Have you ever had a hotel stay that was so great it ruined all other hotels for you? That is probably the best way to sum up my experience at the Conrad Bali. I was on the fence about booking the Conrad after hearing some negative feedback about the resort, however from the minute we arrived until we left, it was nothing short of spectacular. I booked one Conrad Pool Suite using Barclay Arrival Miles and another standard room using Ultimate Rewards and Hilton HHonors points. At the time of check-in, I was a Hilton HHonors Diamond member and my brother was a Gold.
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As soon as we arrived at the Conrad Suites entrance, the security guard jumped out of his seat to greet us and notify the bellman, who ran over, grabbed our luggage, and walked us to the club lounge. At the lounge, we were seated for maybe two minutes before the agent returned with our card keys and notified me that the standard room booked in my brother’s name had been upgraded to a Conrad Suite. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any suites available near the Pool Suite, so would it be ok if the standard Conrad Suite was on the second floor? We were fine with that and along with the card keys, he handed me two pieces of paper listing all of the benefits we were entitled to as elite members and Conrad Suite guests:
Hilton HHonors Diamond Benefits
- Breakfast from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
- Afternoon tea from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
- Evening cocktails from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
- Complimentary internet access in the suite
- Complimentary laundry & dry cleaning
- 15% off restaurant and bar accounts
- 15% off Business Centre services, including meeting room rental
- 25% off minimum 60-minute Jiwa Spa treatments (excluding Pool Massage, Little Souls, Family Spa package, and Salon service), 15% off all other treatments
- 50% off all Thalgo and Vitamin products at Jiwa Spa
Hilton HHonors Gold Benefits
- The same benefits, except instead of complimentary laundry service, guests receive a 15% discount.
Check-in was so fast, I got the impression they’d already assigned our rooms before we even arrived. We were all grateful for their efficiency.
Conrad Bali Conrad Suite
The bellman walked us to the second floor suite, where most of our bags were being dropped off since I was sharing that suite with my brother and sister. The suite was gorgeous, with over 1,100 sqft of space that included a dining area, living room, bedroom, and dressing area connecting to the bathroom.
Behind the dining table was an area described as the “bar” area. It consisted of cabinets, which were filled with dishes, cups, utensils and even a juicer. There were two mini fridges – one filled with snacks for purchase and the other containing free bottled water. There was also a coffee maker on the counter, which we never used since we preferred to get coffee at the club lounge or RIN, where it was fresh.
The living room was furnished with two couches, an extra seat, and a tv mounted against the wall. There was also a balcony with a daybed opposite a table with seating for two.
The dining and living room were separated from the bedroom by a set of sliding doors. It was furnished with two queen beds rather than two twins, which is more typical of hotels outside of the US. Mounted on the wall opposite from the beds was another television. Underneath was a dresser, which offered lots of extra storage space.
The dressing room in between the bathroom and bedroom was very useful. The vanity is where my sister got ready in the morning while my brother was in the shower and I waited for both of them in the living room. The outlets located in the vanity dresser were very convenient for plugging in blowdryer or curling irons.
There were glass doors separating both the shower and toilet. In the main part of the bathroom was a tub with a tv across the wall. If you’re keeping count, that’s three tv’s in the entire suite.
The bathroom was well stocked with amenities – aside from lots of shampoo, soap, body wash, and lotion placed in the shower and by the tub, there was a drawer filled with essentials like toothbrushes, razors, and loofahs.
Overall, this was a very nice suite and a bargain at $325 per night, which was the paid rate while we stayed there.
Conrad Bali Resort and Surrounding Area
The area surrounding the resort has frequently been described as run down, but I personally liked it better than the area where the other chain resorts were located. You can walk off the property, cross the narrow street and buy essentials at convenience stores, food at the roadside stands, and trinkets at the craft stores lining the road.
The Conrad Bali resort itself is pretty self-contained but not enormous like I’d heard. The majority of shops, the spa, gym, and some restaurants are located on the rooftop levels. I wandered through the entire resort and found it to be small and largely deserted outside of the main pool. Factor in the resort-within-a-resort feel of the Conrad Suites section and it felt even more like a boutique hotel.
