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Club Med Bali
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Reviewed February 5, 2013

We were dying to get out by the 2nd day but we had 4 more nights to go.

I booked Club Med after reading all the good reviews, going against our usual practice of staying in villas like Karma Kandara, just because I thought the activities would interest out young children. But they were bored after half a day of activities.

Food was terrible. Even local delights like nasi kuning and gado gado were really bad. The salade nicoise and salade du thon tasted the same and bad. I can go on but every lunch and dinner was a struggle to find something that tasted decent. Presentation was great but taste was way below expectations.

Rooms are really bad, old, wet with rotten ceilings, very small bathrooms, no bathtubs, old air cons that blow cool and warm air intermittently.

Wifi is irritatingly slow and keeps requiring you to log in.

The nightly show, with so much hype about it, feels like some high school slap stick show. I know the GOs put in alot of effort to do a new show every night but its just too difficult to watch.

With the Chinese New Year coming, the place was inundated by mainland Chinese who throng the buffets and pile their plates mile high, eat and talk noisily...basically creating a bad environment.

And someone decided to take a dump in the main pool which my husband unfortunately stepped on. It's not Club Med's fault but I can only guess the culprit.

Overall it was not worth the money paid. The whole resort is old and tired, with a team that seems to creak under the weight of the age, and the overbearing nature of the mainland travellers.

This is our first and last experience with Club Med. We had such high expectations but were so let down.

Take the money and go to those great villas in Bali, where the staff really feel like they mean it when they welcome you.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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12  Thank Lotusyll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

Just come back from 10 days at Club Med with my husband, Mr11 & Miss13 and we all agreed 10 days was enough there.

WHAT'S GREAT
- Staff. All of them are fabulous. They speak in all languages, have so much energy, always carry a smile and say 'hi', have the right balance between friendly without being in your face, and importantly, they clearly love what they do. Could speak more highly of them.
- Grounds. Large, well manicured and maintained grounds, and security guarded beach.
- Activities. If you / your family love getting active, then you'll get a lot out of Club Med Bali. There is always something to do, from Tennis/Badmington/basketball courts and golf course, through archery, trapeze, bungy bounce, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, cooking classes, gym classes and yoga.
- Food. Soooo much choice! Heavily asian influenced which I love but isn't everyone's cup of tea. The bread is amazing - I don't normally eat bread but I had it every day there because it was so tasty! Salad bar area is also great for when you feel you've overindulged - just watch out for the mini flies which seem to sit all over the food in the snack bar restaurant [open when the main restaurant is closed] - the tomatoes & fruit were literally covered in them which was v off putting!

EVEN BETTER IF
- Rooms. We stayed in adjoining rooms 1101 and 1102 after having asked to move closer to the main area & pool when we were originally given 5101 (block 5 is much quieter than block 1 as it's down by the spa and adult-only pool, but when kids were tired or if we forgot something it's a bit of a trek between the room and the pool/restaurant/lobby. block 1 is right by the lobby but if you like a quiet night you wont enjoy it as the evening show and main bar music is easily heard and pumps fairly loudly. Personally I quite like that but I can imagine others wouldn't). The reviews are true about the hard beds (though I have a firm mattress at home so didn't bother me quite as much), the double bed has a very uncomfortable divide down the middle too. The finishings in the room (shower head, tile grouting etc) are looking tired and more 2-3 star than anything higher, so don't expect quality in your room.

- Pool. For such large grounds the pool is ridiculously small and is completely featureless which makes it less inviting. It is also VERY warm (naturally heated by the sun) - I'm known to not go in pools unless it's bath temp, but in such hot weather, it is quite nice to get refreshed in a cool pool. We found ourselves going for a swim in the sea instead (also surprisingly warm but it has a cooler current when you get in deeper) - the only thing is that in wet season the beach sand has a lot of black grit running through it so don't expect Australian style white sands.

- Drinks. Other than corked wine, I don't think I've ever tasted such awful wine! The cocktails are also pretty dire too. We stuck to the Bali Hai beer (which I loved) and I was incredibly pleased that I'd bought a couple of bottles of decent red from Sydney airport on the way out.

It also should be noted that whilst we were there, the guests were 95% asian-speaking which meant that our kids didn't have anybody their own age to hang out with and therefore didn't want to go to the Juniors club ...which ultimately meant they clung to us for the entire stay. This was disappointing as I had purposely chosen Club Med Bali during the school holidays thinking there would be heaps of Aussie kids that they could hang out with, making it a memorable holiday for them. We asked the GOs if this was normal and they said that this had become a recent trend and that in the coming weeks they had over 400 asian guests and only 70 Aussies. I have nothing against a good cultural mix but wanted to note this as if you're looking for the same thing with your kids, you could end up having them shadow everything you do too!

THE LOCATION & OTHER TIPS
Nusa Dua is a far distance from where all the action happens (the Safari was 1.5 hours away ...but def worth a visit. Whitewater rafting etc is about the same distance away). For this reason we'd choose to stay in Seminyak next time we go to Bali - it's very central and feels more family than the clubby heights of Kuta/Legian.

