Beach bargain on Bali, great for families – Mercure Nusa Dua!

I visit Bali regularly and on this trip wanted to return to Nusa Dua Beach – on a budget. And the Mercure Nusa Dua offers modern rooms, resort amenities and their own beach club – all at a fraction of what a beachfront hotel charges. It was my favorite hotel on this trip and is great for families or anybody who is looking for a resort vacation without the resort prices!

Location: The Mercure Nusa Dua is located in the exclusive tourist resort area of Bali, a few blocks from the beach. The area is a bit of a tourist bubble on Bali: it is zoned for visitors only, so it’s not as crowded as Kuta, doesn’t have the crazy traffic or any signs of visiting a developing country – depending of what you are looking for that can be a good thing or feel a little artificial! The Mercure is about 30 minutes by taxi from the airport and about 10 minutes with the hotel shuttle from the Mercure Beach Club. There are a few restaurants and shops outside the hotel and you can walk there in 10-15 minutes.
The location works best for families or travelers planning to spend most of their time and meals at the hotel or beach! Tours to Ubud, the mountains, lakes and temples in the North take significantly longer from here than hotels in Sanur or Seminyak, making this an inconvenient base for exploration!

Service & Rewards: The service at check-in was exceedingly friendly, even by high local standards. I was greeted warmly, received all the information I needed and was checked in quickly.
My Accor LeClub Platinum status was recognized and I received an upgrade to a Deluxe Room, something I did not expect as the hotel was sold out during my stay. I also received the most thoughtful welcome amenity ever – a fresh, whole coconut with “Welcome” and my name carved into it. I was very touched – and I don’t even like coconut!
Housekeeping did a thorough and quick job cleaning my room each day and refilling and replacing toiletries and towels.
The shuttle service to the beach and mall worked well and staff was friendly and attentive. They organized extra rides or vans to accommodate the larger crowd, something I wouldn’t necessarily expect in this hotel category.
My early-morning checkout by the night shift was a bit of a mess in comparison – there was no staff at the front desk, after ringing the phone from a house phone on the counter for 5-10 minutes, staff seem to come back from a smoking break. He didn’t seem to know their system well and tried to double charge me for my stay. He eventually got somebody else from the backroom (where was he when the phone was ringing?), who was able to address some of the issue, but didn’t get it right either. Because my airport ride was already waiting at this point, I eventually walked away, having to resolve it later. The front desk manager followed up by email to ensure everything was done right, the appropriate resolution!

Room: I was upgraded to a Deluxe Room that are the same size and decor as standard rooms, but are ground level and have a small patio with two chairs and a table. The room has an open layout and feels larger than it is. It has a comfortable, queen-size bed, a small desk with chair and a soft chair in the corner. The floors are tiled, which works well for a beach destination and the headboard is large with local artwork on it.  The decor has touches of the Mercure purple/pink color for a fresh look!You also get a wall-mounted TV, a small fridge and a laptop size safe.

At the entrance is the vanity with a sink-in-countertop, shelves for your toiletries and a large mirror. Behind it is a door to the large walk-in shower with a frosted glass wall to the bedroom and another door to a separate toilet cubicle. While I’m generally not a fan of the sink in the bedroom, it works really well here – the open layout makes the room feel larger and the separte shower and toilet make it more practical for a couple to get ready in parallel! Towels and toiletries are standard Mercure and of good quality.

Restaurant & Amenities: One of the most impressive “amenities” is the resort setting: You enter the property through a huge gateway and a long driveway that is beautifully landscaped with trees and flowers – a welcome I’d expect from a resort 3 times the price!
What made me book the Mercure was their beach club – they have about 20-30 loungers among trees right on the Nusa Dua beach next to the Grand Hyatt! They have a shuttle that runs every hour, on the hour and takes about 10 minutes,  making it reasonably convenient to get to and from the beach.
The beach is well kept, you receive beach towels and can buy soft drinks from the attendant and the loungers were comfortable. Despite the hotel being sold out, I was able to get a lounger each day. Nusa Dua beach is great for families, as the water is shallow, there are few waves and the sand is cleaned regularly without trash or stones. You also have fewer vendors here, making it a little quieter than Kuta or Legian!

If you don’t want to deal with the shuttle, you can rent bikes at the hotel by the hour/day and explore the neighborhood on your own – that’s especially useful in Nusa Dua where the traffic is not as crazy as around Kuta!
The Mercure Nusa Dua has full resort amenities. A gym is available in a separate building near the pool, with enough cardio and weight equipment for a full workout – the best gym I’ve had in this price category on Bali.
The pool is an unusual two-story affair, with a waterfall connecting the two pools. There are cabanas and loungers on the second level overlooking the pool. The bar and restaurant overlook the ground-level pool and there are trees around for more of a resort feel. Similar to the gym, it looks and feels a lot more upscale than the price would suggest!
The Mercure Nusa Dua also has a spa, offering massages and treatments. It looks like they converted a few rooms to treatment rooms, accessible from the hallway. At their fairly steep prices by local standards, I’d expect more of a “spa feel” to it and didn’t try it!
The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as room service. The seating is open air. The breakfast is served buffet style and offers a typical selection and quality for the category, with fresh fruit and yogurt, pastries and bread, as well as hot local dishes. My favorite was the make-to-order egg station that also offered pancakes for a Western style, hot breakfast! Service was friendly and they were quick to clear tables. They handled their sold-out situation much better than other hotels on the island!
Because the Mercure Nusa Dua is a resort hotel, I wanted to try the restaurant for dinner. The outdoor setting next to the pool is nice and was cool enough in the evening. Service was friendly and attentive and the menu offers a good selection of Indonesian, Asian and Western food at reasonable prices. While it’s more expensive than Kuta or Legian, it is similar to the independent restaurants outside the hotel in Nusa Dua, but much more convenient. I have enough food allergies to make any Indonesian meal a game of Russian Roulette, so I tried the pasta and it was tasty! You can spend a vacation eating here without getting bored or breaking the bank!

Bottomline: The Mercure Nusa Dua was my favorite hotel discovery on this trip – you get a modern room, friendly service, full resort amenities and access to a beach club on Nusa Dua Beach – all for only $43/night including breakfast! Even by Bali’s budget standard, that’s great value, when beachfront properties in Nusa Dua easily cost 3-4 times this price! If you are looking for a resort vacation on a budget and don’t mind the shuttle ride, this is one of the best options I’ve found on Bali so far!

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