This is not a budget option hotel and for Bali it's quite expensive compared to what else you can find. But I personally thought it was worth it. I grew up in Hawaii and always dreamed of staying in one of the fancy resort hotels and the Novotel Bali Benoa was exactly what I always imagined an island resort would be like. And after several walks up and down the beach looking into the grounds of the other hotels in the area I'd have to say it's by far the most beautiful and Balinese.
The hotel is situated about 30 minutes taxi ride from Kuta (the main tourist area and where younger tourists usually go due to the nightlife). A taxi into Kuta costs about AU$8 each way. We had hemed and hawed about whether or not to stay in Kuta but I am so happy we didn't. It was fun to visit and we went several times but I much preferred Tanjung Benoa as a base. It's a small fishing village which has in the last 25 years (according to the helpful hotel staff member which took us on a little tour of the village) seen an influx of tourism and it's now the Bali's number 1 spot for watersports. We had also considered Nusa Dua but after going there I'm happy we didn't. It's the opposite of Kuta, it's a gated holiday resort and is so manicured and sanitized that you are left with no Bali experience at all. Tanjung Benoa is a good compromise between the two.
The hotel is split into two sections with one section being on the beach and the other being across the road. I didn't see the section across the road so can only comment on the beach side section and it was beautiful.
We stayed in a terraced room. This is a more expensive room than the standard but not as expensive as the beach front or pool villas which we did get a glimpse of and I'm currently trying to talk my husband into booking a pool villa for our next trip. We were on a package booked directly through the accor site that included the terraced room, breakfast (which were fantastic, absolutely incredible, everything from pancakes to sushi), airport transfers and supposedly internet connection.
It turned out that the internet connection wasn't exactly as described and instead of getting it for the entire time they gave us one hour free. This would have earned them a 4 star rating were it not for the fact that when we asked if we could have a checkout later than 10am they immediately said 1pm was fine at no extra cost.
The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful, the grounds meticulously kept with lush vegetation all around and tons of birds, a much more "natural" setting than your average boxy hotel. We even had a baby bat on our front porch one day :-). Other than a few ants there were no pests, not a cockroach in sight. The enormous bumble bees were fascinating to watch but they favoured flowers that grew in trees high above so were no threat at all and there are an incredible amount of sand and hermit crabs on the beach which I loved. Overall you got a sense that the hotel had been designed to be in harmony with its surroundings and it added enormously to the holiday feeling which is often missing when you end up in a hotel that looks like any other hotel anywhere in the world.
The hotel puts on daily free events around 3 and 4pm such as Balinese dancing, cooking demonstrations, tours of the local village, massage classes and basket weaving. I went to the village tour and cooking demo, both were very good.
For meals and drinks don't bother with the hotel, cocktails cost about 3 times what they cost at the street restaurants. There are so many fantastic cheaper options along the road and there's one restaurant along the beach front which belongs to another hotel (Pavillion I think) which we went to for the last three dinners. It's about 5 minutes walk from the Novotel, same price as the street restaurants and is so romantic.
On arrival we were given vouchers for a discounted massage 30 minutes for AU$11. This is more expensive than what you can get if you go along the road but the hotel does the massages in raised open air huts right on the beach and the combination of the waves, bird song and soft tropical breeze is worth the extra.
On two nights while we were there the pool area was set up for private wedding dinners and I have to admit I was jealous. It was beautifully set, with tables right between the pool and the beach. Lighting was amazing, food looked divine and the staff seemed truly excited about the occasion. I'm sure the happy couple were thrilled that they chose the Novotel.
Just one last note on Bali - I've been to roughly 40 countries around the globe and have to say the Balinese people and their warm, genuinely friendly demeanor have convinced me that Bali is worth going back to. It's not just the romance of a tropical island (I've been to plenty), it's the friendliness, the outgoing curiosity, the genuine smiles even after you've said you're not interested in whatever their selling. I cannot wait to go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Novotel Benoa Bali is located at the edge of Nusa Dua, overlooking the golden sands of Tanjung Benoa beach. The resort has been created using traditional Balinese architecture which provides a unique atmosphere set within luscious tropical gardens.The hotel has 179 rooms each with a coconut wood interior design and either a balcony or a garden. There are 8 villas designed in a magnificent tropical style, each with a private swimming pool, an open-air living room, a bathroom with a whirlpool and a rain shower, an espresso machine and a spacious dressing room. Moreover, the luxurious 2-bedroom beachfront villa has all of the above facilities as well as an amazing view overlooking the ocean.The resort offers a variety of dining options including a daily theme buffet dinner, a beach restaurant, a pool restaurant and 3 relaxing bars. A daily entertainment program is provided all day through until the evening. Activities are available everyday for children at the Kids Club. Sport facilities include 3 swimming pools with 2 whirlpools, a tennis court and a fitness center, beach activities including volleyball. Specially designed indoor and outdoor beachfront "bale" spa for rejuvenating. Water sports are available nearby. A free shuttle bus gives access to Bali Collection shopping center in Nusa Dua. Parking and Wifi in the lobby area are also complimentary. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Bali Benoa Hotel Tanjung Benoa
- Novotel Hotel Bali Benoa
- Novotel Hotel Tanjungbenoa
- Novotel Nusa Dua
- Novotel Benoa Bali
- Nusa Dua Novotel
- Novotel Bali Benoa Tanjung Benoa