Staying at the Bali Mandira was a big disappointment for us. When you book a room that promotes itself with "relax in the shooting design of your chic Balinese style cottage", pictures of lovely looking,renovated rooms and pay almost $300 a night, you naturally go into a resort with high expectations.
We paid extra and went for a Deluxe Club Cottage but the room we were given was so far removed from what they show on their website that we were disgusted. Imagine a 1970's style Australian motel and you'll have an idea of what it looked like. We have travelled somewhere in Asia for a winter escape almost every year for the past 30 years and this is the first time we have ever refused to take a room. We went straight back to reception and had to wait ages for a manager to speak to us. Whilst he was very polite, he was adamant that we had received one of their upgraded and renovated rooms. What a joke!! We stood with him in our room and showed him the pictures of the room on their website and compared it to what we could see around us. We asked him how this room was 'renovated' and "shooting design" and all he could give us was that it had been re-painted and that it had a new,outdoor shower.(which I thought was a bit tacky- certainly not 'chic') The bed seemed good but otherwise everything in the room looked old, worn and out-dated, especially all of the fixtures and fittings (particularly in the bathroom which has to be at least 30 years old!!)
As for the claim on their website that "...all Deluxe Club Cottages feature a private terrace with lush garden view..", well, that was a joke. The front patio is tiny, has hardly any garden around it and we were right on the main path that leads to the restaurant,beach and pool. We were also right next to the very busy,noisy, main restaurant. No privacy or peace whatsoever!!!
If you look carefully on their website, amongst the pictures of renovated rooms, there is a picture of an older style room - this is obviously what we got. Makes you wonder how many of their rooms are actually (properly) renovated???
So, after about an hour of discussions, all they could offer us was a down-graded room which turned out to be much better quality. Pay less money, get a nicer room - figure that out??? However, in order to get this room, we had to sign a letter stating that we were not entitled to any refund for taking a cheaper room. We asked if we could have some sort of compensation in the form of a dinner,drinks etc but they wouldn't even give us that. A late check out on departure day? - again "no". Great customer service Mandira!!!
The resort as a whole has pros and cons.
Pros - breakfast was a good standard and lots of variety, location is great (near beach,shopping etc), staff very friendly and the new pool is fantastic if you have kids.
Cons- no matter how neat and tidy they keep grounds there is no hiding the fact that this is an old resort. So much of it is looking dated. It is also a family resort so is very crowded and noisy. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday this is not the place for you.
Our experience at Bali Mandira was a disappointing way to end our holiday, especially after we had such an great time the week before on Lombok.( our resort there, Qunci, was AMAZING and cost far less than the Mandira)
If Bali Mandira charged prices that reflected the true quality of their resort, then I would have been happy staying there. As it is, I can't recommend it and would never stay there again. There are far better and cheaper options around.