After our Cathay Pacific flight to Bali, our first stop was the Bali Hyatt. Its located in Sanur, on the Timor Sea, just east of Denpasar.
We wanted to split our time in Bali between a few locations to get a more varied experience on the island. There were several options that we considered, looking at both Hyatt and Starwood properties. There is the Grand Hyatt in Nusa Dua and the Hyatt in Sanur. Since we decided to spend a few days at the Laguna (a Starwood Luxury Collection property), we opted for the Bali Hyatt since it was in a different location. It also had quite affordable rates (approx US $120 per night), so we just opted to pay out of pocket. I tried to upgrade using a Diamond suite upgrade, but was unsuccessful. This hotel has very limited suites, and according to my Diamond concierge, they were all booked due to a conference at the hotel.
We booked a car service from the airport, which at US $15 seemed well worth it, although a metered taxi would likely be slightly cheaper. Like many locations, taxi drivers on Bali aren’t known for their honesty, but we didn’t have any problems. Once at the hotel, we went through a security screen with the taxi, then a metal detector before entering the lobby. It was very quick, but a reminder of the lives lost in past terrorist attacks on tourist areas in Bali. By the way, I felt completely safe on Bali, and both my wife and I walked around both alone and together at various times. Compared with places like Thailand and China where I constantly felt barraged by people trying to sell you things or scam you in some way, the Balinese tend to not be so pushy. The most common thing heard is “transport?” usually from a taxi driver or someone offering a moped for hire. Even when offered something, a polite “no, thanks” and the locals would generally go back to their business.
The Hyatt lobby is open air, and I can see it being hot at times, but being close to the water, there was usually a nice breeze to keep the temperature moderate.
We were graciously welcomed by the staff and provided jasmine flower leis, a cold drink, and a cold towel. The staff was attired in traditional Balinese garb. We checked in and were eventually showed to our room. It was in what was considered the Regency Club wing thanks to Hyatt Diamond status, but they seem to have a lot of club rooms that are available for sale. The guest rooms are laid out in 3 squares with open atriums, most have a garden view, but some do face the ocean.
The room itself was fine, nothing outstanding, and clearly the property was not the most modern. For the price, I couldn’t really complain. I guess for Bali this hotel is somewhat expensive, but I considered it a good value.
The hotel grounds were quite nice, and it faces a wide area of the beach. The property is in a heavily wooded area, so even though the road is not far away, the hotel seems rather secluded. There are walking paths around the grounds that allow for a nice shaded walk. There is also a path along the beach in both directions with vendors and small shops and beach bars.
The Regency Club at the Hyatt Bali is outside, but well shaded, and there are ceiling fans, so it is comfortable even on a hot day. An extensive buffet breakfast is offered in the mornings, including several hot options. It is a mix of typical western breakfast, with some Indonesian specialties including various juices and fruits. In the evenings there is a nice variety of hors d’oeuvres available plus an open bar during from 5-7pm. All beer, cocktails and Indonesian wine are complementary.
Regency Club during breakfast
Some gamelan musicians entertaining Regency Club guests
Having extensive breakfast options was a great way to start to the day. While here at the Bali Hyatt, we spent some time just relaxing on the beach, as well as exploring the surrounding area.
We walked from the hotel to enjoy some local restaurants. There are various food stands on the beach, as well as along the roads. We also went to a nearby retail area in Sanur for some groceries. We noticed that most everything in Indonesia is pretty cheap compared to prices we are used to with a few exceptions. For some reason, there is a major markup on imported wines, for example an Australian wine that might be $10 or less in a store or $25 or so in a restaurant would sell for the equivalent of US$80 in Indonesia. Another item that seems to have a major markup is sunscreen. I guess the average Indonesian doesn’t typically need it, so they can charge tourists high prices. Can’t say I blame them.
Another nice feature of this hotel is that we received a daily gift after our room was serviced. One day we received a incense burner, another day, some (Indonesian) wine. A diamond amenity is typical, but not one for each day of our stay.
Some chocolates in our room upon arrival
This hotel is a relatively large one, at least for this area. There are several smaller hotels and hostels near by. I ventured a bit further off, and for 2 days went Scuba diving. I went with Crystal Divers, maybe a 10 minute walk from the Hyatt. One day we drove to Candidasa which was about an hour drive, then we dove around some small islands about 10 minutes off shore via a small wooden boat. The next day we took a speedboat to some islands about an hour from Sanur. The diving was good, but not great. Other than a few turtles and some reef sharks, most wildlife was small. I’ve been spoiled by my diving trips to the Great Barrier Reef.
While I was diving, my wife enjoyed The Spa at the Hyatt. She arranged a spa day with something like 5 treatments including an hour long massage and lunch and it cost about US $120. Quite a value compared to typical prices at a hotel spa.
The Spa at Bali Hyatt
The pools were nice, and given the daytime heat, we often were at the pool rather than the beach to allow for a quick dip to cool down.
The Hyatt was a great place to stay for our time in Bali. Hard to beat the value for the price we paid. The property itself was very nice, but I really enjoyed the easy access to other more local options as well. Sanur was nice and laid back and there were actually locals around unlike some of the other resort areas on Bali.
After our time in Sanur, we booked a car and headed south for the last part of our trip on Bali, at The Laguna Resort in Nusa Dua.