Review: Sofitel Nusa Dua – luxurious beachfront resort on Bali, Indonesia

The Sofitel Nusa Dua offers a luxurious beach resort stay with a beautiful pool area, great dining choices, a great Club lounge and excellent service – all at a fraction of a similar hotel in Hawaii or the Caribbean. You have access to a full gym, upscale spa and even a beauty clinic. The Sofitel Bali gives you the beauty of Bali in a resort setting. The different room types and the clever resort layout make it an equally good choice for families with kids on a vacation and couples on a romantic getaway. Check out my detailed review and photos for more!

Location: The Sofitel Nusa Dua has a great spot on the beach of the resort area Nusa Dua. The beach is kept clean, the water is shallow and there are no big waves, making this beach very good for swimming and for families. A boardwalk connects the Sofitel Bali to the other hotels along the Nusa Dua beaches, so you can walk to plenty of bars, restaurants and spas at other hotels, giving you more choices than stand-alone resorts.
Nusa Dua is a resort development, so you don’t have the towns with their noise and maddening traffic, like in Kuta or Legian. But you also don’t have the choice of independent restaurants, bars, massage spas and stores.
A new toll road connects Nusa Dua to the airport as well as to Northern Bali, allowing you to get around the crazy traffic. This makes reaching the Sofitel Nusa Dua quick from the airport and sightseeing around Bali easier.

Service: The service at the Sofitel Nusa Dua is very good, as you’d expect from a luxury hotel in South East Asia. We received a warm welcome from the bell staff, who whisked away our luggage and pointed us to the front desk.
Upon presenting my Accor LeClub Platinum card, we were escorted to the Club Millesime lounge for check-in. We received a welcome drink and cold towels while the staff processed our paperwork. The agent thanked us for our loyalty and took her time to inform us of our upgrade, welcome drinks, lounge access and other LeClub elite benefits. She explained the resort amenities and answered any questions we had about the resort. She then guided us to our room and gave us a quick tour of the room, features and amenities.
By the time we arrived, our luggage was already in the room (extra points for the bellstaff for being lightning quick) and the welcome amenity had been served!
The lounge staff was friendly and recognized us from checking in despite the large number of guests at the lounge, so we didn’t have to give our room number each time. The staff at the lounge was polished, well trained and attentive. During the cocktail hour they appeared a little short-handed and drink orders took a little longer than I’d expect.
Staff at the main restaurant Kwee Zeen was equally well trained and polished, showing us to a table and serving drinks. They also seemed a little understaffed – food and coffee delivered to our table took a while.

The gym was staffed all day by professional trainers, so you could get advice or a personal training or yoga session, if you wanted. They were also very friendly, ready for a chat in a break.
Staff at the pool and beach were equally well trained and friendly, assisting with loungers, towels or drinks as needed. 
Across the resort, staff seemed a little short-handed, maybe due to the sold-out situation. Granted, these are small niggles from somebody spoiled by excellent service at luxury hotels in Asia – most have lots of staff, so any wish is full-filled very quickly and you rarely have to wait for anything. 

Overall, the service was very good and of the very high standard I have come to expect in Asia. The Sofitel Nusa Dua staff manages to not only be friendly and attentive (as elsewhere) but very well trained and polished as you’d expect in a European luxury hotel!

Room: As an Accor LeClub Platinum member, we received an upgrade from the (standard) Deluxe Room we booked to a Prestige Suite with plunge pool. It’s an open-concept room with the bathroom open to the living and sleeping area. The deep soaking bathtub takes center stage and looks great. Behind the tub is the sink area with lots of countertop and shelf space for all the toiletries anybody could possibly bring. 

Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali, bathroom

On one side of the vanity is a toilet cubicle with a frosted glass door. The toilet has a bidet seat, which is a nice extra. 

On the other side is a large shower with both a handheld, mounted shower-head and a huge rainfall shower-head.

The Sofitel provides a full set of toiletries, including a comb, dental & shaving kits. Sofitel fans and purists will notice in horror that the toiletries are not the regular Hermes or Lavin brand, but their own Sofitel branded soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Sadly, the quality is much less than the usual brands.

The shower has a glass window to the bedroom, with blinds for privacy. If you want more privacy, there are large, sliding wooden doors that close of the whole bathroom area. 
In front of the shower window is a small dining table with chair as another seating choice or to get some work done.

Near the entrance you’ll find a sitting area with a stylish chaise lounge and coffee table.

Next to it is a large bar cabinet that has coffee and tea facilities, including a Nespresso machine (yes!) with espresso pods being charged (what??). There is a mini bar as well as a drawer with snacks and a selection of glasses. 

