Monday Morning Consultant – Bali Edition II – W Hotel Bali Review

I like the W concept … it’s funky, stylish and edgy. I’ve stayed at a couple W hotels and to me, this is now the shining beacon of the Starwood chain. St. Regis is obviously the high end of luxury, but I think they cater to the older, monied crowd, while the W brand caters to the hipper traveller, who doesn’t want to be stuck with a set of “old farts”.

From Nusa Dua, we were told that the W Bali “was just as nice” as the Lagoon Nusa Dua. This I can confirm is absolute rubbish – the W Bali is a significantly SUPERIOR experience in every way possible.

Your first experience of entering into the W Bali compound along a thin nondescript alley, creates a surprise of the visual treat coming into the hotel, whether in the day or night. Checking into the lobby has the feel of a posh nightclub, complete with lighting, DJ and welcome bar. Typical Platinum upgrade success having booked the room using “Free nights” and we were moved to one of the “Spectacular Ocean Facing Retreats“, we didn’t get a suite upgrade and I put off forcing the issue until I saw the room.

The room they showed us was simply grand … I can only imagine what the suite actually look like in this hotel. Coming into the room, you pass through the bathroom on the side into the bedroom/living room that opens into the balcony.

While the bedroom is great, the highlight of the room is definitely the bathroom.

  • A huge granite tub
  • Rainfall shower
  • Recessed lighting with a skylight
  • His & Her bathroom sinks
  • Powder mirrors and toilet makes this one of the best bathrooms I’ve ever seen in a hotel.
  • Amenities are the typical Canadian Bliss products offered in the rooms at all W hotels. They’re some of my favorite amenities to take home : )

As for the view from the room, simply spectacular!!

During the day …

5+1 tips to enhance your W Bali stay even further

To set expectations correctly, one has to understand the concepts, so a couple tips to get the best out of your W experience

  1. The food is definitely good at the hotel, but far too overpriced in comparison to what is easily available on the main road outside the hotel. Do yourself a favour (and your wallet) and take a walk along the main road and try a local restaurant.E.g. – Food outside the hotel … Nasi Goreng with well done egg  … $1.20USD … in the hotel 15USD
  2. Alcohol is prohibitively expensive in the resort and finding hard liquor is tough … so in Bali … so bring your own.
  3. Don’t expect to swim anywhere on the resort or on the beach. The waves on this side of the island are rough and rocky, as for the pools, they’re basically cosmetic (no laps, no deep end), and mostly unusable because there is no adults-only area.
  4. Hit the pools and day beds early and drop your towel to prevent any disappointments. Get the tented day beds, early as these are the first to go ..
  5. Don’t bother walking anywhere outside the hotel. They have a golf cart shuttle from the front of the hotel. Once you’re at the front of the hotel, taxis are ridiculously cheap – use them!
  6. Again, forget the massages at the hotel, use the tons of massage places outside Seminyak … save your money for other experiences

Overall :

A phenomenal hotel – the W Bali is a completely immersive experience – with the attention to the tiniest details. I will admit that this hotel is not for everyone, since there tends to be music from the club booming at 4am, and the club type feel to the hotel might not appeal to the more conservative guest. That shouldn’t be an issue as there are a million alternatives in the Cancun of Asia, however if you’re on your honeymoon, then this is an excellent choice of hotel.

From a service perspective, as Platinum SPG guest, you definitely get great treatment – but personally I felt that the service level didn’t match the attention to the other details. This is a training/teething issue and I am confident that this will be worked out over the next couple months.

W’s do not have business lounges, and there is little Wi-Fi connectivity – again my signature pet peeve with all the Starwood hotels in this side of the world.

So overall, this is another home run for the the “SPG Free Nights” promotion … and I’ll definitely want to stay here again, if I come to Bali.

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]