I originally posted this review on October 20, 2013 which I wrote during the middle of our stay. I gave Aquarius 4 out of 5 and titled my review “4.5 Stars - Ticks Nearly All the Boxes”. I removed it to add an update at the bottom of the review.
Original review: We stayed at Aquarius for 8 days though we booked for 9 nights to allow for early morning check in and a late evening departure. We booked direct via email and had really good service. Based on other travellers’ reviews we asked for an upstairs room away from the street and requested a blanket plus we advised we were arriving around 1:00am. It wasn't a problem, everything was arranged as requested.
Our room (#3) was large and light with a very comfortable bed, TV, fridge, kettle, wardrobe (with a safe) coffee table and chairs. The room is air conditioned and has a ceiling fan - we found we needed both on day and night (it was around 33 degrees Centigrade each day). The bathroom and shower recess were spacious; there was a cupboard under the sink and 4 hooks on the wall plus 2 towel rails. The balcony has a table and two chairs and a towel rail. The balcony faces west so was in the direct sun for much of the day and was too hot for us to use apart from the early morning and evening.
As mentioned by others, the hotel has only 16 rooms so it is quite peaceful. It seemed to have just couples as guests while we were staying. The swimming pool is a good size with plenty of sun lounges. There is a kitchen near the pool that guests can use and fridge/freezer (this was originally planned for the guests breakfast cafe but then they switched to using Lutu's). The beach, and Lutu's, is about 250 metres and the main street about 300 metres in the other direction so it's in a good location for nearly everything you need. Plus the White Sands bar is directly opposite.
Small areas for improvement:
1. the vertical blinds are terrible - they let in too much light, they twist around leaving large gaps, you can easily get caught up in them trying to get through the doorway
2. the bathroom towels are kid sized not adult sized
3. water pressure in the shower was variable (generally good but then sometimes quite low and the water just stopped one time)
All in all Aquarius is good value, well appointed, conveniently located and quiet. I'd stay here again but in a room with more shade (5 or 7 upstairs or a downstairs room).
Update: on our last day at the Aquarius I spoke to the of Aquarius about the issues with the vertical blinds and asked whether they would replace them. I got a very condescending reply along the lines that Australians don’t know how to properly use vertical blinds (which is a load of rubbish). I mentioned that many people had commented adversely on TripAdvisor about the amount of light the blinds allow into the rooms but there was absolutely no interest in listening to the feedback or addressing the issue. If the staff, location and other amenities weren’t so good I’d refuse to stay again. However, we’ve booked to come back to Bali (Sanur) in May 2014 and we are now tossing up between Aquarius and the Sayang Sanur Terrace House.
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