There's no question that staying in a villa at Mulia is expensive, but for those with the luxury of being able to afford it, I imagine it would be harder to find a better experience. We stayed for nine nights in a family villa, which includes two bedrooms in separate structures, the main bedroom of which has an enormous bathroom including jacuzzi (note that the two bedroom villa has two main bedrooms, with two jacuzzi).
The quality of the villa is unimaginable, with luxury furnishings, carpetings, curtains and bedding. Even the cot for our two year old was seemingly designed for a prince, with a nice mattress and plush pillow. Space is plentiful, with enough room in any of the areas for the four of us to stretch out and relax. There were a total of 20 places to sit throughout the villa! The villa is descended upon twice a day by a team of cleaners, who keep the inside spotless, the garden manicured and the pool sparkling (there was at one time five staff inside the villa compound all working hard). Fruit, water, and coffee capsules are all replenished twice daily.
The bathroom is like a day spa, with a shower that spurts water both from above and from four shower heads on the wall, and a jacuzzi definitely large enough for two. The toilet has been well reviewed, and even though I knew what it involved, it was still fun.
The pool is much more than a plunge pool, probably about 8 metres long and 4 wide. There is a sort-of a wave generator at the end which can be turned on to make a moderate current, with the intention that you can swim in the current for exercise (although it's not really very strong or comfortable).
The resort itself is enormous, and the 5 or 10 minute walk to the beach is usually swapped for a buggy ride. The buggies can be booked to arrive punctually in advance, or ordered at any time with only a few minute wait, which is better than some similar properties we've stayed in where it can take 10 or 20 minutes to arrive.
The villa comes with butler service. You are assigned two butlers, one for the day shift and one for the evening. They seem to care for approximately four villas at any one time, so are usually immediately available to assist. Other butlers occasionally filled in at busy times. Our butlers were Ardi and Fenny, who were both amazing. Our son sorely misses Fenny, as they struck up quite a bond, such that we joked about offering her a job back home as our permanent nanny! We weren't entirely sure how to make best use of the butlers, but used them mainly to make reservations at restaurants (where they would make sure we had a great table) and the spa, co-ordinate taxis out of the resort, and got them to arrange specific things in our room---fresh milk for our child before bed, and chamomile tea. Ardi was happy to deliver our beach gear to the beach after our breakfast so that we didn't need to bring it all to the restaurant. We didn't ask for much, but both Ardi and Fenny predicted our needs and a lot of nice touches were done without us asking....we commented to Fenny that she seemed to know what we wanted before we did, and she replied, "Yes, that's my job!"
The resort is massive, but there is no corner of it that is not finished with fine materials and furnishings. There must be hundreds of the extremely comfortable poolside lounges beside the six or so pools. The main pool is beachside, with a swim-up bar, and club-style music playing as the day draws to an end. There are two quieter pools in the middle of the resort, both large, and one with a swim-up bar. There is also a kids pool with blow-up toys, fountains and waterfalls, and well watched by a lifeguard. The beach was cleaned after each high tide by an army of staff, and was nice to swim in at high tide. We realised at the end of our stay that they have an aqua-sports desk, with paddle-boarding, kayak hire, diving tours and the like—they should advertise this better as we would have used it if we’d known.
Between the three of us we used the day spa quite a few times. It is clearly an impressive facility, with an ice room and a state-of-the-art steam room. However, the physical experience and the therapy side of things was a bit lacking. The prices are on par with an expensive day spa in Australia, but then you pay a service charge and tax on top (totalling 21%), which makes it a bit of a rip-off. A one hour massage came to about A$120, as compared with $15 at Bali Collection, a $2.50 cab ride away---the ambience is not similar, but the price at Mulia is not justified.
Kids club is well appointed and well staffed. As our son was under 3, we couldn’t leave him there on his own, but we would have trusted the staff completely, security seemed very high. He had a great time with all of the facilities, including a large ball pit.
