Hotel Reviews – Grand Hyatt Bali

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I’m trying to put my 2014 vacation trip report to bed before I head off on my next long vacation in two weeks (a “grand” Mediterranean adventure on Norwegian Spirit).

I’ve put off writing about Bali because this part of the trip was probably the most disappointing to me.  I’ve been to Bali so many times that I’ve lost count (but its easily in the double digits) and it has faded on my list of places I enjoy traveling to, largely due to excessive development.  I had enjoyed the stop in far northern Bali that we made with Virtuoso Voyager Club so I was holding out hope for a more tranquil stay this time around.

I’ve stayed at both Hyatt properties in Bali numerous times.  The Bali Hyatt had closed for renovations earlier in the year so the Grand Hyatt was the only place for a points stay on this trip.  (I also looked at various Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton properties but the Grand Hyatt was the best value for a points stay this time around.)

Arrival

We disembarked Seabourn Odyssey in the morning after an overnight in the Benoa port.  We took our time getting off the ship since we didn’t have specific plans for the day and one of my regular Bali drivers, Ketut, picked us up.  He had driven us the previous day when we went out for shopping in Seminyak on a drizzly rainy season day so it was easy to locate him when we disembarked.  (We hired him for the duration of our stay in Bali for $50 a day and he stayed on call for us for any travels we wished to do off the resort.)

The Grand Hyatt is located in the somewhat sanitized peninsula called Nusa Dua at the southern tip of Bali.  You’ll find many of the western chain resort hotels there along with an open-air shopping/dining complex called the Bali Collection.

Because of terrorism issues in Bali, all of the Western resorts have heightened security.  When we arrived at the Grand Hyatt gates, the underneath of the car was searched with mirrors and our driver had to open the trunk.  Guards shined flashlights into the backseat to ensure no explosives were being smuggled in.

View beyond the lobby at the Grand Hyatt Bali.

View beyond the lobby at the Grand Hyatt Bali.

Our driver dropped us curbside where our bags were taken and we were escorted up the steps into the large open air lobby to be greeted by gamelan music.

Check In

Because of my Hyatt Diamond status, we were escorted to the Grand Club to check in.  The resort is a large property so the Grand Club is about a five minute walk from the entrance.  Our room was still being readied so we were greeted with cold towels and fresh juice and invited to make ourselves comfortable while they finished our check-in.

I always appreciate a check-in where I don’t have to stand in line at a desk counter so coming here is always a pleasure.

The Room

Because my stay was booked on points, the staff was not forthcoming with any room upgrades.  I’ve had suites here in the past on revenue stays and they are lovely but our room was fine for as little time as we planned to spend in it.

It featured two twin beds made up separately.  Basically it was a king platform with two twin mattresses.

Our twin beds were basically a king bed made up separately.

Our twin beds were basically a king bed made up separately.

We had a small siting area between the beds and balcony.

We had a small sitting area in our room between the beds and the balcony.

We had a small sitting area in our room between the beds and the balcony.

And a small flatscreen television and small desk.

We had a television and a small desk area against the wall.

We had a television and a small desk area against the wall.

The bathroom was almost as large as the bedroom with an entire wall of closets.

The bathroom and dressing area was almost as large as the bedroom.

The bathroom and dressing area was almost as large as the bedroom.

The countertops had two sinks – the large bowls took up a lot of space on the counters which meant they felt cluttered with toiletries out.

We had dual sinks.

We had dual sinks.

We had a soaking tub which had a shower in between the door and tub.  There was also a door that opened up to the patio which made showering awkward if the other party wanted to use the shower.

A shower and separate tub with a door that led out to the balcony.

A shower and separate tub with a door that led out to the balcony.

The closet had set in areas for suitcases.

The closet had nice space set up for suitcases.

The closet had nice space set up for suitcases.

And the toilet was in a separate room.

The toilet was in its own room.

The toilet was in its own room.

The small balcony had two chairs and a small table and overlooked a courtyard.

Our patio overlooked a courtyard and had a small table and chairs.

Our patio overlooked a courtyard and had a small table and chairs.

We had a basket of local fruit that was replenished and large bottles of mineral water.

We had a basket of fresh fruit and large bottles of mineral water that was freshened daily.

We had a basket of fresh fruit and large bottles of mineral water that was freshened daily.

All in all, the room was not bad, particularly for a spot like Bali where one likely isn’t spending much time in the room.

Other Considerations

The pools at the property are my favorite feature.  The main pool area is near both a restaurant and a pool bar and is adjacent to the beach for beautiful views and breezes.

Pool view on a cloudy day.

Pool view on a cloudy day.

There are also connecting lagoons leading to other smaller pools and two waterslides.

This is a very large property.  There are four clusters of rooms and each has pros and cons.  If you are attending a conference, staying on the side of the property near the conference center can be a plus.  That side is also close to the children’s club and onsite shopping area.  I like to be close to the Grand Club which is on the other side of the property  which is also close to the Grand Club members only pool (a nice benefit when the resort is crowded).  When I’ve been assigned a room on the other side, it can be annoying to walk 10 minutes to get to the Club just to pick up a snack or beverage.

The Grand Club was remodeled in the last year.  The improvements resulted in a new breakfast station where omelets can be cooked to order and more refrigerated space for beverages and snacks.  I thought that service in the club had declined from previous visits however.  During evening happy hours our beverages orders were sometimes taken and then never delivered.

Lagoon seating in the open-air Grand Club.

Lagoon seating in the open-air Grand Club.

Reception desks in the Grand Club (for check-out and reservation assistance).

Reception desks in the Grand Club (for check-out and reservation assistance).

Newer seating area in the expanded lounge.

Newer seating area in the expanded lounge.

New chef's station and serving area in the Grand Club.

New chef’s station and serving area in the Grand Club.

More serving areas in the renovated Grand Club.

More serving areas in the renovated Grand Club.

Check Out

Our last day was a bit of a disaster.  I recounted last year the trainwreck that started at the Grand Hyatt (and later continued at the airport) – seriously one of the worst travel days for me in a long time!  I ended up emailing the hotel manager who offered no consolation.  My Diamond Concierge fortunately made things right with points rebated back to my account after I shared my story with them.  Nonfunctional air conditioning was a poor guest relations situation on a humid hot day and the staff response was underwhelming so I felt this was a fair solution.

Would I stay at the Grand Hyatt Bali again?  Probably.  It has always been a good use of my Hyatt points although the location is not my favorite if I plan to be out and about in Bali.  I do enjoy the pool though and its a relaxing place to spend time.  I personally think there are much better Bali choices if one gives up the notion of using points and plans for a boutique property instead.  The Jetsetter site of Gilt.com regularly boasts some of the Bali gems at attractive package rates.  My preference is to stay in Ubud or on the northern side of the island, but the Grand Hyatt is not bad for first-time visitors.

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About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 47.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the review. My wife and I are staying there on points next month for our first Balinese trip. Do you have any thoughts on hiring a driver in advance?

    • I think if you have several days of travel you want to do or need to plan things out in advance, it’s not a bad idea. But drivers are easy to hire and can be arranged through anywhere you are staying. I book in advance because I get a great price from Ketut Karda – balinatural909@gmail.com

    • I have used Ketut Karda several times – balinatural909@gmail.com – he has a clean air conditioned vehicle and can be hired by the day. He usually charges me $35 for a half-day or $50 for a full day so I often hire him for the entire trip. I’ve had drivers that spoke better English, but they also were pushier with trying to take me to tourist traps/shops. He can drive anywhere on the island so he’d work for any place you are staying.

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