One of the most important things about the trip up to Bali was deciding on the accommodation, and boy was it a doozy trying to decide where to stay because there are just SO MANY options when it comes to Bali! Y just gave up on choosing, A and I did our best to research and decide –
We finally boiled it down to a few salient points – we wanted and were willing to fork out to stay in a nice villa somewhere central, Y wanted it to be near enough to walk to the beach, and I wanted a private pool to lounge in. Y and I both turned out puppy eyes on A who just threw her hands up, picked a place that fulfilled most requirements, offered a good price and made a booking.
And that’s kinda how we decided to stay at Mutiara Bali!
Mutiara Bali is in Seminyak, off the busy Jalan Kayu Aya where there are a lot of eating places and it’s full of tourists at night. It’s about 10 minutes perhaps to walk out to the main Jalan Kayu Aya stretch, and 15 minutes walk in the opposite direction to get to Seminyak beach in the other direction where Ku De Ta and Potatohead Beach Club are at.
View Birthday in Bali (2013) in a larger map
We were located in Villa 8, just off the main entrance of the resort, so it was quite nice that we didn’t have to walk too far to get back to our villa every time we returned. Since it was just the 3 of us, we booked a 1 bedroom villa with private pool – it actually can be considered a 2 bedroom villa because it is split into 2 levels, with 1 room upstairs and the other room downstairs (In fact, they just leave one of the rooms locked when you book the 1-bedroom instead of the 2-bedroom!).
We were allocated the the upstairs room at first because it had 2 separate twin beds but decided against having to climb the narrow staircase every time we wanted to get back to our room, so we took the lower level room instead (with a King-size bed instead).
The villa is pretty open style concept, with the living room and kitchen located outside in the front of the house.
The bedroom is air-conditioned, thankfully, though the air-con didn’t seem to be working too well. You also had to keep the doors closed as mosquitoes would come in, much to Y’s chagrin on the first night! Wish that they had big ceiling fans in here, would have been perfect for the day.
The toilet was out back, and had an open concept as well, so one had to deal with the occasional mosquitoes and little frogs in the shower. Odd thing is that the clothes cupboard is out here, and the safe was in the clothes cupboard which was in the ‘open’, which just seems like a strange thing overall to me!
And of course most importantly, and where we ended up spending most of our time, the private pool in the garden area up front. There’s a very faint jacuzzi in the pool and it switches off at night – the lights in the pool were rather subjective, choosing to on and off of their own volition, depending on the night! The pool was a lifesaver, as we spent most mornings, nights and some afternoons dipping in it to cool off from the oppressive heat.
Our villa package came with breakfast every morning, but instead of heading to the restaurant to eat, we could just call them the night before and place our order… sweet! Even better – they come to the villa and cook it on-site for you, so you can wake up to a freshly prepared breakfast just outside your door.
I had an American breakfast the first day, and I don’t know if I was just reacting to the eggs before I was totally having the runs for the rest of that day (to be fair, it was only me! Y and A had eggs on other days and didn’t suffer), so I stuck to porridge and cereal for the other 2 days.
Facilities-wise, if you’re staying in the rooms, there is a large common pool you can use, as well as a small gym and restaurant. The villa also provides airport transfer at 150,000IDR for a 4-seater car one way, and if you stay 3 days or more, they’ll throw in your return airport transfer free! There’s also a daily shuttle bus to various nearby hotspots that you can hop on to. Most importantly, free wifi!
Overall I enjoyed the stay quite a fair bit. It was a spacious villa with pretty nice facilities and very good service – the Indonesians in general were just very friendly and helpful, and the hotel staff were no exception! Some things I wished for though – a nice big ceiling fan in the room and outside the room to stave off the heat and mosquitoes, mosquito netting too would have been nice for the doors! And also for the safe to be inside the room, and for our pool lights not to be so spotty – they tended to switch on and off whenever! Location-wise it’s not the best – you still have to walk a little to get to the beach, but you’re close enough to the main eating stretch, but it really depends what you’re in Bali for after all!