Bali. An Indonesian island with rich culture, green landscape with rice fields, gorgeous beaches and coral reefs, stunning sunsets and sunny days, only a few degrees south of the Equator. Bali has been voted among the best islands to visit by Travel and Leisure, BBC Travel and many more, and it has become a soul-seeker’s Mecca for all Eat, Pray, Love-fans. We too here at Skimbaco Lifestyle love Bali for it’s combination of culture and tropical paradise feel. When you are looking for hotels in Bali for your next stay, the island has several great ones to choose from, for example the Starwood Preferred Guest group has 8 different properties in Bali. Reeta stayed at the Westin Nusa Dua in her last trip to Bali, and found it perfect for families, and I attended the grand opening of the Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran hotel in May.
Take a quick video tour and read more about this gorgeous new property and why you should consider it for your next stay in Bali.
My Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran-experience started already at the Denpasar airport in Bali as my hotel-arranged person was to greet me immediately after I stepped outside the plane.
Tourists visiting Indonesia will require a tourist visa, and basically it means that once you arrive to Bali, you will have to pay for the visa (around $25 for 30-day tourist visa), and get a stamp in your passport immediately at the airport. I flew in from Sweden, and I had been traveling for over 24 hours and I was pretty tired by the time I finally arrived in Bali. The lines were long to get the visa, the airport was hot, and I of course didn’t have any local currency to pay for it (they also take US dollars, AU dollars and Euros I heard later on) and they only take cash. It could have easily been a very exhausting add-on to an already long trip to get to Bali. However, the hotel had arranged a person to get me through the visa and the customs faster and I have no idea how much time it saved me at the airport, but I would probably guess close to an hour at least. When you are booking your hotel room with Le Méridien, make sure to ask for the pick up from the airport, it’s worth every penny.
Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran Welcomes You
The drive from the airport to the Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran takes about 20 minutes, and immediately you get the sense of Bali when your cab is making his way passing the scooters, and the small alleys, and you can see the holy Balinese statues in the streets. Once you arrive to the hotel, you will be taken by a golf cart up to the lobby in second floor. The lobby is open to the pool area below and you can immediately feel the what a modern oasis the property is. The tropical looking fans in the ceiling give a little breeze, and the lounge chairs in the lobby invite you to sit down for a moment before heading to your room just to soak in the view of the property that opens up from the lobby.
Le Méridien hotels all have the same modern feel, but what makes the hotel chain special is that you can get the very sense of each destination. It is not your typical cookie-cutter hotel chain where every hotel is a lot alike, the Le Méridien hotels never let you forget the location where you are in. The rooms have small details telling about the location, local art and the restaurants serve local cuisine. Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran isn’t an exception, and you could get the sense of a tropical paradise and a fishing village by the beach in the hotel property. Very different feel from the last Le Méridien I had visited, the Le Méridien Beach Plaza, Monte Carlo. I noticed there was a huge difference in the service level as well. In Monte Carlo the service was below average and in Bali Jimbaran the service was way above average, the hotel personnel was very friendly and helpful.
After a day of sightseeing and experiencing colorful culture rich Bali, the Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran is like a relaxing modern design oasis that lets all of your senses rest. The streets in Bali are buzzing with scooters, the smoke lingers in the villages as many Balinese still like to cook food on open fire. Whether you are spending your day at the hot beach, trying snorkeling for the first time, or diving more into Balinese culture and seeing the temples, like I did, on the end of the day it feels amazing to come back to your hotel that speaks volumes in modern style and luxurious surroundings. The hotel staff is also happy to help you with any extra activities during your stay and I recommend getting in touch with them already when you are booking your trip and also checking out their specials for different types of day trips and activities.
The hotel rooms are large with nice sitting areas. The room is large enough to host a little champagne party for a few of your friends after the Jimbaran seafood restaurants close at 11PM. The rooms come equipped with iPod docks, perfect for your own vacation music and for charging your iPhone. The rooms have luxurious bathrooms with glassed-in showers and gorgeous bathtubs. The room is a vacation itself!
Spa, gym, pool
There is so much to see in Bali, and the white Jimbaran beach is just a short walk away, but the hotel offers great activities and a gorgeous saltwater pool that you will want to relax there as well, however culture-hungry you are to experience the exotic Bali. Some of the rooms have a pool access directly from the room, if you want one of these, make sure you will ask for a lagoon access room in the lower level when booking. The hotel has a great gym with a view of the pools.
Traveling with kids
The Avant-Garde Suites with one or two bedrooms are perfect for traveling families, or the hotel offers joining rooms. The hotel is very family-friendly without being a family resort making it a great property for those families who are not interested in the typical family resorts. The hotel has a children’s program with J Kids Club, and a kids’ pool, and they offer a special family package with daily buffet breakfasts for two person and 2 kids below 12 years of age, kids eat free off kids menu with purchase of adult meal per night, free flow ice cream at WaLa for the entire stay and a complimentary access to J Kids Club.
Speaking of WaLa, the gelato and coffee shop on the property, I highly recommend testing their handmade ice creams while your stay.
The ice cream isn’t the culinary highlight though… I highly recommend dining at the Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran’s Bamboo Chic at least once during your stay, even though the seafood restaurants on the Jimbaran beach offer a much more authentic Balinese experience and are not to be missed. The Pan-Asian food at the Bamboo Chic is all locally farmed and you won’t be disappointed.
More information, check out the Starwood Hotels website.
Disclosure: I visited Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran as a media guest and my trip was comped. My opinions are my own, as always.