Dining options were all spectacular. Breakfast was included, either buffet style at The Cafe, or a la carte at The Living Room. The Cafe was busy but never full, and even when full, there is an express lane for villa guests, such that you would never wait for a table. The food options are essentially endless, from the usual breakfast fare to sushi, sashimi, curry and steak. The Living Room actually presented a more enjoyable option for breakfast. An exclusive enclave for villa guests, it was usually almost empty at 8am when we came to eat, but always staffed with what seemed like a dozen wait staff, ready to satisfy your every whim. An extensive menu is available, and you may order as much or as many times as you wish. Items included crabcake benedict, fillet mignon with truffled poached egg or salmon and caviar scrambled eggs. Coffee was plentiful, although not up to par with the delicious food. On top of this, the staff offer you an endless array of extras, such as pastries, dumplings, miniature fruit platters. Even when we tried not to eat too much we ended up rolling out the door satisfyingly stuffed.
The Living Room also serves afternoon tea and cocktails every afternoon. There is enough afternoon tea to make dinner unnecessary, although we usually couldn't resist dinner. A sweets trolley full of astounding delights is ripe for the picking, much to the daily delight of our two-year old. Cocktails are simple, and essentially are the most basic spirits with mixers. This represents one of the few dining experiences that could do with improvement--a high quality 'cocktail of the day' would be appreciated---the cocktails elsewhere in the resort were generally delicious.
We also had dinner at The Cafe, Soleil and Edogin. I can't think of a single negative to say about any of those experiences. We were lucky enough to be at the resort while they held a special sake tasting dinner at Edogin, hosted by a Japanese sake master and the resort's beverage manager. The food was exquisite and delicate, and the sake almost free flowing, allegedly in the name of sake education. If there are any special food events happening while you visit, I would highly recommend them as an experience.
Sunday Brunch at Soleil was astounding, and great value particularly if you partake in a cocktail or five.
After dinner one night we thought we should use our complimentary drink at ZJs nightclub, expecting a quick drink and a lame experience, especially given that it's been quite a few years since we went clubbing. Instead, we rolled out of there at 1am after a great night. The resident band is truly excellent and must cater to most tastes, with everyone up dancing, including a mass stage invasion to participate in Gangnam Style. The only warning I have is that a hangover with a butler is still terrible.
After all the eating, we definitely needed to work some calories off in the gym. Mulia Gym is, without any doubt, better than any gym I’ve been to in Australia. Top of the line equipment, all brand new. These days, we’re all used to having TV on our treadmills and bikes, but here they had internet---so you could check your Facebook while working up a sweat. The gym is enormous for a hotel (about 8 treadmills, 4 bikes etc), plus 20 or so weight machines, but was almost empty, with staff always outnumbering patrons.
Our only significant let-down was that we booked a private day tour through the resort, which was provided by an outside operator. Rather than a comfortable car, we had an old, worn mini-bus with 20 seats, for the four of us. The guide recommended we visit a silver factory, a painting factory and the like, and was almost angry that we instead wanted to go to the zoo, the monkey forest and the markets in Ubud. It was clear that he was hoping for cashed-up travellers to visit his friends' stores so that he would make a commission. We stood our ground and were taken where we wanted, but the tour guide was sullen and unhelpful for the day. To give credit to the resort, the head concierge heard of our poor experience and tracked us down the following day with offers of discounts and a very sincere apology. He was mortified, and I have complete faith that they will demand improved service in the future.
Overall, although expensive, I feel we got amazing value for money. The level of service is well above anything I have ever experienced in the past, and the quality of the room was astounding.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the majestic coastline of Nusa Dua, The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas evoke a relaxed yet polished sensibility. Cutting edge design throughout, the resort comprises three signature experiences; The Mulia is a boutique all-suite resort with 111 suites. Mulia Resort has 526 accommodations including lagoon pool rooms and suites and Mulia Villas is nestled on the hills of Nusa Dua with private pools and tropical gardens enjoying views of the Indian Ocean, offering total privacy and relaxation. Mulia Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali range in size, from one to six bedrooms. The layout of the villas was inspired by the terraced Balinese rice paddy fields, joined in layers, each with views across the Indian Ocean and private gardens. Adopting the design from traditional Balinese homes, the pavilion provides an outdoor living space with a hydrotherapy swimming pool and garden, creating an atmosphere of peace and simplicity. The Residence houses a private pool and terrace and the living room area has a lounge and restaurant that offers a la minute breakfast, afternoon tea, cocktails and canapes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Mulia Villas Bali/Nusa Dua