This is part five of my Bali / Kuala Lumpur trip report and includes my stay at the St. Regis Bali Resort.
- United Airlines Business Class Updated 767-300 Newark (EWR) – Houston (IAH)
- Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Houston (IAH) – Moscow (DME) Part 1
- Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Moscow (DME) – Singapore (SIN) & DME Transfer Lounge Part 2
- The Singapore Airlines Private Room @ SilverKris Lounge Terminal 3 & SilverKris Lounge Terminal 2 @ SIN
- Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-200 Singapore (SIN) – Bali (DPS)
- The St. Regis Bali Resort
- The W Retreat & Spa Bali
- The Brand New Sheraton Bali Kuta
- My First Experience on Air Asia A320 Bali (DPS) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
- The Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel
- The Westin Kuala Lumpur
- Trip Report – Cathay Pacific Private Day-Break Room & First Lounges – Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific First Class Trip Report – My Favorite FC Trip Ever? HKG-YVR-JFK
Booking – The hotel is pricey and awards start at 30,000 SPG points per night as all rooms are considered suites at this category 7 property. I started tracking prices about a month before my trip and booked only when they came down to their lowest levels. Prices ranged widely throughout that time from $299-$580 per night for the standard suite room, when taking into consideration non refundable/non-changeable rates as well as “stay for 3 nights and complimentary 4th night” and “stay for 6 nights and complimentary 7th night” promotions available at the hotel’s website.
Car Service & Check-In – The St. Regis service starts at the airport. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Bali, the St. Regis was there to assist. I was met by someone holding a sign with my name before I even got to customs. He took my passport and USD for the visa fee and told me to head straight to the baggage claim. He reappeared a few minutes later with a visa and stamp already inside my passport, no line and no waiting. He then escorted me to another individual who walked me and my luggage to an awaiting Mercedes SUV. Once inside there were two cold towels and waters as well as chocolates. The A/C was already pumping! The car service is complimentary for all guests and is roundtrip (I had them take me to the W instead of the airport on the way back).
It was an easy 25-30 minute trip (no real traffic that day) from the airport to the hotel and the driver called ahead to the hotel when we were about 10 minutes away. Upon arriving there was what I’d refer to as a welcoming committee at the car, two butlers to take my bags, the head butler, and someone to walk me over to the couch area pictured below for check-in.
I didn’t even need to approach one of the check-in desks, instead I sat in the living room with my welcome drink while everything was prepared. The living room by the way is really nice and open on both sides.
From the second I walked in, everyone was already greeting me by name. This continued throughout my stay, I can’t tell you how many times I was shocked by someone who I had never seen before who somehow knew my name – the breakfast hostess, a landscaping staff member, the towel desk, a server at dinner, beach/pool attendants, the entire butler staff…wow. This is pretty common in Asia but the St. Regis Bali Resort takes it to a whole new level. The check-in process was smooth and I was quickly presented with my key for a St. Regis Pool Suite (an upgrade from my originally booked St. Regis Suite). While this was the highest room type in the category I booked (St. Regis Suite, St. Regis Ocean-View Suite, St. Regis Pool Suite), I of course asked if any of the One-Bedroom Suites, Garden Villas, or Lagoon Villas were available for upgrades as I knew there was inventory during my stay. After my butler spoke to the front desk, I was informed that SPG members are normally only upgraded to St. Regis Ocean-View or Pool Suites from the regular St. Regis Suite. At least they didn’t tell me that there weren’t any rooms available like other properties have been doing recently! I didn’t push as I was still sick from the Singapore flight and the St. Regis Pool Suite looked awesome!
The Room - The suite had an outdoor “backyard” area that was as big as the entire inside living space. The outdoor area of the suite included a jacuzzi plunge pool and Bale Bengong (cushioned gazebo), two tables, daybeds, a couch, multiple chaise lounges, and a Buddha statue. Inside there was a separate living room with a great couch and leather coffee table, walk-in wardrobe, really comfy king-size bed, stand-alone tub, rain shower, and two tvs (one built into the wall in the bathroom in front of the tub). The bed was one of the most comfortable I’ve slept on anywhere. The bathroom was equally as gigantic and had a great rain shower and views out to the patio. There’s tons of free water in your room, replenished each day (sparkling and still), we are talking 10+ bottles not including those in the bathroom.
Also in the room… the beach bag and hats are yours to take with you…
The Property –
The beach is one of only a few lighter sand beaches in Bali and has amazingly calm and very warm turquoise water. I visited a ton of other beaches in Bali (including up north), they were all unique and had very different surroundings, but this was by far my favorite.
The Saltwater Lagoons – Each lagoon villa has its own private access to the lagoon but there are also two entry points for non villa guests. The lagoon is truly magnificent and flows throughout the resort. While it is man-made, you truly do feel like your in Southeast Asia, they’ve done an amazing job with the landscaping. I was having flashbacks of my Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia boat trips.
The Pools aren’t too shabby either and the water is warm!
