Sara and I stayed here seven years ago, shortly after it opened. We loved it so much that we changed hotel plans and revisited it again on the same trip after returning from Ubud in Bali, Could it still be as nice seven years later? Was it even possible? The short answer is a resounding YES!
Villas abound in Seminyak, but the Elysian is unique. It is secluded, private, lush with gorgeous tropical vegetation and has a serene romantic feeling that just cant be duplicated anywhere else we have stayed or visited. Part of the reason is the staff. In a country where gracious attentive service is the norm, the Elysian staff offer even more. They have a warmth and camaraderie with each other that is pleasing and genuine. Many staff members from 2007 were still employed here. It was especially gratifying to see that some had been promoted. Not too many places in Bali offer a career path from housekeeping to front desk, but the Elysian does.
The villas are still gorgeous and have been very well maintained. Keeping exterior teak looking really good in a sunny climate is hard, but they do it. They are so cozy and private. The architect was a genius in laying out sight lines so that nobody has a view into any part of your villa, even the outside and the pool area. You feel like you are alone in a lush jungle. Love still blooms here. You can see it in the eyes of couples, gay, straight, young and old.
The breakfasts are still great. My only complaint, and a minor one at that, is that the once complimentary smoothies are now charged, but everything else is free and bountiful. GREAT coffee and espresso drinks. They don't bat an eye if you ask for a fifth espresso drink or third helping of fresh fruit. The setting for breakfast is just lovely. We never tire of it.
Dave runs the restaurant and he does a great job. He was formerly a chef at a 5 star Nusa Dua hotel and opted for the independence of the Elysian kitchen where he practices his craft so well. What is funny is that we used the tripAdvisor mobile app to recommend a nearby restaurant using our GPS coordinates. To our surprise we found one very close with great reviews. It was called Rush Bamboo. We inquired at the front desk where they politely suppressed a laugh and informed us that we had just walked past it on our way to the lobby. The Elysian's in-house restaurant IS Rush bamboo and it does very well as a stand alone establishment. We had dinner there twice and were very pleased with our delicious meals and the romantic ambience. Prices are exactly what you'd pay outside of the hotel for a comparable meal and setting. No rip off prices here. Service was great. Tini, Dewik and a slender quiet young woman whose name escapes me took great care.in presenting our meals, keeping the water glasses filled and the cappucinos coming. Amazingly, the Elysian has 24 hour room service so you can get anything anytime, freshly cooked. Try duplicating that at some other villas.
Housekeeping and gardening staff obviously take great pride in their work. The villas are absolutely spotless and the grounds are gorgeous. Engineering is very sharp too. We had a minor AC problem that was fixed in minutes. What impressed me (I am an engineer and used to work on big refrigeration systems on commercial fishing boats) is that the Elysian's engineer arrived with an infrared optical thermometer, freon pressure gauges, a multimeter and a host of other gear. He was ready to do ANYTHING that needed to be done. Many so called engineers at small hotels are just switch flippers without the ability or specialized tools needed to do serious troubleshooting or repair. The Elysian has it all covered.
Erni at the front concierge desk was always cheerful, professional and very helpful. She even gave us the same villa we had in 2007 which was a nice touch. Febri and Ardi frequently gave us complimentary rides into town and are great guys.
We were shown a villa in the process of being updated and my wife preferred the old look to the new. No huge changes though. The new look has modern grey wood furniture and shelves replacing natural brown golden teak. The glass finish white floor tiles are being replaced with something less reflective, sort of a slate tan color and looking more modern. I hope they keep a few villas in the old style so Sara can have her preferred interior next time we visit. Many guests will like the new look. Look at Restoration Hardware's 2014 catalogs and you will see that the Elysian is on board with the new looks and colors.
We stayed at some more expensive places in Bali but none matched the unique romantic feeling of the Elysian so we WILL be back for sure. You really cant go wrong picking the Elysian. Just look at all the reviews and you will see that my high opinion is shared by many many others. Highly recommended without a single doubt or reservation. You will love this place.