This review may appear somewhat inconsistent with other reviews but this may be because my Wife and I spent 2-3 times longer at The Bale than most couples tend to. All of the problems we encountered were discussed with the General Manager before we left and we are confident from the feedback we’ve received that Luke will make a big difference in his new role as General Manager.
It was our first time to Bali and the first tip we can offer is to book the VIP immigration service – it’s worth every penny!
As we got off the plane an official from the Airport took our passports from us, together with our immigration forms and our $50USD, and led us passed all the queues and straight to the baggage hall. When we got to the exit there was a sea of people holding name boards. I have no idea how we would have found our driver from The Bale hotel as there must have been 50-100 different drivers jostling to get their name board displayed so the Airport official took us to one side and called the hotel to get our driver’s phone number. She then called our driver and he met us where we were standing. In the car we were given cold water, cold towels and fruit for the 40-minute drive to the hotel.
On arrival at the hotel the entrance is very disappointing but this is apparently intentional. Once inside the locked gate of our Villa everything was completely private! We knew that January is the rainy season but during our 10 days we had almost constant rain every day. It was always hot and humid and when it wasn’t raining there was a lot of cloud-cover so we were only able to sunbathe on 5 of the 10 days we were in Bali.
The biggest problem we had at The Bale was noise and the fact that our expectations were higher than the quality and the service we experienced.
The first villa we were in (36) was well maintained, clean and well-appointed and had a view over the lagoon through the trees. It was situated at the bottom end of the complex so it was initially really quiet and not overlooked in any way. During our first couple of days the weather was hot and sunny but the air conditioning failed to cope as we could not get the room below 28c.
On Day 5 of our holiday we had to change rooms as a large development project has just started at the lagoon and after 2 days we decided the noise was unbearable. The Villa roofs are thatched so even with the villa doors shut we could still hear the diggers. One of the hotel drivers told us that all development projects in Bali will be stopped after 2014 so it seems there are many development projects taking place at the moment to beat the deadline.
The new villa (33) seemed to be an older room or else it is in need of renovation as there were quite a few stains on the floor and the paintwork, and various other problems which were gradually sorted during the remainder of our stay. Unfortunately the villa was in the middle of the complex so it was far from quiet. On the sunny days, when the Gardeners were not maintaining the grass outside our villa with an electric strimmer the maintenance team were drilling and hammering or cleaning the concrete paths with a powerful jet wash - on two occasions we had to ask them to stop. The air conditioning was a lot noisier in villa 33, possibly because it consisted of 3 separate external compressor units, and we could hear this throughout the night and also in the garden while we were trying to relax on the sunny days.
Free WiFi is available throughout the complex but on several occasions we found that the network was unavailable until around 10am and occasionally in the evening as well. Not all the paths seem to be drained and there are lots of white marble steps so the rain created various hazards. Umbrellas are plentiful but there is one particular spot where it was impossible to navigate the path to and from the deluxe villas without wading through a very large puddle while it was raining.
The food was excellent and the Executive Chef Hamish had told us in advance he would be happy to try and accommodate if we wanted something which was not on the menu. The Executive Chef prepared an excellent meal for our Wedding Anniversary dinner which was not on the menu and which was provided complimentary and we also had a really nice cake. On New Year’s Eve we had an excellent 7-course dinner but the cost was an additional $240USD per person.
The Butler service is basically room service – if you want a meal or something else in your room then one of the team of Butlers will bring your order within 20-30 minutes – on one occasion we had to ask for a new cooked breakfast to be prepared as it was cold when it arrived at our room. There is only one open-air restaurant and no shop nearby but if you want any snacks, or need to visit the shops, the hotel will gladly arrange a car and we took advantage of this on a couple of occasions. The hotel would probably benefit from an indoor air-conditioned restaurant as the flies in the restaurant can be quite annoying while you’re eating a meal. They do provide mosquito sprays though! On our last evening we sat in the open air restaurant while the heavy rain was blown through the screens and the staff were pushing back the water on the floor with a long handled wiper blade.
The best way to see the Island is to get the hotel to arrange a Chauffeur for the day. This is cheaper than an organised tour and your driver will take you to whichever places you want to go so it’s easy to see lots of places in one day. We paid about £40 for 6 hours and before we left the Hotel we agreed with our Driver where we wanted to go – he also stopped at a few additional attractions on the way. We were in a comfortable air conditioned car and he was very knowledgeable pointing out things on the way. When we arrived at the attractions he simply waited for us and everything was done at our pace. We could have had a lot longer if we’d have wanted to and the driver would simply have added the additional hours to the cost, which was charged to our hotel bill.
The General Manager Luke and the Executive Chef Hamish were really keen to do everything they could to make our stay pleasurable and it was a shame they were let down by some of the team. The Staff are really friendly and the problems we had during our stay were relatively minor, but unfortunately during our 10 days at The Bale there were quite a few avoidable minor problems which we had to escalate to Luke and this was not what we’d expected from a property of this calibre.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Bale is a rare gem, a retreat dedicated to revitalizing your soul. With just 29 blissful pavilions, each with their own private swimming pool and modern, fashionable interiors, The Balé offers you the chance to relax and revitalize in style.Stroll through peaceful white − walled courtyards and past refreshing water pools, indulge in the unique collection of holistic spa treatments and well-being programs and dine on the freshest organic produce.Enjoy the friendliest and most refined service − what we call out "hospitality from the heart". The Balé is all this and more. Come and experience its magic.You deserve it ! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Bale Hotel Nusa Dua
- Bale Nusa Dua
- Bale Hotel Nusa Dua
- The Bale Bali/Nusa Dua