Myself, my sister, parents and my 2 year old stayed here for 8 nights recently.
Airport Transfer and Check In
Our driver met us at the airport, and was very friendly and happy to help us with our luggage. The van they used to drive us to our hotel (literally just 5-10 minutes from the airport) was very luxurious and comfortable. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted with a fruit juice on arrival, however I would suggest to the hotel that they serve this as cold as possible rather than luke warm, but it was refreshing anyway. Check in took around 20 minutes, and they asked for a deposit of 500,000 cash ($50) for both rooms.
The bedrooms were clean and comfortable. We stayed in rooms 368 and 370 which were on the 3rd floor overlooking the main road. Surprisingly there was very little noise from the street, you could only just hear cars honking occasionally, and very rarely at night. There were some cosmetic issues such as patchy ceiling and some skirting boards were cracked or missing, but that didn't affect our stay. There was lots of space near the window that had a small coffee table and 2 chairs, but a couch or a daybed along one of the bare walls would have been brilliant. Block out curtains were great, and there was a safe in the room along with mirrored closet doors, tea and coffee facilities, dvd player, tv which had loads of channels for surfing at night. The bed was a little hard, but the linen was changed every day and housekeeping brought us 3 extra pillows as we also had a 2 year old in our bed. After the first evening they noted that we had called for an extra towel and so left us 3 fresh hot towels every day, however we didn't get these until the afternoon due to them being taken away to be laundered. In room 368 the airconditioning was refrigerative and very effective. In room 370 my parents had it on the exact same settings but it was more humid in their room and they had the occasional smell of the sewers waft through which was unpleasant. The bathrooms were a good size, with phones also provided, with the showers having detachable heads and very good pressure. The bathroom amenities were replaced every day, and there was 2 bottles of water provided every day. We found that the bar fridge was good for storing our own water and drinks (we emptied both of the mini-bar facilities and stocked it ourselves from the Circle K across the road) and kept them cold, but the tiny freezer inside it didn't even freeze the water in the provided ice cube trays.
Housekeeping and room service would answer usually within 4-5 rings, however some of the staff didn't speak very good english. We found out they don't charge a Tray or Service Charge for bringing your room service drinks and food up, and really recommend the mocktails at 35,000 ($3.50) and fresh juices on the menu. The only problem I found with the room was that my 2 year old could open the main door from the inside, and there was no security chain or locking mechanism for me to stop him. We also noted that if you were wheelchair bound or disabled you would have no luck getting to our rooms as there were stairs between the lifts and the rooms which was a little inconvenient with a pram.
The Restaurant and Bar
The hotel restaurant The Bellagio was very clean and the staff were brilliant, tirelessly entertaining my 2 year old son and always had a smile for us no matter what the request. We found the breakfast to be very filling, and had a great selection of juice, coffee, tea, croissants, toast station, egg station (where they would make fresh eggs and bacon by request for you), and a buffet station with Indonesian style foods. The dinner we had the first night had a lot to be desired, with some of the dishes we ordered being luke warm, with the kids fish and chips coming out soggy. At 720,000 ($72) we felt very disappointed). We had dinner there twice more at 700,000 ($70) and 350,000 ($35), and found that the less we ordered from the Western section and the more we ordered from the Indonesian section, the food was better, cheaper and hotter. We also ate around the corner at SA Cafe, which was approx 5-10 minute walk away and we spent approx $15 per person there including drinks. The free 3 course dinner that came with our stay at The Bellagio was really good, and they let us mix and match between the dishes on the 3 set menus. They nailed the Fettuccine Cabonara and the Tomato Soup!
The only bar is an outdoor one, facing the road (underneath our windows). There is a nice upstairs area which is a little more private, however most guests chose to sit and listen to the duet that was usually playing in the evening. The bar is open until very late and room service is 24/7. The only thing that put us off was that the bar and the lobby were not smoke-free. I would recommend that the hotel look at turning their Wine Lounge into a bar area, as it was very luxurious looking but you couldn't order anything from there as it was set up for wine tasting only. The restaurant staff won my family over, especially the bar staff.
The Spa and Pool
The rooftop "Sky Pool" was lovely, however we rarely saw the bar open as we were out during the day. The signs say the pool and jacuzzi close at 6pm, however it was always open for guests to use at any time. One night we were there from 10pm-midnight and we weren't prevented from using it. It was stunning at night, watching planes take off, and the noise from the street was barely heard. The only problem was that the staff take the pool towels and day-bed cushions away at night (fair enough). It would have been nice for the roof to have a better view of the ocean, but that was obstructed by other hotels and the view down to the street showed mainly construction sites and some markets down the side street. This is also the street that leads down the the beach, some 10-15 minutes walk away. We found the stall holders weren't very aggressive during the day, and once they started recognising us they mainly left us alone. The pool was very clean, and had a swim up seating area, but not a swim up bar. It would be good for larger gatherings of people, and the sun seats were really comfortable. We managed to get drinks service one day, and it was nice to relax up there with a cocktail or two.
