Bali remains a favourite of Australian travellers - it’s only a short flight from Australia and can make a great stop if you’re in the region and want to relax before heading back home or continuing on to your next destination.
To get the most out of a break, many business travellers turn to high-end resorts that have a range of facilities and activities for travellers of all types.
The InterContinental Bali aims to do just that, with the sprawling property offering guests luxurious rooms, high-end dining options and activities for those looking to relax by the pool or try something more adventurous.
Location & Impressions
The InterContinental Bali is located on Jimbaran Bay, approximately 15-minutes drive south from Ngurah Rai International Airport.
The location means that you can be out of the airport and relaxing at the resort in under 40 minutes depending on when your flight lands, making it very convenient for short stopovers.
Jimbaran Bay is noted for its local fish market and sweeping sunset views, and there’s plenty of dining options in the immediate area, ranging from local stalls and markets to high-end resort restaurants.
Central Denpasar and Seminyak are around 40 minutes by car, while Uluwatu is 30 minutes away making them easy and convenient day trip options. Ubud is also just under 90 minutes’ drive.
Airport transfers are included as part of my Premium Club Duplex suite, and the driver arrives on time in a WiFi-enabled car – handy for getting connected after the long flight. The hotel also makes contact during the transfer to ensure that everything is to my satisfaction, which is a considered touch.
The resort itself is a large property stretching all the way down to Jimbaran Beach. With six pools, multiple restaurants and expansive immaculately manicured gardens it can take a little while to get your bearings, but friendly staff are always nearby should you need assistance.
In the notoriously high turnover hospitality industry, I met several staff that had worked there since the resort opened in 1993 - after 25 years of working there, these staff were still passionate, friendly, knowledgeable and service-driven, which was a pleasant surprise.
On arrival, I’m taken to the Club Lounge for check-in, and offered a beverage before being shown to my room.
My Premium Club Duplex Suite is one of the newly renovated rooms at the InterContinental Bali – these new rooms are beautifully furnished with great attention to detail, and are highly recommended over their dated older rooms.
Set out over two levels, the Premium Club Duplex Suite offers up 79sqm of space with a separate living/dining area on the ground floor and the bedroom located on the first floor.
With plenty of room, hand-painted walls and thoughtfully curated furnishings, the Premium Club Duplexes feel luxe without being over the top.
The plantation shutter entrance leads into the dining and sitting area, with a large corner sofa to stretch out on in front of the television.
The dining table is well-sized and there’s plenty of room to spread out and do any work tasks that you may need to.
The lower floor also offers a marble bathroom with shower...
...as well as storage nooks under the stairs so you can keep your bags and possessions out of the way.
Heading upstairs, you’ll find a king-size bed with a Balinese-style bedhead, as well as another television.
Adjacent to the bed is a sliding door that leads to your own walk-in wardrobe...
...a large marble bathroom featuring a soaking tub...
...and a makeup area, alongside an oversized shower suite.
Inside are amenities by HARNN.
Last but not least, there’s also a private balcony with outdoor furniture...
...not to mention a stunning view over one of the resort’s expansive water features.
All in all, it’s one of the largest rooms I’ve stayed in, and thoughtfully laid out with a great mix of both modern and Balinese touches.
The Premium Club Duplex Suite also offers a host of other benefits for guests, including the previously mentioned return airport transfers, a 24-hour butler, access to the Club InterContinental Lounge and Club InterContinental Pool, as well as private check-in / check-out at the lounge.
Club Lounge access is available for other room types, and if you’re planning on spending a lot of time at the resort it’s well worth the additional benefits.
If you find yourself needing to work, the InterContinental Bali offers complimentary WiFi throughout the resort, with speeds averaging 14 – 16Mbps during my stay – perfectly acceptable for emails, browsing and streaming.
The room itself is large enough to get stuck into some work if you need to, although there’s no dedicated office desk / chair.
For basic tasks like copying and printing, your butler can take care of these for you or you can head down to the business centre for assistance.
The Club Level is also a good location to get some work done if you prefer to get out of the room, but don’t expect it to be a quiet haven for working.
The InterContinental Bali offers guests 5 different restaurants to dine in (although the newly opened Taman Gita restaurant wasn’t available when I visited).
There is an extensive breakfast buffet at Taman Gita’s terrace, but I opted for breakfast at the InterContinental Club lounge, which offers a range of a la carte and buffet items – the brioche French toast was particularly exceptional.
The buffet offers a good variety of items, including freshly cut fruit...
...and a range of continental items.
If your room has InterContinental Club access, you’ll also be able to visit the 24-hour Club Lounge for complimentary light refreshments, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and canapés to keep you filled up throughout the day.
Other restaurants on the property include Jimbaran Gardens, serving up Indonesian and Balinese seafood dishes, or KO Restaurant for Japanese dining.
Bella Cucina serves regional Italian fare, and with its location overlooking the beach it was a stand out for breakfast.
There’s also the Sunset Beach Bar & Grill:
The beachside restaurant offers salads, grilled meats, snacks and cocktails while you watch the sun set.
If you want to venture out, there’s a host of nearby dining options, including the local fish market where you can buy fresh seafood and pay a small fee to have it cooked how you like.
The InterContinental Bali is designed for relaxation, thanks to its combination of high-quality facilities, friendly and helpful staff, and its picturesque beachside location.
The resort offers six pools, tennis courts, and a 24-hour fitness centre for guests to use. There are also daily yoga classes and slow movement classes similar to Tai Chi.
One of the most impressive aspects of the InterContinental Bali is that it’s mindful of its location and doesn’t ignore Balinese culture and heritage. This comes across in everything they do - from the traditional style buildings and passionate staff to the cultural nods in each restaurant. For example, it’s the first resort I’ve seen where jamu is offered on menus, a considered touch that helps you experience and learn about where you are without having to venture out of the resort, if you don’t want to.
Traditional cultural activities like fruit and flower arranging are also available, and you can even try your hand at playing traditional Balinese instruments.
The InterContinental Bali also has an expansive spa complex that is divided into private male and female sections, each with its own steam room and sauna, semi-open Jacuzzi and plunge pool, locker rooms and showers. There’s also a communal area with landscaped gardens and a Bonsai garden.
Spa Uluwatu caters for healing, relaxing and beauty needs and the traditional Balinese massage I had was excellent – overall one of the most balancing and rejuvenating massages I have ever experienced. Their wellness team are experts, and it’s clear that experience and knowledge are highly valued in their staff.
Booking a room with Club InterContinental access will net you a number of useful benefits that will make it feel like you’re staying in a resort within a resort, with exclusive facilities that are less busy and offer a more personal level of service to make your break even better.
For Club Lounge guests, there’s a private pool area and the lounge itself. There are also Club Lounge exclusive facilities on the beachfront, where you can relax with Club Lounge service by the water.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, the InterContinental’s Water Sports Centre is operated by the Rip Curl School of Surf where you can learn to surf or undertake a number of different water-based activities.
If you’re staying in a Duplex Suite, there’s also complimentary child-minding services available from 9AM – 10PM, with meals and activities provided.
With so many leisure activities on offer, the InterContinental Bali is a great resort for a holiday or break. The newly renovated rooms are spacious and well decorated, and the staff go out of their way to ensure you're satisfied. With something for almost everyone, and close proximity to interesting cultural locations in Bali, the InterContinental is both relaxing and stimulating.
While the hotel is under renovations, noise during the day is minimal and I didn’t hear any construction noise at night. It’s advised to ensure your booking is for one of the newly renovated rooms, and to opt for Club Lounge access if it's available with your booking.
Sid Raja stayed as a guest of the InterContinental Bali hotel.