Somehow you feel completely secluded even-though the resort is full of guests – You can literally swim in the lagoon or pool without seeing anyone else. The beach empties out around 2pm and you may find yourself alone without any other guests. It helps that many of the guests tend to hang out at their private villas.
The Service – All the staff are incredible, but especially the butler staff. Everyone is truly happy to help and willing to do whatever it takes to make your stay pleasant. The head butler, Carlos sets the tone and you can tell he truly loves his job. He approached me on numerous occasions throughout my stay to see how everything was going. When it came to his attention that I had requested a very late checkout (5pm) and received it, he called to tell me that he thought traffic would be horrendous at that time and that I should consider leaving earlier or later. When I noted that I wanted to make use of the property for the entire day he was able to push my checkout back even further. He even called the W to tell them what time to expect my arrival. About an hour before I was to leave a huge storm broke out. Carlos was again on top of the situation and pushed my car back to wait for the storm to pass and set up some champagne to wait out the storm. He even re-contacted the W to advise them of my new arrival time. In addition, he provided me with his contact numbers as he said “they would still be taking care of me if I needed anything, even after leaving the hotel”. He and the rest of the staff were fantastic. Carlos actually used to work for Will Smith back when he was living in the states. If you are feeling lazy you can literally be driven anywhere on the resort, from the beach to the restaurants. I was constantly asked if I needed a lift and while I preferred to walk, everyone was always offering. When you finish your meal, don’t be surprised to be offered a ride back to your suite. Feel like a BBQ on your patio? It’s possible at the villas – guests can choose a selection of mains and ingredients and the butler will come and bbq right outside your room.
Back to the property - It’s very well maintained and you’ll see staff in the lagoons or pools, swimming with snorkels looking for debris, gardeners everywhere, and even workers touching up floor and tile paintings. There’s also a nightly fire ritual at the grand staircase from 6:30-7:00pm.
Hungry? Usually I’m not one for hotel restaurants, but I read amazing things on TripAdvisor about Kayuputi. Tourists come from all over the island to experience brunch and dinner with great views out to the beach. I don’t know if I truly believed that it wasn’t just hotel guests frequenting the restaurant until I had dinner there one night. I talked a few of the surrounding tables and of five families, only one was staying at the St. Regis. From the hotel’s website:
In the Indonesian dialect, “Kayuputi” means white wood, and indeed the restaurant is a vision of white, its decor a perfectly modern, elegant backdrop for the tranquil ocean view. Al fresco seating comes with a soft ocean breeze and an unobstructed view. Guests may reserve private cabanas for dining, or opt to settle into a soft white cushion inside the high-ceiling restaurant where the two-story wine cellar and open kitchen add to the ambiance. Contemporary cuisine based on fresh, quality ingredients is the mantra of the day. As the chef integrates Asian Inspired Haute Cuisine, he offers Wagyu beef from Australia, seafood from local waters as well as imported specialties. A selection of Sturia and Prunier caviar and oysters varies according to season. Chef Agung Gede’s menu also includes delectable vegetarian selections and a variety of organic produce.
The Astor Diamond Champagne Brunch – Unlimited champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres, they don’t stop until you tell them to! Once you’re finished it’s on to the menu selections. The food looked amazing but I was still recovering from the Singapore flights. However, here is the full menu and some photos.
Dinner time – You can order from the menu or select the chef’s 3 or 4 course tasting menu. I opted for the 3 course tasting menu and every item was delicious and is paired with a separate wine (yes, that’s gold on my tuna)!
More Reasonable Options? Kayuputi has excellent food and of course amazingly friendly staff, but it is very pricey. If you sample it one night, you may want to save some money and head to the on-site deli for some of your meals the following day. The deli was actually very reasonable and had sandwiches, pizzas, gelato, sushi, candy, and snacks. You can also stop in for coffee or tea.
Breakfast Time – The classic Asian 3 meal breakfast, it had a little bit of everything. Local Balinese dishes, sushi, omelets, dim sum, fruits and veggies, assorted yogurts and pastries, noodles and meatballs, chicken dishes, a juice bar, champagne, etc. You can choose to sit inside our outside on the garden patio. The breakfast selection was extensive by any means, but actually not as large as the breakfast at the Sheraton Bali Kuta.
To be clear the property is not cheap ($ or SPG points-wise) and you are in a secluded resort area away from local Balinese villages and towns. However, with some proper planning you can score a good deal (though it may be non-refundable) and ensure a schedule where you’ll have enough time to stay and see other parts of the island. Ideally, I would say end your stay at the St. Regis as it’s probably going to be the nicest accommodation of your trip. Once you’ve gone out and experienced everything, prepare to relax and enjoy the resort. The St. Regis Bali is probably one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at. The staff was certainly some of the best I’ve experienced and they went above-and-beyond to make my stay comfortable and enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of beaches and pools, so I loved being able to walk out to the warm ocean water or swim in the saltwater lagoons. The property was beautiful and does a great job of working in local artwork and design elements to make you feel like you are at the St. Regis Bali. Attention to detail is ensured with everything throughout the hotel and I can’t think of one thing that went wrong.
…and I’m still missing that bed!