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“whenever/whatever...uh um no not quite”
Review of W Bali - Seminyak

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W Bali - Seminyak
Ranked #20 of 149 Hotels in Seminyak
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 April 2011

Our group took two rooms. One was an ocean facing room and the other was a one bedroom villa so I will review both. First I must say that the W can arrange for a fast-track visa process after landing at Bali airport and it was totally worth it and I would highly recommend it. Overall the W is one of the best hotels on Bali but there are some issues I would not have expected from a hotel group as established as W and Starwood.

After check-in together ,we decided to see the ocean facing room first ( Room 530 ) and we were very impressed with the large bathroom which had a skylight, the sitting area which had a good view of the beach and the balcony with a daybed and table and chair. If we knew then what we know now we would have gotten an ocean facing room too. So afterthat we went to the villa (43) and the pool pump was roaring and the two aircons were loud as a monster truck rally and there was no water in the villa for the first hour and half. And when the water finally came on the water pressure was miserable. A rain shower looks good but not when it only manages to drizzle. I liked having a private pool but I would have preferred to stay in the main building with proper running water . And whenever one flushed the loo, water leaked out from somewhere all over the floor. I am not sure if the problems were only in our villa. The paths around the villas are bumpy so if you have a baby in a push-chair or use a wheelchair you will have to call for a buggy to pick you up and drop you off everytime and sometimes the front desk did not answer the telephone.

As for their much lauded "whatever/whenever" slogan. I guess it is pretty much that...a slogan. In the rooms there are DVD players , but they only play DVDs from within the region so noticing that there are the facilities to link up your laptop with the TV screen we called down to the front desk for a cable. They said that they would check for us and get back but two days later there was still no reply when we checked out. At the gift shop I asked for a piece of scrap paper to write something down and the "talent" looked at me like I asked for a kidney. And having no rupiah on me I asked the front desk to post some letters and post cards for me and put the postage onto my account but no that was too difficult and I had to change money first and give them cash.

The hotel is isolated from Seminyak with a long access road that isn't meant for walking down and the beach is so filthy it resembles a rubbish dump so we stayed in the resort for the entire stay. The Away spa is great and the staff are friendly and always have a smile on their faces. The gym is quite big and with new equipment. The pool is large and beautiful but there is not much shade at all. The library is well stocked with books and magazines and it was pleasant to stop by when the sun made it too hot to be outside or it was raining. Breakfast is at Fire and as other reviewers have said it is a fantastic experience. Dinner at Fire was also great with local food on the menu and a wonderful bread basket. Starfish Bloo on the otherhand while having a better location and great interior design and friendly service offers the most underwhelming food I have ever had at a SPG hotel.

I would stay here again but in the main building and I would make more of an effort to eat outside the hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a higher floor room
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank alextaiwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 April 2011

I love W hotels. I always feel way more hip than I really am when I stay in one. The W Retreat and Spa in Bali is no exception. This hotel recently opened on March 1 so we had the pleasure of being one of the first few guests to stay here. For those of you not familiar with the W, it is the "trendy" brand of the Starwood family. Everything here is done on a lavish scale that oozes coolness. From the entrance to the bathrooms, no detail is left untouched by the W feel. I can say we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. For those of you considering a stay here I offer a few nuggets of info to help you make your decision.

One Bedroom Villa Retreat
Our room was fantastic! Technically this isn't a classic one bedroom. The bed and living area are one big room with only a wall separating the bathroom facilities. Not a deal breaker, but be aware that if you are expecting entirely separate living and sleeping quarters you won’t have it in this unit. The unit was stocked full with free Bliss Spa products. Small versions in the shower, full size versions on the sink counter. The bed was large and the duvet and pillows cozy but I found the bed to be a little uncomfortable. Generally W hotels use the same "Heavenly Bed" concept as the Westin but for some reason this resort did not.

In addition, the AC unit is loud and cold. This is because the Villas aren’t connected to a central system. Each room has its own freestanding AC unit located in the wall between the bedroom and bathroom. The room isn't that big so it cools down fast. There are no extra blankets to cover yourself with so you have to either crawl into the bed or turn off the AC. There is a ceiling fan but it doesn’t do much good to keep the room comfortable when the AC is off. Again, not a deal breaker but something it would have been nice to know in advance.

The hotel also doesn’t supply you with more than two bottles of water to start with which isn't much. That said they are more than happy to bring you more, simply call them and they will be there. They also bring more water with the turn down service each evening. If you decline turn down service at the very least ask them to leave you the extra water.

The real gem of the Villa is the terrace. Each Villa is equipped with a private pool, lounge chairs, dining table and Bale Begong. There is no reason to use the common pool area if you have a Villa. You are also so secluded that you can sun and swim completely naked if you choose. It also makes a great setting to enjoy in room dining. One of the best things about staying in resorts in Bali is that in room dining services cost exactly the same as in restaurant dining. There are no added delivery fees or service charges. First time Bali travelers should note that all resorts and restaurants on the island will add an extra 21% service fee to everything to cover taxes and staff gratuity. Sometimes this fee is included in the listed price and sometimes it is added in at the end.