We found that it would be very difficult to get up to the pool and day spa area if you were disabled or wheelchair bound, as the lifts only go up to level 4, and then you have to go up a corridor and a flight of stairs to get to the spa, and another set of stairs again to the pool. It was a lovely area, but getting to it was somewhat tiring with a 2 year old in tow.
The spa was sensational, and very well priced for a hotel spa. I got a 60 minute massage and body wrap for 110,000rh ($11) and there were specials for a 60 minute massage for just 99,000rh ($9) and a 60 minute mani/pedi for the same. I would definitely recommend the spa again, especially since I preferred to stay at the hotel for treatments and wasn't keen on going to one of the many market masseurs. There were places on the surrounding streets for $3.50-$7.50 for massages, however I found the girls in the hotel to be very sweet and kind, especially Mia, who I would go back just for her face and head massage (she put me to sleep). One of the girls spent extra time to get my french tips perfect, which the painted on by hand. Wonderful treatments and worth the extra stairs!
We found it to be very sparce of travellers, I suppose it was because it was very close to the airport and most of them would be going up to the Main Beach of Kuta. The road was always very busy due to being the main road from the airport with all the major hotels on it. We discovered a Hypermart at the LippoMall which was literally 5 minutes walk up the road and there was also a stunning Japanese bakery which was constantly pushing out fresh sweet pastry and bread. The Hypermart had everything from fridges to fresh fruit and yogurt, and we were glad to have found it.
Seriously be aware of the sidewalks. They were being pulled up and replaced when we were there, and they were hazardous and some of the manholes were completely open to the drainage systems below. Lots of the tiles were broken, and are VERY slippery when wet, which I found out when I slipped and fell whilst I had my 2 year old in my arms. We went up to Centro Mall and visited a large market there called Bamboo. It was nice to shop and browse without being hounded and we made several purchases there that we found were cheaper than at the markets themselves. One thing we noted was the A&W fast food store was very much like KFC in Australia, but all my Dad was interested in was the coffee shakes as it was more like an Aussie Iced Coffee (rather than the Balinese version, being peculated coffee with ice in it). We caught a taxi there one evening as we were fairly tired from a long day and it came to 20,000rh ($2), however when we wanted to go back to the hotel it was raining and so we were to be charged between 50,000 ($5) and 75,000 ($7.50). We went all the way up into Kuta (40 minutes walk), and went looking for the Hard Rock Hotel, which once we looked at the menu was too overpriced anyway. We were happy with one of the smaller restaurants and looked at Madahari whilst we were there. Honestly I preferred Centros market as the goods were the same and the prices were better at Centro.
On the first day we got a round of cocktails at Febris Hotel (pina coladas) which was about 1km up the road, and they were awful and tasted like straight alcohol. I drank half of mine quite quickly before I realised as it was so cool and refreshing, but then I felt so ill and intoxicated within 5 minutes that I went straight back to J Boutique and made myself sick. Be aware of where you drink as we could see the barmen at Febris scratching their heads whilst trying to work out how to make them. All drinks we got at J Boutique were wonderful, especially the Belly Buster Juice.
There was a mix up with our deposit on our rooms and we had a little trouble checking out as one guest attendant on the desk couldn't work out what the girl had done the day before (as we had paid our accounts in full the previous day). It felt like they were accusing us of trying to leave without paying, however things were sorted out quite quickly once they worked out what had happened. What we didn't appreciate was the feeling of being held hostage as they would not begin loading our luggage to go to the airport until that last detail was sorted out (again, fair enough, but a little rude by the staff on check in to get their wires unfairly crossed and make out that we were trying to skip out on them). We just made our flight check in on time due to this misunderstanding.
Would I recommend this hotel to my friends and family?
Yes I definitely would recommend this hotel to stay in again, however not to the elderly/disabled wanting somewhere to relax in the day-spa or by the pool due to the stairs.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- J Boutique Hotel is a simple minimalist and a lifestyle 3 star boutique hotel. Experience a modern & retro designed hotel in Black and White ambiance located just 10 minutes walk to Segara beach, Kuta beach and right next to Lippo Mall Kuta. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- J Boutique Hotel Bali/Kuta