Well, this was supposed to be the culmination of our Bali holiday, 2 nights at the W hotel with all its fantastic reviews. We were really looking forward to our stay, but ended up very disappointed.
First, some good points:
- the sleep quality was great, with a large comfy bed with soft sheets
- breakfast is excellent, with both a buffet and a la carte dishes available. Staff also offer small dishes from the kitchen, e.g. We tried broccolli soup, spring rolls etc.
- the staff at breakfast were very friendly and helpful. They brought some toys for our toddler and baby to play with, which was great. Unfortunately, this was the only glimpse of great service we experienced during our entire stay...
Now for the negative points. We have stayed in many hotels/resorts in Bali and can honestly say that the service at the W is the worst we've ever experienced:
- We arrived before the 3pm check-in time, so our room was not ready yet, which is ok as we went out for lunch. However, when we returned for check in, we were just handed our room key by a staff member and that was it. Nobody accompanied us to our room, gave us any explanation of the hotel facilities (e.g. Where or what times breakfast was) or any help at all. After I received our key cards, I had to ask someone where the lifts were so we could find the way to our room! This is the first time ever in Bali that we were left to our own devices, and we were perplexed. We feel that an explanation of the hotel layout/facilities and an escort to the room should be a minimum service offering for newly arrived guests.
- I also couldn't believe it when the check-in 'talent' told me we would have to pay for breakfast for our baby! She said the room rate only included breakfast for 2 adults and one child, but if our baby was going to eat, we would have to pay the normal breakfast fee. Our baby was only 14 months old! We then agreed our baby would not eat from the buffet, to avoid an extra $30 per day.
- the rooms: we had made a reservation for a spectacular ocean facing retreat. I had also put in a request to be on the highest floor, with a bathroom skylight. When we entered our room, on the 3rd floor, big disappointment. The balcony is screened off by steel bars so you don't have any view at all when you sit on the outside lounge! As we use our balcony often (when the baby sleeps), I asked to be moved to a higher floor so I could enjoy the 'spectacular views' I thought I would have. I didn't pay more than USD500 per night to be looking at steel bars! I have included some pictures so you can see the difference between our 3rd room floor and our 5th room floor. Moreover, my request for a high floor room was not taken into account when allocating rooms, but there were higher floor rooms available as we were able to move that same day - not what you would call great service.
- We were also disappointed with the pool area. The area feels crowded, mainly because of the numerous staff with headphones chatting and also the security guard overlooking it. We didn't feel we could really relax there. And despite the staff numbers, service was slow and I had to ask about my order on several occasions to check if they hadn't forgotten it. Moreover, upon arriving at the pool we had to go and ask for pool towels, rather than being greeted and towels brought over. Another observation was that at similar resorts we would be offered water at the pool side, but not at the W, which is a shame.
- Compared to other hotels, the W only offers small bottles of complimentary drinking water in the room, and certainly not enough for a family with a baby (there was a note stating you would have to pay for any additional water). We bought extra water from the supermarket, but what a let down after being used to getting large 600ml bottles in plentiful supply elsewhere. They also put some drinking water next to your sink, presumably for brushing your teeth, but be careful. This bottle, when examined closely, states it is 65,000++ per bottle! I feel this belongs in the mini-bar section, and not placed beside the bathroom sink where people would assume it is complimentary water to safely brush your teeth.
Overall we found the talent of the 'W talent' well below expectation, and had expected a lot more from this resort. We will not return as there are so many other hotels offering a fantastic experience at lower rates as well. Definitely not a place for families or those who want to relax and experience the stellar service that the Balinese are renowned for.
- 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 & Spa Bali - Seminyak Hotel Seminyak
- w Retreat And Spa Bali - Seminyak
- W Bali - Seminyak