Having been to Bali numerous times, I have had the chance to try out several hotels in this island destination. First timers to Bali should take note that the island is large and with the traffic, it can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours to get between the tourist areas. Notably, the main resorts are located in Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Sanur, Kuta and Ubud, with the former 2 areas in the south of the airport and the latter all north of the airport. For this stay, I went to try out Hilton’s property in Bali. Having stayed at the Conrad, I chose the Hilton Resort at Nusa Dua and Hilton Garden Inn near the airport for the last night.
Bali used to have a Hilton Resort located in the Nusa Dua complex next to The Laguna, but that hotel is no longer a Hilton. Instead this Hilton Resort is located near the Mulia Resort and the Kempinski that is under construction beside it. The Hilton is also re-branded from the old Grand Nikko in December 2016, and thus it is not a brand new resort construction. Arriving at the hotel, the lobby is large and open-air like all Balinese resorts. In the morning arriving guests can immediately see the ocean from the lobby which is situated high up on a cliff.
What is great about checking in here though was guests are seated at the reception counter and while I was only travelling with a hand-carried luggage, the staff was eager to assist me with it. Once the front desk agent started check-in procedures, another member of the staff presented me with cold towels and a welcome drink. This service is usually standard in all the Balinese resorts I visited.
As I mentioned earlier, the resort comprises of the main building which has two wings extending out from the reception and lobby area in the centre at the top of the cliff. The other building is a separate cliff tower accessed via a bridge. The cliff tower has better views with easier access to the large resort pool and the beach, thus it is generally desirable to be assigned a room here. Rooms here are priced at a premium though Hilton members can be upgraded if they have the status and rooms are available.
Check-in took a while, before the agent found a room for me in the Cliff tower, and there was only a twin bedroom available with no suites available for upgrades. Considering I arrived at the hotel fairly late past dinner time, I had just wanted to get to the room quickly and found it a bit disappointing the procedure was slow. At least I was seated while the agent typed away and did the check-in for me.
Room No: 918 Category: Executive Twin Cliff Tower
All the rooms in the Cliff tower offer direct ocean views since all the rooms face one side towards the beach with the corridors leading to the rooms facing the cliff. My assigned room was in the corner and that means a slightly long walk from the elevators located in the middle of the building. Since the reception is located on the cliff, the rooms on the ‘Cliff’ tower are lower and guests take the elevator down to their rooms.
Inside the room was a basic layout with the bathroom located on the right side with a closet on the left.
Past the closet is the minibar with a countertop to hold the coffee and tea along with 2 bottles of mineral water as the tap water in Indonesia is not safe for consumption.
The bathroom itself was large and spacious with a walk-in shower and a toilet on the right side of the door and a bathtub on the left. While the bathroom might have been luxurious in this resort’s heyday, the countertop was worn and has been mended such that it looks like shabby. The hotel also did not seem to have renovated the rooms of this old resort.
Due to the conditions of the bathtub, I did not use it either. Instead I made use of the rain shower in the stall. Bath amenities here was a quirky mix of the Peter Thomas Roth brand used by Hilton and a local brand named ‘Archive’.
The bedroom is occupied by 2 twin sized beds that makes this room suitable for 2 people at most.
Beside the beds, there is a sofa for 2 person with a coffee table and across from it is a work desk with 2 armchairs. The space here is adequate for guests to invite friends over to their room as there is a sliding door that opens out to a balcony next to the sofa.
A flatscreen TV sits on the console beside the desk but it was virtually unusable since they were old and has a pixelated display.
On the work desk, there was a welcome letter and a plate filled with some snacks. However as I arrived late and the snack plate was not covered, the snacks were no longer fresh. In tropical countries, it is not recommended to leave such snacks lying out in the open as the humid weather causes snacks to lose its crunch. Or worse, it could invite ants and insects as I had that happen more than a few times in other resorts.
