The ibis Bali Legian Street in Legian, Bali’s most popular beach, is just a short walk from the Ocean. You get modern rooms, a rooftop pool and the option of a full breakfast at a bargain price! I tried it first during my “Bali on a Budget” trip and went back recently. The ibis Legian Street delivers what the ibis brand experience promises and made for a good base for some beach time on Bali on a budget.
Location: While most of the budget hotels are in Kuta to the South, I prefer Legian to the North – it is much nicer and this ibis is a 10 minute walk to the popular Double Six beach and a little further to the bars, restaurants and shopping of Seminyak. The taxi ride from the airport is about 30 minutes. There are a large supermarket, pharmacies, shops and restaurants within a 10 minute walk from the hotel ibis Legian Street, so you can easily spend your time here without having to deal with taxis. The hotel faces one of the busiest streets in South Bali, so I’d recommend to ask for a room away from the noisy street (rooms on the right of floor plan are facing the street!).
Service/Rewards: On my first visit, the front desk offered a warm welcome in the open air lobby, offereda welcome drink and a cold towel. Those niceties had disappeared on my return and despite having emailed with a request for a quiet room (knowing the layout above), they struggled to find a matching room. It took a few hours and repeated follow up to get a quiet room on the top floor. They did recover and, as an Accor LeClub member, I received a slice of chocolate cake as a welcome gift – I’ll take chocolate over a fruit plate any day! Housekeeping was on top of their job and cleaned the room thoroughly and quickly each day, replenishing amenities and towels each day. Service was consistent across a total of three rooms we had booked and through our stay!
Room: The ibis Bali Legian has been open for less than two years and they are doing a good job with maintenance. The rooms have the latest ibis design with wood-look floor tiles – I think these are great in the heat and stay much cleaner than carpet – I wish more hotels had them! The queen-size bed has new bedding with a plush mattress-topper, new thicker comforter and softer sheets than other ibis – making this easily the most comfortable bed I’ve had at any budget hotel! The headboard is high with panels of different colors. Power outlets, lamps and light switches are all built into the bed. There is a small half-open closet with cloth hangers, a safe and mini-fridge. You also get a narrow desk and chair, coffee/tea facilities and a luggage bench. All of it is held in a light wood. Across from the bed is a tall panel in a chalkboard look with the flatscreen TV. The decor is light and modern and makes for a nice refresh from the “old” ibis look. The furniture looks to be designed for easy replacement, which probably makes regular maintenance and updates easier.
The bathroom has the same layout as before, now with a rounded wall to the bedroom, but is designed as a pod, probably factory assembled and installed onsite. It’s completely clad in white plastic on the inside with some wood-look floors and panels arround the mirror. The bathroom overall is very small with little space between the toilet, sink and shower. The shower with glass doors itself is pretty large and comfortable to shower. There are towel bars and hooks, a hair dryer and a hair & body wash dispenser in the shower, as well as soap, a dental kit, sanitary kit and shower cap. While I still like the layout and functionality of the bathroom, the new design in all-plastic is awful. As expected after my first stay, the plastic is not holding up too well and is already showing some wear & tear! Plastic showers were popular in the 70s and US budget hotels abandoned them in the 80s for their poor upkeep and cheap ambience – I hope Accor will, too!
The central air conditioner with wall controls worked great, keeping the room very cold – my sister referred to my room as “the freezer”! The free Wifi internet was a different story. It was unreliable and pretty much useless in the evenings, not even allowing basic browsing. The speed seemed to be capped at 2Mbps and somewhat operated at that speed in the morning. But even though, I had to re-log in every 10-15 minutes, making work rather painful. While internet is generally not very good on Bali, this is some of the worst I’ve seen at any hotel on Bali!
Restaurant/Amenities: One of the best features of the ibis Legian Street is the rooftop pool featured on the hotel web site. You can see the ocean from up there, there is a stunning roof structure, nice loungers and pods for two people around the swimming pool and small kiddie pool. Unfortunately, there is only room for 6-8 people and during my visit a small group spread out over all the loungers, preventing anybody else from using the pool area. That’s unfortunate, because there is more space on the roof for extra chairs and loungers, but it’s currently empty and looks to be reserved for a bar in the future. During my second stay, pool towels seemed to be in short supply, so bring your own or hold on to the one you get!
The ibis has a bar and restaurant and ground level facing the street and serving lunch, dinner and drinks all day. The breakfast is served in a separate restaurant in the back. There are separate spaces with tables, partly separated by removable walls. It looks like this is also used as flexible meeting spaces and works pretty well to make it feel less like a cafeteria – again, I like the design and layout. The food served had improved significantly from my first stay: They offered a good choice of fruit, breads and pastries, as well as some hot Asian dishes. My favorite change was the make-to-order station where you could order eggs or omelettes the way you like them! Coffee was prepared in an automatic machine, but it tasted more like instant coffee rather than freshly brewed espresso drinks.
The lobby area has two desktop computers, printing has to be done via the front desk.
Bottomline: If you want a convenient base on Bali to access the beautiful beach at Legian and the nightlife in Seminyak, the ibis is a reliable place at a price of around $30/night including a decent breakfast (find current rates here). You get a modern bedroom and a so-so bathroom pod, friendly service and a great pool! You can walk to the beach and plenty of restaurants from here. The challenge is that there are so many new and inexpensive hotels on Bali: You can stay closer to the beach at the nicer all seasons Legian or the Harris Seminyak for a few bucks more. Or you can spend even less at independent local hotels for the same offering.