For our recent trip to Bali, we picked the pullman Bali Legian Nirvana hotel – I had seen it on a previous visit from a walk along the beach, sitting just across from the beach road in Legian. After the more basic all seasons hotel Legian (review here), I was looking forward to a more luxurious stay (overview of pullman hotels here) this time around…
Location: The pullman Bali is located at the heart of Legian, with the new Beachwalk mall down the street and restaurants, bars, shops and massage places all around. It’s about 30 minutes from the airport through little side streets, making it an easy trip. The mile long beach is just across the street from the pullman and the rooftop pool as well as some rooms have ocean views! We love to walk and went along the beach all the way to Kuta as well as Seminyak – it’s a pretty central place to stay!
Service: The service at the pullman is overall very friendly, professional and attentive, as it should in this category of hotel!. I have Gold status with the Accor frequent guest program, Le Club, and Accor Asia is notorious for never providing the promised benefits, like an upgrade. The same was true here: Usually, I don’t bother anymore, but this was a special occasion, so I enquired about an upgrade at check-in. As expected, the front desk apologized and stated that they were sold out that night. Funny that – I had checked on the way from the airport and plenty of rooms and suites were available online. When I pointed that out, the agent called the front desk manager and – after 20 minutes wait – miraculously a suite became available! Score! While I appreciate the extra effort of the front desk staff, Accor Asia management really needs to get their act together and extend the advertised benefits of the program without lying about availability and making members jump through hoops – no other chain is this bad! That was fortunately the last negative experience at the hotel: The restaurant staff was superb whenever we went for breakfast, housekeeping was prompt and thorough and staff around the resort was always friendly and helpful with requests!
Room: We had an opportunity to look at the “Deluxe” room we had booked and a suite and choose. The Deluxe rooms are tastefully decorated with dark brown wood furniture, dark hardwood floors and a touch of orange on the wall! The bathroom was held in light brown tiles and stone, with a separate shower and bathtub as well as a separate toilet cubicle with a frosted glass door. There were a small, useful desk as well as TV, coffee/tea facilities and a large enough closet with safe! Everything was in very good condition and looked pretty new! The suite we choose had the same main bedroom and, separated by a sliding wood door, a living room with a second, larger TV, a sleeper bed and a rocking lounge chair. The suite also came with a pod espresso/coffee maker – the key differentiator for us! The living room could accommodate an additional 1-2 people, which might be helpful for some. A surprise amenity in the suite was the fitness kit with a yoga mat, jumping rope and little dumb bells!
Keep in mind that some rooms are facing the pool, which is the nicer, quieter side, the ocean (over the street) or the side street (as our suite did). I’d recommend the pool or ocean view and would probably not pay the higher price for a suite, if it looks over the street and town! The suite had two air conditioners, so you could turn it into a freezer, if that’s what you like!
Restaurant/Amenities: The hotel is arranged in three wings around the property. There are two pools at the ground level, as well as one pool on the third floor rooftop, overlooking the ocean. The lower pools are more appropriate for kids, the upper one more for relaxed lounging. There are bars next to each of the pools and the main restaurant is at ground level facing the main pool. We had breakfast there every morning and the food selection and quality as well as service were excellent: The yoghurt and fruit were very fresh and tasty, a large selection of bread & pastries with some changes every morning, as well as cold cuts and cheese. There was also a large selection of hot dishes with Eastern and Western favorites, as well as two make-to-order egg stations and a baking station for pancakes and waffles! For us coffee lovers there are espresso machines scattered around the large restaurant for self service and the staff will bring them of course as well. We indulged quite a bit and ended up skipping lunch on most days!
The pullman has a number of other amenities: The fitness center is large for a hotel with cardio and weight equipment, as well as free weights and even TRX belts! Across from the gym is a kiddie club, so your kids can be entertained on their own for a while. Probably just a coincidence, but the 24h clinic is between the gym and kiddie club! At the center of the complex is the hotel spa. It is beautifully integrated with lawn, flowers and bushes on the roof, giving the rooms above a nice view! You can use the “Connection Lounge” for internet access and there are a number of meeting rooms.
One of those meetings blocked the rooftop pool for a private event – so we missed the sunset from the best spot in the hotel. It’s one of my pet peeves when hotels advertise a feature and command a higher price for it and then sell it again to a private group, blocking it for all other guests! Fortunately, the beach with lots of bars for sunset viewing is close by!
Overall, we had a very pleasant stay at the pullman Legian: The location is good with direct beach access, the rooms are modern and comfortable and the staff is very friendly and attentive. It is certainly a nice step up from the all seasons and worth a higher price for the amenities and service. The ocean front location is nice, but probably not worth the mark-up – you’ll end up on the same beach and rented loungers as every body else, so you can safe a little by walking down the street from the Mercure or other hotels. The management needs to step it up though – neither the Le Club policy nor blocking the only ocean view spot are really acceptable for a luxury hotel in my view. GIven the large number of hotels, there are other choices, and I’d be as likely to stay here again as to try something new!