Review – The Stones Hotel, Bali.

This post is sponsored by my very sad looking bank account.

The reason I ended up spending a week at The Stones Hotel in Legian, Bali, was because I had signed up to the Jetstar Newsletter, which pings attractive holiday packages into my inbox now and again. (you can sign up here) Return flights, and 7 nights including breakfast for about $1200, well I thought it must have been too good to be true. But it wasn’t.

It was good.

We arrived late at night, in a zombie state of mind and woke up to this.

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The Stones Hotel is a part of the Marriott Chain, and fits under their AUTOGRAPH umbrella, Confused? That’s ok. Me too. Turns out that they are trying to funk up this branch of their business, by providing something a little more casual, a little cooler perhaps. They are boastful about their modern design, but that is not always everyones cup of tea.

I  have stayed in a variety of accommodation in Bali, and this property, however new and shiny, lacked a certain cultural charm so evident in many alternatives.

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Highlights would include that bed up there, which was supremely comfortable and provided me a surface to bank many hours of sleep. Other notables include….

FOOD

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The breakfast was ridiculously good, with whole tables dedicated to pastries and carbs. As well as your usual suspects (omelette station, freshly made pancakes and waffles etc) there was a whole dumpling section, noodles, delicatessen, ok coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and green gunk drinks. There was fruit and yoghurt up the yazoo, and basically anything else you can think of. But… NO BACON!

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Lunchtime, poolside dining was varied, and delicious and was always washed down with an ice cold Bintang Beer. Expect to pay about $15.

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And yes, there is ice-cream for breakfast should you choose….

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LOCATION

The Stones Hotel is apparently in Legian, but I would like to think of it as Western, West Kuta, the land where style forgot, and area known for it’s cheap booze and food and right now, a gazillion schoolies. Avoid Kuta at all costs. The Stones Hotel is across the road from Kuta Beach, but spend the $4 and grab a cab to nearby Double Six beach, where it is a whole lot calmer, and charming. Western, West Kuta is not Legian, just saying.

HOTEL

A big, modern, clean, well run show pony.

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The central pool is the star of the show here. It is large, and surrounded by day beds and pavilions. Staff wander around, offering you fruit kebabs, cleaning your glasses or spritzing your face with a concoction which will “refresh you.” The staff was easily one of the favourite things about my stay, with many of them hoping that you “enjoy your cocktail.” ($8 – Happy hour 5-7pm). The staff remembered your name, remembered that you liked your gin and tonic serves in a tall glass, and went out of their way to make sure that you were as happy as a pig in plop. 5 STAR STAFF HERE. Bravo. It makes a huge difference when it comes to resort slothing,

How to describe the feeling of the hotel? Imagine that a groovy 1970’s decorator had a meeting with someone from the design guild of Palm Springs, while being assisted by a white, sheer curtain specialist, and well, you get the picture.

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And then there were the delegates….

DELEGATES!

Hotels make a lot of coin hosting conferences, and while we were there, two large ones took place. It was a busy time, with delegates everywhere. But that is something you have to expect when staying at such a large property. But it was strange, even though it is a larger hotel, the customer service never suffered. We only had a few “pool days” spending equal time at the beach, so it didn’t piss me off that much. But I am that person who likes to strike up a chat in the lift, in the pool or just everywhere in general. And the delegates always looked a little fearful.

OVERALL

This is a great hotel for groups of mates, not so much for a romantic escape. There were not many kids around, but there was a kids club there. I am not sure I would take my lads there, as there are better choices for children, such as the Intercontinental in nearby Jimbaran Bay. Much more grassed areas to run amok on. But this was the perfect tonic for me and my travel mate Jo to get our bliss on…

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Jo getting her bliss on, by editing some of my work.

If you can nab yourself a good package deal, I can recommend you get yourself there for a short spell. The day spa was one of the best I have experienced. Grab your girlfriends and go.

Sleep Quality     ****

Location             **

Rooms                ***

Service               *****

Value                  ****

Cleanliness        ****

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