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Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
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Reviewed February 19, 2012

I want to take a quick relaxing holiday to have a break from my hectic work schedule and obviously, Bali comes to mind. I decided to try the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay and booked an ocean villa thru my agent.


Arriving

I booked a car pickup from Bali airport on arrival. A four seasons staff was on hand to greet me and escort me to the car, a BMW SUV. The resort isn’t far away from the airport, about 15 mins ride. On arrival, there was strict security check which I felt is a good thing given what happened to Bali not that long ago. I was greeted warmly on arrival and after the check-in formalities; I was escorted to my villa with a buggy. A staff was already on hand to introduce me to the features of my villa.


The Villa

The Villa is about 200m2 and comprises of a indoor section on one side and an outdoor section on the other. The indoor section houses the sleeping quarters with a large king size bed and an ensuite bathroom with outdoor shower. The outdoor section comprises of a sitting room with sofas and dinning area. A small plunge pool with cabanas and a view of the India Ocean. The architecture is traditional Balinese, and so is all the internal decoration and furniture.

This is a old resort, coming to 19 years this year and accordingly, the villa is old and despite extensive maintenance and periodic refreshing, it’s showing it’s age. However, there’s a particular charm to it. All the furniture used are traditional Balinese style and while old, still functional. The villa was kept very clean and well maintained. Pest control is good as I hardly notice any insects, can’t say that of other resorts I have tried so far. The bedroom has good natural light, with a functional workdesk, a large comfortable king size bed and also a A/V entertainment system from Bose, and a iPod dock is also thoughtfully provided. Unfortunately, they paired it with a sad and out-dated 32” LCD TV.

The bathroom is great with good water pressure. Besides a large tub that can (arguably ) fit two, there’s also a rainforest shower and an outdoor shower. Toiletries are thoughtfully stored in nice porcelain jars and there are lots of bath towels of all size.

The outdoor section is rather cozy and a relaxing place to chill out or have a meal. The plunge pool is not big enough to do laps and the villa is not private enough for skinny-dips as just beyond the pool is a walking path not far from the edge of the pool. I was upgraded to a Ocean Front Villa that supposedly offers a better view. Unfortunately, there’s a large tree blocking the view. Anyway, it perhaps makes no sense to pay more for the view since all villas have the exact same equipment, layout and amenities. The view, a short walk from the villa at the edge of the resort is far better than from the villa itself.


Common Areas and F&B

While the villa is nice and comfortable, it’s the surroundings that impressed me, and my gosh!, this is breathtakingly beautiful resort. Stretching along the east-west shoreline of the Jimbaran Bay with direct views of the Indian Ocean, the views are amazing, especially during sunset. Along the coastline of the resort, there are many corners and sitting areas for one to enjoy the view and relax, and few things in life are as relaxing as just watching the ocean and hearing the sound of the waves crushing on shore.

The resort has an Italian restaurant and a Indonesian restaurant on site, a lounge and two outdoor casual dining eateries along the beach and the pool that served snacks. Food served is of good quality but very very expensive, almost unreasonable. I tried the Indonesia food, satay and a crispy fried duck, no wine, just soft drinks. The chef was kind enough to ask for my feedback but I want to spare him the embarrassment of complaining about the price so we just had a chat about Indonesian food. To be fair, the food quality is good, but hard to justify such a simple meal costing USD70/=.

In-room dinning is even more expensive, with simple nasi goreng costing a ridiculous Rp250,000 and that’s before tax. The other entries in the in-room dining menu also come with similarly eye-popping prices. Fortunately, the burden of my food cost was partially offset by the hundred dollar F&B credit included in my stay. Now don’t get me wrong, as a foodie also, I don’t mind to pay top dollars for really high quality food. However, this was not the case. For example, I am a regular guest of Four Seasons Hong Kong and their food prices are also extremely high, but they deliver top top quality that makes it worth paying for.

I had morning breakfast at the Italian restaurant and find the quality to be very mediocre for a supposedly top class Four Seasons resort. The pastries tasted stale and the egg omelet wasn’t properly made. There are some seafood restaurants within walking distance of the resort, but otherwise, the resort is pretty secluded. So if it’s raining which happened during my stay, then there’s no option to eat at the resort for lunch unless one just do with snacks or order the expensive in-room dinning.


Service

As expected of a Four Seasons, the service is generally very good. Staff are attentive, warm but never intrusive, many which as I understand have been with the resort for many years, that even before you asked, they already anticipate what you want. All request were promptly and quickly responded to, and to their credit, they already know and addressed me by name right from the first day. Perhaps that’s not much of a feat because there seems to be very few guests during this low season, but still commendable for the effort.

It’s not perfect though, there were some mix-up of the reservation details during check-in and check-out. These are however minor issues. I shortened my stay from 2 nights to one at the last minute and the resort was gracious enough not to leverage any penalties, which is much appreciated.


Conclusion

The Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay is by and large an outstanding resort on the surface. It boasts a prime if secluded location with fabulous ocean views. The resort with its sprawling compound is a pleasure to walk around, especially in the relatively cool evening, and the landscaping and gardening makes for a dreamlike and romantic atmosphere. I can see why this resort is very popular with honeymooners and it’s also ideal for anyone else that just want a peaceful and quiet place to relax. The villas are a bit old and could use some extensive renovation, but otherwise, its well maintained and equipped.