Taxis are SUPER CHEAP - don't pay Club Med prices, ask them to call a Bluebird cab for you - a 45min metered trip to Kuta / Legian costs around $6.80. Make sure they have their meters turned on when you get in. Min fare is $1.50 (Rph 15,000) and meters start at 50c (5000rph). A taxi from Airport to Club Med will only cost you around $10-15 -- much much cheaper than the $80 ($20pp) we paid for Club Med's transfer service which didn't have the tour overview that it said it would have.

Hire a driver for either half a day for $25 or $45 for a full 12hour day (you'll need to barter with them, particularly if you look fresh off the boat ;)). Nearly every metered cab we took gave us their card to call them if we wanted this but aside from the day we went to the Safari, we just used metered Bluebird cabs as it was cheaper if you only wanted to spend the day in one place.

ATMs - watch out for the fees. I found a $25 ATM fee (for a $60 transaction) on my bank statement this morning! This was from the ATM in Denpasar airport which we had to use when finding out that you have to pay a $15pp 'service fee' to leave the airport, and they only accept cash. I've disputed it with my bank as I wasn't given any warning of this fee on the ATM itself. Stick with BCA and/or CBA ATMs as they were both fine.

Shopping. Markets are everywhere but if you get tired of bartering, Discovery shopping complex in Kuta is right opposite Waterbom park and has lots of shops in it (though I swear the majority are fake despite the high street brand names) so do a deal with hubby to start the day at Waterbom and shop at night in Discovery, then follow up with a bite to eat on the beachfront at the back of the Discovery mall.

Seminyak also has some good boutique shops with markets scattered in between so perfect for combining the bartering with some fixed prices too.

Bagus is worth popping in to. Their jewellery, belts and watches are the best I saw in Bali.

OVERALL: we won't be coming back to Club Med Bali and will definitely research the cultural mix better before trying another. The all-inclusive Melia is next door to Club Med (I originally was going to book the Melia) and it has a much better pool but the grounds are tiny in comparison. We also visited the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa which looked much more like our thing (higher quality without feeling child unfriendly and fab pool and grounds) - would def gie that a go if we went back to Nusa Dua, though likelihood is we'd stay in Seminyak next time.

Room Tip: Block 1 is closest to the main bar, lobby, restaurant & outdoor theatre. Very handy but you will hear the nightly entertainment quite loudly, so if you're a light sleeper, steer clear and opt for block 5 instead. Block 4 is right next to the tennis courts, spa and adult pool. A bit of a trek to the main area but super quiet. Ground floor rooms have garden access - great if you have little ones as they can run around on the grass whilst you get things ready in your room. However, the area only has umbrella for coverage so you can't really sit outside when it rains (you can on the balcony's on the first floor). Room coding is Block-Level-RoomNumber, ie, we stayed in 1101 & 1102 (block 1, level 1, rooms 1 and 2) Room 1 in the block are at the very end of the set so you'll only have one set of neighbours, however, the balcony faces inwards versus Room 2 where the balcony overlooks either the garden (block 5) or the sea (block 1).
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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23  Thank JenBewes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

Just spent 2 weeks in Club Med Bali with the family. Having been 2x before we knew that it would be an ideal place for our annual holiday as long as the kids met other kids, and we had both family time and kid free time. Our kids have never liked kids clubs, so its all about the other guests with kids. However this time was different than previous visits and have to say if it wasn't for GO's Chelsea (at the bar), Sam (in fitness), Jessica and the Circus Team, and Gideon (conferences) we would have struggled to have so much fun. The percentage of westerners who appear to stay at CM Bali is now a very low 10-20%, and therefore, the club appears to cater more towards the Asian community. Therefore, there is a very different feel to the place. Crowded restaurants, pools and very little patience. This is not a racist review, but just a comment on how in the minority we felt - which was not great. Would we go again? I doubt we will to Bali, maybe Phuket next time. But again thank you Chelsea, Sam, the whole circus team and Gid - you made us feel welcome, and gave us lots of laughs and memories.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank cazbails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

We celebrated our son's 18th birthday here. The resort is quite nice with lovely grounds. Lots of sun lounges around. Thanks to Dogan for making my son's birthday dinner special with the lovely decoration of the dinning table and looking after us at our dinners. Other notable mentions here are Gid - always ready for a chat, Rishi - great dj, Sagar - thanks for the gym workouts, Pierre Jean - good job as acting chief of village. Great activity choices and the quiet pool was indeed quiet - a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle. The kids enjoyed Starry Night night club on site. The pool party was good fun. Thanks Club Med! Tip: Take mosquito spray!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank busybee0607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

CC ( 2002 )
I'm very impressive there. There is very many and good food, many leisure facility, good pool, beutiful atmosphere, good room. I enjoy my vacation happily than other resorts. If I visit bali one more time, I would gladly stay there. Staff member's(called G.O) is very kind, happy, bright. we can experince shooting bow, beach volleyball, spa. Very very good resort, I think

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank CanisHan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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