UPDATE: Category Change
At the time of writing, the Hyatt Regency Bali was a Category 1. Hyatt changes their property categories annually. Unfortunately, this great property will be moving up to a Category 2 award level on March 18, 2019. This means 8,000 World of Hyatt points will be required for a standard room free night. Explore all of Hyatt’s award chart updates. Still, today I find the property to be a strong value and stand by this Hyatt Regency Bali review.
Hyatt Regency Bali Review
As a frequent guest at many Hyatt properties around the world, I was excited to visit the completely renovated Hyatt Regency Bali.
The original Bali Hyatt closed to guests during a five year remodel project. Here are my thoughts on the “new” Hyatt Regency Bali, which officially re-opened on December 20th, 2018.
Background on Hyatt In Bali
When it first opened, the Bali Hyatt (as it was originally called) was the first luxury Hyatt property in the country. Over time, the hotel became worn down and needed a facelift. Hyatt decided to do it right, taking a full five years to renovate while raising the hotel’s distinction to a Regency brand.
In addition to this Hyatt, there is the Grand Hyatt in Nusa Dua (Southeast of Denpasar and the airport).
Supposedly, an Andaz property in Bali is slated to open in 2020. However, it is far behind its projected opening date of 2016.
Hyatt describes the Hyatt Regency Bali as:
…a hotel located on a delightful beachfront with nine hectares [22 acres] of lush tropical gardens. Each of 363 rooms is elegantly designed with a modern Balinese touch and overlooks the tranquil gardens or the Indian Ocean.
Booking The Hyatt Regency Bali
The Hyatt Regency Bali is one of the best values in the Hyatt portfolio. Why? It’s It was a Category 1 property. For 5,000 World of Hyatt points you can get a standard room for one night. Points + Cash rates work out to 2,500 points and about $68 USD.
If you want to book with cash, you can find a standard room (king bed or two twins) for as little as $115 USD with an advance purchase rate.
An easy way to get a lot of World of Hyatt points, and even a free night certificate along with four lounge certificates is by having the World of Hyatt credit card.
- Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
- Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.
- See the program terms for complete details.
Location & Getting To The Hyatt Regency Bali
The hotel is easily reached with a taxi ride of about 20 minutes from the Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS).
Grab an Uber type ride sharing service, is a cheap way to secure transportation to the hotel. Beware of what the locals refer to as the ‘taxi mafia’ who persist in hassling you once you leave the arrivals area of the airport.
It is best to arrange for your taxi from inside the terminal and proceed across the street to the parking garage to meet your driver. Your Grab driver will provide you with a parking slot number in which they can be found.
Side Note: Currency Exchange In Bali
Resist getting your foreign currency changed at the airport. As per the norm, rates are very unfavorable. The airport’s exchange rate was $1 USD for 13,600 IDR’s. At many places that same day, I found a much more favorable rate close to hotels and high traffic tourist destinations.
Checking In To The Hyatt Regency Bali
As each guest arrives, they are greeted with a flower lei and a welcome fruit drink. There are local performers playing music as you enter the grand lobby and check-in desk.
The Room at The Hyatt Regency Bali
I tried to get a suite upgrade based on my Globalist status with World of Hyatt. However, the concierge told me that all of those rooms were currently booked during my stay.
Regardless, we had access to the Regency Club. We were given a King Room, which had a king bed, a separate toilet room with sink (located next to the front door), a full bathroom with his and hers sinks, bathtub, and walk-in shower with a handheld shower as well as a rainfall shower.
The room offered a lanai and what the hotel calls a “cabana,” an area that consists of a day bed, two chairs and a table in a space between the room and the lanai. Our lanai featured a view into a tropical garden with a glimpse of the Regency Club just beyond the garden’s perimeter.
The room also featured a large wall-mounted television, an in-room safe, and a beverage center with a hot pot, french press, and mini-fridge. The standard complimentary tea and coffee offerings were neatly presented in a sliding drawer.
The room was beautiful and felt new, as it should. The one drawback was the tight space of the entrance hall. The depth of the entry closet (where you were supposed to store your luggage) could not accommodate my carry-on and have the doors be closed. This was a design oversight.
Two other issues became apparent. First, many of the items listed as available (whether complimentary or on loan) from the hotel were not stocked. This included free items such as a sewing kit, lint mitt, mouthwash, and loofah. On loan items like a lighted make-up mirror, curling iron and flat iron were also not available. The hotel had not received these items in time for its opening.
The second issue was with the television. It was not fully integrated with guest account monitoring, TV checkout, and ordering food. In addition, although the television displayed the current location, no weather information was available. Sure, these are minor issues, but nice conveniences when they work properly.
To see the complete in-room dining menu you can click on one of the images below and scroll through them
Amenities At The Hyatt Regency Bali
The hotel features three restaurants, a Regency Club, three pools, a spa, concierge services, a convenience store, bank (with currency exchange) and a travel and tours office all located on the grounds (just below the main lobby floor.)
The hotel grounds feature beachfront access to the large Sanur Beach, which faces eastward towards the islands of Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida.
Pools At The Hyatt Regency Bali
The hotel features two swimming pools for adults and one swimming pool dedicated for children. Disappointingly, I saw children in each of the three pools during my stay. The verdict is that I do not believe the “adult” pool policy is enforced.
There is a small jacuzzi, a very small water slide (for children), and a waterfall feature located in the pool complex. Pools are open daily, from 8:00am to 7:00pm.
