For our final five nights in Bali we decided to try out Nusa Dua. Some say they’d never stay in Nusa Dua as it ‘s to full of hotels. and some say they wouldn’t stay anywhere else. We chose the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa to try out the area for ourselves.
We’ve been very happy with our choice of accommodation, with one exception. We ended up somehow with two packages, the first being the Palace Club benefits. We wanted to stay in one of the Palace Club rooms as it has the Palace Club dining room away from the crowds which we’ve used for breakfast, afternoon tea, and pre-dinner drinks. The available food at each of the three sittings is substantial so purchasing any other meals is completely unnecessary, but sometimes a bit of added variety can be nice. However, we purchased this stay through Luxury escapes, and ended up with a second package also – all inclusive dining across all restaurants, plus free flow drinks at the bars from 3pm – 6pm, plus 4 spa treatments. It took us a couple of days to realise how stupid trying to take advantage of both packages was. The photo below is Paul on the first night after afternoon tea, pre-dinner cocktails and canapés in the Club Room, several cocktails at one of the many bars dotted around the place, and then dinner in one of the restaurants.
Yep, definitely too much to eat and drink that night. We’ve been trying to cut back each day but it’s not been easy. I’m sure I’ll go home at least 3 kgs heavier, my clothes are definitely fitting a bit more snugly.
The Nusa Dua Beach hotel and spa has proved to be a pleasant and comfortable place to stay. The grounds are expansive with beautiful gardens, some magnificent curtain trees, and there is a variety of pools and restaurants dotted around. Whilst most of the buildings are in Western type hotel style, there are still a significant amount of Balinese style thatched roofs, and soaring bamboo structures to give a pleasant Balinese feel to the place. I haven’t at any time during my stay felt that I could have been anywhere in the world, no, our choice of hotel has enough Balinese character to let me know I’m in Bali. It’s been a really good choice.
They have a few special dinners each week, with one of them being a seafood buffet set up on the lawn for the occasion. They had a live singer throughout the evening, (every night they have some sort of live entertainment), and at the seafood buffet they also had a special fire dance performance. We watched them transform the expansive lawn overlooking the beach into a huge special dining area complete with white table clothes and draped chairs. By the time it commenced at 7pm there were several huge buffet tables set up around the perimeter, each laden with so much food I’m sure they could have fed the whole of Bali. I couldn’t begin to remember what was on offer, I’ve never seen so much food in one place before. I loved the ice, and fruit carvings. The fire dance floor show was pretty good too.
The hotel runs along a public beach front. When we came to Bali more than 25 years ago the hawkers proved to be too much for us. They are a lot less demanding now than they were then, but even less demanding in Nusa Dua than elsewhere on the Island. Below is a video of a hawker displaying his kites for sale as he wanders down the beach. He’s not in anyone’s face at all. In fact, he provided a bit of something to see whilst we we were eating our lunch in the Italian restaurant.
While here we have had a reasonable look around Nusa Dua with a couple of morning walks. On one occasion we walked almost the length of the beach and hotel area right down to the Mulia. Bali is humid, so we walked slowly, taking almost two hours to get there, and we taxied back. We had wanted to check out the Mulia for future reference, as we thought we’d love it. However, we weren’t that impressed, it was too big for us, and too pristine. When we returned to our own hotel, it felt a lot more intimate, and we appreciated the gardens and green lawns even more. It felt like ‘coming home’.
There were definitely a few things that did impress us on our walk though. Firstly, everywhere was clean, and well maintained. Bali in general isn’t like that – in fact, excuse the expression, but for most of Bali once outside of the hotels, it’s pretty much a ‘shithole’. (That’s Paul’s expression for it). The footpaths are in bad repair, the drain covers broken, and rubbish is everywhere. Nusa Dua isn’t like that. The uncrowded footpaths are in good repair and shaded by beautiful trees, with lawns and gardens alongside. There is hardly any traffic on the roads comparatively too. This is the Bali some people aren’t impressed by – me, I love it! I’m happy to stay in clean Nusa Dua, but yes, I’ll still venture out to see other places on future trips, and there will definitely be future trips.
We leave before sunrise in tomorrow, so today we rose early and headed to the beach to see a final sunrise. It was beautiful. We’ll definitely be back.
I’ve heard it said that, ‘there’s something in Bali for everyone’. We have really enjoyed Sanur, Lembongan, and Nusa Dua. Of the three places though I suspect it is Nusa Dua, and in particular the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa (in the quieter Palace Club Rooms) that will likely be included in any future Bali trips. It’s been a real pleasure!