Gwen Pew and Berwin Song check out three new properties of note in Bali’s Nusa Dua region.
13 Nov 2013: On the east coast of the southern tip of Bali, the district of Nusa Dua is traditionally known as a gated enclave of swanky resorts, home to five-star properties such as the Conrad, Grand Hyatt Bali and the Westin. While there aren’t many sights in the area itself (the bland Bali Collection shopping complex is the only real retail centre in the area), the region is perfect for those looking for a quiet, all-inclusive getaway or resort conference – recently, both the 2013 Miss World competition and the security-heavy APEC summit were held inside the gated region. The district is also seeing increased development in the wide swathes of land outside of the gates, with numerous resorts in the works.
Best for romantic getaways
Grand Nikko Bali
Walking around the sprawling, stunning grounds of Grand Nikko Bali, you wouldn’t think that the resort is about to celebrate its 18th anniversary. Everything is kept in mint condition, the staff members are all friendly and attentive, and the facilities are top notch. The five-star resort was rebranded just a few months ago, following the refurbishment of all 389 guest rooms and the introduction of 19 villas that each boast their own private infinity pool with either an ocean or garden view (there are 17 one-bedroom, one two-bedroom and one threebedroom villa), plus an exclusive villa lounge, a ballroom and an open-air wedding gazebo.
Guests staying at the villas are also welcomed to use the Nikko Club Lounge – a prime location to watch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean, enjoy a complimentary a la carte breakfast, or relax over canapés and cocktails at dusk – and get pampered by a range of treatments, such as the recommended two-hour Harmony massage, at the Mandara Spa.
With four restaurants and a bar, as well as a range of other activities (including camel rides) and direct beach access, there is no real need to leave the Grand Nikko if you don’t want to, making it perfect for those who are looking for a truly private romantic getaway.
Guest rooms start from USD350++/ night; villas from USD650++/night. A discount of 33 percent off villas is available until March 2014. Seewww.grandnikkobali.com for details.
Best for beach activites
The third property by luxury hotel group General Hotel Management (GHM) to open in Bali, the Chedi Sakala just started welcoming its first guests at the end of October, and officially opens this month. The resort occupies 2.4 hectares of land and is located right along the well-developed beaches of Tanjung Benoa at the northern end of Nusa Dua (inside the gated enclave), which features numerous water activies and sports. Impressively, all of the 247 guest rooms are suites; there are also 14 private one- and two-bedroom pool villas.
Other facilities at the resort include two swimming pools, a wellness spa, health club, lagoon bar and kid’s club. An all-daydining restaurant serves up an international cuisine, while the Sakala Bali restaurant across the road from the resort provides a more upscale, contemporary French dining option.
Guest rooms start from USD310++/ night; villas from USD800++/night. Seewww.ghmhotels.com/en/thechedi- sakala/home for details.
Best for those on a budget
Mantra Nusa Dua
One of the most affordable options in the area, Mantra Nusa Dua is the brand’s flagship resort outside of Australia (where they have 52 properties). While it doesn’t boast the all-out swankiness of some of the surrounding resorts (such as the ridiculously massive Mulia compound across the street), it’s great for a quiet getaway with wellsized rooms.
There are 172 rooms in three categories, situated in two wings surrounding the centrepiece pool, which runs the length of the hotel (with an overhead walkway creating a few waterfall features that leads to their dining room). All rooms feature a balcony with an outdoor daybed and rain showers in the bathrooms. Superior and Deluxe rooms start at a relatively spacious 51sqm – the difference comes in the form of an extra sofa area or a bathtub, respectively. The top rooms are the suites (24 in total) – all sized at 102sqm and still significantly cheaper than most other resorts in the area.
Though there’s no direct beach access, free shuttles are provided to Geger Beach, which is a threeminute drive away. Here, Mantra has a small area with a few beach chairs reserved specially for their guests.
The resort is also home to the Chakra spa, a first for the Mantra brand, featuring their signature Chakra balancing massage (which involves a Tibetan singing bowl and Indonesian massage). Look out for more as Mantra expands in Asia, with plans for multiple properties across Bali (including their budget hotel Brand Free and the higher-end Peppers, the first of which will be a rebranded property taking over Sentosa Seminyak).
Superior rooms start from USD99/ night; suites start from USD242/ night Seewww.mantranusadua.com for details.