Sometimes old is gold, and the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa in Bali serves as a quintessentially Balinese testament to this. Opened back in 1983, the five star property has welcomed royalty and world dignitaries to experience a resort that combines friendly and professional service with the look and feel of a Balinese palace. The link to royalty is actually more real than most guests will ever know, with the property being owned by the same entity as the Dorchester Collection, a holding company for the Sultan of Brunei.
BusinessClass.com has had the pleasure of staying at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa several times over the years, and we keep coming back for more. Bali boasts an abundance of beautiful five star resorts, but the Nusa Dua beach Hotel & Spa manages to capture the look and feel of Bali better than most. The impressive palace design, authentic Balinese furnishings, manicured gardens and abundance of features come together to offer a great stay. The design of the property is so genuinely Balinese that one may almost mistake parts of the resort for a temple.
The Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa is located on Bali’s southern peninsula, a 15 minute drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. The Nusa Dua area is loved by many, while others find the gated resort area too remote, landscaped and planned. The integrated and self-contained seaside resort was planned back in the 1970s by the Indonesian government, addressing spatial zoning, shoreline boundaries, landscaping, utilities and security systems. Today Nusa Dua is home to some of Bali’s best hotels and resorts, with dozens of five hotels and over 5 000 rooms. The area also boasts a shopping center, a museum, cultural venues, two convention centres and the Nusa Dua Golf and Country Club.
With a total of 382 rooms and suites, the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa offers an abundance of alternatives, ranging from comfortable standard rooms up to the Royal Residence where the Sultan of Brunei stays when he visits the hotel. Rooms are spacious, well-equipped and feature lots of traditional Balinese touches and extensive use of wood. While the hotel is generally well maintained, rooms and bathrooms are showing their age. We recommend booking a Palace Club room or suite that come with extra privileges and access to the two-story Palace Club Lounge. This exclusive facility serves breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails as well as 24-hour non-alcoholic beverages in the lounge or on the intimate patio just outside.
We found service throughout the hotel to be friendly and professional, with many staff having been with the property for years. The staff to guest ratio is generous even during low season stays, and service always comes with a smile. Parents are likely to find staff very child friendly and enthusiastic about making guests of every age feel right at home. Considering the relatively large size of the hotel, guests wanting more recognition and personalized service should consider upgrading to Palace Club accommodation.
Guests staying at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel and Spa get a guaranteed feeling of being in Bali, thanks to the traditional design and attention to architectural details. Tall and intricately decorated stone gates welcome guests as they arrive at the property, and the large drum tower framed by old banyan trees and koi ponds set the tone. Small temples and pavilions are scattered throughout the manicured gardens, inviting guests for relaxed walks on stone paths among tropical flowers and centuries old trees. The lobby opens up to a large open hall topped by traditional double pitched roofs and a grand staircase. Traditional Balinese design leads guests to comfortable rooms and suites housed in long four-story wings with dark pitched roofs and wooden balconies, and wood and stone carvings are found throughout the hotel. As much as we love the look and feel of the property, there is unfortunately no denying that some of the design feels a bit dated and in need of a refresh. The Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa features three pools, including one that boasts a real sand beach. By far the most secluded pool is located by the spa and is reserved for adults only. While the hotel is located right on the beach, beaches in Bali are unfortunately not the nicest in the world and we found ourselves preferring to use the pools.
Food & Drink (8/10)
The hotel features four restaurants, four bars and 24-hour room service. Most guests will enjoy breakfast at the 280-seat Wedang Jahe buffet restaurant, which offers a good choice of breakfast options, while Palace Club guests can start their day at the more intimate Palace Club Lounge.
Tamarind Mediterranean Restaurant is located right between the main pool area and the beach, and despite it´s name serves both tasty Indonesian specialities and western favorites for lunch and dinner. Raja´s offers authentic Balinese cuisine in a fine dining setting, and Maguro asian Bistro offers casual Asian fusion cooking. We have enjoyed several meals at the hotel and find quality generally good, but perhaps a bit pricey for being in Bali.
Who is the hotel for
The Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa is great for families and couples, but also caters to larger groups.
The traditional Balinese look and feel of the property
The friendly service
The Palace Club
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Overall score: 8/10
By: Henrik Hanevold