Trying to find a resort in Bali can prove difficult. We spent no less than 20 something evenings considering where to stay. We were so confused by the myriad of resorts boasting their own special propositions we ended up booking and cancelling and rebooking several times.
As you can see from our previous Bali reports, we’ve already experienced the quieter Manggis area to the North East of the island, with a stay in the beautiful Amankila sitting under the powerful and somewhat grumpy Mount Agung. However their price point far outweighs some of the resorts in the more popular areas like Ubud, Nusa Dua and Kuta.
For those looking for a more relaxed, authentic resort, we would recommend the Conrad Bali, whose impressive sweeping swimming pools line the oceanfront property, with commanding views across the Benoa Bay to neighbouring island Penida. Nestled in the heart of Nusa Dua, this pristine property is the antithesis from the bustling main road that is lined with authentic restaurants vying for your business (none better than Bumbu Bali 2, a quick 10 minute stroll to the north)
But its easy to never leave the confines of this 300+ room resort thanks to its 5-star service and myriad of amenities. While Nusa Dua is better known for its water-sports than its silky sand beaches, Conrad Bali makes up for this by a giant main swimming pool, supported by a lagoon pool that allows certain rooms to gain access direct from their patio.
We took a lagoon access pool room, which meant a refreshing morning dip was just a thought away, although peeling yourself away from the large King size bed, well appointed room, or large bathroom was a mission in itself.
But outside the room, were beautifully manicured gardens that made the hotel feel like it was built around the tall palm and frangipani trees, and there is a sense of water everywhere, from the fountains that pour in to the pool, to the main cascading waterfall at the entrance.
While the resort is built for conferences and weddings, the place couldn’t feel more intimate and by the end of the stay we knew many of the staff by name, and they knew our favourite order, first names, and even knew which was our favourite spot for catching the Balinese rays.
Of course, being a 5-star property there are all the perks you would expect including a kids club, Jiwa Spa, gym, Balinese salas on the beach front for hire, impressive wine-lists and exceptional service wherever you go.
Within the resort – which has been recently renovated – were fantastic food and drink outlets, from the super friendly pool bar to Eight Degrees South, their beach front restaurant, and Suku, the main all-day dining restaurant that looks on to the impressive fire column-clad main swimming pool.
But for the best meal, our recommendation is to go to Rin, the Japanese restaurant that looks on to the exclusive Conrad Suites pool. The hotel offers a private wing, including a penthouse and 4 pool villas which include other benefits including a members club which offers afternoon teas, evening cocktails and other benefits including 15% off food and beverage within the main hotel.
The truth is, we were lucky to select the Conrad, and within the plethora of hotel choices, we certainly felt like we found an authentic, luxury hotel that while even at full occupancy, at times, we felt like the only guests. For a fraction of the cost of the Aman properties on the island, this is certainly well worth a stay should you be looking for luxury on a budget.