Imagine coming to a beautiful resort and you see these two lovely Balinese ladies greeting welcoming you to the resort. Pretty nice huh? If you are looking for a destination vacation – you’ll love this resort. I know for a USA traveler, it’s a long way from home but it is worth it. At this resort, you step into another culture, and we felt like there was almost a time warp. Things slowed down. People were always smiling. The staff were always looking out for us.
Grand Hyatt Bali is a true reflection of a Balinese water palace, with 636 rooms featured in clusters of four villages, surrounded by waterfalls, landscaped gardens and lagoons set on 41-acre of lush tropical gardens. A Balinese water palace is a type of traditional architectural structure found in Bali, Indonesia. Also known as "Taman Air" in Indonesian, water palaces were built by Balinese royalty and nobility in the past as places for relaxation, recreation, and religious ceremonies.
Balinese water palaces consist of several ornate pools, fountains, and pavilions surrounded by lush gardens and featuring intricate stone carvings and statues. Water from natural springs or mountain streams is channeled into the palace's pools and fountains, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
One of the most famous water palaces in Bali is Tirta Gangga, located in the eastern part of the island. It was built by the royal family of Karangasem in the early 20th century and is known for its beautiful water gardens, steppingstones, and lotus-filled pools.
The Grand Hyatt Bali resort was built around two ancient temples. The temples are 400 years old and was originally built as a resting place for a Balinese high priest whenever he made a journey from the southeast to south of Bali. With a major religious significance to the local Balinese community, Grand Hyatt Bali contribute in helping maintain the historic temples as well as allowing uninterrupted access throughout the year, especially during large religious ceremonies. These ceremonies are an experience to behold as hundreds of Balinese Hindus travel long distances in their colorful costumes to give offerings.
Maybe you’ve heard of Bali because you read “Eat, Pray, Love” or perhaps you saw the movie starring Julia Roberts. The book is based on a true story and the filming of the movie took place on Bali. Julia Roberts only agreed to film her Bali scenes on location if the producers agreed to allow her to have her family over there during the shoot. Smart lady that Julia Roberts!
Back to the Grand Hyatt Bali Hotel - the extraordinary moment begins right when you enter the lobby. We can easily see a dazzling view of the ocean, with waves breaking into the reefs, and lily ponds cascading into small rivers and lagoons. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a heron standing still elegantly by the pond. You can see our heron might be looking for some food!
The breathtaking flora and fauna of the resort is captivating for everyone. The resort was built and opened in 1991 and some of the pools, carvings, and landscaping look like they could have been here thousands of years ago. The resort has 4 “villages” called East, West, North and South. They all have different personalities. If your room has Grand Club Access, the closest villages would be North and South. The view from each village is different but the serenity and beauty are always present.
We originally started in the North Village, but a nicer suite opened up and we were moved to the South Village. The resort is really gigantic and by being in the South Village, we discovered a different restaurant, Watercourt, that was another hidden gem. It is a Balinese restaurant and it had its own water feature pond with herons, fish, birds, water lilies, etc. The food was fabulous. I have a different post here for all of the restaurants that you can check out.
The South and East villages are closer to the white sand beach which is private. You will see locals trying to sell you things from time to time but they are not troubling at all and you might even want to purchase something. They will definitely take Euros and US Dollars.
The grounds are quite expansive, and you can get a good workout just walking around. Our daily step count at this resort is over 7,000 steps usually which is a lot more than we get at home. The walks are easy and there are plenty of elevators if you need to go up or down with a little help.
What I am really impressed with is the landscaping and care given to creating tranquil spaces. You can easily find a serene place to sit and either look at fish in a pond or the waves coming onto the beach, or you can just relax and read a book.
Balinese design philosophy is felt throughout the resort, from a gamelan at the lobby entrance that symbolizes a grand welcome to all guests entering the property to soothing Balinese flute music filling the lobby and Grand Club Lounge, an exclusive lounge available for Club Room guests. Balinese design incorporates many natural materials found in Indonesia to their building material and decor, from coconut, bamboo, wood to lava stone. More importantly, Balinese design pays a lot of attention to aesthetics and energy flows. Art pieces such as statues, paintings, woodcarvings are widely used as decoration in the resort and the resort’s open plan living design allows the natural elements to give positive energy to all beings.