Resort Facilities
From the moment you arrive you know you are somewhere special. The lobby bar is wide open and there are plenty of seats overlooking the ocean and pool area. This being a W, everything is appropriately stark white, bright pink and vibrant purple. Drinks aren't cheap and the bar menu is so-so but the view at sunset is great. Grab a couch and relax, it is worth it. There aren’t many to go around so I suggest getting there early, especially during busy season. We were there during low season and arrived around 5:30 and had no trouble finding a spot. By 6:15 though, it had started to fill up.

As far as the restaurants we only tried Fire. We are not sushi eaters and couldn’t find much we would enjoy on the Starfish Bloo menu. All of the restaurants are pricey, as you would expect in a luxury resort of this type. Breakfast at Fire was buffet style with a small a la carte menu. The price is 300,000 rupiah no matter if you eat off the a la carte or buffet. We also stayed at the Intercontinental and St. Regis, both of which have stellar breakfast buffets that are included in the price of the room. Out of all the places we have stayed in Bali, this was probably our least favorite breakfast experience. The food was just okay and the buffet selection was minimal. I would expect more for the money. However, they do let you choose a whimsical coffee/tea cup before you sit down which is a nice quirky W style twist. We also ate dinner here once and had a nice experience. We weren’t blown away, but the food was tasty if overpriced. We chose in room dining more often than eating in the restaurants because it was more intimate and we just loved our villa so much we never wanted to leave.

The spa is really nice and the services are fantastic. They are open 24 hours, which is really different. In addition they have a full bar inside. I had to laugh when I saw that. Every time I have been to a spa one of the first things they tell you is no alcohol before or after treatments. Here they actually encourage you to drink before and after treatments.

Things to be aware of
Overall this is a beautiful resort on a beautiful stretch of beach. I really have no complaints. If you are staying in the villas be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. The villa area is stretched over a very large area and you may be faced with a long walk to the lobby. The pathways are paved in uneven cobblestones that can be difficult to walk in if you are wearing sandals or heels. Elderly and children should especially be aware. If you fall down, you will certainly do your body damage. The stones are uneven and some are very sharp. I suspect that within a year the resort will rip these out and replace with a more practical flat surface. It looks beautiful, it is just a bit difficult to navigate without the proper footwear.
There is also no on site convenience store. There is a hotel shop that sells clothes and W branded gear along with sunscreen but nothing else. I had the unfortunate luck to come down with a terrible cold while on vacation and was unable to purchase any cold medicine or cough drops at the resort because they do not sell it.
If you want to see the island, you will need to rent a car and driver. Do not attempt to drive yourself. The hotel can provide you with their car/driver or book one for you through a private company. Both are viable options however, as an alternative I have the contact information for a fantastic private driver who will provide you everything you need to tour the island. He is reliable, safe and extremely knowledgeable. Full disclosure: he is a family friend so I am a bit biased but this was our second trip to Bali and we have used drivers from tour companies and the experience we had with our friend was hands down far superior. In addition, he is his own business so he keeps every penny you pay him. Unlike the tour companies or hotel where you are giving your money to the company and not the driver, I felt better about helping out a local resident support his family. If you are interested in his contact information please send me a private message.
If you are at all on the fence about giving this resort a try, I say go for it. We had a fabulous time and were made to feel welcome by everyone at the resort. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Coug1995
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2011

Stayed 4 nights in the Fantastic 1 BR Villa for our honeymoon as the 2nd half of the trip (1st half staying in Kayumanis Jimbaran, see my review if interested). This is really a chic and brand new resort with lots of potentials. Villas are good for couples. the resort overall is also excellent for friends to hang out, as there're many areas to chill out, have drinks, music everywhere...etc

I walked around the villa area and found that many villas are actually still not completed, i think they only open half of the 1 BR. Most of the uncompleted ones they're still working on the furnitures and decor, also cleaning up the private pool, etc. Only one 2-BR is fully completed, probably for showroom and pic on their web. 3-BR ones are far from completed, still under construction. Having said that, there's no problem of noise from construction during my stay coz as mentioned they're mainly doing the final decor work, but do expect to see some workers in the villa area, we''ve no problem with that.

OK now about the Villa:

Like:
- Villa is excellent, chic & modern and most importantly comfortable. Green-tone decor is eye-catching
- Loved the BOSE speaker in the pool deck area (also inside villa), which means sunbath with music in your own villa - fantastic!! So I recommend you to bring some CD/DVD if you plan to spend most of your time inside your villa. They've a DVD movie collection in lobby front desk for borrow as well.
- Public pool is nice and long. Good for swimming. Pool is also great for kids as it has some shallow parts.
- Loved the huge daybed in Ice Bar!! It's the perfect place to chill after pool time, or watch sunset with iced drinks & snacks.
- Yummy food. Recommend grilled jumbo prawns & wagyu beef pizza in FIRE; miso glazed cod with foie gras & the scallop appertizer in Starfish Bloo.
- Spa open 24/7, can go even at 3am if you've problem falling asleep. The spa room we use has a little spaceship feel...
- WooBar grand opened during our stay. It's a huge bar with outdoor rooftop (total 3 floors). Cool place, hard to find in another Bali resort!

