I planned an impromptu trip to Bali last month just before the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer devaluation and booked myself onto the Singapore Airlines A330-300 Business Class cabin from Singapore to Denpasar. While I have been to Bali on multiple occasions, I have not wandered past the gates of Nusa Dua - there are plenty of beautiful resorts here and my top two favourite resorts are The St. Regis Bali Resort and the Conrad Bali. As such, I made it a point to stay in Seminyak this time - after all, I do have to check out those amazing restaurants and cafes that everyone has been talking about.
While the Singapore Airlines Regional Business Class has been criticised by many frequent travellers, I found it to be extremely comfortable for a short-haul journey. Sure there is no lie-flat flat but do you really need it one a 2.5 hour flight? One of the perks of flying Business is priority disembarkation and baggage - trust me that extra five minutes will help you beat that snaking queue that you do not wish to be a part of. After clearing immigration and customs in approximately 15 minutes, I found my driver (that I have arranged on Klook) standing outside of the gate with my name on a card. While taxis are aplenty here at the Ngurah Rai Airport, I have arranged for an airport transfer in Bali prior to the flight as I personally do not like any potential haggling that may happen. After approximately 20 minutes on the car, I found myself in the world-famous Seminyak and at the entrance of the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Anantara brand, it is basically a chain of luxury hotels and resorts that provide a glimpse into the modern character of each destination. It is also part of the Global Hotel Alliance network and therefore participate in the DISCOVERY Loyalty program. If you do follow me on Instagram, you would have noticed that many of my weekend stays are in DISCOVERY properties like the Pan Pacific Singapore and the Pan Pacific Orchard. The DISCOVERY Loyalty program has some of the best perks around in the industry and you are essentially looking at consistent double-upgrades, early check-in from 9:00AM and late check-out at 6:00PM amongst other tangible benefits.
Upon arriving at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, I was quickly ushered to a seating area where I had a view of the famous infinity pool and the Indian Ocean. I handed over my passport and credit card to one of the hotel staff and waited as they processed my check-in. One of the hotel staff actually thought my OCBC VOYAGE Card was a debit card but I managed to sort it out with a quick clarification. I got to the resort at approximately 1:00PM and since it was slightly ahead of check-in time, I was told that my room was not ready yet. One of the disadvantages of staying in a smaller (in terms of room inventory) property is that they do not always have vacant rooms to check people in early. With that being said, I was assigned the Anantara Ocean Suite (two categories higher than the Anantara Suite that I have booked for) and was handed over my room keys after approximately 15 minutes of waiting.
The Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort is an all-suites property and the lead-in category is actually the Anantara Suite. The Anantara Ocean Suite which I was assigned to is basically a two-category upgrade (one of the perks of being a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black Member) but honestly the main difference between the first three categories is the view (the other one has direct pool-access which is perfect for those traveling with children). With the proliferation of luxury hotels and resorts in Seminyak, there aren't many properties that have a beachfront access - the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort is one of the rare few hotels to enjoy this privilege.
Welcome drinks and amenities were delivered to my room upon checking-in (strange since I would have imagined this to be more relevant when I have first arrived at the property). In case you were wondering what those two white pill-like things are, they are not painkillers or happy drugs. You essentially dump them into the water and it will automatically transform into a wet tissue (magically to some but to most of us in Asia, we have seen this trick about a million times). I also received a plate of tropical fruits (rambutan to be exact) as a welcome amenity - they were not replaced or switched out during my stay though!
The Anantara Ocean Suite comes with 80sqm of living space - the interiors are in a contemporary Balinese style and the suite is rather open to create an even greater sense of space. Like most resorts, the flooring of the suite is not carpeted and the colour theme of the suite combines both brown and darker colours. While I did find most of the finishings and furnishings to be ample, you will definitely notice the signs of aging (especially around the corners) here. From my understanding, the suites here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort will be undergoing a refurbishment process this year to keep them current so I am definitely interested to see how that turns out (assuming it goes ahead).
A stay here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort does not come cheap but this private terrace (especially if you are in an Anantara Ocean Suite) is going to be worth every penny. I was located on Level 2 of the resort and therefore did not have a really great view of the ocean (suites located on higher levels have better views). With that being said, being on eye-level created that feeling of being in the moment each time you gazed out to the beautiful Indian Ocean. The daybed here in the terrace is also a great place to spend the afternoon (the sun does come in during certain times of the day so you can work on your tan and literature at the same time). More importantly, you will have access to an outdoor tub (with jets!) so you can really enjoy the ocean breeze, the view and a relaxing soak - what more do you need on a vacation?!
Right next to that tub, you will also find a Congklak which is apparently a traditional game in Indonesia that is typically played by kids - they pick up basic counting skills in the process (there is no such thing as playing a game for fun in Asia!).
Each one of the suites here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort comes with a satellite plasma TV that is complete with a DVD Player from Bose. The TV is connected to the Bose sound system so that means you do get that signature bass with everything you watch on TV (it feels awfully strange to watch the Cartoon Network with heavy bass). WiFi is also provided in the resort and you can easily access it using your room number and last name - I did not have much issues with it in terms of speed but I did find that the connection tends to drop-off every now and then (not that ideal for Netflix really!).
