when another luxury hotel that’s bigger can deliver, too?

Well said!

I couldn't have said it better. I personally have experienced this in recent years. And to the OP, thank you for the review...I thought the pictures look wonderful. I plan on going back to Bali very soon and likely split my time at several places.
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Last edited by mumum17; May 15, 18 at 9:47 am
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Old May 15, 18, 6:39 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post
I will be shocked if the service is anywhere close to what I experienced at Villa Bulung Daya.
The only problem is that it gets booked up all the time now. Would love to return.

(My review for those who are interested: Villa Bulung Daya)
So it turns out some of my friends have stayed in this villa. Your photos are far superior to theirs on AirBnB!
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Old Jun 24, 18, 11:54 am
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Mohamed, thanks for that amazing review. I was originally going to stay at the Westin Resort Nusa Dua, but after reading your review, I have decided to change my stay from the Westin to the Ritz, which will be on points. The club lounge seems spectacular and I can't wait to utilize it. With such a huge property, what's the security protocol when entering and exiting the property?
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