Bali is one of those destinations where you make what you want of it. Its various areas each have their own reputation. If you’re a culture and culinary buff, Ubud is your calling. Looking for something with a beat? Seminyak is your answer.
Those of us aching for a quiet getaway where we can take our minds off life’s daily stressors will find a slice of paradise at Nusa Dua, home to a selection of luxury resorts where civilised cocktails by the beach are the norm rather than the drunken debauchery of Kuta.
Enter Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua, a sprawling 415 room resort that includes 39 suites and villas that stretch right into sandy white beaches that face the Bali Sea.
The property is a short 20 minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport — the perfect location if you’re looking for a quick getaway without the hassle of snaking through Bali’s congested traffic.
While it’s nestled within a gated area with security check points — effectively walling off travellers from the rest of Bali — transport can easily be arranged should you wish to strike out on your own and explore the rest of the island.
Otherwise perhaps the best thing about the location is how the hotel itself stretches to the beaches studded with wooden gazebos and deck chairs so you won’t have to go far to work up that tan.
The beach may be the most important thing when you go on, well, a beach holiday. But that doesn’t mean the room and all its cosy trimmings should be ignored. Here, Sofitel Bali’s interiors are so comfortable that you’d (almost) be forgiven for spending as much time indoors as outdoors.
We stayed at the Luxury Room, a 48 square metre space that came with a couch, a sitting area and generously sized tub to soak away the stress. Those looking for a bath experience that goes above and beyond can contact So Spa (see below) where a spa butler will draw up one of six different configurations ranging from milk to sea salt baths in the privacy of your room.
The king-sized bed– so remarkably comfortable that its various components are available for purchase — doesn’t disappoint either. It could be the combination of down and duck feathers or the luxuriously soft linen — but we slept in a way we haven’t in recent memory.
Our advice? Take the ground floor rooms that offer pool access. That extra bit of convenience to take a quick dip makes it well worth the extra you shell out for.
One of the most impressive things about Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua is its 24 hour restaurant Kwee Zeen that serves up Pan Asian dishes. This is where the expansive breakfast spread is served in the morning but if you’ve been out and about soaking in the island’s nightlife only to return to your room hungry, there will always be staff ready to greet you with a menu.
Toya Beach Bar & Grill, located right next to the beach is also worth checking out. It serves up grilled dishes (the calamari is especially fresh and perfectly cooked) as well as Balinese classics like sate lilit or grilled minced chicken wrapped around lemongrass.
One tip when dining at either locations? Ask for Balinese speciality sambal matah — a delicious relish of thinly sliced shallots, lemongrass and chillies that go well with just about anything.
Those with a hankering for Western-style dishes can head to Cucina where Italian dishes hold court. Expect a menu offering up pizzas, pastas and grilled meats with an easy selection of Italian desserts like amaretto and gelato that the mediterranean nation is so loved for.
Unfortunately that Bali beach bod won’t maintain itself and if you’re looking to get in a good work out between the hours spent sprawled on the beach and digging into utterly delicious food, you’d find that the gym is more than well equipped for a vigorous workout.
The space is as complete as it gets with treadmills and weights that go up to 36kg. The machines offer the circuit of a proper full body workout. There’s also a power rack to get in the big compound movements and bench presses. It formally closes at 10pm but if you wish to work out after hours, simply let the staff know and they will open the space for you.
After sweating it out, book yourself an appointment at So Spa located right next to the gym to ease any tension on your muscles. Its signature So Exhilarating Massage is touted to shape and tone up your body but since you’re on holiday, pull out all stops and give yourself the ultimate pampering experience by creating your own package combining body wraps with facials on top of the regular range of treatments.
The World Luxury Spa Awards winner for 2018 also offers massages by the beach ranging from a 60 minute traditional Balinese healing massage to express 30 minute services that focus only on your feet, back or head and shoulders.
Bali has its attractions but if you’re just looking for a space where you can take a real holiday where you don’t have to plan for meals, or figure a way to get to the beach, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua is a fantastic option.
Its rooms are comfortable, its facilities top notch and best of all, its services are delivered with a lot of heart. We couldn’t ask for more.