WHAT’S IT LIKE? St Regis, a Starwood brand, opened this beachfront resort in Bali in September last year. From the lobby, a flight of steps with a tapestry of brightly coloured tropical flowers in water compartments leads down to an artificial lagoon stretching between villas towards the sea. State-of-the-art features include a sitting room with sub-aquatic furniture and ergonomic cane loungers with human heads – the effect is engagingly surreal. All the public areas evoke Indonesian culture, with imposing free-standing heads and raised thatched chill-out areas.
WHERE IS IT? In the heart of the luxury beach hotel zone in Nusa Dua, the security-conscious peninsula to the south of the island, roughly 30 minutes from the airport.
ROOM FACILITIES My spacious one-bedroom suite had a balcony overlooking the Bali Country Club golf course, but the lagoon-side dwellings are more distinctive. My entrance hall led into a large room with dining and sitting areas, a 42-inch flatscreen TV, a DVD player (new releases available on request) and a Bose iPod docking station. The décor was international luxury with Balinese touches – comfy sofas sat alongside local hardwood cane chairs. There was a substantial writing desk and wired and wireless internet access. My bed had a deliciously soft mattress and was dressed with crisp white cotton sheets, while the marble bathroom had a multi-jet power shower, a deep tub, twin basins and Remede Spa products.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Although you can summon your butler at the touch of a button to order breakfast in your room, it would be foolish to miss the buffet in the Boneka restaurant, off the main lobby. Cheerfully decorated in Indonesian style, it is a quality start to activities in a tropical paradise. Eggs and bacon, tropical fruit and assorted breads and cereals are supplemented by tasty delicacies brought to your table by persuasive staff.
Start your evening in the King Cole bar with a trademark Bloody Mary, created by John Jacob Astor IV, the founder of the first St Regis in Washington DC in 1926. The dinner options are Boneka, which specialises in Balinese cuisine, or the more exclusive, stylish Kayuputi, which serves international dishes such as Beluga caviar and wagyu beef. The Gourmand Deli has an unexpected choice of imported staples, many from Italy.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The Astor Ballroom can accommodate 200 guests for events, while the John Jacob Astor IV room can host smaller meetings for up to 12 people. There is a business centre in the lobby with two PCs. Secretarial services are available.
LEISURE FACILITIES The Bali Golf and Country Club is within walking distance through a private gate thanks to a deal brokered by St Regis for its guests. The record on the 6,888-yard par 72 course is 63, shot by Nick Faldo in the Dunhill Masters in 1994. The Remede Spa offers a range of treatments and there is a fitness centre with Life Fitness equipment. Guests can swim either in the main pool or the lagoon.
VERDICT It’s the staff who make this hotel, but whether you’re on a business trip or a holiday, the facilities are great too.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 79 suites, and 42 villas, ranging in size from 92 to 600 sqm. Top of the pecking order is the Strand Residence, a three-bedroom beachfront property with its own swimming pool and walled garden.
PRICE Internet rates for June started from US$375 per night for a suite.
CONTACT St Regis Bali Resort, Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua; tel + 62 361 8478 111; starwoodhotels.com/stregis