A room with a view is a must for our family on holiday – who doesn’t want to gaze out at the ocean or over a rice terrace when holidaying on a tropical island? I must say, I was extremely excited when I spotted signage for the development of the Alila Resort, beachfront in Seminyak last year. Here is my review of the newest “resort on the block” to help plan your next Bali holiday. For my readers, the Alila is offering 25% of the internet rate. You can book directly with the reservation team at Alila Seminyak mentioning LittleTravelPrincess as a code to get the privilege.
The Alila is the newest resort on this stretch of Seminyak beach, situated on prime real estate between LaLuciola on its south and Potato Head on its north. With the constant traffic congestion in Seminyak, as a parent of two young children, it is actually extremely refreshing to be able to simply meander along the sand to dinner or drinks or walk out onto the street for shopping or eating versus tackling the craziness of flagging a taxi and sitting in traffic (that is now commonplace in this part of town). The Alila Seminyak’s location is definitely a positive.
Security and access
The Alila Seminyak is situated off Jl Petitenget, next to the once hip and happening Huu’s Bar, 500 metres along a paved lane, with thorough security checks on entry. In addition, the local Petineget police station is situated next door. For those non walkers, mobility impaired or if you’re just too tired, the resort has a golf cart that can take you from the lobby to the main Jl and vice versa. As well, the resort has a complimentary shuttle service to and from Seminyak Square in one of its new, colourful and funky Combi Vans. We found these services handy for when we were running late, our legs were too tired or just for the novelty of it.
Design and check-in
The Alila is contemporary in design – exuding a sense of freshness. The four storeys are woven through with vertical green foliage, wall-hung plants, green roofs and landscaped terraces designed by Singaporean Architect, Gaurang Khemka in order to “enliven the senses”. The open space of the lobby, corridors and wings, allow the ocean breeze to refresh the space, which offers a sheer relief from the intense heat and humidity that Bali can bring. This design, coupled with the offer of chilled flannels, hand-made drinks and Alila Living spa products, greet you on arrival and are a gracious welcome for a weary family. My only criticism was the extended time it took for the staff to process our paperwork – imprinting our credit cards, copying passports and recording our Discovery numbers. I put this down to new systems and just being in Bali and I breathe…take in the view and relax. All is good.
We were pleasantly accommodated on lobby level in deluxe suites which looked out onto one of five resort pools and of most importance, the Indian Ocean. These suites are extremely well suited to young families and older family members (such as accompanying grandparents) as there are no stairs to negotiate..
What I really liked was that the balcony spills out onto your own deck fitted with day bed so the children can walk out and play on the grass and within 20 to 30 metres you are poolside. This layout makes everything so easy. Inevitably as a parent (unless you can carry the kitchen sink) one makes numerous trips back to your room during the day – “mum I’ve forgotten my googles, mum I’m thirsty, mum I need to go to the toilet….” As my children are 4 and 8, the layout of the room and proximity to the pool allowed me to stay put and they could toddle back to the suite within eye and hearing shot. For children who need to have an afternoon sleep, this layout permits you to continue tanning on your own day bed, enjoying the outlook, whilst your little one sleeps soundly in the room. The other positive of these suites is the children can sleep on a sofa bed in a room generous in size. The suites are 60m2. With the average price of 5* hotel accommodation on this side of the island being at least $400-500USD per night, this option certainly is a benefit as the suites allow 2 adults and 2 children in one room.
We loved the outlook and design of the “serenity pool”. The other two within a short walk from our suite were landscaped only with decking making it hot under our feet and the trees not yet established to provide natural shade. The website notes an adult only pool which I could not find – children were welcome everywhere – unless I made a mistake!
Kids club and other activities
The resort has a children club which is complimentary for guests between 7am and 9pm. My children popped in to borrow some pencils and colouring in sheets to occupy themselves over breakfast and lunch but they did not show any eagerness to play there. The club also offers paid one hour activities (50 000rp) per child including treasure hunts, flower garland making, face painting and nail art – so there are many options at low cost to entertain your children while you have some adult time.
(On reflection, maybe I shouldn’t have brought the inflatable pink flamingo or grandparents with us – my two were having too much fun in the pool or watching in-house Disney movies to lure them into the kids club)!!
The famous “Alila experiences” which attract me to these Discovery resorts are specific to each region. In Seminyak, the experiences are mainly for adults including a full day of shopping, visiting temples and beaches and bicycle riding – sadly not so child friendly. On the up side, there are many child friendly activities close by. I will post some ideas soon on my blog (have a peek at my instagram for these as well as some great Bali children blogs and apps such as littlebalilove, balikidsguide and littlemissbali).
Breakfast here is part buffet, part À la carte. Ours was included. We chose to eat outside under the alfresco each morning, people watching the many walking and jogging along the Seminyak beach shoreline.
The juices including the cold pressed raw juices were my favourite. The barista could make a decent coffee (well sort of)! And the selection of cooked breakfast items was plenty to cater for both European, American and Eastern tastes. My only criticism was that the selection of fruit was cut up into cubes – which is OK for my 4 year old but doesn’t look that palatable to a ‘foodie”. My other criticism was having to pass my bread through to a chef to toast while I waited with another group of revelers for it to be passed back . My recommendation is that the resort supply you a bakers basket as they do at their sister hotel Alilia Mangiss.
The Alila Seminyak is situated in a great beachside location in Seminyak. It is a new resort so rooms are clean, pristine and in working order. The gardens are still establishing themselves and some work is still being completed however; this did not impact on the quality of our stay.
Due to its “newness”, some systems are obviously still being tweaked and given the size of the resort, the individual attention you get at the smaller Alila Resorts was lacking at its Seminyak property.
For our family, the option of having 2 children in their own bed within the suite at no extra cost is attractive. The grass outside the room and closeness to pool is fantastic. Due to the many things to do in Seminyak we ran out of time to get back to the resort for the 4-5pm complimentary afternoon tea and yoga (next time)! The kids club is complimentary for those families that need it.
The resorts facilities are found through browsing through your TV – which took a little bit of time for me to learn – I much prefer the old fashioned paper manuals – but on check-in, your room attendant shows you where everything is and importantly, how to work all the gadgets. I also loved the turn down as your room gets “refreshed” for you late afternoon/early evening including a bottle of milk and homemade biscuits. We all also liked the Alila Living toiletries including the pillow spray and after sun soothing gel AND the girls loved their child sized robes and slippers.
I will definitely be coming back to this resort and thank Devina and the management of the resort for the privilege to stay here.