Phew, let me just say that commuting around Bali is a pain in the back, literally and figuratively. And, this is coming from a girl who lives in Cebu City, Philippines – dubbed as the worst city to drive in according to Waze Traffic App. Of course, we had an idea of how ugly it can be to drive around Bali when we motorbiked to Uluwatu but who knew it can get worse? Long story short, it was a loooong, exhausting ride from Tulamben (north-east coast) to Seminyak (southern end). Luckily, we had great deal of comfort and luxury waiting for us at Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort.
At the arrival, Olivier and I came to a shock when our taxi was blocked. Turned out, it was for security inspection of the vehicle. Wow, that was a first for us! Then, I recalled a headliner back in 2002 when a car bomb exploded in Kuta and took over 200 lives. I looked at one of the guards, smiled and thought “Why yes my good sir, take all the time you need.” While they were meticulously screening the taxi, they’ve done it with smiles and humble greetings so we won’t feel paranoid. Then, we got off the taxi and the staff kindly helped us with our bags to put through x-ray screening while we went through a metal detector. Yes, airport style. Olivier thought this was too much but like I always tell him, it is better safe than sorry. Right?
The staff (gee, I wish I remember his name) brought our bags to the luggage area and facilitated our check-in. We were offered cold ginger teas (yum) and cold towels (thank goodness) while the receptionist sorted out our check-in. I can’t help but notice how spacious the lobby was which opened up to the courtyard. There was a long, large pool right in the middle which was obviously the hotspot for sun loungers. I can’t wait to have a dip myself! 🙂
After a nice and easy check-in, the staff whom shall henceforth be known as Buddy, escorted us to our room.
As soon as Buddy opened the door, it was just wow!
My eyes went straight out of the balcony, out to the pool bar. Yes, our room was directly across the pool bar. As of writing, I still don’t know why this made me excited.
The bed, oh I have to talk about the bed! 🙂
Our plush king-size bed was exactly like what we had in Residence Inn by Marriott, one of its sister hotel in Atlanta, Georgia where Olivier and I stayed for 3 months. I guess it’s a Marriott worldwide standard so, kudos for the undisputed consistency!
Our little oasis for two nights was sleek and modern with subtle hints of Balinese charm.
We had a 42 inch flat-screen TV with tons of channels in every language, an iPod dock to play some personal tunes, a writing desk plus a minibar and coffee/tea maker. I must point out that the free Wi-Fi offered was unlike anything we have tried in Bali. It was fast, reliable and accessed all throughout the resort.
Though there wasn’t a vanity in our gorgeous ensuite bathroom, that was made up for by a well-lit make-up mirror in the fairly long and spacious bathroom with premium Nirvae amenities.
We were a little disappointed that there wasn’t a bath however, the rain shower and shower bench made up for it. And oh, the fancy toilet. We were fascinated by the automatic bidet that when you turn on and it will do the cleaning for you. Fancy, isn’t it? 🙂
After Buddy waived us goodbye, we relished the sweet little welcome treat from the resort – strawberries and French macarons dipped in dark chocolate. Where’s our champagne? JK.
After we got settled in, we wandered around the courtyard to see what’s what. We passed by the hotel reception and noticed the complimentary popcorn and candy floss for guests to grab (don’t mind if I do). They also have a business center where you can use the computers to transfer your holiday pictures or do an online check-in for your upcoming flights.
We continued to explore around the pool area and I noticed that majority of the swimmers gathered around the pool bar which made sense since it was Happy Hour time. On Western standards, prices are quite reasonable considering you get two for the price of one. The pool bar also served food items in case you want to grab a bite in between swims or you want to have dinner by the poolside because why not?!
The hotel had a great range of daily activities from Aqua Aerobics to Yoga to Bingo, you name it! The best part about being on holiday is that you can do as much or as little as you deem fit. Whether you prefer to unwind by the poolside, partake in some water aerobics or achieve inner peace with a yoga class… It’s all up to you! And, if you want to keep your kids occupied, they also offered tons of fun activities such as hair braiding, kite making, canvas painting, etc.
On our first night in Seminyak, Olivier and I preferred to wander around the area to cap the night off. Fortunately, we were strategically situated right in the heart of Seminyak. There was plenty of shops, restaurants and bars around. And oh, the beach is just 5-minute walk away.
Although the resort provided a buggy service for the guests, we decided to walk. We are big walkers. Even when we were in New York City, we preferred to walk than take the subway or bus because we got to see more of the city that way, even if it hurts our feet.
Mornings at the resort were moments to savor – Courtyard’s in-house Seminyak Kitchen boasts the best breakfast in town!
The buffet-style eatery dishes up irresistible servings of all western and eastern favorites from eggs cooked a variety of ways to fresh tropical fruits and more. It was by far the most amazing breakfast we’ve ever had at any hotel EVER. We could stay there all day! LOL
In addition to all-day breakfast at Seminyak Kitchen and the stylish Pool Bar, the resort also offers a one-of-a-kind food truck with Mexican specialties called What the Truck!
We tried two of their best sellers – Chicken and Beef. It is definitely mouthwatering. And oh, it is even better with Bintang. 😉
Overall, it was indeed a comfortable and luxurious stay at Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort. It continues to live up to the it’s international standards with its elegant amenities and outstanding services. We are looking forward to our next visit. 🙂
*We were invited to stay at Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort in return for our honest and open review. The views and opinions expressed on this post are purely ours and not influenced by the hotel and its affiliates in any way.