“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine
The Intercontinental Bali Resort is a vast resort hotel nestled in Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s southern coast, located conveniently close to Ngurah Rai International Airport so a perfect place to stay if you arrive late at night as we did. One of the older properties in this area (opened in October 1993) and the first to open here in the bay. It has 417 rooms, suites and private villas spread across lush and immaculate manicured gardens and blends modern-day functionality with traditional Balinese culture, architecture and art.
My favourite thing about this hotel, apart from the unprecedented level of attentive service, was the beachfront location that was equally impressive both during the day and night. Large comfy well spaced loungers line the perimeter low-rise fence and their elevated position affords a great panorama, an ideal place to catch the renowned Bali sunsets. Drinks and beach snacks were ordered easily by raising a small flag, take it from me they serve a good latte. After dark the adjacent Sunset Beach Bar offers an array of tasty cocktails from its extensive menu, which we drunk whilst laying on double bed style covered cabanas while watching and listening to the pounding waves.
We dined in both the Jimbaran Garden (delicious fresh squeezed juices) and main restaurant for breakfast (good egg station). We also had two al fresco lunches at the Jimbaran Gardens restaurant that has stunning views across the beach and Jimbaran Bay beyond. This restaurant offered Balinese specialty dishes perfect for the other half also catering for me with fantastic pizzas cooked in its outdoor pizza oven. The resort offers a plethora of activities for those not happy to lounge around in the sun. We tried the Colours of Jimbaran cycle tour, the Rumah Desa Balinese cooking day trip organised by the hotel and the other half had a go at paddle boarding from the water sports centre on the beach. All the activities were good value for money and the cooking trip included the transport. There is a large spa offering lots of healing and wellness treatments but we didn’t use it due to our non-stop activities.
We stayed in a large Singaraja room which was located on the edge of the hotel on the second floor with easy access to the beach through the gardens. There was a huge comfy king-size bed, a large walk through wardrobe and the wifi was speedy in the room and wherever you were throughout the resort, even by the beach. I also liked the extra touch of a welcome fruit basket, chocolates, teddy bear, a cute Bali guide-book and beach bag. Whilst the room was very clean and spacious it could benefit from a bathroom refresh and the once white towels and robes had most definitely seen better days. The paper-thin walls and noise from surrounding rooms and from above was quite annoying late at night and early in the morning.
The gardens were a stunning mix of water features, lush greenery and colourful tropical blooms that gave a feeling of peace and tranquility. Easy access to the white sandy beach make this hotel a winner as you can escape higher resort prices with a short stroll along the beach to the open-air seafood cafes that Jimbaran Bay is famed for, where a great vibe is created courtesy of the mix of locals and tourists alike. The fresh catches of the day are affordable and the alcohol is well priced especially with the many Happy Hour cocktails and buckets of beers special offers. This a fab place to grab a chair, your beverage of choice and catch the amazing sunset and just people watch. As the day passes to evening hoards of local families frolic in the sea, local merchants peddle their wares of hot corn on the cob and beach trinkets while others set up impromptu goals and play football enticing a match between locals and tourist from all over the globe, the universal language of football was very evident. This really is the perfect place for families to relax and enjoy.
I was impressed that the hotel has a good Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in place incorporating both eco-friendly and socially conscious initiatives such as regular beach cleaning, a turtle rescue and release programme (sea turtles are still considered a delicacy in Bali), tree replanting as well as energy and water efficiency measures. They also sponsor and support the Bali Life Programme among others, which helps the island’s more disadvantaged especially the street kids and those living in poverty, giving them hope, dignity and purpose through education and projects. In the poorer regions children are only educated until the age of twelve and are then sent out to work, poverty is still a real issue despite the booming tourism on the island which has made a significant recovery since the Bali bombings back in 2002 and 2005.
Winner of multiple international awards, the InterContinental Bali Resort accommodates the needs of all types of traveller whether its couples, families, business travellers or honeymooners they really cater for all individual requirements across different rooms and packages. It’s a preferred location for weddings on the beach and the backdrop certainly lends itself well for a ceremony to remember. If you are looking for a haven on the beach to unwind and relax, then this resort is the place for you.
The Nitty Gritty
Intercontinental Bali Resort, Jalan UluWatu 45 BALI, 80361 INDONESIA
Check-out 12:00pm (Late check out available upon request)
Perfect beachside location
Clean and immaculate resort and gardens
High quality dining options
Attentive and friendly service, nothing is too much trouble
The Not so Good……
Thin towels and robes need replacing
Noise level was disturbing and quite frankly annoying late at night and early in the morning on some days
Check-in in procedure was lengthy
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved. Additional photos used courtesy of www.bali.intercontinental.com