The hotel also offers a fitness center and Camp Sanur (also referred to as Camp Hyatt, a children’s center).
There is also a fully serviced resort center to assist guests with vacation and tour arrangements.
Dining at The Hyatt Regency Bali
The property boasts three distinct public dining options and one private dining option.
The Pizzeria sits just off the sandy beach of Sanur and features an Italian themed menu. However, the atmosphere is distinctly Balinese. It is casual and airy. The portions are larger than what I expected, and we ended up with more pizza and calzone than we could eat. We took some back to our room and tucked them away in our mini-fridge for a late-night snack.
The prices are good in relation to the portions but a bit pricey for Balinese standards. Expect to pay between $15-20 USD per person, excluding beverages.
Omang Omang features local flavors and seems a bit more formal. It is still a completely open and in an outdoor setting under thatched roofs. Menu prices are a bit higher than The Pizzeria so you should expect to pay between $20-30 USD per person, excluding alcohol.
Then, there’s the Piano Lounge. We found it to be a pleasant surprise. It featured a quartet providing tunes from the 1950’s and 60’s (think: Nat King Cole and Peggy Lee). The Piano Lounge offers an extensive alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage menu.
Upon request, a dessert menu is provided. The staff gladly pulls your request from one of the hotels’ other restaurants and serves it in the Piano Lounge. The lounge is located in the hotels’ main lobby and open for most of the day and evening.
The one private dining option is the Regency Club where we spent most of our time. It offers a full breakfast and a few great dinner choices. Access is limited to World of Hyatt members who are Globalists, Explorists using their Club Access upgrade awards, and those guests who have paid for the club access with either cash, points or a combination of both.
As with many Asian destinations, you will find wine priced higher than in the US or Europe. This makes the Regency Club an even better value since it offers white, red, and sparkling wines during cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres (7:00pm – 9:00pm).
During cocktail hour, at least two main entrees were presented. In addition, there were many salad, fruit, vegetable, and dessert options.
Throughout the day and evening, the Regency Club had snacks and a full complement of breads, juices, teas, sodas and coffees.
Daily breakfast featured at least two cooked-to order menu items, featuring local Balinese flavors and international offerings. We actually found every meal to taste great. The staff in the Regency Club were fantastic, and made every effort to speak with guests individually.
Ambience At The Hyatt Regency Bali
I loved the open-air concept that is not just present at this hotel, but throughout Bali. The grounds are vast and the long hallways are open. Overall, it is very relaxing and adds a tropical feeling to the property (as you would hope).
Concierge Experience At The Hyatt Regency Bali
The hotel can arrange many sightseeing activities, and we decided to see their services were.
Concierge Experience #1
Our first experience was a Balinese culture tour that took us to a royal palace, a monkey sanctuary, and the Bali Museum of Art. We also opted for a lunch to be included with the tour (served on the museum grounds).
After discussing our preferences and timetable, the concierge went to work on arrangements and a price quote. Within an hour our hotel room phone rang and the concierge had everything in place.
The next morning we met in the lobby with the concierge who led us to our private Hyatt Regency vehicle, chauffeured by our private driver for the day.
The experience became a highlight of the trip and with the driver’s advice, we found opportunities for local shopping before returning to the Hyatt Regency.
For the entire day, including lunch, our cost was an 900,000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) which works out to about $64 USD. Pricey for Bali but an incredible value by most western standards.
Concierge Experience #2
The next day, we booked both parasailing and jet ski rentals through the hotel’s concierge. Due to windy conditions, however, parasailing was exchanged for a banana boat ride. Jet ski rentals cost $24 USD for 15 minutes, a relative bargain compared with similar beach destinations.
Concierge Experience #3
Finally, we sought out the concierge service to book a day trip to the nearby island of Lembongan. Lembongan is a remote island reached by ferry which supposedly boasts amazing beaches and dramatic landscape features. We negotiated a deal with the concierge at 2,600,000 IDR for the day trip.
Unfortunately, the hotel transportation arrived late, our ferry departed late, and the weather took a turn for the worse. The end result was a much shortened tour. However, the island was indeed beautiful. We went on motorbikes, rode through a mangrove forest, snorkeled, and had lunch high above the azure waters of the island.
After a momentary scare about a cancelled ferry, we returned back to the mainland. The ferry operator actually relented under pressure and took us and about 80 other passengers back to our original point of embarkation on Sanur Beach.
Upon returning to the Hyatt, we relayed our disappointment over the delayed and shortened experience. Our bill was adjusted by 600,000 IDR as compensation for the shortened tour.
Overall, the concierge service was outstanding. Every activity or tour we inquired about had personalized attention and follow-up.
It was an amazing experience visiting the Hyatt Regency Bali during its soft re-opening. The staff was excited to have the property open again, and everyone seemed eager to please. With a sparse guest population, the staff to guest ratio was outstanding.
The property reminds me of Hawaii in the earliest days of development, when it was a simpler time and full of genuine hospitality. Best of all, there is so much value either paying in cash, points, or a points+cash stay. As a Category 1 property, you can also use your annual free night certificate from having the World of Hyatt Credit card, making it an exceptional value. Reminder: This property moved up to a Category 2 (requiring 8,000 World of Hyatt points for a free night) on March 18, 2019. Hopefully, this Hyatt Regency Bali review helps you still recognize the value even at that valuation.
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