Conrad Bali Beach
Before my stay, I’d heard terrible things about the beach at the Conrad Bali. Some of the photos I’d seen weren’t flattering either. However, I found it wasn’t bad at all. Yes, it’s an artificial beach and the sand is what you’ll find in a playground sandbox, but that doesn’t matter unless you plan on firmly planting your feet in the sand and not moving for hours at a time. Rent a cabana for the afternoon (a bargain at $15) and enjoy lounging around, with beautiful ocean views ahead of you.
Conrad Bali Suites guests get access to a fenced-off area of the beach, but it was too exposed and there were only two umbrellas, which may explain why I never saw anybody there.
If you’re going to participate in water sports, I highly recommend you book them through the activities desk, since the operators on the beach (one of whom looks like Barack Obama – a fact he points out as part of his sales pitch) will charge you an arm and two legs. I’m not exaggerating – the activities operators on the beach quoted me twice the price for jet ski rentals as the activities desk and would not budge on lowering it! Booking through the resort gives you the added advantage of charging it to the room and earning points. That being said, the sales people on the beach weren’t intrusive like I’d heard and always respectfully took no for an answer.
The Service at Conrad Bali
By far, the highlight of our stay at the Conrad Bali was the service. Every single person we interacted with was friendly, warm, and polished. From the Conrad Suites manager to the housekeeping staff, everyone was delightful and I don’t think we ever passed any of them (even the maintenance crew) without getting a friendly hello and a smile.
The staff at RIN restaurant were particularly attentive, remembering our names, breakfast orders and what we liked to drink. When I finished up my french toast, the attendant would ask if I wanted my iced coffee now…and it was only the second day! They always came around, asking if we wanted more food, drinks, etc. They took great care of us. During breakfast on our last day they presented us with a large bowl of local fruits as a parting gift. It may have had to do with the fact that we seemed to have been the only guests who tipped the staff, but either way it came off as genuine and not manufactured or pushy.
At one point when my parents ran into a club lounge staff member outside of RIN, he stopped to chat with them, asked how the stay was going, then informed them, “If you’re looking for Ariana, she is at the club lounge getting you a new room key.” When a wedding took place outside of my parents’ suite one night (something they had been made aware of the previous night), the Conrad Suites manager came by the next day and apologized for any inconvenience it may have caused them.
One staff member who went above and beyond was Melissa at the front desk. I had been in touch with her about booking the Pool Suite, but told her I was waiting to see how the volcano would affect our travel plans. She held the Pool Suite for me, without a credit card, for nearly a week. I went to the front desk twice to thank her in person, but unfortunately never caught up with her.
Conrad Bali Laundry Service
As a Diamond Member, I was entitled to free laundry service, which I took advantage of twice. Both times, the laundry was turned around the same day (even when I’d missed the cut-off time) and came back nicely wrapped.
The Conrad Concierge App
Before checking into the Conrad Bali, I downloaded the Conrad Concierge mobile app, expecting it to be largely useless. It ended up being incredibly convenient for things like requesting extra towels or reporting minor maintenance problems.
The Conrad Concierge app came handy once again when I needed help canceling the refundable tickets I had booked to Kuala Lumpur. Since the Garuda Indonesia phone number connected to an Indonesian-speaking representative, I wasn’t able to do it myself. One request through the app and the Conrad Concierge team was on it. After requesting a copy of the itinerary, Anna took care of the cancellation, even going so far as to obtain copies of our passports from the Conrad Suites front desk, since it was required for the cancellation. She informed me that I had to go to the actual Garuda Indonesia office at the Bali Collection shopping center to request a refund and provided me with the shuttle schedule. This was a slightly stressful situation made unbelievably easy by the concierge team – I didn’t even have to follow up. They just took care of it quickly and without needing to be nudged, which is not something I’m used to.
I can’t rave about the Conrad Bali enough. Everything from the beautiful suites to the amazing staff and the food was outstanding. At the end of our trip, I asked everyone to rank their favorite destination. Bali (the Conrad resort in particular) was unanimously ranked first.
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