“The stunning and grand Balinese architecture make this resort one of the more impressive ones I have stayed at. The wood carvings are one of a kind and the attention to detail is mesmerizing.”
Apurva Kempinski Bali
If you are familiar with Bali you will know that there is an abundance of luxury resorts on Nusa Dua. Adding to the big brand names like St. Regis, Conrad, Ritz Carlton, Hilton and Grand Hyatt we have a new kid on the block. The Apurva Kempinski Bali which is currently still in the soft opening phase. The resort is tucked in between the Hilton and the Ritz Carlton and occupies a very large piece of land.
The resort offers 475 rooms and includes suites and private villas. Although at the time I was visiting the private villas were not ready yet. Also of the 5 planned restaurants only one was open. So if you plan on heading there in the near future please take note of this.
Apurva Kempinski Bali – Lobby
Once you arrive at the resort you are greeted by a stunning lobby which really takes your breath away. The design is very grand and incorporates magnificent Balinese architecture and wood carvings. The ceilings are very high and the vast amount of space dedicated for the lobby is really impressive. It is quite difficult to show the grandness in pictures as the space is so big that you cannot really capture it properly.
The lobby faces the sea and you get a stunning overview of the resort. You can also see how massive this resort is and the views of the pools and gardens are really breathtaking.
The wood carvings took around 600 artisans to complete and really make you feel like staying in a palace fit for royalty. The Kempinski really did not spare any costs to make a great first impression.
Apurva Kempinski Room
For this stay we booked an Ocean facing Junior Suite which comes with the complimentary Cliff Lounge access. The Cliff lounge is the executive lounge for the resort and you can enjoy breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails there.
The Junior suite was located on the 7th floor and was generous in size with a separate dressing room area separated from the room. The bedroom and living area was also decent in size and also included a desk at the side of the room should you need to get some work done. One negative about the room was the air conditioning. It didn’t feel cool enough at night but during the day the air conditioning was stronger which was a bit annoying. However given that we were only there for two nights I could not be bothered to change rooms and it was still cool enough to sleep. I would have however preferred it to be a bit cooler.
Below some shots of the room during daylight as we checked in at night.
The TV was wall mounted but could be turned to either face the bed or the sofa area which is a clever design.
The living area faced the private pool and had a very large sofa as well as two chairs which shows how generous the living area is. They also replenished the fresh fruits on a daily basis during our stay.
The private pool came with two comfortable deck chairs and offered beautiful views of the resort as well as ocean. One thing to note though is that Nusa Dua gets morning sun and hence in the afternoon there is no direct sun anymore which means the private pool can be a bit chilly. We spent more than actually at the various main pools or the pools at the Cliff Lounge. However if you want to relax in the privacy of your room this pool definitely does the job,
Apurva Kempinski Bali – Bathroom
The bathroom is very large and comes with a separate shower, toilet and bathtub and features the usual double sink. The design is modern and incorporated some Balinese features. The bathroom is facing the private pool as well as the sea which gives it a lovely view especially when taking a bath. One thing however which I guess is still a teething issue for the hotel is the water pressure which was often varying during our stay and one time you could not even flush the toilet because there was not enough water pressure in the pipes. However this was rectified relatively quickly thankfully.
One thing I loved was the Japanese Toto toilets which the Kempinski installed. I do not understand why not more five star hotels invest in this feature.
Apurva Kempinski Bali – Cliff Lounge
As mentioned previously the room we booked came with complimentary access to the Cliff Lounge which is located on levels 9 and 10. The lounge is where check in takes place, breakfast can be taken as well as where afternoon tea and cocktails are served. The Cliff Lounge also comes with two private pools which is a nice feature if you want to avoid the crowds at the main pool. Whilst it was never crowded whilst we were there, given that half the resort was not open yet, I can imagine it getting busy if the hotel is running full occupancy. The lounge is beautifully designed with both an indoor and outdoor area as well as a generous outdoor lounging area by the bar.
Breakfast was served at the Cliff lounge and there were a number of hot and cold choices available at the buffet. The selection included international as well as Asian cuisine and the staff was very attentive in replenishing items. In addition there was an a la carte menu where you could choose a main course which was freshly prepared in the kitchen. The food was very tasty and everything tasted fresh and as soon as you took some food the staff would come and make sure it is either replenished or they will arrange it nicely for the next guest. In general the staff during breakfast was very attentive and genuinely wanted to make the experience a memorable one. Although sometimes there were some lost in translation moments but nevertheless the staff provided great hospitality throughout our stay.
In addition to breakfast the Cliff Lounge also offered evening cocktails and afternoon tea. The food was prepared freshly and served on spoons or small plates and were a perfect snack before dinner. The food was delicious and included items such as beef, vietnamese spring rolls, small cakes as well as madeleines.
Drinks wise the bartender served a selection of cocktails of your choice and they also had some Balinese wines and sparkling wines available which were pretty decent actually. Whilst some would prefer a buffet setup where you can get as much food as you want I thought that it was a nice change to have the staff come to you with freshly prepared dishes.
Apurva Kempinski Bali – Pool Area
The resort offers a humongous main pool to cater for the large number of rooms in the middle of the resort. The main restaurant is also located in between the main pool and the kids pool. As of now it is the only restaurant open at the resort. The pool was divided in a lot of small corners and the pool beds were arranged in a way to allow a couple to have some privacy from the rest of the pool.
If you have access to the Cliff Lounge you can also make use of the two private pools on Level 9 which are at the Cliff Lounge. They offer a small pool as well as a hydro pool which is nice if you want a quieter experience at the pool. Also the views are fantastic as you can see the sea and the whole of the resort.
Apurva Kempinski Bali – Spa
The rate we booked came with a complimentary 60 minutes spa treatment. Unfortunately the spa is currently still in a temporary space as the main spa is not open yet. They converted some rooms on level 16 in to spa treatment rooms. The plan is that the spa should open by summer time and will occupy a large area below the main lobby.
The treatments were a bit on the pricey side for Bali I felt when I compared them to other resorts which offer spa treatments. However the massage was very good and the spa therapist attending to me was skilled and professional and the pressure was perfect.
Apurva Kempinski Bali- Summary
Overall the Apurva Kempinski Bali is a stunning resort. The setting and the design is magnificent and the resort definitely leaves a memorable impression. The staff was also very pleasant and friendly throughout our stay and made sure we had a good time during our stay. Another pleasant highlight was the food, which was very delicious. I never had a bad dish during our stay in the Cliff Lounge or in the main restaurant. Given that there was only one restaurant open I was a bit worried at first the food would get boring after a while but the selection was plentiful.
Things which need improvement though were the following:
- The staff whilst friendly and pleasant were not very informative or knowledgable it seems. For example when we checked in we were not informed about the various benefits, features and facilities of the resort.
- The finishing of the resort in many common areas is very shoddy for a five star resort and definitely needs a lot of improvement. Given that the resort is not fully opened yet you will also still see and hear construction work going on.
- The only restaurant whilst serving good food does not have sufficient choices. If you stay more than two days you will definitely be bored. We went to the Ritz Carlton next door to have lunch one day as the options in the main restaurant did not appeal to us. I hope once more restaurants open the food will be equally as good and provide more options.
- We encountered some teething issues as well during the stay such as the air conditioning not being cold enough or the water pipes not working for part of the stay. These will hopefully be resolved soon.
Other than that I think the resort is a great addition to the many resorts in Bali and definitely can compete with the other resorts on Nusa Dua once it is fully opened. I would consider going back again eventually once things are more up and running. I would recommend this resort for a short weekend getaway if you want to avoid the busy area of Seminyak.