Have you ever found yourself not wanting to leave the hotel when it's time to check out? I had that feeling at our last hotel in Bali – Amarterra Villas. Here I ate mine best hotel breakfast ever (for real!) and enjoyed the maximum of perfect service in our beautiful pool villa.
Our last hotel in Bali I had put quite a lot of research into finding. I wanted to live on Nusa Dua's beautiful beaches, but I wasn't at all keen to live in one of the giant resorts that Nusa Dua is known for. It would have to be a private villa with a pool and it would be within walking distance to shopping and the beach. Amarterra Villas by MGallery Collection is a small five-star boutique hotel with 39 villas, located right in the heart of Nusa Dua. The hotel had great reviews on all the sites (yes, I checked very carefully!) and the price was affordable. So we struck. And it was without a doubt one of the best hotels we have ever stayed at.
Hotel Area *****
The hotel is built like a verdant labyrinth, where the gardens of the villas are surrounded by high walls, flowering trees and artificial waterfalls. In the middle of the area is a large pool, a restaurant and a spa. Everything is very tastefully decorated and it feels very cosy, despite the villas' high walls. The hotel is not located directly on the beach, to get to the beach you need to walk 5 minutes outside the hotel area. Once you get down to the beach, however, the hotel has a fenced area with staff, sunbeds, towels and umbrellas. The beach is nice (by Bali standards), but there are big differences at high/low tide. It was low tide when we were there and then it was almost impossible to swim,
The hotel's open-air reception is located by a large pool with lotus flowers, and the hotel's yoga studio is also located here. The entire entrance is like walking straight into a fairy tale. It is difficult not to give the hotel area full praise. It felt cosy, luxurious and safe.
Nusa Dua is a created tourist resort in southern Bali, without any real city center. In the heart of Nusa Dua there is a large outdoor center – Bali Collection – with more luxurious shopping, grocery stores and restaurants. Amarterra is a 10 minute walk from the shopping center and a 5 minute walk to the beach. There are plenty of international restaurants in the hotels, but there aren't that many local small restaurants nearby.
There are three different sizes of the villas at Amarterra. We had booked the smallest one bedroom villa. The first thing I was greeted with when the gate to the villa was opened was the villa's outdoor area with three fragrant plumeria trees, a beautiful living room and a well-maintained swimming pool. All surrounded by a high wall which gives a very private feeling.
The living room was well equipped with armchairs, dining table, TV, fridge, nespresso machine and a sink. The room had no walls, but there was a ceiling fan in case it got too hot. A big advantage was that everything in the minibar was included free of charge (except the champagne) and water and soft drinks were refilled several times a day (see picture further down). There were always snacks and drinks available when you needed them. Very convenient if you decide to stay and take it easy in the villa all day.
The pool was a decent size and was cleaned every day. Unfortunately the water was a little too cold for my liking, I would have liked the temperature to have been a few degrees warmer. However, the whole family swam in the afternoon when the sun warmed the water. There were two sunbeds and pool towels that were changed every day.
Wifi was available throughout the villa area and was both fast and reliable.
If the open-air living room felt too warm, it was all the more comfortable inside the air-conditioned villa. In the first room in the villa there was a large double bed with mosquito net and a small sofa bed where the daughter could sleep. It was incredibly lovely to wake up in the morning and pull up the curtains and look out over the garden and pool from the cozy bed.
In the middle of the villa was a large walk-in closet with a safe. At the far end of the villa was the bathroom, which had a bathtub and two showers. Both showers were outdoors, which felt a bit strange at first. I eventually got used to it (because no one could see over the walls of the villa), although I would have preferred a slightly more private shower. The toilet was behind frosted glass doors, which wasn't particularly private either.
The bathroom had nice hair care products, mosquito repellent, hairdryer and water bottles that were refilled with each cleaning.
Pool area ****+
We never tried the hotel's large pool, but spent all our pool time in the villa. Here I lay in a sun lounger with my book and watched as the plumeria trees slowly dropped their fragrant white-yellow flowers into the turquoise waters of the pool. In the gazebo, one of the family members slept under a ceiling fan. I've probably never been as relaxed as I was then.
I can start by saying it right away. This is it Best hotel breakfast I've ever had! At Amarterra, all breakfasts are served a la carte. There is no buffet, but only a very extensive breakfast menu with a perfect service. There is no limit to how much breakfast you order from the menu, you simply eat until you are full. Everything is cooked to order. If you want more freshly squeezed juice, just say so.
Breakfast always started with a large afternoon tea platter of fresh fruit, Balinese cookies and a healthy shot (often with ginger or turmeric). The rest of the breakfast was chosen from a menu that contained everything you could ever want. Freshly squeezed juices, smoothie bowls, strawberry pancakes, Balinese specialties, waffles, eggs benedict, nasi goreng, paneer masala – you name it, the kitchen will make it. It didn't even have to be on the menu – the kitchen fixed it anyway. We tried our way through large parts of the breakfast menu and everything was perfectly cooked. If there is a breakfast heaven - it is found in Amarterra Villas.
(Curious about the menu? I have pictures of it further down)
We often ate both lunch and dinner at the hotel, either in our villa or in the restaurant's dining room. The menu was the same in the room and in the restaurant and included both Balinese, Asian and Western dishes. There were also vegetarian options, all of which were very tasty.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen different menus for lunch and dinner, after four days at the hotel we had time to alternate our favorite dishes a few times. But everything was very well prepared and tasty.
The service was perfect. From the time we arrived at the hotel an hour before the regular check-in time until we bought "late check out" on the last day, everything worked flawlessly. The daughter was taken extra care of by everyone in the staff and had a great time.
The room was cleaned twice a day – once at lunch and once in connection with the evening turn-down service. The pool was cleaned at the same time as the housekeeping. If you needed anything between these times, just call. The only thing that did not give full marks to the service, was that the cleaning came one day late and did not complete the full turn-down service. But that was the only thing I can think of that wasn't exemplary
We also booked airport transport from the hotel when we were going home, which was a little more expensive than if we had taken a regular taxi but all the more convenient. From the time we checked out and had dinner, we didn't have to think about a thing. All luggage was moved automatically and the staff kept track of the time for us so we wouldn't miss our flight.
So what was the overall family rating? *****
We loved everything about this hotel. My husband even said that I had "outdone myself" with this booking. Sure, this hotel was a bit more expensive than the other hotels (SEK 2500/night for three people including breakfast and minibar). But considering all the time we spent at the hotel and how rested we were, it was well worth it.
If I were to go back here again? Undoubtedly! I could live in a villa like this permanently.
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