Having been to the Island of the Gods on multiple occasion, I've always enjoyed the sense of calm in Nusa Dua and as such, I have not actually strayed away from the comforts of a luxury resort. As I have previously spent my birthdays in Conrad Bali, I wanted to spend it somewhere else this year and where else to do this other than The St. Regis Bali Resort? This ultra-luxurious property has the most amazing villas, possibly the most delicious (and beautiful) food but most importantly, the best service on the island.
One of the many perks you will enjoy while you stay at The St. Regis Bali Resort is that the experience starts from the moment you depart from the airport. All eligible reservations at this property will benefit from a private airport transfer from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Since I was coming from the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, the hotel has kindly arranged for transport to pick me up from the other property instead. As you enter the property, you will notice the beautiful compounds and the exclusivity that the resort brings you.
As you step out of the car, you will be greeted by some of the most friendly hotel staffs who are genuine and sincere. A much-needed welcome drink and towel will be provided as your check-in is being processed. During my visit to The St. Regis Bali Resort, I stayed in one of the beautifully-appointed Gardenia Villa (lead-in Villa for the property). As mentioned previously, there are no standard rooms in this property and the most affordable lead-in "room-type" is actually the St. Regis Suite.
After being chauffeured to my Gardenia Villa by a private driver on a buggy, I was greeted with the most amazing space ever. While I have been to my fair share of luxury hotels and resorts, the villas here at The St. Regis Bali Resort is on a league of its own. I was also given a tour of the incredible villa before the butler offered to unpack my luggage (which I politely declined) - I ended up asking for some iced latte instead.
Offering a sanctuary of absolute privacy that includes expansive indoor and outdoor living spaces, the Gardenia Villa offers 411 sqm of private space. As you enter your very own private villa, you will notice the amazing sense of space it brings you. As you look past the dining area, you will find a huge living space where you can watch enjoy some TV (truth to be told, I did not even on the TV once during my stay) but more importantly, you will look out to your very own private pool that comes complete with a rustic-looking bale bengong.
It is absolutely essential for me to show you how inviting the private pool and the bale bengong looks before even going into details on what the villa and resort stay offers. This extensive living space (that belongs to you for the duration of your stay) is such a luxury. While it was pretty warm during the period I visited, I found myself sitting on the bale bengong with a book (despite being terribly afraid of the heat). Nothing screams pleasure like jumping into your very own private pool to cool down after all.
There are three points of exit from the villa that enables you to access the outdoor living space in your villa - the living room itself offers two, and the bedroom (shown later) offers one. Do remember to leave at least one of them unlocked before heading out because as beautiful as it is outside, you do not want to get locked out. The Gardenia Villa has a motorised 42-inch flat screen LCD TV in the living room. This means that you can easily hide the TV with the push of a button - perfect for those who wish to stray away from the comforts of the modern world. For the rest of us, there is also a DVD Player and a Bose surround sound system. Also, complimentary high-speed WiFi is provided throughout the property for your convenience.
The Gardenia Villa at The St. Regis Bali Resort also comes complete with a guest bathroom (or a powder room) that is somewhat connected to the living room. This is perfect if you have guests visiting (although I do wonder why) or if you simply wish to separate your bathrooms for different functions - the main one is amazing so hold on for that! Complimentary drinking water in fancy glass bottles will also be provided and replenished on a daily basis.
There is also a small kitchen in the Gardenia Villa where you will find a selection of TWG Teas and Nespresso capsules (as well as the machine, of course!). The good news is that the coffee pods are actually complimentary here - unlike a certain other resort in Bali that I have written about recently. The door at the end of the kitchen leads to the private butler's quarters which I guess doubles as a room for your helper (if you are traveling with one).
The luxurious bedroom (which offers direct access to the outdooor area too) comes with the signature St. Regis bed, a large flat screen TV (which I've found no time to use) and plenty of living space. In fact, if you are observant enough, you would have noticed that the bedroom looks into the main bathroom - you may choose to close this if you find it a little creepy.
The bathroom of the Gardenia Villa has to be my favourite part of the villa stay. Not only is it beautiful, it is also incredible spacious and luxurious. In fact, if you notice, you can even access the bathroom from the outside in case you wish to wash down after a swim and you do not wish to make the entire villa's floor wet - ingenious! The massive tub is also perfect for soaking - if you are traveling with your loved one, you will appreciate how much space you actually have inside this tub!
Bath amenities are provided by the Remède Spa and unlike the usual 40ml bottles that you find in lead-in rooms, you will be getting them in a more generous bottle size (70ml). In fact, I actually received something that I do not usually get from the other St. Regis - an Alchemy Advanced Cleansing Soufflè (essentially a face wash).
As part of my welcome amenities, I received a generous platter of fruits, some cookies and a box of delicious macarons. I also received an extremely thoughtful handwritten note from my favourite person at the St. Regis Singapore - thank you! I think one of the best things about a strong hotel loyalty program and one with huge international presence is the ability to do things like that.
Esteemed guests at The St. Regis Bali Resort will enjoy access to the private beach. You will not hear or spot any water sports going on in the sea - all you will see during your time at the resorts is the endless Indian Ocean. I really love how peaceful it was during my time there and coming from the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort which got pretty loud in the afternoon (partly due to Nikki Beach), this was a much welcomed change.
