We were booked to stay in the two bedroom Nirvana Suite for 6 nights in April. Let me tell you, if this is Nirvana, it is Kurt Cobain on an extremely bad day.
We had read good reviews and viewed the attractive photos. It became absolutely apparent as soon as we entered the rooms that the internet shows no photos of this "suite". Whereas the photos show canopied beds with mosquito nets, and light, tropical bamboo/cane furniture, this 2 bedroom suite contains nothing remotely similar to this. We stayed one night before checking out and returning to Ubud from whence we had come (after having to pay $72 for a 10 minute phone call back to Australia to try to cancel through Wotif).
Access to the room is via an extremely narrow, metal spiral staircase from the open air restaurant. The huge speaker banks in the restaurant immediately underneath our rooms was an ominous sign. The room itself was old and tired, filled with huge dark wood built-ins in every room, and filled with deteriorating semi-nude French brothel prints, giving the whole place a soiled bordello feel. We booked this suite largely on the basis that it had opening windows, but there were no overhead fans or mosquito nets, making one reliant on the aging split system air conditioners, only half of which worked adequately. On the positive side the suite was very large, although one room was a large dining room, complete with table and chairs for a crowd. One wonders what use this is given the warning on the information sheet on the bed upon arrival that absolutely no outside food is to be brought into the hotel - only food purchased at the restaurant is to be consumed on the premises. Not that there is any ability to prepare food of any description, not even a tiny kitchenette. (A quick comparison of the restaurant with the many others nearby revealed extremely overpriced food, so we were not surprised that on our one night there the restaurant had no patronage at all.)
I pointed out to reception that the website said that there was tea and coffee making facilities in the room, and a hairdryer, but ours contained none. They sent up a hairdryer and the slowest boiling kettle in the history of electric kettles - a minimum of 20 minutes to boil the equivalent of two cups of water! Then, of course, there were the additional trips to collect cups ... and tea bags ... and milk, and on, and on, and on ...
The bathrooms may have been tre chic in the 70/80s, all pink-toned, moulded plastic faux travertine, but now they are just tre tragic. Even the functionality was lacking due to the hand-held shower head which must be held in order for the water to reach your body due to the steep incline of the bath and poor water pressure. The two teenagers in our party thought that the baths were very dirty, however I felt that the age of the plastic finish was such that it is no longer possible to eliminate that grimy haze on the surface.
The large lounge room was quite bizarre. The walls were covered in dark wood, glass fronted, display units, displaying an enormous number of crystal glasses. Why? ... And this was in addition to the sculpture that the teens found so amusing, of an aged, naked, emaciated couple with enormous, oversized genitals, adding yet again to the brothel feel of the place.
The balcony at the entrance to the room had a very pleasant view of the beach, although the two circa 1960s vinyl chairs did little to enhance the ambiance. The beach was filthy and unable to be used for swimming due to the number of boats moored there. The teens used the pool but complained of over-chlorination of the water, leading them to refer to it in future as the "acid bath".
After one night we checked out and returned to our previous two bedroom villa in Udub, which was considerably cheaper, and light years away in terms of amenity and aesthetics. Upon reading the other reviews of this hotel I can only assume that the Nirvana suite is in line for imminent renovation, and bears no resemblance to the rest of the accommodations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Bali Royal Suites Hotel offers a subtle blend of modern amenities and artistic traditions with a spacious sandy beach, tropical garden settings and classical architecture. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bali Royal Hotel Tanjung Benoa
- Hotel Bali Royal
- Bali Royal Suites Hotel Tanjung Benoa