So there is paradise on Earth! A review of Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa
Although I am a student and thus a major budget traveller, I booked with the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa through a great air/land package. I have stayed at many hotels throughout the world and none of them can even come close to this hotel. The first thing you see after driving down the quiet streets of Nusa Dua's resort enclave is the beautiful front gate and fountain of the hotel. After getting out of the van, the open air lobby is so beautiful and just a taste of things to come. We booked a "superior" room which was not notably impressive (I guess after seeing the lobby, nothing was really going to live up to it!) although it was extremely clean, fresh smelling, and tastefully decorated. The hotel offers almost every amenity you would need, they even offer electricity adapters in case you need one. There are two beautiful pools- one made to look like a lagoon and one large pool. The large pool has a bar built into it so you can sit on little stone stools in the water and sip coconut mixed drinks right there in the pool. I thought that was pretty nice. The pools are very clean and there are many loungers around if you want to just lie down and enjoy the sun. The beach is just a short walk away but if you are going to Bali and expecting pristine aqua water, then you will be disappointed. Although the beaches at Nusa Dua are kept very clean, there is A LOT of seaweed and other things floating in the water. If you don't like things touching you while you swim, then your best bet is to just get one of the cushy towels the hotel provides and sit on a lounger. The undertow is nasty too, so watch your small children (or yourself for that matter).
Additionally, the buffet breakfast served at the hotel is phonomenal. You will actually want to wake up at the crack of dawn to get first picking!
The spa is unlike any other you have seen before. Once you walk into the realm of the spa area, all you can smell is the sweet fragrance of frangiapani eminating through the air. All guests have free use of the steam room, sauna, hot tub, and cold dip pool. The hot tub is located under an open roof, so if you use it at night, you can sit in there and watch the stars above. I did not do any spa treatments but guests that I talked to around the hotel just raved about them. You have to book early though (and they have early-bird specials) because everyone wants these spa treatments. Oh... and make sure you swing by the spa lap pool at night for a swim if you have time. The lighting is beautiful and it is very romantic with the quiet background sounds of gamelin music.
Lastly, the service, on a whole, was outstanding. Everyone was great, and to me, service is something that either makes or breaks a trip.
Although this hotel was like paradise on earth to me, there are some negatives. If you are a budget traveller, this hotel is not for you. We had a hard time finding things to eat because we couldn't afford continuously eating at the on-site restaurants, which all had above western prices. A grilled cheese sandwich was something like $6 US. We found a great restaurant outside the Nusa Dua gates where we were able to have a 6 course meal for under $10 US. There are options if you are willing to look and walk.
Also, the resort area (which I am sure you've read countless times in each travel guide) is entirely closed off from the entire rest of Bali. If you come to Nusa Dua, it's almost like there is a wall put up around you. Some people, that's the way they would prefer to travel and this resort is absolutely perfect for them. If you would like to see more of Bali, however, it may be a bit more difficult if you want to set things up yourself. The best option is to find a driver and set things up with him. We were so fortunate to find a driver named Ketut and found out he had a sponsor in America. His website is Bali Driver if you want to book him. Along with our wonderful hotel, Ketut was the reason our trip to Bali was so amazing.
I hope this review of Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa was helpful. And if you decide to go... I'm jealous :) .