Monday, October 24, 2016

Hotel Review: Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel Bali

Following my grand Indonesia trip that ended on a sweet, albeit too short, note, I got back to KL and within two days decided that I would return to Bali within the week for 6 days.

After my previous pleasant stay at the Golden Tulip in Lombok, my friend Febrian hooked me up with Golden Tulip in Bali to get me settled in for a couple of days. 

The hotel is located in Jimbaran hills, right next to the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park where you will see the famous sculpture by Nyoman Nuarta whose gallery I visited in Bandung. An unusual location, I thought, as I was driven 20 minutes south of the international airport, passing by small and quiet roads before reaching the grand lobby of the hotel. 

20160930-201Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel Lobby

The hotel hosted an impressive 268 rooms and suites, a grand ballroom, wedding chapel, 8 meeting rooms and two outdoor pools. Something I didn't expect coming from a hotel hidden in such a neighbourhood, the compound was massive. The facilities such as gym and spa were a bit jaded but given the price (at ~RM240 for the Deluxe room on Agoda), it's really a steal. 

golden tulip bali
Deluxe Room - my room

The ups: 
The room given to me was a spacious Deluxe room with separate shower and toilet, it even came with a balcony. The bed and pillows were comfortable and when there was a problem with my room key, they sent someone up to have it replaced for me. The service at the restaurant was attentive, despite being the only patron that afternoon, the ala carte menu was surprisingly delicious and affordable. I appreciate the complimentary desserts served with a letter in the room for the guest. 

The downs: 
This was perhaps the biggest down for me during my stay, which was none of the hotel staff's fault but more perhaps due to its location. On my second night, the bar/club across the hotel was having a 'live band' (local music) that lasted till 2am in the morning, despite staying on the highest floor, the lack of sound-proofing in the room was proving to make my sleep a difficult one. 

The neutrals: 
The hotel is situated a bit far from all the touristy hotspots of Southern Bali but can easily be solved by renting a bike or car. Majority of the guests at the hotel were from China so there will be days the restaurant and lobby were filled with Chinese tourists, which didn't bother me but just a note should you wake up one day mistakenly thought yourself transported to China. 

Now my honest thought, you are looking at a four star hotel at the price of RM200 for their standard room, given the amount of facilities you receive and the room space you get, and this is Bali we are talking about, it's a decent deal. 

penthouse golden tulip bali
Royal Suite aka penthouse

penthouse golden tulip bali
Jacuzzi in Royal Suite

Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel
Complimentary desserts

Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel

Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel

Golden tulip
outdoor pool (pardon the exposure as it was a photo for my Instagram @nicootan )

Golden tulip

Golden Tulip Bay View Hotel & Convention Bali 
Jalan Raya Uluwatu Br. Giri Dharma Ungasan,
Kuta Selatan, Bali 80364, Indonesia
Contact: +62 361 849 8000

Cleanliness: 5/5
Comfort: 4/5
Service: 4/5
Value: 5/5
Food: 4/5
Location: 3/5
Facilities: 3/5

Monday, October 17, 2016

Alila Seminyak Bali: Luxury at its Finest

The trip ended with a bang with our last night in Bali where we were put up at Alila Seminyak, which perhaps possesses the most prestigious location in all of Bali.

alila seminyak

Located right in central Seminyak, the compound consists of 5 pools in total: 3 infinity pools (one on the penthouse) with unobstructed view to the ocean, 1 beachfront beach bar pool, and a secluded pool facing few of the suites; the resort comes with their very own private beach, clean soft sand and perfect waves (apparently it exists), and to top it off, hold your breath party people, it is sitting right next to Potato Head (an upper class night club with its own private pool).

I cannot emphasise enough how in love I am with the location of this resort, but what's more amazing was the impeccable service and hospitality that came with its staff, a staggering feat considering there are 240 rooms and suites sitting on the resort.

alila seminyak

Award winning architectural designs aside, my "smallest" garden deluxe suite boosted an impressive space of 775 sqft.
I recorded a video below because in this case, photo doesn't do it justice.
Prepare to fork out USD350 for a night here. It's worth every cent.

Just to highlight how amazing the service in this resort was, it was close to midnight when I wanted to take a dip in the pool, but the pool was closed. Sensing my arrival, the beach bar staff (who were cleaning up the bar for the day) approached me and asked if I needed any assistance; after shamelessly asking if I could swim, not only they did not even hesitate to say yes, they immediately offered to bring me pool towels. Now that's service.

Understanding the need for privacy for their guests, they left me alone (out of sight) and I swam till my heart's content. Got up, dried myself, left the towel on the chair, which I believed they promptly collected right after my departure.

I appreciate attention to detail and service to your every whim in the hospitality line, but to have service offered upfront and to read and understand your guest's need is hard to come by. For this I gave Alila Seminyak an exceptional rating for their services.

The resort was extremely instagram-worthy to boot. Have a look.

A photo posted by Nicolekiss (@nicootan) on 

Is this not the perfect beach? Gorgeous flat soft sand to run on. 

Private pool at the penthouse. USD4500 a night anyone?

Borrowing a photo from Marcos (not my room) 

alila seminyak
Infinity pool - photo courtesy of Kounila (sassy Cambodian travel blogger)

alila seminyak

alila seminyak

alila seminyak
sunset on the private beach 

alila seminyak
Evening setting

Alila Seminyak, Bali 
Jalan Taman Ganesha No. 9
Petitenget, Kerobokan,
Bali, Indonesia.
Contact: +62 361 3021 888

Cleanliness: 5/5
Comfort: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 4/5
Food: 4.5/5
Location: 5/5
Facilities: 5/5

Saturday, October 15, 2016

SK-II: Nicholas Teo & Limited Edition Suminagashi FTE Bottles

I was in for a surprise when Nicholas Teo showed up at Mid Valley dressed up top to toe in white.


It was the launch of the new limited edition festive Facial Treatment Essence bottles by SK-II, this time inspired by Suminagashi (Japanese floating ink). I'm a fan of the blue design bottle. If only I had a shelf to store all my limited edition SK-II bottles, it would be quite a display. 

They flew in a Suminagashi Sensei to perform live water floating ink on stage, and had us set up for a workshop where we dabbled with the water ink ourselves. Picture of the outcome attached below. 

Not before the dreamy 34-year-old Nicholas Teo performed a new number on stage. 
And he left too soon before I could shamelessly request for a selfie. Sigh...

I also won the flatlay IG contest (first image as seen above) and received a bottle of Mid-Day Miracle Essence. Yay! Not to mention walking away with a box of Bloomthis consisted of 5 large rose blooms (which I have cut and put up in a vase next to my bed now).

SK-II Suminagashi FTE Bottles

SK-II Suminagashi FTE Bottles
free inside scoop ice cream (which I never claimed)

Nicholas Teo singing
Nicholas Teo!

Nicholas Teo singing
Suminagashi sensei standing next to Nicholas Teo

SK-II Suminagashi

SK-II Suminagashi
place a paper on the water, and voila! floating ink becomes an art! 

SK-II Bloomthis 
Thank you SK-II and Bloomthis for the gifts.