Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

The Oberoi Bali

Indonesia

Offers everything you could possibly wish for on a tropical island holiday

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The Oberoi Bali
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The Oberoi Bali

Location

Located on Semiyak beach, on the south west coast of Bali

Travel Information

9km from Denpasar International Airport

Top Tips

If you can, stay in an Ocean Front Luxury Villa - the views are exhillarating

5-Star X-Factors

Stupendous sea views - the white sand beach is one of Bali's most beautiful

The Oberoi Bali

The Oberoi in Seminyak sits in 15 acres of immaculate palm and hibiscus strewn landscaped gardens. It also has a beachfront like no other on the island, yet it is just 25 minutes from Bali's international airport.

You could switch-off here and stay in the Oberoi 'village' for your entire stay, whether as a family or a honeymoon couple, and return home, having had an amazing holiday. Many vacation boxes are ticked with the Oberoi Bali: it is a Balinese 5 star beach resort; it has the reputation of being the 'Grande Dame' of Bali's luxury hotels; plus it offers everything you could possibly wish for on a tropical island holiday benefiting from luxurious garden or beach-view Lanais (small cottages) offered at extremely affordable prices. Hence, this family-styled resort, which also caters very successfully for couples seeking intimacy, encapsulates many people's dream holiday.

The Oberoi Bali is set out along the lines of a traditional Balinese village and genuinely feels charmingly authentic. The luxury villas and lanais have the veritable thatched roofs while each one, whether grand or petite, feels extremely private. Each benefits from a beautifully maintained private garden or courtyard, teaming with vibrant foliage and birdlife, along with a water feature or features. In the larger luxury lanais there are raised pavilions set at the rear of the sizeable gardens, perfect for alfresco dining and sunrise breakfasts, while the villas with pools can brag some seriously impressive-sized pools of up to ten metres. I saw one that for many would compete with the oceanfront nearby. No matter where you bed down in this cosy and luxurious settlement, the sea is only a short stroll away.

Our Ocean-front Luxury Villa

If you can stretch the budget to an ocean view then your stay will be truly exhilarating, because the awesome ocean breathes life into every square millimetre of this relaxing resort, 24/7. Simply sliding open your doors to hear those waves breaking on the beach, just a few metres in front of you, is elating. However, if your budget will only stretch to a garden lanais, the pristine lawns facing the sea have many comfortable daybeds and private seating areas. There are several large hammocks, and pretty fringed red and yellow umbrellas shading tables with daybeds; all ideal for seaside cocktails and light refreshments.

Our villa was entered via a large wooden door between high stonewalls in order to ensure maximum privacy. The garden was large and prolific with an immaculate lawn surrounded by a plethora of tropical plants. There was a massive day bed in navy canvas with comfortable cushions on the garden's terrace beside sliding doors, which led us into the boudoir that looked directly onto the sea. Before we were briefed on our room’s lighting and luxuries, I opened the sliding doors onto our private terrace. The sea breeze gushed in with blissful intensity, while the sound of the waves meant one thing to us; we were at one with the ocean.

Our four-poster, a classic mahogany Balinese bed, was surrounded by (now much loved) white muslin, while a little cot was made up beside me for my baby. The rooms are all traditional and comfortable with floral themes and ours was hibiscus. The furniture is wooden and chunky; the cupboards capacious with large flat screen televisions and fully stocked mini bars. Our bathroom was luxurious with a large sunken marble bath that looked onto a water feature with a spurting gargoyle and chunky koi carp. Air conditioning is standard throughout the villas and lanais, as is a comprehensive menu of extras, including boogie boards, welcome drinks on arrival, use of the tennis courts and gymnasium, a shuttle service to Legian village, which leaves 6 times a day, in-room films, an exploding fruit basket and much more besides. This is a five star establishment and you never forget that.

Unfortunately for us, we were ending our stay in Bali here and we could only enjoy one night, though ideally you should book at least five. Bearing in mind our time frame, we chose to enjoy some fine cuisine and cocktails at the Oberoi with a sneaky last shop in Seminyak before taking off for Singapore.

Our night out/in

We were offered a wonderful babysitter for this special evening, our final on the island, and chose to have a cocktail in the atmospheric Kayu Bar, an open-to-the-elements room with a vibrant Balinese d├ęcor. With drink in hand we wandered down to the nearby amphitheatre and watched a traditional dance display where young girls, dressed in exquisite traditional regalia, were entrancing their seated audience. The music from the gamelan players not only provided the music for their dance routine, it also filled the sea air with a melodic resonance, now forever linked to this magical place. We followed this with a delicious meal in Kura Kura - the hotel's main restaurant.

The following morning we had a delicious and healthy breakfast of muesli, porridge, local fruits, fresh coffee, complete with a newspaper and a high tide. We could have taken this under the shade of our raised pavilion in the garden, however the terrace-sur-mer was just too tempting. At lunch it seemed appropriate to indulge in the ocean's finest. It was not classically Balinese, as we had dined out on much of that throughout our stay on the island. Instead we chose beautifully fresh fare from the ocean, prepared as both sushi and sashimi, as well as lightly grilled, complemented by delectable salads and homespun breads. It was fabulous, while the service was faultless, plus we enjoyed all this under our yellow umbrella looking out to sea.

Before the airport we dipped into Seminyak for some last minute shopping. I could definitely have done with more time, as this really is the shopping Mecca of Bali.

The Oberoi Bali prides itself on its longevity, on its exceptional setting, and on its dedication to maintaining and upholding its much-coveted title, namely the 'Grande Dame' of Bali.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant


Luxury Explorer