Having been to Bali numerous times before, my usual location to stay is in Jimbaran or Nusa Dua. With the numerous SPG choices in Bali, I decided to stay one night in Kuta for my visit to Bali before switching to another area. One reason I did this was I was bringing a friend who is visiting Bali for the first time. The low rates at Kuta certainly helped to draw me to stay one night here as well since they are usually half the rate of comparable stays in Nusa Dua resorts.
I settled on Four Points by Sheraton in Kuta which is probably the cheapest of all SPG properties in Bali. Though I was also attracted by the outstanding architecture of this property. Located in a small alleyway, the location is very inconvenient for drivers since the road can only accommodate one car at any one time meaning cars take turns to go in and out. Its location is great for exploring the alleyways of Kuta and eating at cheap ‘warungs’ (Indonesian for food stalls) and affordable massage places. The downside is there is no direct beachfront access since it is one major block away from Kuta beach or about a 10 minute walk. Kuta Beach is a public beach and I believe no hotel or resort has direct access to the beach since a main road separates the beach from the beachfront properties. The SPG sister property Sheraton Kuta is located by the beach for those keen on the ocean views and is located nearby. There are even scheduled shuttles from the Four Points Kuta to the Sheraton which is located atop the Beachwalk Mall.
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel has a tall porch with vines growing from the side to give the concrete building a natural eco-friendly feel. A flight of stairs leads to the lobby on the second floor though there was also a ramp for easier transport of the luggage. The reception counters are located by the stairs in a open-air lobby with rattan lanterns hanging from the ceiling. It was definitely one of the most distinctive lobby designs and certainly a good fit with the neighbourhood of Kuta as it evokes a rustic feel.
Check-in took a while as there seems to be some problems with the system when we arrived though a staff member came and greeted us with cold towels and a pair of ice-pops as a welcome drink. A common feature in Bali, the ice-pops was one of the best version of a welcome drink ever and I strongly suggest other SPG resorts follow suit. Our passports or ID cards were requested for check-in as it was the law across Indonesia and after what seems like 15 minutes, we were told of an upgrade to a Suite. This was a surprise since I did not expect much from a Four Points. I did ask if we could have the lagoon access room for the upgrade too, but was told we might need to wait a bit longer for that, so it was off to the suite with the bellboy who escorted us up the elevator beside the lobby.
The elevator was not the most friendly to use since it has a touch-screen controls to call for the elevator. And this touch-screen panel does not work 100% all the time. It meant numerous re-tries and sometimes even asking the staff for help since it requires just a brief slight touch for it to work. Definitely a clunky mechanism that I suggest hotel operators skip in favour of the classic elevator buttons.
Room No: 669 Category: Leisure Suite
Our suite is classified as a Leisure suite located at the end of the building on the top-most floor. As my preferred Platinum upgrade was the ‘Best View’, it was probably why I was assigned such a suite farthest away from the elevator. This suite has a balcony that has partial views of the ocean so it was nice to be able to catch the sunset from our suite.
Along the way to the suite the bell boy introduced us to the swimming pool on the rooftop deck and the 2 separate pools in the ground floor. The second ground floor pool was also visible from our room. The room was not a real suite since it did not have proper partitioning between rooms. Rather it was an open plan Junior suite at best with a King size bed and a separate double-size sofa bed.
By the wall, there was a TV console with a rattan enclosed desk lamp. At the end beside the balcony doors there is a small desk with mirror that can be used as a dressing table with a stool. A small minibar fridge and cabinet with a kettle and bottled water is located just across from the desk.
The other side of the room features the bed, sofa, coffee table, a rocking chair and another table with a work chair. This certainly made it easier for 2 guests to work on their laptop if the need arises. Over in the bedroom, the suite was definitely stellar and comfortable enough for a long stay. It was even decorated in a nice palette of cream and white making it bright.
