Bvilla + spa, Seminyak – June 2015

The experience starts way before our arrival. Cute little sign offs from the welcome emails to prepare us for our stay ‘b ready’. One might say they are a bit cheesy, but every email reminds me that i am one step closer to villa heaven so i really don’t mind.

The experience gets better when the included transfer van picks up our group and weaves through the back streets of Seminyak – close enough to get to all the essential services, but far enough not to hear all the hustle and bustle of the main drag. The hotel is secluded and private – exactly what you want from your villa. We were led down a frangipani lined footpath, simple concrete walls with villas hidden on each side.  The giant wooden door at the entrance to our villa swing open to display the most beautifully simple villa, with the lap pool taking centre position and begging you to pop in for a dip.  The beautiful frangipani trees sheds its flowers and leaves around and into the pool which must be a bitch for the cleaners, but as a guest it is quite a lovely sight.

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The three bedrooms  are massive with high ceilings, complete with a small dressing room and large open bathroom. The dark marble concrete bath is so long that even the tall man can sit comfortably (a world first). Fresh flowers give it a homely touch, in actual fact the home i would love to live in rather than my own pokey one back home. Elegant leather boxes with all the amenities you need, and large refillable bottles of products which makes perfect sense. I love me a tiny bottle of shampoo, but how much better is it to have a quality product in the quantity that you desire? And much less wasteful and better for the environment. Yes hotels of the world, this is a “do the right thing for the environment” action i can get behind rather than the reuse the towels to save a polar bear. HINT: i will ALWAYS take a fresh towel because i don’t have to do laundry.

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The shared living space is open and airy, the only downfall being the beautifully designed furniture is not that comfortable to laze around on. But when you are so busy swimming, eating and lying on the sun beds, it is not that much of a drama to go to bed at 8pm and watch tv there. Each room has its on TV, and is air conditioned and mosquito free, an added bonus in the Bali climate. After staying in hotel rooms i wasn’t aware of how bad the mosquitos were at night, so out came the industrial strength mosquito repellant and less time in the open communal areas of the villa.

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The service is of course amazing when you have your own personal butler to assist us on every whim. From welcome drinks to breakfast cooked for us in the villa? Check. Too lazy to go out for dinner, but a craving for vietnamese rice paper rolls? check. In room massages…..daily….check. One could get used to this. This one could get very used to this, so much so that it is a great disappointment to leave and get back to our normal non villa, non bali lifestyle. Until i can book my next holiday that is…..

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Stay here if you love
– your own butler.
– An oasis away from the action to just relaaaaaax
– value for money
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Mercure Resort Sanur Beach – June 2015

Having only been exposed to crazy resort luxury and then the intensity of Seminyak, we were looking forward to head to the sleepy town of Sanur for a friends wedding. I loved the feel of Sanur as we drove through all the back streets on the way to the hotel. The vibe definitely felt less intense and more relaxed than the busy streets of Seminyak. A little less glam but with a lot more heart and balinese character.

There is something very special about an overseas wedding. Everyone is a little more relaxed, ready to party and very very excited about getting a holiday on top of a wedding invite. We came to the Mercure Resort ready to join the wedding party and promptly took over most of the hotel. Normally these events feel like you are at school camp, but with the property sprawling out to such a vast space it felt like an achievement to run into a familiar face. The property is lush and green, with cute little footpaths weaving through the variety of rooms and villas.

Our room is basic, with outdated and shabby decor and unfortunately very dark. But it was as cheap as chips, so not a lot of expectations on this one. We knew we wouldn’t be in the room much so it wasn’t that important. But let’s face it, you would always prefer to have a nice room even if you are in there for 5 minutes. There price sets the expectation that it will not be luxury to the max, but i was still disappointed in the quality of the room. The outdated decor aside …. nope, can’t put it aside, the bright red curtains really bothered me next to the orange and green pillows and bedding. My eyes, my eyes! The bathroom despite being clean did not FEEL clean.

Outdated fixtures like a wall hairdryer, and as described in previous bali posts it has been one of the most impressive features of the hotels i have stayed in so my hair was bitterly disappointed. Old shabby kettle which again is a shame as you know people are using it in a place where you cant drink tap water so are left with bottled or boiled water. The layout and design of the room left a lot of dead space – yes, the Deluxe room was much bigger than the superior room, but the space served no purpose other than an odd shaped room, and still only one window, leaving us feeling like we were in a dark damp dungeon. Not the beautiful holiday feel i was going for. Sneaking a peek into our friends superior room showed us that they were much better quality, and we instantly regretted our choice. Who assumes the absolute cheapest and bottom room would be the better pick?

Technology seemed to not be their strong point.  The telephone was so old school that it was a constant source of entertainment for my toddler. Probably not so much for the reception staff who she kept calling. We also had quite the issue with the room cards, and given the distance from our room to the reception, getting them updated FOUR times in a row, with a toddler in tow in crazy heat this was NOT a fun experience. Could really have done without that. The beds were also not great, with possibly the worst pillows ever. Luckily the amazing $10 massages on the beach could cure my poor sleeping posture. Heads up – privacy is not their forte so be mindful if you get carried away with the relaxation fairies and forget you are basically naked on the beach.

But heres the thing – you step outside the door and you are back in a tropical paradise, beautiful gardens with sweet little signs all around the place pointing out the local flora and fauna. The restaurant for breakfast is airy and open, by the pool and overlooking the ocean. Standard breakfast fare was on offer, but after three days we were in desperate need of a change. To be honest, after a week of holidays we were over breakfast everywhere and anywhere.

The pools were great – one in front of the restaurant and small enough for a quick dip and sun worship. The other is much larger, and quite deep which was such a joy after all the lap pools and waist deep pools of Bali. Not the biggest fan of swimming in the beach, the water quality not being up to scratch but with the beach lined with sun loungers there was nothing better than watching the jet skis and paraglider zoom past with all their activity….and have a snooze with a good book.

Must do

10,000 massages by the beach.
A visit to Angelique the hotel cow

http://www.mercureresortsanur.com/