What I don’t like are the F&B offerings in the hotel and the fact that so many things in this resort are over-priced. The options are so limited especially for lunch because both main restaurants do not open for lunch. So the only available option is in-room dining as described earlier.

My rates comes with a lot of perks ( ie extras ) like free breakfast and resort credits that helped to offset part of the cost of my stay because I booked it thru a Four Seasons preferred partner agent. Guest who just booked online and paying rack rates will be getting a relatively poor value for their money as they have to pay for airport transfer which is also very expensive ( USD70/= for a 15 mins car ride ), expensive breakfast and meals in the resort. Thus if one only consider the facilities and environment of this resort, it rates a solid 4/5. However, I cannot ignore the poor value for money and the lousy breakfast, I will have to rate this resort a 3/5 only.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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Thank BENLEE123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
JimbaranDenpasar, General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, responded to this reviewResponded May 3, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for having taken the time to share your feedback. We truly appreciate your comments, both positive and where we need to improve. I sincerely apologize for the disappointment you experienced with the resort condition, view from your villa, food pricing, breakfast quality and reservations details upon your check in and check out. We do take your comments seriously and I have personally addressed these issues with my team members for discussion and immediate improvement.

We do hope that this experience has not permanently tarnished your opinion of us and that we will have the opportunity in the future to regain your confidence in our Resort.

We conduct a competetive analysis with other Deluxe Hotels in the region. Please rest assured that we continously monitor our pricing strategy in order to provide good value for money.

Until then I remain with warm regards from the island of the gods,

Michael Branham
General Manager
Four Seasons Resorts Bali

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2012

We spent four days at the FS Jimbaran and were blown away when we entered our Villa. Probably the most beautiful "suite" and location we have ever experienced. Our bedroom was large and lead to change area with lots of space to finally empty your suitcases and then to a large bathroom and a door that lead outside to a shower. WOW!!

Twice a week there is Beds on the Beach dinner and it expensive but laying their surrounded by candles and flowers with very attentive waitstaff with the surf pounding in front of you is worth the investment.

In addition to a private plunge pool (12 by 12 and 4 1/2 deep) there is an outside sitting room with a couch, comfy chair and dining table for four. Each morning we enjoyed breakfast after a wakeup swim. The "American" breakfast is huge and the second morning we shared one but there was still food left over.

A ten minute walk or very cab ride is Jimbaran Corner and they have a pretty good wine store where you can pick up some bottles at a more reasonable price for a glass or two before dinner or one with a nightime swim before hitting the incredible FS sheets.

They are much cheaper hotels but not many better

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank McInvestor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2012

We stayed here for 10 days over Christmas and had a really nice, relaxing stay. We booked an ocean view villa which had huge amount of space and private pool. The highlight for me was the breakfast each morning. The restaurant has beautiful views of the ocean and Bali coastline and we spent probably a couple of hours each morning trying the various breakfast options. The service was always first class and you can order variety of juices which would be brought freshly made. I really can't fault this hotel but one negative I did have was some of the guests were behaving quite loud by the pool area which can be annoying when you just want to sit in peace.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jerry P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2012

We arrived in Bali to celebrate our 40th Wedding anniversary. This was our 4th trip to the hotel and selected it because we have always thought it was a very special place. They could not have been nicer to us. The new manager of the resort, Ilkin was incredible to us. I did not want a villa on the top level so they suggested that I look at 2 other villas that might be more suitable. They drove me around with the buggy and I selected a lovely room located close to the Library where they offer free internet. (why can't these expensive first class hotels include internet - an oft repeated complaint- it seems so nickel dimey!). Anyhow, the villa was fine and I went back to the stunning lobby to get my husband. Ilkin wanted to do something special for us since it was a celebration for us. So, he said that the next day he would move us to a 2 bedroom villa. I said it was unnecessary but he INSISTED! And so the next day they moved us to the MOST fabulous 2 bedroom villa with a HUGE outdoor living room, warm and private plunge pool and perfect ocean views. We never wanted to leave - and so we hardly did over the next 2 days where we luxuriated in our version of paradise!
We did go on a great bike ride with a guide (No charge) and saw wonderful views from atop a cliff. The spa was wonderful, terrific treatments. The gym was staffed and the attendant continually brought us cool wet towels to cool us down. Food was good, not great. They are redoing the beach pizza restaruant which should be super when it is complete.
All in all, it wa a wonderful way to start our celebration trip and we appreciated the Balinese hospitality which is second to none!

Room Tip: Nice to be closer to the ocean and villas are the best!
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JWRDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2012

We spent 10 days at the lovely Four Seasons in Jimbaran Bay, including New Year's Eve. The hotel is fabulous, from the rooms to the service. Despite being a large resort, the rooms (we had a pool villa with ocean view) are secluded and peaceful. The New Years Eve events were impressive, much more than we expected, with a fabulous array of lobsters, champagne, fireworks and even a live band. The spa and gym were impeccable and bigger than we have seen in other resorts around the island. Michael, the GM, greeted us personally and catered to every request with a turnaround unexpected for an island like Bali. Although we rented a car for the period, we barely made it off the resort, preferring the peace and tranquility of the hotel, which is very unlike us. Our five year old daughter adored the kids club, where she came back with braided hair, tattoos, homemade cookies....she even took a dance class. She preferred spending the days at the Kids Club rather than leaving the resort. We had a great time, came back feeling refreshed and relaxed. We will certainly visit the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay again.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank AMCConcepcion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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