As part of my Bali on a Budget trip, I wanted to check out some new beaches around Bali to find great value. And one of the best options I found during one of the frequent Accor Private Sales was the ibis styles Benoa Bali – a midscale offering at a price that sounded too good to be true. At only $25/night, it turned out to be a bargain and I’d return without hesitation – read on to find out why!
Location: The ibis styles is in Benoa, just North of the popular resort destination of Nusa Dua. It’s on the main road through Benoa, just behind the Holiday Inn Benoa and Conrad Bali beachfront resorts. There is a narrow walk way between those two resorts, so you’ll be at the beautiful beach in less than 5 minutes and you can easily to walk to all the upscale resorts in Nusa Dua as well! Along the main road are a number of convenience stores and independent restaurants, so while you don’t have as much choice as in Kuta or Legian, you are not tied to the hotel restaurant. The ibis styles is about 30 minutes from the Bali airport.
Service/Rewards: The welcome to the ibis styles was friendly and the front desk had me checked in quickly and on my way to the room. Housekeeping was quick and thorough throughout my stay. The restaurant staff was on top of the busy buffet breakfast and cleared tables and replenished the buffet appropriately. They also offered some cooked-to-order options and delivered them to the table, not a given in this price category!
As I found consistently over the last year, the ibis honored the Accor LeClub Platinum benefits and upgraded me to a family suite, despite my bargain price! They also offered a welcome drink at the bar (including soft drinks and beer) at anytime of my stay and had a fruit plate delivered to my room. It’s impressive when a hotel in this price category deliver this when many more expensive hotels of American chains fail!
Room: My room was on the upper level in the building away from the street and overlooking the pool. I entered into the living room, with a modern, purple’ish couch, table, desk and TV. As this was more a family room than a traditional suite, it came with two bunk beds. You get to the separate, but open bedroom through a narrow hallway. The bedroom is compact with a queen-size bed and a narrow desk with chair and a small closet. It has very nice hardwood floors and an accent wall in the same purple as the couch. There are large, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the pool for a bright room during the day, sheer curtains for privacy and blackout blinds for complete darkness to sleep. The suite had two TVs, a small fridge and tea/coffee facilities. There were not enough power outlets for a modern couple, certainly not for a family of four with all their gadgets, so take turn charging or bring a power strip.
The large bathroom is off the living room and has a shower-over-tub with one glass wall and a curtain. The sink has enough space for your toiletries. The toilet featured a bidet seat – a nice touch in this price category! Surprisingly, the bathroom has floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, allowing you to open it up to the pool area. I’m not quite sure why you’d want that, given that people can look in from the other rooms and the pool, so I kept them closed. There is a scale available, in case you give in to the many food choices and want to keep track of your weight! Bathroom amenities were very basic, with a shampoo dispenser, a bar of soap and tissue as well as two large towels – no hand towels or bath mat were available.
The whole suite showed some wear and tear, with stains on the sofa as well as on the bathroom tiles and tub. It was clean overall, but the rooms could use a refresh in the not so distant future!
The free WiFi internet in the room was not very reliable and very slow, even by low Bali standards, at only 1.2Mbps average speed, so don’t plan on streaming video or doing much work!
Amenities/Restaurant: While I consider most ibis hotels budget properties, this ibis styles has a full range of services. They have a large resort style pool with lots of loungers around it. While I prefer the beautiful beach nearby, having a refreshing pool to return to is a plus and I was able to find a lounger each day without issues. There is a small gym with cardio and weight equipment for a basic workout. If you are on a longer trip, you’ll like the laundry room with washer, dryer and iron.
The hotel has a full bar and restaurant next to the pool and they will serve food and drink at the pool as well. The large breakfast restaurant is also on the ground floor, open to the outside. The buffet offered a selection of juice, tea and coffee as well as fruit, pastries and hot meats and local dishes. I ordered scrambled eggs from the cooking station and it was delivered to my table. While the selection was ok for this price category, the quality of the pastries and meats was just ok.
Bottomline: The ibis styles Benoa was one of the cheapest hotels I’ve ever stayed at on Bali at only $25/night including the full breakfast. With the complimentary upgrade to a suite, the large resort pool and the short walk to the beautiful beach, it is a bargain. The Holiday Inn across the street would have been 5x and the Conrad 8x as expensive. I’m sure they are much nicer, but but if you are on a budget, it’s great to share the same beach and have access to the same restaurants for much, much less! If you want to get away from the crowds of Kuta, be close to a less busy beach without a long trip from the airport, the ibis styles Bali Benoa is a great bargain and some of the best value I’ve found on the island!