The king-size bed is at the center of the room. It has high-quality sheets, pillows and comforter, making for a very comfortable sleep – I didn’t want to leave! 

You’ll find the best part of the room outside: There is a small patio with a padded chair as well as a cute swing chair. It’s a great spot to relax or read a book. 

Next is the private plunge pool. It has a fountain bubbling into the pool for relaxing background sound. It’s small and shallow, but great for a refreshing dip after a long day in the sun. With a wall behind it, a wooden fence on the other side and tall plants all around it has good, if not perfect privacy. 

Beyond the pool are a lounger in the little garden and a gate out to the hotel ground.

We loved the open concept room and the private garden and plunge pool – it’s perfect for a couple and I’d prefer it over the larger suites available at the resort. 

The free WiFi internet is fast at an average speed of 25Mbps and reliable without any issues during our stay. It was equally fast on uploads, so you can not only stream video on multiple devices, you can get some serious work done or upload all those vacation photos and videos.

Restaurant & Amenities: As a resort hotel, one of the main attractions of the Sofitel Nusa Dua is the large pool area. It is beautifully designed, with a number of individually shaped pools around the property that manage to offer lots of space to play, plunge or lounge, while still offering good privacy. Near the kids lounge is a shallow kiddie pool with toys around it. It’s separated from the main pool with plants, so it doesn’t impact guests looking for peace & quite.

Near the restaurant is the pool, swim-up bar with seats in the shallow water at the bar, as well as tables and seats in the pool, giving plenty of people a chance to have a refreshing drink in the refreshing pool. 

Around this pool are loungers set into the shallow water, so you can enjoy the sun and dangle your feet into the water when it gets too hot.
The main pool has many small nooks created with plants and trees, separating pairs or small groups of loungers, so you never feel like you are at a big resort – it’s one of the nicest pool designs I’ve seen in a while…

If you are traveling with kids, you might want to consider the pool access suites: They face the center of the resort and have their own pool along the building with direct access from your patio. When I was little, my parents had a hard time keeping me out of the water, so if you have kids like that, these rooms would be excellent. 

You probably chose the beachfromt resort because, you know, you want some beach. The Sofitel Nusa Dua is beachfront and has their own loungers, cabanas, daybeds and umbrellas on the beach. They were in high demand during our stay, but fortunately the hotel prohibits reserving loungers with your towel at the crack of dawn. When we were looking for seats, all were taken and only 2-3 had people on them. The friendly attendants cleared two of them for us on request. You get a great view of the ocean from those chairs and are steps from the calm, warm waters of the bay. They are very comfortable, the beach towels are plush and thick and the beach bar will serve you drinks and food whenever you want. 

For a more active vacation, there is a large gym with professional Technogym equipment. You’ll have plenty of cardio and weight equipment as well as free weights for a full workout. There are also yoga classes (held on the grass by the beach) and cardio workouts. You can hire the trainers for personal sessions, so you can keep up your workout routine during the trip if you want. The gym has changing rooms, showers as well as a dry sauna and steamroom, so you can relax after the workout. The gym was well visited, so I didn’t take any photos to respect the privacy of the people working out.

The Sofitel So Spa offers all kinds of massages and treatments to add some pampering to your stay. If you want to not only mentally, but – ahem – physically refreshed, there is a beauty clinic on site. You can have procedures performed during your stay and return slimmer from your vacation (rather than gaining weight from all the good food like me!) – nobody will ever know…
You can also enjoy a massage right on the beach, in one of the cabanas – island bliss coming right up!

The big reason for us to try out the Sofitel Nusa Dua was the Club Millesime lounge. While the Sofitel Nusa Dua is not on the list of hotels offering an upgrade to Platinum members, they did provide us with complimentary access. The lounge is one of the largest I’ve seen at a Sofitel. It has a library-style sitting area near the front.

In the back are a room with a pool table, a lounge area with sofas and a bistro area with table seating and the buffet. There is also a small patio with table seating.  The different areas are separated by wooden shelves and partial walls, hiding the size of the lounge and offering privacy and quite. Even during the busy cocktail hour, it never was loud or felt crowded.

The food and drink offering during the cocktail hour was excellent. You have a choice of red, white and sparkling wine, beers, cocktails and soft drinks. Staff will take your orders and serve them at your seat.
The food buffet is also excellent, offering a large selection of hors d’oeuvres, snacks and salads from a buffet. There are also several hot Western and Asian dishes, including a potato gratin and pasta during our visit. The quality of the ingredients and the taste was excellent – restaurant quality. If you only want a light dinner, you might skip the restaurant. 