Dislike:
- No water for twice, can't blame for new resort.....quickly fixed so only minor problem
- Whatever/Whenver (the service frontdesk). During my stay there're more than 5 times I called but no one answered even after long rings....so i guess it's Whatever but NOT whenever. (but for my in-villa dining calls everytime was being picked up quickly...)
- Villa wall is not too high so you can see top part of the structure in the nearby villas (don't get me wrong you can't peek into your neighbor villa)
- All villas have no seaview as it's located in the inner area behind the main resort building. If you want seaview, go for oceanview room
- Services are great and accruate, but not that kind of excellent personalised service you can get from some boutique villa resorts. Afterall, this is a >200-room property.

Despite the dislikes (which are pretty minor), we still had a memorable great time staying in W for our honeymoon. I'm glad I chose to stay there. If you're planning your Bali trip and want a cool place to stay, this is it!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Egyptwong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2011

Stayed here with my girlfriend from the 31st or March to 3rd of April. Resort building is beautiful, food is good, and the staff were very friendly. We got upgraded to a sea-view room because my girlfriend has SPG status, which was nice. The beach is uninspiring, but perhaps that was mostly the weather's fault (a bit on the cloudy & rainy side)

However, our stay was marred by very poor response from management to a significant problem- our fire alarm kept going off. One mistake like that in a new hotel is understandable, but the problem happened 3 times. At no time did management offer us anything, except a change of rooms (on the last night of our stay after 3 alarms) to make things better. Management never got back to us despite promises to do so. I would not return. For the price we paid, we could stay somewhere better.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank niczhou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2011

Currently staying in room 549, w is just perfect. Great music, chic, hip crowd....

  • Stayed: April 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank 5starhotelreviews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2011

My husband and I spend 4 nights at this lovely hotel. Beautifully decorated in the W's modern style - chic but relaxed. We had an ocean facing room with a nice sized balcony and a great view of the pool and ocean. The room was nicely appointed, bed very comfortable and the shower area amazing. The staff was very friendly and willing to help in any way. From the housekeepers, pool staff, valet and whatever, whenever team - all were excellent. We had breakfast at Fire and the food was delicious. Great latte! We also ate by the pool and that food was very good as well. The pool was beautiful and large without looking overwhelming and there were plenty of lounges and the pool staff ready to help find the perfect spot with fresh towels and umbrella. Also loved the passed treats around the pool. As with most Seminyak hotels, the beach isn't good for swimming but the pool seating allowed for a nice view.
My husband had 2 massages and enjoyed the spa and the treatments. He thought Putri and the Away Spa staff were wonderful.
The Woo Bar had it's official opening while we were there. Stopped by for drinks but we were probably in bed by the time this place got rolling. We could hear the music in our room but it wasn't bothersome.
Only a couple of suggestions:
- The music in the Lobby Bar was much too loud. It was hard to carry on a conversation with the concierge both on the phone and face to face. The lobby is a lovely breezy area with comfortable chairs and sofas that look out to the pool and ocean but it was hard to relax with the music being so loud. Maybe since the Woo bar is open a softer jazz might be more suitable for the lobby - at least until 10pm or so when the party crowd starts to drift in.
- There were several brief dance performances outside the lobby area in the evenings but we didn't see any info on what time these would occur. Maybe a note in the room or iPad at the lobby bar with the info. (To this point we heard the Woo Bar was opening and called to see if we needed reservations and were told it was by invitation only. When turndown service came at 7:30pm they were giving out invitations but we had already made plans.)
- A little better lighting in the bathroom for makeup would have been nice.

The management and staff seemed very concerned about guests enjoying their stay so I'm sure any little kinks will soon be worked out and these small things would definitely not stop us from coming back.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank PAexpats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2011

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank QF009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about W Bali - Seminyak

Address: Jl. Petitenget, Seminyak 80361, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Region: Indonesia > Bali > Kuta District > Seminyak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Seminyak
#9 Family Hotel in Seminyak
#10 Romantic Hotel in Seminyak
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Seminyak
#18 Spa Hotel in Seminyak
#20 Luxury Hotel in Seminyak
Price Range: £199 - £434 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — W Bali - Seminyak 5*
Number of rooms: 229
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape hectic philosophies, and why not plunge into vibrant glitz amidst natural splendors? We're a new found playground along the shores of Seminyak, where trendsetting chic restaurants, clubs, fashions and eclectic galleries await discovery. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w Retreat And Spa Bali - Seminyak
w Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak Hotel Seminyak
W Bali - Seminyak

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