There are more than 15 direct flights from Singapore to Bali each day but my favourite flight has got to be SQ942 which is currently operated by the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner (which has an amazing Regional Business Class product!). This flight leaves at a respectable time (where you do not actually have to get up super early) and gets in to Bali slightly before lunchtime if there are no significant delays. If you prefer to fly in the night before, KLM operates a really decent Business Class product too on their 777-300ER which sometimes go for just S$500.
It goes without saying that flying in Business Class has its perks (especially when you are paying just 17,500 KrisFlyer miles for the flight) - you get to your destination well-rested, fully-hydrated (unless you have been chugging Champagne) and more importantly, with a full belly. Your checked baggage also comes on the belt before everyone else's and that makes all the difference when you are arriving into a busy airport like the Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS). Once I have collected my checked baggage, I walked out of the main exit to find the driver from InterContinental Bali Resort waiting for me. Now if you have been following me on Instagram, you would have known that I am no stranger to Bali - this was my fifth visit this year - but honestly, I have not really strayed outside of Nusa Dua. I really like the Conrad Bali since it offers great value in my opinion, and of course The St. Regis Bali Resort if I feel like splurging. With all that being said, I was truly excited to check out the InterContinental Bali Resort after hearing so much about it so when I found out that the hotel has only quite recently gone through a massive refurbishment phase, I decided that it was the right time to check out one of the newly-renovated Premium Duplex Suites.
The drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) to InterContinental Bali Resort did not take too long - even with a bit of traffic, it took only about 20 minutes. As soon as I got in the property, my bags were carefully taken by one the staff and I was ushered to a check-in area in the main lobby where a cold towel as well as a glass of welcome drink was served. I was advised that the room was not yet ready as they were making some finishing touches but after approximately 10 minutes, I was escorted to my room - a brand new Premium Club InterContinental Duplex Suite that comes complete with Club InterContinental benefits (that you should definitely get if you are planning on staying in but I will share more about this later).
Located on the lower level of the Premium Club InterContinental Duplex Suite is the spacious living room which comes with access to a private balcony as well as a full bathroom. There is plenty of space to run around here in the living room (assuming you are traveling with children) and there is a TV here that comes with a good selection of cable and satellite channels. At the end of the living room is a balcony that overlooks tropical gardens at the end for you to soak up the tropical weather and enjoy the ocean breeze.
There is plenty of space to sit and laze around here in the living room of the Premium Club InterContinental Duplex Suite. Behind the sofa is a small pantry area where you will find the minibar as well as a coffee machine where you will be able to enjoy proper espressos during the day. Otherwise, your suite also comes with access to the Club InterContinental Lounge which serves great coffee (and free for you too) throughout the day.
I personally really like the wallpaper here in the living room and that shade of blue reflects the great weather as well as ocean that you have direct access to from the property. There is also a dining area located towards the back of the living room (near the balcony) that can easily sit four adults.
My welcome amenities for this stay included a bowl of fresh tropical fruits as well as some chocolate pralines on the side. As an InterContinental Ambassador member, I was also given 400 welcome bonus points for this stay. Obviously 400 IHG Rewards Club points are worth nothing and there is really nothing much you can do with them - a room night during PointBreaks requires 5,000 points - but it is still a nice gesture. I also received a handwritten note to welcome me to the InterContinental Bali Resort which is always a nice touch.
The private balcony of the Premium Club InterContinental Duplex Suite is fairly basic - it overlooks lush gardens and I do not believe any one of these suites actually overlook the ocean but I may be wrong. I also felt that the wall in the balcony was too high for my liking but since these suites are meant to cater towards families with children, I can see why this was left that way.
Even though it is not uncommon to find a powder room (half bathroom) attached to the living room of luxury suites here in Bali, there are actually two full bathrooms here in the Premium Club InterContinental Duplex Suite - one attached to the bathroom on the mezzanine level and one actually attached to the living room on the lower level. As you can see from the photo above, the bathroom comes with a separate shower area, a toilet as well as a sink so if your kids have spent the day at the beach and you would like to wash off the sand before they run around the duplex suite, this is the best place to rinse them down (i.e. have them take a shower).
The stairs in the duplex suite is probably my favourite aspect of the entire suite - there is some storage space located under the stairs but I did not actually use it during my stay (since I was only there for a night).
The open-plan master bedroom is located up the stairs on the mezzanine level and it features a king-size bed. If you are worried about your kids climbing down the stairs in the middle of the night or you simply want to have a peace of mind, there is a small door that you can close (and lock) to prevent bad things from happening without your care.
The bedroom comes complete with a ceiling fan and it is perfect for travellers who wish to enjoy the tropical breeze instead of air-conditioning. Since I grew up and have lived in Asia for most of my life, I personally prefer having the air-conditioning switched on but hey, different strokes for different folks. Even though the InterContinental Bali Resort was built over 20 years ago, the air-conditioning works great and cooling the room to the right temperature did not take too long - they must have upgraded this when they refurbished these suites.
For those of you traveling with plenty of gadgets, there are various power outlets located throughout the suite for you to charge your devices. In fact, there is even a universal power outlet right next to the bed for you to keep your devices juiced and ready to go. The light switches have also been replaced with much more modern-looking ones.
Travellers who stay in the Premium Club InterContinental Duplex Suite will also find a walk-in wardrobe that sits between the open-plan master bedroom and the bathroom - there is a plenty of space here for you to store your belongings so you can easily stay here for a week or more. This is also where you will find the safe, bathroom slippers as well as an iron and ironing board.
The full bathroom located on the upper level comes complete with a deep-soaking bathtub, a separate shower area and a toilet. Similar to the bathroom located on the lower level, there is only one sink here which I thought was quite unusual since there was definitely space to fit one more in (I guess they just decided to keep the old fixtures perhaps).
There is a small dressing area located towards the back of the bathroom which I found to be slightly odd since it is dark and there are plenty of other spaces to get dressed.
Hotel guests staying in a Premium Club InterContinental Duplex Suite will have access to the exclusive Club InterContinental Lounge which I really recommend. It is worth noting that you can also book the duplex suite without club access but the perks that you get as a club guest are definitely worth the money. Getting Club InterContinental benefits means getting your airport transfers sorted - even though the property is not too far away from the airport, being whisked away in style right after you collect your luggage is always a great experience. The Club InterContinental Lounge here is beautiful and honestly, it could just be one of the prettiest ones that I have ever been to in Bali - the lounge is open all-day and you will get to enjoy light refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages throughout (there is also a pretty extensive TWG tea menu if that is your kind of thing).
Afternoon Tea is served from 2:00PM to 4:00PM daily here and I managed to enjoy the three-tier stand alongside some really good coffee (which I needed since I had to get up early for my flight from Singapore to Bali). There was a good selection of both sweets and savouries but I liked the latter better.
Since I did not plan much for that day, I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon in the beautiful Club InterContinental Lounge (I was also trying to buy myself an Apple Watch since pre-orders went live on that day). Evening cocktails and canapes are served from 5:00PM to 7:00PM daily in the lounge but guests can also enjoy their drinks at the Club Pool Bay View. Even though there is already an outdoor seating area in the lounge, I highly recommend spending the first hour in the club lounge before moving poolside for sunset.
Evening canapes that are served in the lounge are beautifully plated and even though they are probably insufficient for dinner. As far as I remember, the canapes served by the poolside are different but either way, you will get to enjoy a small selection of food. In any case, you get to enjoy preferential seating at every restaurant in the resort upon making reservation since you are a club guest.
I also tried a local spirit known as 'arak' during my visit and apparently the locals believe that Rangda (a local witch demon) will pay you a visit in your dreams if you have too much of it - thankfully, I did not have any weird dreams but that could only mean that I did not drink enough.
The Club Pool at the InterContinental Bali Resort is supposedly accessible to club guests only so you can expect it to be quieter and a lot more private than the regular swimming pool which may be crowded in the day. There is also something calming about being able to enjoy your cocktails by the pool while overlooking the sunset from a distance. If you want the best seats in house, opt for the Sunset Beach Bar & Grill which is located on the seafront (I do believe that the drinks are also included here from 5:00PM to 7:00PM but it is best to check with the staff upon check-in).
There is something about sunsets in Bali and the view from Jimbaran Bay is what you would expect - orange skies, the cool ocean breeze and the gentle sound of waves crashing against the shore. Honestly, even though I have been to Bali five times this year, I have not gotten sick of it yet.
Since I was still feeling hungry after spending some time in the lounge and by the pool, I decided to check out the teppanyaki restaurant in the hotel - KO Japanese Restaurant. The experience was great and definitely not something that I was expecting in a beach resort in Bali. I will probably write about that experience another time but I was so stuffed by the time I got back to my room.
Club InterContinental guests have the option of having breakfast across five different venues so you will probably not be bored even if you are staying here for a prolonged period of time:
Club InterContinental Lounge (A la Carte)
Club Pool Deck (A la Carte)
Sunset Beach Bar & Grill (A la Carte)
Taman Gita (Buffet)
Jimbara Gardens (Buffet)
Since I was planning to leave the property before lunch and was expecting travel to take at least an hour, I wanted to make sure that I had a full breakfast before I left. As such, I decided to check out the newly-refurbished Taman Gita restaurant which is located closest to the property's main lobby. Both indoors as well as outdoor seats are available and as you would imagine, the ones located outside are the most popular (so make sure you try to get there before 8:30AM if you want a good table). The food selection is great and the quality of coffee is equally good (espresso-based coffee is provided upon request).
What really stood out for me personally is the noodle station - phenomenal quality that I would gladly pay for in a restaurant! These made-to-order dishes can be ordered and they will be delivered to your table once they are ready - just make sure to bring along one of the table number tags before you leave.
If you like desserts, you would be glad to know that there is a wide selection of sweets here even during breakfast. I went for the freshly-made pancakes but there was plenty more to choose from.
As a Club InterContinental guest, my reservation came with return airport transfer but since I was traveling to Uluwatu instead of the airport, The Platinum Concierge from my Platinum Card actually managed to negotiate for a lower transfer rate. The InterContinental Bali Resort is probably one of the most impressive hotels that I have ever stayed in in Bali but more importantly, it is hands-down the best InterContinental property that I have ever stayed in. The Club InterContinental experience makes all the difference so if you are planning on staying in or if you wish to celebrate an important occassion (e.g. anniversary), I simply cannot recommend this place (with club access) highly enough. The suite that I have stayed in was beautifully-furnished, the service is great and the F&B offering is truly impressive.