Be pampered within an inch of your life at the St Regis Bali Resort
With its opening in early 2009, this all suite hotel on the secluded barrier island of Nusa Dua changed the face of luxury in Bali. Typically I prefer a more modern design hotel…something spare and minimalist. Some of my favorites being The Library in Koh Samui, Thailand or The Delano in Miami’s South Beach area. But somehow the plush, Balinese meets Upper East Side Manhattan environment of the St Regis Resort Bali made me reconsider my usual defaults. Not only was I staying in a massive resort (usually a no go for me), but I was also staying in the secluded, gated, high-end tourist area of Nusa Dua (usually I prefer the quirky vibe of Ubud) – and I was LOVING it. I didn’t want to leave and let me tell you why…
From beginning to end, the experience was pure pampering. In fact the experience actually begins at the airport…the hotel met us at the airport and while we waited in a lounge sipping tropical cocktails, our visas on arrival were processed. No standing in lines with fellow weary tourists for us! We instead revived ourselves with cool lemongrass scented towels and a snack of fresh mango and papaya. Then upon arrival at the hotel we were shepherded into the King Cole Bar…god forbid we would have to loiter at a check in desk – the horror. Instead we sipped champagne while our passports were discreetly processed and billing arrangements were made.
Subsequently we were whisked away to our suite. The St Regis Bali is all suites as well as lagoon houses. Our suite overlooked a rather tropical looking wooded area further adding to the sense of island seclusion. The room was unusually large with a lovely balcony on which to take breakfast or cocktails or simply lounge and read. In fact while the on site restaurant Boneka presents a ridiculously lavish buffet at breakfast, we often preferred to stay in the room and have it served in our PJs. This is a particularly nice touch….room rates include breakfast and if you feel lazy like we did you can take a buffet sampler in your room for no extra charge.
But don’t completely miss out on Boneka….the breakfast buffet is superb in quality and abundant selection with the additional treat of servers bringing out special items periodically from the kitchen that are fresh creations prepared individually – steaming mini bites of stuffed crepes with mango salsa and the like. And speaking of food, Paul swears one of the best burgers he has enjoyed in Asia was at the Gourmand Deli at the resort. It was in fact a juicy morsel of ground beef, grilled to perfection on a toasted bun (I don’t know why more people don’t toast the bun – such a simple way to elevate the humble burger). The Gourmand Deli will also put together a picnic basket for the beach if you like.
If you are starting to show the strain from the abundant gourmet foods, high thread count linens and highly attentive service, then you can get away from it all in the Remede Spa at the St Regis Resort Bali. If I am really honest, it is ridiculously expensive compared to the $5-10 massage you could get in a more local place, but my goodness they come close to justifying the extravagance with the serene environment, flourishes of luxury like very elegant tea (or juice or champagne) presentations before and after treatments, access to complimentary sauna and steam after treatments, and more.
While I chose to spa, Paul chose to surf. And the hotel was super helpful in providing an English speaking driver to take Paul to the surf area of Kuta in Bali. While he surfed, I walked on the beach and napped by the pool, swimming up to the bar for the occasional local Bintang beer (one of my favorite Southeast Asian beers).
And so it went…lavish breakfasts, surfing, napping, massages, lazy pool time, cocktails and watching the fire dances on premises at sunset…and then more of the same on the following day. Vacation monotony has never been so thrillingly sublime.
At the end of the day, I would say the greatest asset of the St Regis may also be its flaw – depending on your point of view. The utter seclusion of the resort for me is not typically what I would seek out – I tend to be a bit more adventurous and as there is so much to see in Bali, Nusa Dua in general is not the most convenient hub for tourism. However, if you just want to disappear and get away from it all…or have a seriously romantic weekend…or if you have been to Bali a thousand times and are over the mountains of Ubud, the rice terraces and the volcano hikes, then the St Regis Resort in Bali might be just the thing for you. Personally, I cannot wait to get back.
St Regis Bali Resort
Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua
Bali, Indonesia 80363
Telephone: +62 361 8478 111