There are “vacations”, and then there are dreams that come true.
Staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is one such dream. Combine a grand tropical vision of castles in the sky, world-class cuisine that’s almost too good to eat, VIP treatment at every step, warm gentle coconut-scented breezes and a zippy golf cart on call… and now you’re getting close to what it feels like to unwind at one of Bali’s top resorts.
My stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali was a little different to my usual trips. This time I brought my mother with me, and it was her first trip to Bali. I really set the bar high by starting at the Ritz! But just imagine all those “good son” points! Fortunately, she had a wonderful time not only at this resort, but other areas of Bali we explored afterwards.
So what is it really like staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali? Here’s my experience.
Arrival… In Style
The VVIP treatment at The Ritz-Carlton Bali started before I even checked in. A dedicated concierge and driver were waiting for me at the airport arrivals hall. I explained to the concierge that my suitcase had not arrived due to an airline issue, and was expected to arrive the next day. I didn’t think anything of it. Then when I arrived at the resort and walked up to the cheerful gentleman at the front desk, he greeted me by name and said he was aware the bag should be arriving on a flight the following day at 2pm and he’d take care of everything and I didn’t have to lift a finger. What!? I didn’t even get past a “hello” and he was already on the ball. I was stunned… in the best way possible. I discovered over subsequent days that this kind of proactive, bend-over-backwards service is deeply ingrained into Ritz-Carlton’s DNA.
Sky Villa – Holy Moly!
My mother and I stayed in a gorgeous Sky Villa which overlooked the vast tropical garden and sandy beachfront. I don’t know where to start. This villa was the epitome of luxury and refinement. From the private infinity pool, to the shower “room”, to the toilet that would have given the talking car from Knight Rider a run for its money. Incredible attention to detail was apparent at every turn. The villas are ideal for larger or extended families, with separate bedrooms and bathrooms, and a communal living room, dining nook and kitchen.
Food, Glorious Food
6 dining options can be found on-site. These cover a wide range of cuisines from Indonesian to Japanese, but every dish regardless of restaurant, was a work of art on a plate. I’ll let a selection of my #foodporn pictures do the talking.
Tip: Unlike other hotels, at the The Ritz-Carlton, Bali everyone is a VVIP. So all guests have access to the Club Lounge which includes daily cocktail hour (yes, free cocktails!) and light buffet and a la carte meals. Club benefits also include access to the club swimming pool, 2 pieces of complimentary laundry service per day, and 2 pieces of garment pressing.
Whether you want to chill out by the pool or reinvigorate yourself, there’s plenty to do around the resort.
I tried a Power Yoga class on my first morning. I have to admit, I’m still a relative newbie to yoga but I was able to follow along just fine. The instructor was very helpful and I didn’t feel out of place… even when my face was sweating like a rushing waterfall.
Kiddies will have an absolute ball at the Ritz Kids club. This facility is available at no extra charge to all resort guests. The club is packed with games and toys, and features an outdoor play area plus a shallow splash pool with waterslide.
I experienced a “Melukat” (or Soul Purification) ritual, led by a Balinese Hindu Priest. We greeted the morning at sunrise on the beach. A “Sutri” (or priest’s assistant) helped guide me through a series of blessings and meditations, gently explaining the meanings along the way. I found this spiritual experience enlightening and soothing at the same time. I really value Balinese traditions, in particular their focus on finding balance and harmony in life through connection with fellow people, with nature and with the divine.
There are plenty of other activities and tours available on the resort. I just didn’t have enough time to try them all. And if you’re looking for a destination wedding venue, I can say this one is absolutely beautiful.
I don’t know if relaxing by a pool really requires any description. The these stunning photos say plenty. Oh, to complete the ultimate in tropical relaxation, I just had to try a fresh young coconut. Delish!
The ground level suites include access to a more secluded swimming pool, and sky villas include a private infinity pool.
My mother and I tried (in separate rooms) the “Balinese Ocean Dream” package at Ritz-Carlton Spa. This modern interpretation of the traditional Balinese massage reduces tension and invigorates the body through a gentle combination of pressure and stretching.
We walked out of the spa floating on a cloud.
The spa complex includes access a gender-specific hot plunge pool, cold plunge pool, steam room and sauna. Even better, these additional facilities are available to all resort guests at no extra charge.
Downstairs from the spa is the freely accessible hydro-vital pool. Stations around this winding pool uses creative placement of jets and fountains to massage the body and entice a sense of relaxation.
The Ritz-Carlton Bali resort complex is huge! And the best way to get around is with an on-demand golf buggy service. Now that’s style! I simply called the guest services from our suite (or whatever restaurant we were dining at) and a buggy was at the front door in no time at all. This particularly helped my elderly mother who has trouble walking long distances. The staff were always smiling like sunbeams and friendly without a flaw.
The Bottom Line
It is a disservice to describe my stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali as a “vacation”. It was nothing short of a heavenly dream, exceeding expectations in every way. But the worst part, is that all good dreams come to an end. And I was sad to say goodbye as I rolled down the driveway, looking back longingly through the van’s rear window… thinking about the few blissful days and asking myself the question… “when is the next time I’ll have that wonderful dream?”.
See my favourite 41 photos taken at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali.