This post is part of a series. To read more from this trip:
|Getting to Bali|
|Checking in to the Hyatt Regency Bali|
|Regency Club Lounge|
The Hyatt Regency Bali was actually the first booking we made in this entire series — even before we’d figured out flights — so we had this on the books for over a year. In other words, we built this entire trip around a tentative visit to a Category 1 hotel… or, at least, it was our starting point.
Really, we just wanted a reason to go to Bali. And for just 5,000 points per night, did we need another excuse?
Previously known as the Bali Hyatt, the Hyatt Regency Bali closed its doors in 2013 for what was originally planned to be a large scale 2-year renovation project. Prior to closing, the Bali Hyatt was known as a beautiful, traditional Balinese beach property in Sanur — tucked away from touristy areas of Bali like Seminyak and Nusa Dua.
5 years later, and after several delays, the Hyatt Regency Bali finally reopened its doors in December 2018. It would remain a Category 1 property for a short time before being bumped to a Category 2, so we made sure to book quickly.
Getting to Bali
Following two short-haul flights on Malaysia Airlines Economy Class from Phuket to Denpasar via Kuala Lumpur, we’d finally landed in Bali. Flying into Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is easy to do with Malaysia Airlines, as they are apart of the Oneworld Alliance and intra-Asia award space is typically fairly open.
We redeemed this route for 17,000 British Airways Avios per person in Economy Class. By taking advantage of a 40% bonus for transferring American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways earlier this year, these flights only cost about 12,000 Membership Rewards points per person, which is a fantastic value.
Arriving at the Hyatt Regency
The Hyatt Regency Bali is located in Sanur, a 25 minute Grab ride from DPS. After paying the Mandara bridge toll and airport fee (DPS assesses fees when entering and leaving the airport), our total fare was 200,000 IDR ($14 USD).
At the hotel, a security team inspects inside and beneath all vehicles before they’re allowed to enter the property.
After clearing security, we were dropped off at the hotel courtyard, where the bell staff helped us unload our bags and welcomed us with the customary ringing of the gong.
The lobby is a large, open-air space with lots of traditional Balinese decor. The entrance very much sets expectations for the aesthetic across the rest of the property, with tons of lush greenery and beautiful Balinese architecture.
The property itself is 22 acres, with 363 guest rooms and tons of outdoor space to explore. I can’t imagine that the hotel would ever feel too crowded even during peak season.
While the grounds were nicely manicured, it’s worth noting that this open-air concept makes it tough to beat the heat, even on a beach vacation. How hot is too hot? We had 5 straight days of intense sun and humidity despite the rainy forecast. The average high during our stay was over 90°F (32°C) with 80-85% humidity, and we definitely felt it (as did the poor staff).
4 floors of guest rooms are divided among three identical square-shaped buildings, each surrounding lush courtyards in the center. It almost looks like something out a movie (Maze Runner?), or what an abandoned prison yard in Jurassic Park would look like — just without the dinosaurs. That’s not to say that the grounds weren’t well-maintained — I thought the aesthetic was nice, but the prison yard concept was a bit peculiar.
There were also a lot of very interesting low clearance head hazards. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled when walking around the property.
A walkway on the 1st and 3rd floor connects each of the buildings.
Room numbers start with 1, 2, or 3, to indicate the building number, then the floor, and then unit number. For example, Room 1101 would be room 1, on the first floor of building 1.
The Hyatt Regency Bali has standard, Deluxe and Premium room types. From what I could tell, each comes equipped with a 55″ flat screen TV, a private balcony, and 300-400 square feet of room to breathe.
As expected after a major renovation, the guest rooms were clean, modern, and most importantly — air conditioned. A quick walk-through of a few Premium rooms definitely exceeded my expectations.
Premium rooms have a small “work area”, separated from the bedroom by a sliding door. It’s really more like a lounging room, with a daybed and small dining table.
Not all guest rooms are built the same, however. Premium rooms on higher floors featured a full-size daybed in the “work area”, while the ground level rooms could only accommodate a smaller lounger. In fairness, the rooms on the ground level do have large patios.
Bathrooms were very nicely appointed, and featured a double vanity, rainfall shower, and separate bathtub.
The Hyatt Regency Bali has three different suite types — Family, Regency, and Executive. Like the guest rooms, the suites are all a little bit different, but sit somewhere between 600-800 square feet. The primary difference between suites is the size of the indoor seating areas along the balconies.
As Hyatt Globalists, we were upgraded to a suite at check-in. Occupancy was fairly low so we had our pick of the litter, and ultimately selected a Family Suite on the 4th floor. We passed up some extra square footage from suites on lower levels in lieu of top floor views.
You really can’t go wrong with a suite at the Hyatt Regency Bali, because they’re all corner rooms that feature tons of seating space and enormous balconies throughout. Immediately upon walk-in is a full-size bathroom with a large shower.
The hallway leads into a large living space with large balconies on both sides.
Both balconies featured outdoor seating areas and views of the property.
Beyond the living room is a door that opens into a small corridor leading into the master bedroom, with a long walk-in closet.
The master bedroom was a decent size, and had a large en suite behind two large sliding doors.
The en suite had a rainfall shower, a separate bathtub, and double vanity.
The Hyatt Regency Bali sits in a fantastic area of Sanur, nestled along Jalan Danau Tamblingan shopping street and Pantai Sanur beach. It wasn’t clear to me where the boundaries of the property cut off at, but there was a small section of beach with loungers and umbrellas available for guests to use.
Along the beach were hundreds of restaurants and vendors for just about everything — massages, currency exchanging, laundry, water sports, day tours, etc. We did notice that the shops along the beach were far more expensive than the ones along the shopping street, though.