Our room was a Grand Executive Suite with teakwood and marble from central Java on the floors. The rooms include over 1,500 square feet of space. The bedroom had a king bed and private balcony overlooking the tropical gardens. The appointments were all luxurious including a marble bath with a separate shower. The room had Grand Club privileges which I would highly recommend.
There are ten places to dine but two of them were under renovation when we came. The renovation is expected to be complete by April, 2023 – but you should check yourself on the website. We actually ate at the closed restaurant, Salsa Verde, when we were here ten years ago. It was excellent. I think the renovation was due to the salt air eroding plenty of things over time. You can imagine what more than 30 years of salt air could do to any structure. I’m sure things will be great again when you visit.
For swimming pools, this resort has you covered. The resort has extensive options of five swimming pools designed to suit any holiday needs. You can spend the day in the spacious lagoon-style Main Pool surrounded by tropical gardens or ride down two water slides in River Pool.
We really enjoyed a very secluded Balinese Feature Pool with emerald-green water and cascading waterfalls. The adult-only Bay Club Pool located in the fitness center has a beautiful deep blue water lap pool. The Grand Club pool is exclusively available for our club guests. Remember I recommended that you ask for Grand Club access.
The Kriya Spa is quite palatial. It is inspired by the magnificent architecture of an ancient Balinese water palace, the “Wellness Sanctuary.” It offers complete relaxation at the luxurious Kriya Spa at Grand Hyatt Bali Hotel in Indonesia. The name Kriya means “Rituals” in Sanskrit.
A team of experienced Spa therapists and aestheticians will create programs tailored specifically to your lifestyle – ensuring you are taken on a personal journey of tranquility, restoration and reflection. Kriya ‘rituals’ are specially designed for both relaxing and invigorating moments as well as detoxification. Madeline and I enjoyed our spa day – it was very spiritual and relaxing.
If you have small children and want an adult break for yourselves, they have a very nice Kids Club on the property that operates from 9AM to 5PM every day. The Kids Club aims to offer an experience above and beyond that enables the little ones to learn about Balinese culture and explore the resort’s local flora and fauna in a safe and welcoming setting. Each day has different activities so the kids will likely not be getting bored.
This resort is really one of the jewels of the Grand Hyatt locations. We usually do not come back to the same Hyatt resort because Hyatt has so many beautiful resorts all over the world. However, this resort definitely caught our hearts when we visited ten years ago so we decided to come back over Valentine's Day. It is a very romantic place and the staff exude hospitality at every opportunity. Our guest experience manager made sure that we never had to worry about anything. The servers at the Grand Club learned our names after a few days and remembered our morning drink choices without asking. This is a special place and I hope you will get a chance to visit.
I know it is a very long way from the USA. We took 3 separate flights that took over 24 hours of time and including the time to wait for the next plane, we spent over 36 hours to just get to Bali. It is a 14 hour time difference between Central and Bali time depending on the time of year. It takes a few days to get on local time but we are experienced travelers and I worked in Tokyo on three different occasions so we are used to this time zone.
Perhaps you could make your vacation include Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Singapore to get more out of your flight dollar spend. Here are just a few hotels in Tokyo that you could consider. We’ve stayed at the Park Hyatt, Tokyo, Grand Hyatt Tokyo and the Hyatt Regency Tokyo.
Here are some hotels in Singapore. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, and it was wonderful.
Here are some in Taiwan. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Taipei and loved it.
Here are some in South Korea. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Incheon, and we really enjoyed it.
Here are some in Hong Kong. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui and it was very nice.
Hong Kong SAR
So, we think you would really love Bali. To stretch your air dollar, you can combine it with another stay in the area. Many flights will land in either South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong or Japan direct from the USA. Hopefully you can enjoy the Bali resort along with another wonderful country in Asia. Enjoy your trip!