Being an SPG Platinum member, I try to book SPG properties not only for business, but for vacations as well. Last year, we booked W Koh Samui, and this year we decided on W Bali.
After getting in touch with Byang (Director of Rooms) he helped me out in figuring out the best way to book what I wanted. We wanted to stay in a Villa, but they cannot be upgraded to as a part of the SPG program. However, he could upgrade us from a Wonderful Garden View to an Ocean Facing room, and then we could pay a small fee to upgrade from there to the Villa. Perfect!
As I had a combination of bonus points and nights with Hotels.com, Travellink, Splendia and SPG, as well as amending the reservation twice, booking nights with Cash and Points and with an additional night at the end due to a cancellation from Thai Airways and an extra night in the beginning as we decided to upgrade from Business to First Class with Thai from Paris, I think I ended up with 6 or 7 reservations. Byang sorted me out and made sure we got the same villa for the entire stay (11 nights).
So, after the Villa was confirmed, flights were booked, we also booked airport pickup and VIP airport service through W. I recommend everyone to do the same. The VIP service is fantastic. You are met at the gate on arrival, guided through fast track immigration and visa service, they help you with luggage and make sure there are no issues in customs. For us, this was fantastic, as it turned out our luggage did not arrive on the same plane, and these guys sorted out everything for us. Also, if you are unlucky and arrive at the same time as several other flights, you will have to wait several hours in line if you do not have VIP service. And as the price was USD 25 per person, the choice was simple.
So, after sorting out all the paper work with Thai, they escorted us to our driver in the arrival hall. They were all very apologetic that our luggage had not arrived, and the driver suggested we stop by a mall on the way to the hotel to pick up necessities. Fantastic service! I felt a little sorry for him, as he had to wait 40-45 minutes for us while we browsed through the shops.
So, after shopping, we arrived at W Bali. The driveway is really beautiful, with a bamboo tunnel stretching a few hundred meters. There are also some water features and lighting along the way, which makes arriving in the evening stunning.
We were met by the Whatever/Whenever manager and escorted to the Villa/SPG check-in. After expressing their concern about our luggage, and taking copies of the paperwork, they assured us that they would follow-up with Thai. The rest of the check-in process went smoothly, I selected breakfast as the Platinum amenity, and soon after we were in villa number 45. We also got a couple of gift bags with boxer shorts, bikinis, tshirts, toothpaste etc. A fantastic gesture.
The villa is just a few minutes walking from the reception area, which was great. Some of the villas are further away, and if you are not a fan of walking, then you will have to request a buggy whenever leaving the villa. I would suggest you request a villa closer to the hotel. The villa itself is appx 200 sq.m, is enclosed and has a private pool. It has a large Bliss stocked bathroom with a shower and bath, and a combined bedroom/living room with a kingsize W bed and a sofa + bean bag. Outside next to the pool is also a day bed. And on the patio, there were sun-beds and a table with chairs. The villa is also equipped with a nice Bose surround system and Samsung LCD screen inside, as well as speakers in the daybed outside.
The minibar is nicely stocked, there is a water boiler and a rather small selection of tee's and instant coffee. I did miss having a coffee machine, but seeing they had fantastic coffee in the W lounge, I would just go there. More on that later.
The morning after, we got a message from Whatever/Whenever that they had confirmed with Thai that our luggage was on they way, and that they would take care of everything. We went for breakfast, and as a Platinum and/or Villa guest, you can dine at both Fire and Starfish Bloo. Starfish has a better seaview, and I felt a better buffet, but we ended up dining at Fire more often. Mostly due to better and quicker service there. I didn't catch his name, but there was in particular one person there, a tall guy with glasses, who was just fantastic. He seemed to be a shift manager or something like that.
The breakfast is a combination of ala carte and buffet, where you can basically get whatever you want. Coffee is fantastic, their veggie juices are great, pancakes are yummy. They even have eggs and foie gras :) We spent many hours here during our stay, and enjoyed (mostly) every minute of it. I say mostly, as there were mornings were children were running around, and sometimes crying, which disrupted the breakfast a little bit. The "talent" would usually bring the children outside again, and back to their parents. W Koh Samui is a child free resort, which for us was fantastic. So, if you are on a couples trip, a villa is definitely the room to have, as the W Bali had a few of them running around, and especially around the pool area.
So, we tested Fire, W Lounge, Starfish Bloo and Woobar on many occasions. Food is great at all of them, and of course more expensive than outside, but this is a high end resort. If you want to eat outside, and you do not want to get a taxi, just get the shuttle to the front entrance. Biku, just close by is a great place for lunch and dinner. Sarong, also just around the corner was the highlight of our trip, with incredible food. Mama San, just a five minute taxi ride, also owned by the same people as the ones behind Sarong, is also great. Merah Putih, another fantastic restaurant. If you want awesome coffee, go to Revolver in Seminyak. A cozy side-alley coffee shop with great coffee and lunch.
Next to the breakfast, we never got tired of sunsets at Woobar. With live djs every evening, happy hour from Monday to Thursday, enjoying the fantastic Bali sunset to great music and with the waves crashing in the background in a daybed by the beach was just incredible. People recommended Potato Head and Ku De Ta, but Woobar is more intimate.
ICE is another fantastic place to enjoy the sunset. Even more intimate than Woobar, and more quiet, it is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail prior to having dinner.
The AWAY Spa is very beautiful. My only regret is not spending more time there. Both prior to my treatment, but also after. Book way in advance, as it does tend to get full.
All-in-all, we had a fantastic two weeks at the W. They have a great product, and a fantastic team in place. I would especially like to thank:
Byang for helping us out with our bookings and making sure we got a great villa, and also for his going away gift to us.
Rika Chaachacha, the W insider for many good recommendations, for fantastic hospitality, for helping us out whenever we needed, and for all of her smiles.
The Whatever/Whenever manager (unfortunately forgot her name). She helped us out on many occations, but especially with our lost luggage.
And to Craig for putting the team together with made our stay truly fantastic.
But there are also areas which I felt could be improved. One was the presence of the chefs in the restaurants. We had lunches and dinners there on several occasions, but never saw any of the chefs. At W Koh Samui, the Food and Beverages manager would walk around every day and greet us. The same goes for the GM. I did meet him after emailing to thank for the service received when our luggage was lost, and he did catch up with us after that, and as well as when we checked out, but it would have been nice to see him around more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape hectic philosophies, and why not plunge into vibrant glitz amidst natural splendors? We're a new found playground along the shores of Seminyak, where trendsetting chic restaurants, clubs, fashions and eclectic galleries await discovery. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Starwood APAC, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Priceline, Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, HotelTravel.com, Splendia, Despegar.com, Asiatravel.com Holdings and Agoda so you can book your W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- w Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak Hotel Seminyak
- w Retreat And Spa Bali - Seminyak