This Ritz-Carlton Bali review is “mini” because I stayed there about a year ago on my honeymoon, which was pre-blog. I did have a fantastic stay though, and of course took a few pictures while there! Since the Ritz Bali is definitely an aspirational property I thought it would be worth posting about. My apologies that some of the pictures are not so great. I was just taking them for personal memories, not to be “blog worthy”.
Ritz-Carlton Bali Review
Bali was the second stop on my honeymoon after Tokyo. As I mentioned when discussing the credit cards in my wallet, I got married at a hotel that allowed me to build up a very healthy Marriott Rewards balance. What helped us gain even more points is my (now closed) Ritz-Carlton credit card. I had signed up for both the Ritz and the Marriott credit card because due to wedding charges I could easily hit the sign-up bonus on each and get 5x Marriott points while doing it. At the time the sign-up bonus was 2 free nights at any category 1-4 Ritz property.
A friend had stayed at it a few months before and raved so it was an easy choice for our Bali hotel. After finishing up our time in Tokyo we flew first class on Cathay Pacific from Haneda to Hong Kong on their now retired 747 (RIP). My new husband drank enough complimentary Johnny Walker Blue that the flight attendant left the bottle at his seat. So needless to say a good time was had by all. We then had an overnight in Hong Kong and headed to Bali the next day on a less exciting, but still comfortable, business class flight.
Arrival and treatment as Marriott Gold
Upon arrival to Denpasar I had arranged for a car from the Ritz-Carlton to transport us to the hotel. I had read ahead of time about DPS being a mess with people trying to offer you rides. Plus, the rate was only about $10 more than other drivers for hire so it was worth it for peace of mind in a new country.
We easily found our very nice driver (Balinese hospitality is evident right away!) who had a Ritz branded sign with my name on it. Of course there’s always a catch – which was somewhat our fault. Another gentleman seemed to be with our driver. The driver grabbed my bag, the other gentleman grabbed my husband’s. We of course didn’t realize that the two were not together and the gentleman demanded a tip once we arrived to the car. I do partially blame our driver for that but it wasn’t a huge deal overall. We then hopped into the very appreciated cool car with some ice cold waters for a 25 minute ride.
Once we arrived we strolled into the gorgeous (but hot) open air lobby. It is built into a mountain so you take an elevator down to access most of the amenities and rooms. Upon check-in we were seated and brought cold drinks of some kind – some sort of mix between a fruit juice and a cold tea.
As a Marriott Gold member (through the Ritz credit card) I wasn’t expecting too much in terms of upgrades. In fact, my husband and I had discussed whether we should ask about paying to upgrade to a swim-up room or not. However, they did know it was our honeymoon and it was still a pretty new property at this point so not very full. So overall – don’t necessarily expect the upgrade I’m about to mention.
The gentleman checking us in mentioned an upgrade for being Marriott Gold and wished us a happy honeymoon. We didn’t quite catch what room we were getting but shrugged and figured if it wasn’t a swim-up, no big deal.
Well, we walk in after being driven on a golf cart and the Ritz employee carried our bags in to show us around. We immediately noticed that we were being led to a single level villa, which certainly had a swim-up component, and not “just” a swim-up room! Turns out we had been upgraded to a Pool Pavilion room. I highly suggest checking out this video on the website as it is our room exactly, just flipped.
This room was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Not only did we have a private pool but also an outdoor shower and bathtub, huge indoor and outdoor seating areas, and everything was in pristine condition.
Again, excuse the quality of pictures here since Points, Miles, and More wasn’t even a gleam in anyone’s eye at this point:
Bedroom area at night with partition closed (bathroom sinks are behind partition/bed)From staring straight ahead at the bed the possessed toilet was to the back left, the shower was to the back right. The bathroom sinks were directly behind the partition with the open closet then behind the bathroom sinks.
Overall the room was stunning, huge, and full of thoughtful touches such as including hats for the pool, beach bags, insect repellent, and more. Also, I LOVE the Ritz toiletries (Asprey). It was by far the most beautiful room I’ve ever stayed in.
This also was a room that for the dates we were staying was around $900/night, with regular rooms around $300/night. So for 2 free nights with the Ritz sign-up bonus we definitely got our money’s worth!
General Hotel Impressions
Other than Bali, and especially the Nusa Dua area, being hot as Hades, I can’t say very many negatives. I think the one thing that got me, which is probably true for all Nusa Dua resorts, is how I felt like I could have been at any resort in the world. The staff was genuine and hospitable but other than them it did not feel very Balinese. The prices were not very Balinese either. However, after coming from Tokyo where we stayed super busy a couple days of relaxation at a resort was heavenly.
We also had wonderful experiences with every single staff member we interacted with. We had breakfast one day which again, was priced high for Bali but normal for a Ritz. I wish I had pictures of this because it was quite the spread! Our interactions with the concierge were also fantastic. On our last day we were heading to Ubud and he arranged, for the same cost as an outside driver, a car to drive us to a few different villages/sights on the way. Plus, it got put on our room bill, so we even got to earn some Marriott points from it!
Ritz-Carlton Review Bottom Line
It didn’t suck…
As a true bonus to our stay we had this toilet that definitely made each of us jump. And one of us scream a little bit like a little girl the first time this happened (no telling on who…). After getting a little obsessed with fancy toilets in Japan we didn’t mind!
Oh man, take me back!