With the dreaded haze set to linger until 2016, it might be time to pack your bags for a short getaway and much-needed fresh air. Just a two-and-a-half-hour flight from Singapore, it’s no wonder Bali is such a popular weekend escape. Plus, with its thriving dining and entertainment scene, as well as plenty of beautiful hotels and villas to stay at, there’s always something new to check out on this island paradise.
A Tropical Welcome
The newly opened Four Points by Sheraton Bali is located in the heart of bustling Kuta, one of the earliest epicentres of tourist activity on the island. It also happens to be the brand’s first hotel in Indonesia, as well as its 200th property globally. The elegant four-star hotel, thoughtfully located on a quiet street away from most of Kuta’s traffic, certainly lives up to expectations as a landmark property for the group.
Designed by Bali-based and Moroccan-born interior designer and decorator Zohra Boukhari, the 185-room property boasts lovely Balinese touches, starting with the salvaged wooden beams that make up the staircase and the dramatic rattan lamps that accent the spacious lobby.
Immediately, interesting design elements such as Indonesian mosaic tiles and antique keys hanging on the wall behind the front desk catch my eyes. I later find out from the hotel’s affable general manager, Masri (he goes by one name only), that the designer’s intention was to create little Instagram-worthy scenes throughout the hotel for guests to discover as they explore. Since I could barely keep my hands away from my camera during my stay, I have to say Ms Boukhari certainly achieved her goal.
Rooms with a View
When in Bali, one of the most essential room features for leisure-seekers is easy access to the swimming pool. Luckily Four Points is constructed around a lagoon pool, with the ground floor rooms opening directly to the pool.
Tip: You won’t regret paying that little extra for the pool access rooms when you can roll out of bed and savour your morning coffee while dipping your feet into the cool water.
Just like the rest of the hotel, there are thoughtful touches to discover in the room. Besides decorative accents like the carved wooden frame around the bathroom mirror, there were many functional details as well. I particularly enjoyed the signature Comfort Bed, featuring a plush mattress, down pillows and 250 thread-count linen that made me feel like I was sleeping on a cloud. Just like many other hotels, there is a mini fridge in every room, but here, it is thoughtfully left empty so you can stash snacks and cold drinks you might pick up while out and about in town. It may be a simple gesture, but it goes a long way in making you feel right at home in the room.
The hotel also offers spacious Family Suites overlooking the lagoon pool, which include a king bed and a sofa bed, so you can house your entire family within the same space. Parents will surely appreciate the walk-in shower and separate bathtub, as well as the kid’s pool and a soon-to-open kid’s club, to keep young ones occupied.
Food, Glorious Food
Four Points doesn’t disappoint foodies, either. The Eatery, the hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant, is a smart casual joint offering tasty comfort fare such as pizza and pasta, as well as Indonesian specialities such as nasi goreng (fried rice) and beef rendang (dry curry). Keep an eye out for the daily Indonesian dish offered at the breakfast buffet – I got to sample mee soto (noodle soup) and rice porridge flavoured with chicken soup while I was there.
When it’s time for a midday pick-me-up or a nightcap, head to The Best Brew for a pint of ice-cold local Bintang beer or a cocktail. The resort-style alfresco seating area on the small courtyard is a lovely spot for people watching too.
One of my favourite spots has to be the rooftop lounge, which also happens to have yet another swimming pool! By day the pool is hopping with sun-seekers looking to catch a tan, but it calms down in the evening, making it a great spot for some quiet contemplation as the sun sets.
The resort also holds yoga lessons on the rooftop every Tuesday evening, so swing by if you’re in the vicinity!
Review of the Four Points by Sheraton Bali
What I love most about the hotel is its chic yet casual atmosphere, complemented with warm and genuine service with a smile. It’s just a short seven-minute stroll to the famed Kuta Beach and right in the heart of the action, so I’m surrounded by great restaurants, bars and local boutiques selling jewellery, clothing and Balinese crafts and batik fabrics.
But best of all, when I’m ready to head back, I immediately feel relaxed once the hotel’s welcoming lobby comes into sight. A hotel that turns a temporary stay into one that feels like coming home? That’s hospitality at its undisputed best.
Jalan Benesari, Banjar Pengabetan, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia.
How Get There
Four Points by Sheraton(DPS) in two and a half hours on Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines and Indonesia AirAsia.