I have honestly never been so disappointed by a five star hotel in my life. We left the Ayana (gorgeous, amazing service) and checked in to Bulgari to get married (I fell in love with the idea of a water chapel wedding and photos on the beach). I've seen all the reviews that talk about how luxurious Bulgari is, and maybe I am just spoiled, but Bulgari cannot compare to any other 5 star villa resort that I have stayed at in Asia. Even in Uluwatu there are much nicer places with far better service that you can stay at for less spend. No one with any impact at the Bulgari resort seems to care whether you are satisfied or not. The guys that ferry you about by buggy, the waiters, even the chefs are so sweet but the management is just so nonchalant. The arrogance of the place is insane.
1. I am two months pregnant, and yet when we checked in to get married there was no one to meet us to check us in to the hotel we were getting married at! On my wedding day I had to haul suitcases and my wedding dress out of the taxi and actually go wandering around to look for where to check-in. Sorry, but even if you go to a 5-star hotel for dinner there's always a bell boy there as standard to welcome and help with any bags?!
2. First impressions of the villa - the varnish on the outdoor floor boards is peeling and faded. It just looks tired. It costs nothing to sand and revarnish floor boards?! I would never let my home floor boards get to this kind of state - and Bulgari is meant to be in the business of hospitality and luxury...
3. Speaking of floor boards, getting ready for my wedding, I fell down a small pot hole in the floor of the 'luxury' villa by the heel of my shoe (pictured). It might sound petty - but this is meant to be five star and the place is just worn out. There were black stains on our curtains, too. It was just depressing!
4. My biggest issue was the AC and the lack of concern of anyone in the hotel to fix it. On my WEDDING NIGHT I didn't get a wink of sleep (and not in the good way either!) because the AC dripped all over me - not in a little way - look at the photo of filthy brown water dripping on to the bed!! In the morning I complained to house keeping and the butler, who promised that an engineer would come and fix it. We returned to the room at around 6pm and it was still leaking, the duvet was soaked through. I called to complain again about the leak and the soaked bedsheets, and when we came back to the room a few hours later the sheets had been changed byt the AC was still faulty and dripping all over the new sheets - they hadn't done a thing to fix the AC. Beggars belief, I know. I complained again - begging someone to fix the AC so that I could get some sleep. The engineer's idea of 'fixing' the AC was to place a board over the vent. Sure, I wasn't getting dripped on from the bed anymore, but the bedroom was then sweltering hot - literally no AC (not even a basic fan out of courtesy) in a so-called luxury hotel for the whole night?!!! I'm pretty sure that in a tropical climate, that there is no hotel - of any star - that would do this to guests. Considering that this was meant to be the wedding of my dreams, it's almost as if Bulgari did everything that they could to make it miserable. To make matters worse the water that would have dripped on me re-routed to the left hand corner of the room - all over the beautiful jewelery my new husband had gifted me on my wedding day. It was just disgraceful.
4. The breakfasts were nice, and I will say that the coffee is good. Note that if you stay in Villa 25 you will need the caffeine to get you through the days after those humid, uncomfortable, sleepless nights.
5. The events coordinator is a vile woman who is more unhelpful than you can imagine. I only wanted to get married in Bali for the water chapel wedding and the photos on the beach. The beach was closed - had been for weeks, with no plans to open anytime soon. But no one thought to tell us this when we were paying the upfront, pretty hefty fee for the ceremony. My wedding planner hadn't been informed either. I only found out when I was asking the photographer on the day to take us to the beach for some nice shots on the sand. Instead of offering helpful alternative beach locations, the Bulgari lady just adamantly insisted that it wouldn't be possible. I was reduced to tears by this woman an hour before my ceremony. Luckily the photographer was a very kind Balinese man who took us to a public beach the following day to take some nice photos.
6. Heavy rain fall meant that my water chapel wedding - the only reason I wanted to get married at Bulgari - didn't happen. I'm not blaming Bulgari for the rain fall, and the team did do a lovely job of making the alternate venue, a gazebo, as nice as they could. The team comped a spa treatment for us because of the rain, which was nice. But Ayana (where we had stayed for the five days leading up to the wedding) also comped us a couple's massage just as a celebratory gesture to get married. I'm not being ungrateful - but comping spa visits is pretty standard when you are spending the kind of money that these resorts charge, especially when you are getting married, anniversaries, honeymoons, etc.
Rant over. You won't catch me staying at Bulgari ever again, and we are regular visitors to Bali, especially Uluwatu. The grounds are very pretty and well maintained, but the villas are worn out and can't compete with the other luxury resorts in Uluwatu. Plus, the commitment to guest satisfaction is bordering zero. Stay at your own peril, people!