The Sheraton Bali opened its doors only a little over a month ago on December 1st and I was eager to sample the new property while in Bali. Prior to leaving I checked out some of the hotel’s TripAdvisor comments and it seemed like the hotel was still in need of some last minute preparations that were occurring during their soft open. However, by the time I arrived on January 16th, I found the hotel to be in almost perfect shape and I had an excellent stay at the property!
This Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort review is part eight of my Bali / Kuala Lumpur trip.
- 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 @ Silver Kris Lounge Terminal 3 & Silver Kris 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
- The Cathay Pacific Pier Lounge HKG/Day-Break Rooms, connecting flight KUL – HKG
- Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong (HKG) – Vancouver (YVR) – JFK
As your car pulls up to the Sheraton entrance you’re greeted by two traditional Balinese dancers and two musicians who are dancing and playing just for your arrival. The dancers place flowers in your hair while the bellboys collect your luggage for you. You are then directed to head up the escalator to check-in on the lobby level. It’s actually pretty funny as the music and dancing stops as you get upstairs (and then restarts when another car pulls up). In any case, it was a great welcome. Unlike the TripAdvisor reviews, I had absolutely no wait to check-in and two different desks were open. I sat down and was brought a welcome drink and cold towel while I was being checked-in. My Platinum status was acknowledged right away and I was informed that I had been upgraded to a suite with an ocean view, sweet! Not bad for my last minute, non refundable, $138 USD per night room! Worth mentioning, you will have to pass through metal detectors anytime you enter the hotel.
The room itself consisted of a living room, bedroom, and open bathroom with great views from both the living room and bedroom. There was also a large terrace overlooking the gardens and ocean. The room looked brand spanking new and you could distinctly smell the recently laid tile, fresh paint, and new carpet. I was told that the room had just gone live in the system and therefore the bed had never even been slept in! It was quite comfy. Several of the early complaints on TripAdvisor focused on non functioning A/C units, misaligned doors, missing bathroom products, and non functioning outlets, I had none of these problems. The A/C controls in both rooms worked perfectly (it was freezing like I like it), the outlets were functioning and two didn’t even require adapters, and the bathroom was fully stocked with toiletries, towels, and robes. You can tell that some of the carpentry was perhaps a little rushed and a few inches off, but really I didn’t find it to be a big deal at all, everything worked properly. The TVs had more stations than both the St. Regis and the W. The shower actually had excellent water pressure and hot water was immediate with no delay. There is a separate tub as well.
The Pool & Beach
The Sheraton has a very nice infinity pool overlooking the ocean and I made great use of it. Yes, it’s true that the beach is located across the street and you have to exit the hotel to access it. I didn’t find it to be a huge deal. I actually liked that I could leave my belongings without worrying on my chair and table by the pool, put on my sandals, walk across the street, go for a swim in the ocean, and then walk back across the street and jump in the pool. There is a staircase on the side of the pool that leads directly down to the street level and the entrance to the beach is right across the street. The hotel has no chairs or amenities on the beach, but you can rent a chair and umbrella for as little as $3-$5 depending on your bargaining skills.
The pool itself (and the hotel overall) felt empty. There was one Aussie family that made use of the pool, but otherwise I didn’t see any other hotel guests. There’s a waitress to take any food or drink orders or bring you complimentary water. I did spend a lot of time in the pool just looking out over the beach and the street, it’s a great vantage point over Kuta, especially at sunset.
Wow, all my breakfasts in Bali and Kuala Lumpur were amazing (I’ll be doing a separate post just on those), but the Sheraton breakfast actually offered more variety than both the St. Regis and W, which were already highly impressive. Breakfast was complimentary as a Platinum guest, without using one of the welcome amenity selections. The “breakfast” included breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There was a bakery, an omelet station, a fruit bar, salad bar, sushi station (made per your request), dim sum station, gelato bar, juice bar, french toast station, yogurt station, deli station, steak station, traditional Balinese dishes, etc. You could choose to eat inside or on the terrace overlooking the street and beach.
A Word about the Locaton
Kuta is the Miami Beach of Bali. It’s commercial, touristy, westernized, has a very big party atmosphere, and you’ll find a lot of drunk Aussies. That being said, if your going to Bali for more than just a few days, it doesn’t hurt to check out the area for a night or two. In addition, I liked the hotel so much and the rates are so reasonable, that you may want to consider the Sheraton as a base for your exploration of the island. You will certainly not feel the seclusion of the St. Regis or the more local feel of the W here though. The hotel is attached to Beachwalk, an outdoor open-air mall that made me feel like I was in Arizona. From my walk from the hotel to dinner and a bar, I passed three Starbucks, two Coffee Bean & Tea Leafs (one sharing a patio with Starbucks), a McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dominos, and the Gap. That said, Kuta beach has a reputation for being crowded and dirty, but at this time of year it was empty and quiet and the water was the warmest I experienced on the trip. Do expect some waves though, the only calm water I encountered during the entire trip was at the St. Regis.
Overall, I was highly impressed with the Sheraton and thought it was perfect for one or two nights in Kuta, especially if you’ve never been to Bali before (though some may suggest skipping the area entirely).