Advantages Confortable rooms, nice beach, pleasant people
Disadvantages Questionable maintenance, costly extras
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
Some time ago I had a big argument with Intercontinental; despite having stayed over 100 nights that year, they showed no interest in trying to resolve my complaint, so I promised myself that I would not stay in another Intercon again. At least, not if I was paying. So far I have kept that promise - even with this stay, which was paid for by Priority Club reward points.BookingL
The hotel car was there to meet us, at a charge of about US$8 which was very reasonable, and it was a short drive of about fifteen minutes to the hotel. Arriving, we walked up a few steps into a large lobby, open to the air front and back, with the back overlooking the terrace of the breakfast area, then the gardens leading to the swimming pool. To the right was the Reception, with a small shopping arcade behind. In the centre was a large lounge area; to the left, a Concierge desk, entry into a bar with pool table and, beyond that, a travel desk.
The first impressions were all positive. The room was quite large, laid out somewhat different to most hotel rooms. And the extra bed was already in place and set up - almost everywhere else that I have stayed we have to call to ask and it arrives a quarter of an hour later, during which time the kids are falling asleep on the suitcases or in the bath.
The bathroom had a bath tub with hand shower and a separate shower cubicle. The toilet was around the corner to the right, through another glass door. Shampoo, shower gel and conditioner were offered in ceramic bottles with stoppers.The room was overall very comfortable and well equipped, at first impression. However, over the coming days a few flaws did reveal themselves. I glanced behind the bedside table to check for a spare plug and was stunned to see a hole in the wall, with a plastic box hanging out from which emerged several wires, one going to the light. It looked quite lethal and I made sure to keep the table pushed tight against the wall. The bed, while comfortable, sagged in the middle. In fairness, this was more than made up for by the thick but light bedding, especially the duvet which was remarkably comfortable. What annoyed me more was, with a lack of foresight which seems to afflict most hotels, the writing desk has a desk light and just one plug - located well underneath the desk of course - so it is impossible to plug in both a laptop and the desk light. Added to that, the promised wireless internet did not work in the room so, to use internet, I had to trek all the way to a shop located behind reception and plug in on their balcony.
The main thing here of course is the beach, which was beautifully sandy and the water clean, if a bit cold. There was definitely some moments' hesitation going in when the water reached thigh high, but just one wave and I was through the point of no return. The waves were quite strong while we were there, probably not surfing high but enough to scare small children. Best of all, the beach was private and quite, with no hawkers or sales people, so it was pure relaxation. There are no water sports offered here - these are available a short drive away.
Around the pool, the lawns were littered with sun umbrellas and loungers, and her eis my other big complaint - throughout the day almost all were 'reserved' or 'taken', with towels or belongings, but usually nobody on them. People would come early, drape a towel or tee-shirt to reserve them, then disappear for hours. One morning we got there at nine and every umbrella was reserved, half of them were still unoccupied at 12 when we left. This is of course not something which happens only here and, in fairness to the hotel, they did discourage it with notices 'please do not reserve a sun lounger if you are not going to use it; any lounger unoccupied for 1 ½ hours will have belongings carefully and taken to the attendant's desk', this notice in English, Japanese, Russian and German. However they did not enforce this at all. As a result, many people burned in the sun while sun umbrellas were unoccupied, a ridiculous state of affairs caused simply by some people's selfishness.Back in the hotel is a concierge desk, where I found the chap very knowledgeable, frank and helpful, and a travel desk. There are a number of shops behind the reception desk, mostly selling overpriced tat, souvenirs and jewellery.
There is a children's club, offering a range of activities from face painting to swimming - they have a dedicated pool. There are different activities every morning and evening and the club is staffed by a dedicated group of child minders. The club is open till 10pm and admission is US$5 per hour or US$17 for a half day including a meal.There is also a spa but the treatments were very expensive, starting from US$80 and going much higher than that.
For those staying in a Club room, the club is located just below reception. We walked through and it looked very welcoming, but we didn't stop.Food and Drink
The hotel offers a romantic dining experience for two, in a tent on the beach. Escorted by a waiter from your room at sunset, they provide a range of set menus. These are mostly US$100 to US$150 per person with a bottle of wine - one bottle per couple, not per person, the waitress told me when I asked. We passed.Taman Gita is in the main building, only open for breakfast. The breakfast selection was good, with a very wide selection of fruits, yoghurts, freshly made juices, eggs and pancakes cooked to order, a few salads, cheeses and pastries, a hot selection and also a Japanese selection. All very good and tasty. The room, however, was noisy - the juicer was loud and grinding, cutlery constantly being laid or cleared, all echoed around and was noisier than I wanted first thing in the morning!
Jimbaran Garden is the restaurant by the pool, offering a limited selection at lunch but nice Mediterranean cuisine, mainly fresh seafood, for dinner. They have a children's menu which offers pizza, burgers etc - but surprisingly doesn't have fish and chips. Equally surprising were the prices, which were typically US$12 for an adult dish, so a light one course lunch set us back around $50 - with 21% service and tax. Dinner was closer to $70, but the food was very good.The best and most popular drinks venue was Sunset Bar, to one side of the pool at the top of the beach. As its name suggests, this is the place to gather at sunset, to enjoy the views of the setting sun and the happy hour with 50% off drinks. As it turned out, there are only three cocktails and two beers eligible for this - but luckily their charging was not good as they forgot to charge for the other one I ordered.
There are two other restaurants - Bella Singaraja, which as the name suggests is an Italian, or KO which is equally obviously Japanese. However we didn't try these, opting instead to stroll five minutes down Jimbaran beach from the hotel where there is a choice of a dozen or more cafes and restaurants, all stretching size by side from the road to the sea, offering fresh seafood. We opted for the 5th or 6th along, called Pantai Sari, and had a fantastic fresh fish supper, with drinks for US$30.Summary:
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