On the night of my arrival, there was a wedding party outside which meant all the Cliff tower rooms can get noisy as it overlooks the beachside lawn, the pool and the ocean. When there is no party, the sound of the waves lapping is relaxing, and the view is pretty from these ocean facing rooms!
As a Hilton Diamond member, I was able to access the Executive Lounge which is located on the Cliff Tower building. However accessing the lounge requires navigating through some stairs. It was a bit like a maze trying to get to the lounge which has a private and quiet pool for guests seeking some solitude.
I did not manage to have any evening snacks here but visited the lounge at night where there was still some fruits. The staff even made for me a glass of Ice Tea since I was the only guest.
On top of fruits there was some cookies and nuts that made for a nice pre-bedtime snack.
In the morning, Hilton Diamond members could either have breakfast at the restaurant or at the lounge. As the main restaurant was crowded and noisy, I found the lounge to serve my needs just nice. The selection in the restaurant was better but about 70% of the food was served in the lounge as well. Continental selections like cold cuts, cheese and granola was present near the entrance to the lounge.
There was assorted vegetables for a do-it-yourself salad with plenty of condiments to choose from.
In the corner, there was assorted bread and pastries with various toppings and preserves.
Next to the bread and toast, there was an array of cooked food like fried rice and mantou (fried buns)
On the same buffet table, crispy pork bacon was served. And the buffet area has a section for guests to make their own noodles. Assorted toppings like dumplings and bakso (meatballs) are found in bowls with a big pot of hot soup next to it. There was additional toppings of chilli, green onions, crackers and eggs to make a complete Indonesian noodle dish.
And to end the buffet, there was sliced fruits with individually packed yogurts. For an Executive Lounge, I enjoyed dining here since there was less people and the presentation of the dishes were clear with most of the selections that I need. Guests could also request for eggs made to their preference in the lounge so that pretty much settles a hotel breakfast for me.
With the lounge having a private pool just outside, it is easy for guests to relax by the pool after breakfast. Or they could even have breakfast by the deck which is open-air as opposed to the lounge which is air-conditioned.
The resort has a decent fitness centre but the space was a bit dark and I would not exactly consider working out here a joy.
Like every resort, a spa is mandatory and it is branded as Mandara Spa, with treatment rooms in a building close to the pool.
On the ground floor of the Cliff Tower, there are some rooms with direct pool access. Though these rooms would get noisy in the morning as there was some maintenance workers cleaning the pool when I passed by after breakfast.
As a large resort, there was water slides and an artificial lagoon in the landscaped pool. This made the larger pool the venue to be at for families on holiday!
Other facilities in the resort includes a well-stocked gift shop that sells batik clothing and accessories and assorted souvenirs along with beach essentials.
The Hilton in Bali is not exactly near any other restaurants, and is more like a self-enclosed resort. This meant that guests could choose from one of the 4 restaurants for lunch or dinner if they are spending their time within the resort. They include the Brasserie which is also the venue for the breakfast buffet, Paon Balinese and Indonesian restaurant, the Shore Restaurant located in the pool area and Shiki Japanese Restaurant. All the restaurants are located around the lobby except for the Shore which is closer to the Cliff Tower.
As a large resort, expect plenty to do inside the resort with the public spaces and the gardens being well maintained compared to the state of the room. One of the best feature here is the view and there is an observatory accessible only via several flight of stairs that provides a vantage viewpoint. In fact I used it as a spot to fly my drone during my stay and got some nice footage!
The rate during my stay was around IDR 2.5 million (~$178) inclusive of taxes. Since I booked the hotel quite close to my stay, the prices was on the higher side with most dates showing a slightly lower price. At these prices, I do consider it average in terms of value. The older rooms with outdated furnishings meant I would rather stay in a newer property at these prices. Hilton loyalists are also better off paying a bit more to stay in the Conrad which is in a more upscale location. The resort’s main draw though is its cliff-side setting which provide for really nice views but until it receives an overhaul, I cannot recommend staying here when there is so many other beautiful resorts in Bali!