As for the resort itself, there are three pools including a kids pool. Clearly a lot of thought went into pool design — the pools are situated toward the back of the resort, along the beach, and feature waterfalls, platforms, bridges, and neat landscaping features. Loungers and umbrellas surround each of the pools.
The Hyatt Regency Bali has two restaurants on the property — The Omang Omang and Pizzaria. The Omang Omang is a catch-all restaurant that serves local and Western options, and the Pizzaria is straightforward with their offerings. Food and beverage across the hotel was surprisingly affordable — on one evening, we had 3 pizzas sent to our room for only 440,000 IDR ($31 USD). While American Express isn’t accepted, the restaurants coded as 3x on my Chase Sapphire Reserve.
In addition to the restaurants, drinks can be had at the Piano Bar in the lobby. Though we never paid it a visit, since we had access to the Regency Club Lounge, which served evening hors d’oeuvres from 5-7pm.
As Hyatt Globalists, we had the option of eating breakfast at Omang Omang or in the Regency Club Lounge. We much preferred the lounge, since the offerings were largely the same, and the lounge was more comfortable thanks to ceiling fans and fewer guests. Here’s what you can expect for breakfast at the Omang Omang.
Admittedly, we went in to breakfast on day one with unrealistic expectations and came out fairly unimpressed. The Omang Omang is quite a large restaurant, so while the food counters were very spread out, it didn’t feel like there was a ton of variety.
But the truth is, this was a very good breakfast for a Category 1 (now Category 2) property. After coming from the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa where we’d had a phenomenal breakfast, it naturally felt underwhelming at first glance. But I imagine this is about as good as it gets for 5,000 Hyatt points.
Regency Club Lounge
For comparison, this is what you can expect for breakfast at the Regency Club Lounge. The lounge is located on the first floor in the corridor connecting buildings 1 and 2. You’ll notice that the spread is identical, but it’s more neatly packed together.
The service was also fantastic at the Regency Club — and by day 2, the staff knew us by name. It helped that we visited for evening hors d’oeuvres as well (which we preferred over the breakfast). The lounge has plenty of seating, but make sure to choose a table directly under a ceiling fan. It’s also better to go early, to avoid getting eaten by mosquitoes.
For just 5,000 Hyatt points per night, The Hyatt Regency Bali felt like a total steal and sets the bar pretty high for Category 1 properties. It definitely exceeded my expectations, and despite the upgrade to a Category 2, I still think it’s an excellent value. The Hyatt Globalist recognition was nothing short of superb, as we received a suite upgrade, choice of breakfast in the restaurant or Club Lounge, and evening hors d’oeuvres. The staff were incredibly hospitable, and we really loved the close proximity to local shops and restaurants. This is a property I would go back to — however, I’d buy a ton of mosquito repellent and plan my visit during a cooler time of year.
What to know before you go
If you’re thinking of visiting the Hyatt Regency Bali, here are some important tips that will save you a lot of time and money:
For some reason, management decided not to put an ATM on the property for foreigners. There is an ATM on the first floor (down the staircase in the lobby), but it only accepts Indonesian banks. So you’ll have to go off the property to make cash withdrawals, and the nearest ATM is about 2 blocks away (about 5 minutes from the main entrance).
Directions: To get to the ATM, turn left after exiting the hotel. After a short walk, make a left at the first intersection.
Go straight for about 3 minutes. You’ll pass a few stores and restaurants and eventually will see an ATM sign on the right hand side.
The BNI ATM is in a small air-conditioned booth on the left and is open 24 hours.
There are probably 50 laundry shops within a 15 minute walk of the hotel, but you’ll have to bargain. Most of them start at 30,000 IDR ($2 USD) per kilogram. The going rate for locals is 5,000 IDR per kilogram, but you won’t find it that cheap within walking distance. I recommend going to a shop that has it posted for 15,000 IDR per kilogram, as its a fair price and you don’t have to bargain. The shop in the same direction as the ATM above.
Directions: After making a left out of the hotel, you’ll instead want to make a right at the first intersection next to Soul in a Bowl.
After a very short walk, you’ll see a hole-in-the-wall laundry store on your left, called Pesona Laundry Service.
Pricing is posted on the sign so you won’t have to haggle.
The family that operates the service also lives there, and they were very honest about weight and returning all of our clothing over multiple loads. They’ll have you fill out a small form that you’ll need to bring back with you to pay and pick up your clothes. Cash only, of course. And don’t forget to leave a tip!
In my opinion, building 3 has the best views and access to the beach, but is the furthest from property amenities. If you’re sensitive to noise, don’t stay in building 1. Building 1 is next to the lobby and is the most convenient, but it’s also closest to the duck pond. You may dream of quacking.
We checked out a ton of massage parlors within a 10 minute walking distance, and our favorite was the Seila Spa. It was air conditioned and only cost 80K ($5.75 USD). The staff were very kind and respectful, and didn’t try to upsell or do anything dishonest.
The spa is located on the left hand side of the road.
The best grocery store, called Artasedana, is a 10 minute walk from the hotel — just another 5 minutes past the Seila Spa. The grocery store has an ATM out front, but they also accept VISA and Mastercard. We absolutely loved their produce — it was extremely cheap, and they even cut and bag it for you.
Directions: After exiting the hotel, take a right and walk for about 10 minutes, past the Seila Spa. Artasedana is on the left side of the road, sitting behind a large parking lot.
If you are planning to go to Ubud, I highly recommend Wayan Midun Bali. He and his father live in Ubud and make a living doing Ubud tours. Wayan charges 900,000 IDR ($65) for the day ($45 if you’re staying in Ubud), and gives you the tour of a lifetime.