No matter how beautiful your villa or suite actually is, no visit to The St. Regis Bali Resort is complete without spending an afternoon by the beach. If you have SPG Starpoints to burn, you can literally order drinks (and food) and pay for them using Starpoints - no cash transaction at all!
One of the biggest challenges I have faced at The St. Regis Bali Resort is deciding where to spend my time at. I mean, there entire property looks amazing and I want to be everywhere at once. Since I was only spending less than 30 hours at this property, I had to make every second count - even then I needed to devote a solid 7 hour to the bed itself. The swimming pool at The St. Regis Bali Resort is one of the most impressive looking one I have been to in Nusa Dua - I love the cascading steps and the space to laze around with a book (and a glass of wine - strictly optional).
Kayuputi is The St. Regis Bali Resort's fine dining restaurant and it offers the most superior beachfront dining experience. Firstly, the location is absolutely beautiful - blue skies, a peaceful beach, endless view of the Indian Ocean and a calming swimming pool that separates the restaurant from the beach. Secondly, the level of service here is impeccable - you know what they say about Balinese hospitality but imagine that somehow being turned up by a few notches. Thirdly (and probably the most important factor of all), the food is stunning - fresh ingredients cooked to perfection and then masterfully executed to create winning dishes that look exquisite and infinitely appealing. I cannot seem to stress on how beautiful this place is and how much I appreciate the food here so I am going to save my dining experience at Kayuputi for a separate post in order to do it justice - one that it truly deserves.
Every evening before sunset, there is a Fire Dance Ritual which marks the transition from day into night. This dance ritual includes fire acts, drums and champagne (optional, of course). My personal advice? Head up to the King Cole Bar for Champagne Hour (or that delicious piña colada). You may choose to pay for your beverages using your Starpoints as well here but I personally prefer to use them some other way.
The evening fire ritual lasts for approximately twenty to thirty minutes so you will have time for more than one drink. If you like, you may also watch the performance from the Grand Staircase but you might miss out on what is happening on the second level where a torch is used to bring light to the rest of the property. From what I understand, the performances are pretty similar on a day to day basis so if you are staying here for a month (lucky you!), you might not want to watch this everyday.
The Swimming Pool at The St. Regis Bali Resort is also incredibly romantic at night and there is this sense of calm when you are in it. I could not resist taking a dip since it was also empty and I had it all to myself.
I really enjoyed spending some time on the beach at night too. Even though it was pitch dark out there, the amazing feeling from the salty sea breeze against my skin and the sound from the waves is truly something everyone should experience at least once. In case you are wondering why the photo is so bright, I think it was captured using a shutter speed of 10 seconds - I assure you it's super dark out there.
When I got back to the Gardenia Villa, it was already turned down and I actually found this really adorable weather forecast by the bed. Even though it was written in Fahrenheit and I had to convert it to Celcius (because well you know, the rest of the world uses that instead), I thought that it was a nice gesture and charming in some way. After a good long soak in the tub, I decided to turn in for the night and get up early the next day to make the most out of my stay.
There is always the option of getting your butler to drive over in a buggy to pick you up but since it was way too early in the morning for me to be making conversations, I've decided to take a slow and leisurely walk down to Boneka for breakfast. Instead of the usual buffet breakfast that most of us are used to, Boneka offers a personalised dining experience right from the moment you step foot it in (there is also a buffet centre counter!).
I started off with a signature St. Regis Iced Tea and an Egg Nouvelle which consists of a lobster ragout-filled egg shell with parsley cream and finally topped with fresh salmon roe. Do note that these orders are on top of your regular egg varieties (e.g. scrambled, poached and omelette) and they are all inclusive in your breakfast rate so go forth and enjoy.
The River Lobster Egg Omelette has to be the delicious omelette I have ever eaten in my whole life. Even though the Epicurean Omelette at The St. Regis Singapore was good, this was at least twenty times better. Served on a hot metal dish with a delicious homemade lobster bisque, the lobster omelette was also served with generous chunks of flesh from the lobster tail. It was so good I ended up getting seconds (since I did not wish to live a lifetime of regrets). The arugula also provided some pepperiness to the dish which I loved.
I headed back to the Gardenia Villa after breakfast for a final dip in the pool and some sun before washing up for lunch at Kayuputi (to be covered in a separate post). For those of you that do not know, I was actually stranded in Bali due to the volcanic ash in 2015 after I left the resort. In fact, we only found out about the situation when we were on the flight waiting for takeoff. If I had known earlier, I would have made plans to stay for an additional night.
The St. Regis Bali Resort has been nothing short of amazing and the experience starts from the moment you land at the airport. I love everything about this property (except the huge price tag that comes with it) and I simply cannot wait to re-visit this place. It is worth noting that The St. Regis Bali Resort has limited SPG Participation and since there are no standard rooms at the resort (only suites and villas), standard Starpoint Award reservations must be booked at a higher Starpoint rate through the local customer contact center. Also, according to the property, upgrades for Starwood Preferred Guest members do not apply so be sure to book the suite (or villa) type you want.