Our family of three (including our 7-year old son) stayed at Jimbaran Puri Bali for an all-too-brief 3 nights after flying to Bali from the U.S., before moving on to the Ubud area. Having been to Bali several times before, we wanted to be very near the airport after 24 hours of travel and lots of jet-lag.
We expected a nice if expensive experience, but we were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked the place. But do know, if you stay here you are going to pay. We were ready...
We had a "beachfront" cottage which was sort of behind the restaurant (which is definitely beachfront) but still had a view off to the side of the beach. We found this location to be convenient with our son as the big pool was very near, as was the restaurant and bar. Be aware that beachfront in this case is not directly ON the beach, but rather facing it perhaps 40-50 meters or so back across a grassy area strewn with coconut palms and other trees. This still worked perfectly fine for us and the location on property was fantastic. Other cottages that aren't "beachfront" are still very convenient though with no views, scattered about back into the property and accessible via very Balinese-style pathways, planted with all sorts of tropical greenery, flowers, and hidden gems like the temple, statues, fountains, fish ponds and such.
We had a chance to take a quick look at one of the villas, which are newer walled-in compound-type things with their own private plunge pools and large gardens with lounge areas and free space galore. In the end, we were glad we went with the Cottage as the villas were a lot more money and we found ourselves spending much time at the beach and big pool anyway. For honeymooners or those who want to hole up in a very private and nice private "little house," the villas would be a great choice.
So, for the positives and negatives (not that there were any serious negatives)...
+ Convenient location for weary long-distance travelers - just south of DPS airport. Although, frankly, with the rampant and out-of-control development of South Bali, we were frustrated and taken aback by the 40-minute taxi ride required to go what could not have been more than a 10-15 km drive -- a drive that, not so long ago, used to only take 10-15 minutes. Be prepared for the crush of South Bali. Development is out of control and seemingly unchecked by reason as investors squeeze out as much profit as they can from every square meter of what's left undeveloped here! Thankfully, once you're at Jimbaran Puri, you can leave all those worries behind as it's a very low-key and quiet place.
+ Great Balinese feel. While a fairly new acquisition by Orient-Express, the property (formerly the Pansea) is 20+ years old, with nice mostly traditional architecture and a very established landscape. Mature trees, plenty of flowers, and mossy stone walls and statues everywhere. It was good to be here given so many newer places in Bali follow the more modern-minimalist style which is so en vogue around the world, but for us feels out of place in Bali.
+ Spacious Cottage room was more than enough room for the 3 of us.
+ Service very friendly and personable! This is always a key part of the Bali experience and Puri Bali does not disappoint here. They took special care of our son and we always felt well-looked after.
+ Breakfast! We stayed in 4 different places over nearly 3 weeks on Bali and found the breakfast to be our favorite. Often with "buffet" breakfasts, you don't expect much. In this case, there was a huge selection of pastries, tropical fruits, breads, etc. on top of some good Indonesian breakfast staples like nasi goreng and mie goreng. I still have dreams about the papaya pastries. Wow, were those good. They could also make you some basic things as cook-to-order which was nice. This is all included in the room rate.
+ POOL! One of the best ever. Large, inviting, set just back from the beach. Shallower area for little kids as well as a constant-depth deeper main area for swimmers.
+ Nice, even clever, design in the cottages. Sliding louvered doors could either block out light from the sliding glass entry doors, or open up to allow light in. The Balinese-style wooden lock on the front patio-facing door = charming and functional. High, soaring thatched ceilings made the big room feel even bigger. Both indoor and outdoor showers.
+ Good food overall, but aside from the included breakfast, as other reviewers have stated, it is EXPENSIVE!! We were shocked more than once on the total bill at dinner. That said, the food is very well-presented and attractive. Ingredients top-notch. They have a good chef. We found the Indonesian-focused casual restaurant (where they also serve breakfast) a little more manageable on the pocketbook than the very expensive (for Bali) beachfront seafood restaurant. Unfortunately, you are somewhat of a captive audience here so unless you want to take a very long walk down the busy main road to find a local warung, or walk down the beach to another (likely also expensive) Jimbaran resort, you will be paying the price. We wish they had a few more reasonable food options here, as we actually paid to have a taxi take us elsewhere a couple of times to avoid eating at the expensive resort options. (There are the Jimbaran seafood warungs a close walk but we didn't want to take our chances on picking the wrong place with a 7 year-old in tow).
+ Sunsets. Retiring down by the beach bar in their low-slung lounge chairs while the sun sank below the sea was a daily ritual for us. Although, of course, you get this view from anywhere in Jimbaran.
+ The "spa" (really a cluster of open-air pavillions near the beach) had some great massage therapists. But again, pretty pricey for Bali once you factor in the "plus plus" of service & tax added to the bill.
(And again I say this with some reservation as the negatives were pretty nominal)
- The "stuck with not many dining options nearby" issue mentioned above.
- The cottages are showing their age in a few places and could use a bit of an overhaul (in the case of the very 1980s vintage-looking pinkish-toned sunken bathtub) or at least some spiffing up (some wood surfaces could use refinishing). In a less-pricey place, we would live with this. For the prices asked, you expect things to stay pretty new-looking.
- COST OF FOOD! Give us some lower-cost dinner options, please. Lunch time, not so bad but dinner was always a killer, even though the food was very good. Likewise, cocktails at the bar were very expensive (like, San Francisco or NYC expensive) though generally very tasty. To this point, it does look like a new independent restaurant is being built on the small road in to the hotel so maybe this will open the door to more options in the near future...
- Garbage in ocean and on beach. Honestly, the hotel did a great job of cleaning up its expanse of sand every morning, so it's not their fault. Sadly, Jimbaran Bay is polluted with floating garbage -- much of it plastic bags, bottles etc. that wash into the sea from the village. I understand Jimbaran is a "working fishing village" but still, it is sad to see the lack of environmental concern in so much of Bali. We got used to feeling something clinging to our legs while swimming in the ocean, "oh, another plastic bag drifting with the seaweed." But it can be pretty ugly before the well-intentioned hotel staff come around mid-morning to clean things up...for another day at least until the next tide brings more in.
We would certainly come back if and when we return to Bali! Only this time, we would stay more nights, might consider upgrading to a villa, and would figure out a way to have more dinners offsite. The staff is wonderful, the property beautiful, the cottages and villas spacious and charming. This is a small (I think about 60 units total) resort where you can feel at peace and recharge your batteries in an authentic Balinese environment! We would recommend Jimbaran Puri Bali to almost anybody -- whether you're a couple, on your honeymoon, or with family. It's a special place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Belmond Jimbaran Puri is a luxury resort hotel in Jimbaran, Bali with a authentic, unpretentious and supremely romantic style. Located at the beachfront of Jimbaran Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali, the resort promises uninterrupted breathtaking sea views and is perfect for those looking for a private space to relax and unwind. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jimbaran Puri Bali By Orient-Express Hotel Jimbaran
- Puri Bali Hotel Jimbaran
- Jimbaran Puri Bali Hotel
- Belmond Jimbaran Puri Bali