This is our second stay at the hotel. We were there in October 2012 and now again in Feb 2013. I didn't get round to writing a review then so will intersperse it with our stay this time.
Staff are excellent. Warm, friendly and extremely helpful. Many of them remembered us from our stay in October and warmly greeted us.
Food at Merica, TLC (in house restaurants) served good, decent food. Poolside grill was decent. Service from Devi at poolside grill was excellent. Resort prices. The steaks were excellent at Merica and done to perfection. TLC served decent tapas and sandwiches. We have tried all the restaurants and all their special food nights - BBQ grill, legong dance (cultural dance), Italian night. Here's my summary of what's good:
BBQ grill - the butterfish is excellent. Really melts in the mouth. The kechak (?) dance was a hit with my 6 yr old. It's done in the sand pit and unfortunately, my child got bitten badly by sand flies. The BBQ is really good for seafood, meats and Babi guling.
Legong dance - many dances to entertain. My child really enjoyed it although it was way past her bedtime. Dance started about 8pm and ended about 9ishpm. Dinner starts at 7pm. It's open air, so dress lightly. It was humid and we were all drenched in perspiration. Great backdrop of the ocean. Food was balinese and had a good variety for vegetarians and meat lovers.
Italian buffet - decent food and wines. Do not expect gourmet italian food. There were pizzas (albeit cold), pastas made on the spot, some meats, fish etc. Decent desserts and fruits. (point to note: They didn't charge my 6 yr old who picked at her food and ate like a bird.)
Breakfast buffet is lush. Pacific club access also had their own breakfast menu and we had foie gras brioche on one of the days.
We travelled both times with children.
I brought my baby on both trips. He is now 9 months and needed pureed food. The kitchen / hotel staff were very helpful and prepared what I asked for (boiled rice, chicken and carrots blended together). Saved me from having to bring a hand blender and jars of baby food!
Hotel has purchased new cots which was a boon. The last time we were there, they had old metal cots and now, they were spanking new playpen/cots which were lovely.
A point of contention for me was the kids club. It is very very quiet as other reviewers have noted. Kids club was free when we were there in October 2012. They have started to charge for it since January 2013. Rates are charge for the first hour and then per minute after. They have also just built a new playground with slides/swings which is free for kids to play in. The highrope activities are chargeable per hour which would include rock climbing etc. I never saw anyone using it and found it rather expensive (about IDR 175,000 per hour). My child would have completed the highrope walk in less than 10 mins. It would have better if the high rope activities were free and the rockclimbing (which would have needed supervision) were free.
We did pay for our child to play in kids club. Fortunately she had made friends with another little girl during our hotel stay so they both enjoyed their time at the kids club having their faces painted and they made little flowers and painted a bit. The kids club is very quiet and we didn't see any other children using it.
The pool and slides are brilliant. My 2.5yr old and 6yr old loved it.
A note to those thinking of bring their nanny along:
We wanted to book a 2 bedroom villa which came with a little pool back in October 2012 as we were bringing the kid's nanny and grandma along. It didn't work out as the "living room" of the villa was an open air bale. This meant mosquitoes and kids wouldn't have been able to go out to the living room at night. Our nanny wouldn't have had a place to sleep in either. (The single rooms were in another section of the hotel). Also, golfers may hit golf balls into the villa which wouldn't have been ideal. (It's possible! I hit my golf ball to the edge of the wall of the villa!!)
We ended up booking a garden suite with an adjoining room which worked out. Grandma slept with our 2 older girls in the adjoining room, nanny took the couch in the living room and we took the bedroom in the suite with baby. There was a sliding door for privacy in the suite. Also, the suite has an additional powder room and toilet which was ideal for the nanny. So the adults could go out for a meal and leave the children in the rooms with nanny babysitting.
Would have been ideal if the hotel had a 3 bedroom villa but we found the above combination worked out.
We stayed in the same garden suite again in Feb 2013. We had put in a strong request for the room to be properly cleaned as our baby was now crawling all over the floor. The last time we were stayed, the rooms were dusty and dirty. Shower area in adjoining room was moldy and they had to bleach and clean it again.
Garden suite was great as the extra space gave the kids space to chill in the living room and baby to crawl around. Also helped when we had friends we had made in the hotel over chatting in the living room while kids slept in the bedroom with the sliding door shut.
Making reservations was not exactly easy. A lot of patience is needed as their command of english isn't very strong. Do make repeated requests if what you ask is not answered in the first instance.
We had club lounge access which was lovely. I liked the quiet environment and now they serve high tea in the afternoon. Kids could watch telly while adults ate. Club access gave you free canapes, cocktails/mocktails at the sunset lounge which is a lovely area to chill to watch the sunset!
We would really like to thank the staff at the sunset lounge:
In the mornings, when no guests were around, my 6yr old would play on the piano and the staff were very accommodating. Thank you for that!
Overall, a very pleasant experience. Do try chilling in one of the open air bales by the ocean. It's a must do (do it in the morning, the setting sun will heat it up very quickly).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience a flawless getaway in paradise against the dramatic backdrop of Bali’s iconic Tanah Lot Temple and the Indian Ocean.Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort unveiled a brand new experience for guests with a US$10 million refurbishment of its 278 guest rooms including luxury suites and villas, restaurants, bars and event spaces completed in 2011. The renewed resort, complemented by the uncomplicated service and premium offerings synonymous with the Pan Pacific brand, will enable guests to enjoy enriching and unrivalled experiences.Experience the best location to enjoy a remarkable sunset in Bali with dramatic views of Bali’s iconic Tanah Lot temple, Indian Ocean, rice paddies, Greg Norman golf course and lush tropical gardens. In the resort, you can enjoy cycling around the resort grounds and the Bali countryside, a sunset walking experience with 103 hectares manicured gardens, spa indulgence at the Bale with endless view of the Indian Ocean, exquisite culinary offerings, relax by the three-tiered swimming pools with a 54-metre water slide, and many more activities awaits you. Complimentary shuttle service to Kuta and Seminyak is also provided.Children staying in the resort will be able to enjoy a wide-range of kid-friendly activities and experiences such as; painting, Balinese dancing, jungle gym, tennis, golf, Wii video games at Kids Club and Family Rooms or even join the fun environment activity of baby sea turtle release at the resort beach.Recently, Nirwana Bali Golf Club at Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort received prestigious recognition as Asia’s 10 Most Elite Golf Courses by FORBES Travel Guide, voted 100 Best Golf Course outside the US (no 66) and No 1 Golf Course in Indonesia by Golf Digest-US and Indonesia’s Leading Golf Resort (2010, 2011, and 2012) and Indonesia’s Leading Spa Resort (2012) by World Travel Awards. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Hotel Tabanan
- Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort Tabanan