Review: Alila Seminyak, Bali – a World of Hyatt Rewards bargain, despite some drawbacks…

The Alila Seminyak has a great beachfront location, three pools with a view and a trendy beach bar. The rooms are minimalist and show a lot of wear and tear. The Studios are great value for World of Hyatt members at rates of only 5,000 points, but cash rates for any of the rooms are sky-high. Check out my review and photos to see if the Alila Seminyak is the right choice for your Bali vacation!

Location: The Alila Seminyak has a prime spot right on the beach in Petitenget, my favorite stretch of Bali’s Southern Beaches. You’ll be able to look out over the ocean from the hotel pools and restaurants, as well as some of the rooms. 

Petitenget is home to upscale hotels and villas, as well as high-end restaurants, bars, spas and shops, making it the most expensive beach town. You have a great choice of food, shopping and pampering that comes at prices noticeably higher than in Seminyak or Legian – but if you want a choice of the best, regardless of the price, this is your spot!
The trip from the airport takes about 1h and traffic in the beach area can be very bad, making it slightly more difficult to explore the rest of the island from here. 

Alila Seminyak Lobby

Service: The service at the Alila Seminyak was good, but to my surprise neither as friendly nor as polished as I’d expect from a 5-star hotel on Bali. Staff seemed to take a cue from trendy New York hotels and was very relaxed, bordering on aloof. While that might be “hip and trendy”, I expect better from a hotel in this category.
I had booked a room at the Alila Studios, which has its own lobby and front desk, but on arrival was directed to the main lobby that (inconveniently) processes all check-in and check-out. My grab car was still in front and was nice enough to drop me off.

The front desk took their time to process my check-in and directed me to wait in the lobby. Eventually, staff provided me with keys, as well as information about the hotel, restaurant and amenities. They offered a ride back in a golf cart to show me to the room, with a 5-10 minute wait. I asked to take a look at the gym while I was waiting and returned after 3-4 minutes – to find out that the buggy had left with other guests, so I asked to walk over. The staff was friendly, answering questions about the hotel and room categories on the way and showing me the room. My room was set up with an extra bed, which I obviously didn’t need as a single traveler and I asked it to be removed. Housekeeping responded quickly and took it away within minutes. Throughout my stay, housekeeping’s job was mixed. They cleaned the room superficially, but much needed deep cleaning wasn’t done. The white floors and bathroom tiles showed a lot of stains, making the room feel old and run-down. While they had left the room with lots of towels and toiletries, none were replaced during my stay.
The staff at the beach bar was friendly and very casual. Service was slow and spotty, with a “too cool to care” attitude that reminded me off San Francisco or New York – and not in a good way.

Room: I had booked a Alila Studio and that’s the room I got. They are located in a separate building by the road, a 5-10 minute walk from the main building, pool and beach. The room is very minimalist, held in dark brown wood, white walls and floors and lots of beige. There is very little art or decoration, continuing the minimalist theme. At the center is a king size bed with high end sheets, pillows and comforter, making for a very comfortable sleep. You’ll find two small night stands on either side, with some power outlets for your devices.

Opposite the bed are a single chair with small side table and the wall mounted TV. The chair was stained and dirty, needing a thorough deep cleaning. A small fruit amenity was presented on the table, but the fruit was old, more decorative than enticing to eat.

The room has floor-to-ceiling windows facing the patio and garden. The patio has a day bed and chair to hang out. There is no separation from the other rooms in the garden, so you might want to keep your patio door locked when you are out.

Near the entrance is a bar cabinet with a water kettle and pod espresso maker, as well as a mini bar with snacks and drinks. The coffee pods are chargeable – it’s rare for a hotel, especially in this category, to charge for in-room coffee, so check the mini bar menu before raiding the bar!

The bathroom is large and open to the bedroom. There are two open closets, one on each side, with plenty of room for your things. On the left side are dual vanities, with sink-in-countertop. On the right are two cubicles that share one frosted glass door.

In the back is a toilet, without a bidet seat, and in the front a shower with rainfall and regular shower head. The bathroom was in poor condition, with lots of stains and marks on the floors and walls. I called the ibis styles Benoa Bali in need of renovation despite its $25 price tag and this lack of maintenance is even less acceptable at a 5-star hotel!

I had considered booking a higher room category, Deluxe Rooms are located in a separate building between the Studios and the main complex, Suites in the main building right on the beach. I inspected a Suite during my stay to compare.
All Suites share the same minimalist design, held in beige and brown tones. But they are much better maintained and stains and marks have been removed from floors and walls and furniture is clean and spotless. 

But they aren’t real suites: Near the entrance is a sitting area with a sofa and table, next to it without separation is the king-size bed, making this a large room, not even a Junior Suite in industry jargon… You have a balcony with a daybed and chair, overlooking the garden or ocean, depending on the Suite category.

The bathroom is big, with separate shower, dual vanity and a deep soaking bathtub near the window – a nice layout!

Restaurant & Amenities: The Alila has a main pool at ground level, surrounded by loungers and beach chairs. It’s right next to the beach bar, so you’ll get lounge music and can order food and drinks easily enough. You have to get up early though – chairs are being reserved as early as 7am and none were available around 9:30 when I got out there. Many were just covered with towels and despite the policy to remove them after 45 minutes of being empty, that didn’t happen and chairs were still empty when I got back after more than 1h.

But fear not, there are two infinity-edge pools on the upper level, with nice ocean views and a little quieter. The pool on the right only has one row of chairs, while the one on the left has several rows of loungers, all with thick padding. It feels a little like a train station, but at least you can get a chair here. 

The Alila also has a large gym. With a sitting area near the entrance, water and towels. The equipment is scattered around the place and not professional gym quality. There are one bicycle and a treadmill, but no cross-trainer, as well as some weight machines and free weights. Despite the size, the selection of equipment makes it difficult to get a full workout, putting this gym into the “checkbox” category.

The Alila Seminyak has two restaurants: The main restaurant “Seasalt” offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual setting. Alternatively, you can have food and drinks at the Beach Bar, which is styled like on of the Bali Beach Clubs, playing lounge music and offering food as well as a full bar. I had a sandwich for lunch and the quality was very good. Prices at both restaurants are skyhigh, for breakfast as well as snacks and drinks. You pay for the convenience – you get better value outside the hotel…

Value & Rewards: Alila earlier this year joined the World of Hyatt rewards program and the Alila Studios were available at the bargain rate of 5,000 points/night (worth $75). At cash rates of $175/night that is an excellent value redemption. Even though the Studios are not beachfront, you do have access to the oceanfront pool, beach bar and facilities, making a Hyatt Reward stay very good value.
Deluxe Rooms were available for 8,000 points initially, but since have gone up to 20,000 points/night – a drastic increase and despite the slightly nicer rooms, not nearly as good value. I have no status with World of Hyatt and did not receive any benefits.
Cash rates for the Deluxe Rooms and Suites can go well beyond $300 during high season (check current prices here). But at those rates, neither the rooms nor the service are convincing – you get much nicer rooms and better service for much less at the Indigo Seminyak down the beach. 

Bottomline: The Alila Seminyak has a great beachfront location, three pools with a view and a trendy beach bar. The Studios are great value for World of Hyatt members. But cash rates for any of the rooms are sky-high and reflect poor value, given the poor maintenance of the rooms and spotty service. If you want to use your Hyatt points on Bali, this is a good option, for cash buyers there are much better choices. Check out my Bali Guide for other options!

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