It was the bathroom that I was disappointed in. The dim lighting of the bathroom shows a bathtub and shower combination which is poor for a suite. Dark coloured shower curtains made the space very uncomfortable for long showers. Further inside the bathroom, the vanity counter was lacking as well and the toilet featured basic plumbing and none of the bidet accessories that is common in Indonesia. For a relatively new built, it was a disappointing bathroom and probably the sole reason to prevent me from returning.
Back at the room, there was a pair of slippers for guests to use and as an SPG member, I also got a small pack of cookies with a welcome note on the desk. Outside on the balcony there was a bamboo towel and clothes rack which is useful to dry your swimming gear in Bali. After all who comes to Bali and not spend some time swimming in the resort pool or the beach?
Onsite, the hotels have several places that sells food. There is a small sandwich shop called Wrapped beside the lobby, and it serves as a cafe of sorts. On the top floor by the 6th floor swimming pool, there is usually a vendor in the afternoon that sells snacks like hot dogs.
And at the ground floor, there is the hotel’s restaurant The Eatery where breakfast is served and the Best Brews open-air bar and pub that serves a grilled dinner. The Eatery is perhaps the nicest spot for a meal as it overlooks the lagoon swimming pool located in the central courtyard of the hotel.
I was able to get the 500 welcome points for SPG Platinum in addition to the free breakfast in the property which is served in The Eatery. Breakfast was served in a buffet style and I was able to get one of the prime seats beside the lagoon pool.
The selection in a Four Points was excellent especially considering the relatively low rate. There was the classic egg station where guests can order eggs to their liking with the sides of bacon, sausages, and grilled tomatoes.
Basically a nice range of food to get you a great American style breakfast. But the buffet also has some dishes like quiches and grilled sandwiches.
There are also Indonesian dishes like garlic fried rice, chicken and capay or mixed vegetable stew. And not to forget the kerupuk or crackers in the jar.
A station featuring soup or Soto Ayam was included as well with all the condiments.
Catering to the tourists, there was a Chinese station with a poster of Bruce Lee featuring congee with trimmings on the side. And the other side was an Indian menu choice with an Indian dancer poster featuring numerous curries, chutneys with fresh rotis.
Alternatively guests could help themselves to classic Continental offerings like toast and assorted Danish pastries. There was also yoghurt and cereal selections to keep everyone happy.
For the sweet end to the morning, there are waffles and pancakes along with fruit cocktails and an Indonesian sago dessert with banana.
A selection of fresh juices are offered along with healthy mixes of cucumber and lime that was refreshing. This was in addition to premium coffees like Mocha and Lattes. All of the selection makes this a great buffet to enjoy in the morning and I have to commend them for their freshly brewed espresso drinks too!
From what I can tell, it is certainly worth staying in one of those lagoon access rooms here compared to the suite if you do not need the space. Especially as I find the lagoon pool to be a draw when staying here.
For guests wanting to get a tan, the rooftop swimming pool is the best spot with plenty more deck chairs. The rooftop deck is also served with a bar and a nice dipping pool if the weather gets too hot. With the lagoon pool and the rooftop pool being the best pool, it is no wonder that the other pool below our suite remains mostly empty. Swimmers wanting a proper workout now know which pool they should head to.
My overall stay for a night was alright, though there was some minor problems like the dysfunctional touch-screen lift controls that was not nice to use. Then there was the tap water that tasted funny so I used the mineral water to brush my teeth. Fortunately it was easy to get refills of the bottled water.
In the end, for a rate of IDR 836,000++, the value I obtained was tremendous. From the complimentary buffet to the nice upgrade and the amenities that the hotel has, I really should not complain. The main problems I had with this property was the location which is nowhere hear nor there and Kuta might be a great place for college kids on Spring Break, but it is not exactly my kind of resort destination. Maybe if I wanted a place to stay for a few weeks to pick up surfing, this might be ideal. But for a relaxing holiday in Bali, I would head elsewhere that might be less crowded and offers more pleasant environs.