In the morning, the club lounge serves a full breakfast. It offers a good selection of great pastries (including the best croissants I’ve found on Bali so far), fresh fruit, yogurt and some hot dishes on the buffet. You can also order hot dishes from a menu, giving you a full restaurant-style breakfast.
I just love club lounges in Asia – they are fantastic and turn your hotel stay into a luxurious experience, something no lounge I’ve visited in Europe or the US has managed to do. Rather than just checking a box for elite loyalty members by offering cheese and crackers, the Sofitel Nusa Dua creates a great experience that I’d be willing to pay for. I’d recommend you consider that, too. Various room categories at the Sofitel can be booked with or without lounge access and I consider it great value!

If you are not eating at the lounge, you have a number of restaurants to choose from. The main restaurant Kwee Zeen (funny, picture somebody with a bad accent say cuisine), serves buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a huge space with numerous market style areas serving different kinds of food. One room has a huge buffet of pastries, including several shelves of gluten free choices.

There are also donuts and muffins with rainbow sprinkles for kids (or anybody feeling like one) and healthier fruit and yogurt choices.

A central bar offers an equally huge choice of fruit and vegetable juices. You can pick your own fruit and greens from the buffet and have them blended to your taste.
There are several cooking stations that offer Western, Indonesian, Chinese and other Asian hot dishes, including make-to-order egg dishes and breakfast meats.

The barista station offers regular coffee and custom espresso drinks to order. They are very good, better than most chain coffee drinks, but be patient – they took a while and were barely able to keep up with my early morning coffee needs…
The breakfast buffet was excellent, one of the best I’ve found, even when compared to the opulent choices typical for luxury hotels in Asia. We didn’t try the lunch or dinner buffets, but there were several unused stations during breakfast, so I’d expect the choice for those meals to be somewhere between huge and overwhelming. 

For a more upscale experience, the Sofitel has the fine-dining Cucina, with air conditioned indoor seating and patio seating. Despite the white table cloth, they offer a contemporary menu, so you will recognize the dishes on the menu without the need for a Google search. 

The Toya Beach Bar & Grill offers food and drinks in a casual setting right at the boardwalk. You can let your eyes wander over the ocean or people watch without having to dress up for your meal.

A new addition is the Manarai Beach Club, operated by a third party on the hotel grounds. If follows the model of the Ku De Ta or Potatoe Head beach clubs in Seminyak. There is a separate pool area with loungers, a bar and loungers and cabanas on the beach. During our weekend visit, there was lounge music during the day and a  DJ was playing in the evening for some party atmosphere. The towels had cheeky comments on them and it felt decidedly more youthful and hip than the hotel pool area.
It’s open to the public and there is neither an entrance fee nor a minimum consumption, but you are expected to buy drinks and food during your visit. Manarai offers a chance for non-Sofitel guests who might be staying at a hotel wiithout its own beach to have a luxurious beach experience, without impeding the experience of the Sofitel guests. 

Value & Rewards: I booked the Softiel Nusa Dua at a rate of $171/night during peak season on Accor’s website. As an Accor Plus member, I received a 10% discount on the regular rate and as an Accor LeClub Platinum member, I earned rewards of 8.7%. I consider that rate good value for the luxurious resort your are staying at and it’s comparable to similar resorts in Nusa Dua. It was Indonesia’s Independence Day and you can find lower prices during regular days. You can check current prices for your dates here!

While the Sofitel Nusa Dua is not guaranteeing the upgrade and lounge access benefits, the elite treatment was excellent. We received a generous, multi-category upgrade to the Suite with Plunge Pool. We also received access to the great Club Millesime lounge with breakfast, afternoon tea and cocktail hour. We had a choice of breakfast at the restaurant, a nice touch if you prefer a greater choice of food items. In addition, we received a thoughful (and tasty) welcome amenity including my favorites – Madeleines and fresh fruit, as well as welcome drinks at the bar including soft drinks, wine, beer and cocktails. The Accor LeClub Platinum benefits made our stay very special and exceptional value. 

Bottomline: The Sofitel Nusa Dua offers a luxurious beach resort stay with a beautiful pool area, great dining choices, a great Club lounge and excellent service – all at very reasonable prices. You have access to a full gym, upscale spa and even a beauty clinic, so you can tailor your stay to your needs. The Sofitel combines the services of a resort with the convenient access to other resorts via the Nusa Dua boardwalk. The different room types and the clever resort layout make it an equally good choice for families with kids on a vacation and couples on a romantic getaway. We were sad to leave and considered briefly to barricade ourselves in the room. I’d happily return and recommend it for your Bali resort vacation!

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