The living area of the Anantara Ocean Suite also takes up quite a fair bit of space - I have spent quite a fair bit of time here lying on the massive sofa (instead of sitting in front of the work desk) and working off my laptop during my stay. The room does come with a coffee machine but honestly, I was a little intimidated to use it - it looks awfully complicated and since I did get really good quality coffee during breakfast at the MoonLite Kitchen and Bar, I have decided to ignore it for the whole stay. Honestly, I wish they have included a Nespresso or illy machine instead - these are a lot easier to operate and maintain (in terms of cleanliness).
The bathroom is probably my second favourite area of the whole suite (the first being the private terrace, of course). The extremely modern bathroom comes with a massive rain shower (photo of this below), a huge terrazzo tub that is large enough for two adults, double sinks, a dressing area and a toilet.
Taking a soak in the massive Terrazzo Tub is something I look forward to at the end of each day. My only grievance is, that the hot water seems to run out fairly quickly. I cannot seem to pinpoint on the root of the problem exactly since this only seems to happen after I have utilised the tub outside but I do hope this get sorted out eventually with the upcoming renovations and refurbishments (no one wants to sit in a cold tub!).
The bathroom here in the Anantara Ocean Suite comes with a huge rainshower - I mean look at that! There is also a separate hand shower for those of you who prefer not to indulge.
Unfortunately, there are no branded bath amenities here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort despite having 'upgraded bathroom amenities'. All the bath amenities here are provided in giant bottles (that you cannot take with you) and while the green packaging is relatively more sustainable, I would have preferred them to be placed in pump dispensers for sanitary reasons. Sustainability is definitely commendable but at a high-end resort like this, I would have preferred branded amenities in smaller recyclable bottles.
Since my booking came inclusive of breakfast, I proceeded up to the MoonLite Kitchen and Bar for the much-awaited meal. I have heard great things about the breakfast here so I was quite interested in checking it out for myself. Firstly, the place itself is just beautiful and I guess that is just one of the many perks of having the beach directly in front of your resort. There is also the option of sitting in the sun (which most people avoided) or in the shade (I obviously opted for the latter).
You do get a sweeping view of the Indian Ocean here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort's MoonLite Kitchen and Bar and honestly, enjoying a really delicious cup of coffee and watching surfers do their thing is just about everything I can ask for in a morning. I do believe the The Penthouse Suite is located on the same level (and therefore enjoy the very same spectacular view) but I cannot be certain.
I started off with a selection of items from the buffet spread - if you have a room inclusive of the full breakfast experience, you will have access to an a la carte menu as well as the buffet spread (which is not just continental so three cheers to that!).
The Croque-Madame here at the MoonLite Kitchen and Bar is absolutely delicious - I would highly recommend this! You may also order more than one a la carte dish per diner. The staff will probably take your menu away after ordering but feel free to ask for it again if you are still hungry after finishing your 'mains'. There is also an extensive selection of fresh juices (including coconut water!), coffee and beverages that you may select from the menu.
If you are craving for something local, I cannot recommend the Nasi Goreng here enough. It is everything you would expect - the sweetness from the kecap manis is just right and the soy sauce with chili padi provides just the right amount of heat. Make sure you order some hash browns on the side too - they are generally deep-fried upon request so they come to you crispy and hot (not like the ones you typically find at the buffet spread).
I was told by travellers who have visited the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort to try the Anantara Benedict during breakfast. While it was nowhere near as impressive as the River Lobster Egg Omelette over at The St. Regis Bali Resort or even the Egg's Benedict over at the Conrad Tokyo, the version here comes with a choice of ham or beef, toasted sourdough, arugula, olive tapenade and truffle hollandaise.
Breakfast is highly recommended here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort. If your room reservation is not a breakfast-inclusive rate, you will be missing out on a lot of fantastic dishes here - of course, you may always choose to order them a la carte but it makes more economical sense to get a breakfast-inclusive rate if you are generally a hungry traveller.
During my stay here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, I made use of one of my Black Local Experiences from the DISCOVERY Loyalty program to enjoy a spa journey (click HERE to find out more about the loyalty program!) - the Island of Java Journey is a 150-minute treatment that includes a floral foot ritual, Javanese lulur beauty treatment (exfoliation), Balinese massage and a shower.
If you prefer to bring a friend along to enjoy the treatment, you may redeem a 90-minute treatment for two instead (which actually makes more economical sense too!).
The weather forecast for Bali was cloudy and rainy but by some stroke of luck, the sun was out every single day that I was there (with the exception of the final day when it started to drizzle). The Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort features a pretty impressive Infinity Pool that overlooks the Indian Ocean - they also have an extensive beverage (and food!) menu here but expect to pay S$12-15 for a drink here.
With only 60 suites (inclusive of one penthouse) here at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, the infinity pool does not get crowded much. The hotel is located in one of the most upmarket locations in Indonesia and there are plenty of restaurant options nearby in a 2km radius. I did notice that the use of Uber seems to be pretty much frowned upon by local taxi drivers - I have utilised the service but from what I understand, the location is pretty much controlled by the taxi market and therefore the use of Uber is not accepted (therefore, expect to walk to places and keep your phone in your pocket when you request for a ride).
As I have mentioned, this is the first time I am actually visiting Seminyak and while the difference between this place and Nusa Dua is apparent, I cannot quite decide which one I like better - Seminyak is filled with exciting restaurants and bars to check out and Nusa Dua offers perfect resorts that are quiet and great for staying in. If you are looking for a beachfront property, the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort is a great choice. If you are looking for something a little more centralised to the famous restaurants, the Alila Seminyak Bali (which I am definitely going to check out next) is literally next to places like the Potato Head Beach Club and Motel Mexicola.