Stayed with my spouse in Feb this year for 4 nights in the Garden room. I had gone to W Bali with rather high expectations, partly because of all the hype about W hotels around the world and also because I've stayed in W Retreat Maldives previously. My experience at W Retreat Maldives was absolutely fantastic, flawless in fact. So you can see why I had great expectations for W Bali.
Firstly lets share about the Wows:
The grounds of the retreat is definitely something to WOW about. Modern yet inviting with bright colours scattered around the retreat to give guests a welcoming warm feel to the resort. The pool area is really nice, a great place to bathe in the sun and while away the day. Staff were all smiles and friendly all the time, though they did always seem to be busying off somewhere. The retreat also provides a shuttle buggy for guests from the lobby to the entrance of the resort. When you are at the entrance, there's usually a buggy there waiting for any guests to return to the retreat. However if there's no buggy waiting, you can always ask the security to call a buggy out for you. My garden room was huge and nicely done up with whites and greens. My room was on the 1st floor, with a balcony that opens out into a "garden". Very comfortable room, with a vast toilet / shower area. Complimentary Wireless internet is provided throughout the resort and in the room, which always fast and reliable. Location of the retreat was definitely ideal. It was close to all the shopping in Seminyak and there were lots of small cosy cafes within walking distance to W Retreat. A couple of the cafes I enjoyed were The Petitenget (about 5-10 mins walk from retreat), The Junction (we took a cab to get there cos we were just too lazy to walk) and Sea Circus (also 5-10 mins walk). During my stay we had 2 days of rain, on one of the days when the rain was too heavy to walk outside we decided to spend the morning in the gym. Their gym provides machines as well as free weights and was of a good size. I enjoyed my workout there. The gym also provides complimentary beverage for guests working out. After my workout I tried their indoor cold/hot bath as well as their steam room, these amenities were complimentary for all retreat guests. Also during my stay I managed to get a facial done at the retreat's spa, only because between 11pm to 9am there's a 25% discount on all treatments.
Now for the not-so-WOWs
My room being a garden room was facing the "garden". Not much of a garden view if you ask me, it was just a patch of grass in front of the room facing the wall of the resort and with a clear view of a construction site just beyond the walls. But I did not let this bother me very much as I was not in my room most of the time during the stay there, I was either out shopping or at the pool. But one thing that did bother me was the presence of ants in the balcony and in the room as well. Perhaps because my room was on the ground floor there were quite a bit of ants in the balcony which was understandable. However I can't accept having ants in my room, especially in a 5 star resort such as W. Coffee cups and can drinks can't be left on the coffee making station or even by the sink as ants will soon invade them. I did not bother to complain about this to the resort as I didn't want to have to move rooms or have the staff come in with pesticides and what nots. So I just lived with the ants and conducted my daily "killing" spree. Secondly though housekeeping was thorough in tidying up with room and toilet and clearing up the table top in my balcony, I do not think they actually clean the floor of the balcony (not too sure about the room and toilet floors) as after they come in to tidy up I can still find the same scrap (leaf, grass, branch, etc) on the balcony floor. It is definitely not advisable to walk out onto the balcony without your flip flops. They also definitely do not wipe down the cushions in the balcony, the same blobs of lizard poo on the first day were still there on my last day. Also I think the cushion covers in the balcony are due for a change or some deep cleaning as there are quite abit of stains on them, which gives me quite uncomfortable to lie on the cushions. So suffice to say, the balcony area was definitely not my relax corner for the stay. My next disappointment was the amenities provided by the retreat. Firstly the bliss toiletries provided in room was minute compared to what was provided at the W Maldives. The tiny bottles of toiletries were more like sample size. When I went to the W Shop at the retreat to buy a bottle of their shower gel, I realised that the bottle they were selling was the same size as that provided complimentary at the W Maldives. I wonder why the difference in standard, considering both are under the W brand and both using the same Bliss products. Secondly pool service. At any 5 or 6 stars resorts that I've stayed at (eg Ayana @ Jimbaran), the basic pool side amenities would be cold towels and complimentary bottles of cold mineral water which W Bali did not provide. If you wanted a bottle of mineral water you'd have order it from the beverage menu (this was verified by the pool side staff when I asked for a bottle of cold mineral water), needless to say I was surprised by this as such service would be deemed basic for a resort that's marketing itself as a luxury resort.
Would I be back at W Retreat & Spa Bali? For the location, yes. For the W experience, no.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape hectic philosophies, and why not plunge into vibrant glitz amidst natural splendors? We're a new found playground along the shores of Seminyak, where trendsetting chic restaurants, clubs, fashions and eclectic galleries await discovery. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- w Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak Hotel Seminyak
- w Retreat And Spa Bali - Seminyak