The territory is the best in Nusa Dua, damp smell is a problem A review of Melia Bali Indonesia
I'm a big nature lover, so I picked Melia for its lush vegetation that I saw in a brochure. What I discovered when I arrived though was beyond any of my expectations. The landscaping was so tasteful and the flora on the territory was so abundant that I felt as I was almost in a jungle forest. There are plenty of ponds with different kinds of fish around Melia territory. There is a library, which is on an island in the middle of a pond - you have to cross a little bridge to get there. The hotel does not have any walls, except for those in the rooms. There are only lianas hanging from the roof and flowers that surround the lobby and hallways. This makes you feel as you're walking in a middle of a tropical garden while walking inside the hotel. We were greeted by Balinese dancers in the lobby every night as we would come back to the hotel. The whole atmosphere was magical.
The breakfast was served next to a tropical pond with gold fish - you could even feed them off your table. There was so much nature in that hotel, that they even had bird watching tours around the territory! As honeymooners we also received a free massage in the spa. We had two Balinese masseuses give us a great massage in the same room and then we went to a jacuzzi filled with water and flowers. It was unforgettable. Another big plus for us was that they had badminton courts in addition to the tennis courts.
Our room was wonderful - authentic Balinese decor, view of coconut palm trees and exotic tropical plants from our balcony as well as from our bed (all rooms have balconies there). There were squirrels jumping up and down coconut palms right in front of our balcony and even wondering inside the room, birds singing... (See pictures). Everything was perfect except for one detail that was spoiling this whole paradise for me - the damp smell. My husband said I was too sensitive, since the smell didn't bother him. However, to me the smell was so strong that I could not stay in the room. Hence, we requested another room right after we arrived. First they tried to give us a room far inferior to ours, and we turned it down. The manager told us to wait, since they had a full house. Eventually, 2 or 3 days into our stay and me complaining to the management every day about the smell they offered us an upgrade to a suite. The suite was impeccable and we enjoyed it greatly. Although I liked the layout of the regular (they call it "superior") room better. The bed in that room is right in front of the balcony so you get all the views from it. In a suite the bed is on a second floor of the unit and all the views are on the first floor. The restaurants on the territory are superb. My favorite was right on the sand very close to the water with fresh fish daily. Unfortunately, I don't have the picture of it.
The beach in front of Melia was not very good for swimming, since it was shallow and the bottom had stones, covered with sea plants. You can only swim during high tide, which was 6 a.m. in July. I think it was twice a day, but not sure. On our first night we walked almost 1 kilometer into the water and still had water lower than our waist. Plus I stepped on a sea urchin, and was limping for two days after that (Can you tell it was a perfect honeymoon:) Beware of sea urchins - there are many of them in Bali and many tourists step on them.
Despite the issue of damp smell I do not regret I went to Melia. I purposely walked around to see other hotels in Nusa Dua and did not find a single one which I would have liked better. Sheraton is right next door to Melia. I can say that Sheraton is more luxurious and wealthy. However, Sheraton is much less green and less Balinese. If you like greenery you should stay in Melia and request a newly remodeled room without the smell. If you like blue pools and you want to be 100% sure you won't have any problem with rooms - go to Sheraton. As for Nusa Dua beach - it is as authentic as Melia, but you can feel it is cheaper than Melia. The territory is smaller and less landscaped, however, it still very nice. I did not like the Westin territory. It was like a piece of the U.S. in Bali. It was very westernized and seemed like a business trip hotel (good meeting facilities, etc.) It was neither romantic nor authentic. It looked like a western hotel with good management, but not much more than that.
I'll be happy to answer any qustions about Melia.
I'm sure everyone will have a great time no matter where they stay. It is impossible not to have a ball on Bali. Have a great vacation, everyone!