My wife and I spent four nights at the Spa Village resort in Tembok, Bali in Nov (the week of US ThanksGiving) in 2018. This was our third visit to the resort, so obviously, we like going there!
We have the Citi Prestige credit card, which gives the fourth night free, so we used that to book. You can use the Citi ThankYou points website to book but we used the concierge to book directly with the hotel. This took a couple of days as there was some back and forth between the Citi concierge and the hotel reservation center. We chose the Blissful Retreat package - which included the room, all three meals and one 50 min spa treatment per person per night. We thought that to be an outstanding deal for $200 (plus tax etc) per night.
We also booked an airport pickup through them for $75.
Location and Arrival
The hotel is on the north east coast of Bali, about 120 km from the airport and which takes about 3 hours. That is quite a pain after a long flight (we flew straight from San Francisco) and a long immigration line at DPS airport. But we got there around 8pm (well after sunset), taking the coastal road - we've taken route through Ubud and Google maps suggested that traffic was heavy in Ubud at this time. The driver literally took the coastal road so took the full 3 hours - Google had suggested an alternative route which (according to them) would have knocked 45 mins off the route but I didn't know enough to tell driver at the time. As is customary, the Spa Village gives a foot, neck and shoulder massage upon arrival - which was supremely welcome and checkin was smooth and painless. We got there in plenty of time to have dinner at the restaurant. Since we knew the hotel well, my wife asked to be moved to different wing, closer to the beach. On the second day, they gave us a complementary upgrade to one of their two Villas. We were delighted at that!
The Villa is almost beach front, has it's own, private plunge pool and cabana.
View from the Villa towards the sea, the plunge pool is to the left, and the cabana to the right
The Villas are the only accommodation at the resort with TVs, which was good for us, lazy folks. It is quite spacious with a nice king size bed, volume thatched roof and good Balinese decor.
The bathroom is quite spacious, with the separate shower and WC and a tub (without jets). Note that their regular (Kamar) rooms have European style shower over tub which results in water spilling beyond the tub, not such issue in the Villa. Rather surprisingly for such large bathroom, there was only one sink. But the counter was large. Artificial lighting was rather dim there (in the day, we could open the shades to let more light in).
The hotel is small but with well manicured grounds and charming fish, lily ponds.
The beach is volcanic black sand with lots of pebbles so you've gotta to wear shoes. The hotel provides crocs which work out well. And it's eminently swimmable. I didn't go into the water this time but saw others swimming and snorkeling. We did go on a (also included) sunset cruise which was great as we saw many dolphins (others said they also saw some whales).
We went there to relax. And boy did we do that. Food was good, very well presented and there were decent variety (at least for the 4 days we were there for, several of the other guests where there for 1-2 weeks). Three course lunch and dinner and american or balinese or continental breakfast. They must have changed their chef as we noticed a marked improvement over the previous times we've visited.
And the spa was great as usual. I got the Balinese and Malay massages and a cucumber wrap. And also a foot massage. In addition, my wife got a facial and some other things. All very well done and delightful.
We did yoga (my first time but my wife said it was more advanced than her classes back in the States) and stargazing (happened to be a full moon so perhaps not as effective as it might have been).
But there are many other (free) activities than can take (word carving, basket weaving, etc). We had taken them on our previous visits so wanted to do nothing. Which we did.
The gym was comprehensively equipped but the air conditioning was wanting (or wasn't working at all) so I almost collapsed doing a simple workout and didn't venture there again after the first day. Also, there was no internet in the gym. One tip is that there is a laundry right across the street from the resort. We paid roughly $3 for about 4 days of clothes, quite useful, if you're going to be there for any length of time. We gave it around 10am and got them back by 4:30pm.
Service was superb throughout. Many of the staff knew us by name. Several recognized us from prior visits. Special shout out to the manager, Fauzi, who upgraded us and enquired about our comfort several times. When we asked for things (turn down, iron, etc), they were delivered almost instantly.
They only have internet in the lobby. And that is quite slow, I measured 3.68Mbps down and 4.2Mbps up. It felt slower than that. If you want to use the internet, I suggest getting a hotspot or something.
Bali is a fiercely Hindu enclave in predominantly Muslim Indonesia. And the population and the attitude reflect that. I saw no staff member one wearing a hijab (Muslim head scarf) and pork/ham was on the menu. Though, we asked for, and easily got, halal food (including beef bacon). There was no qibla direction in the hotel room nor prayer rug nor quran (or any other religious artifact). However, there was a mat carpet in one section at the foot of the bed, which made praying easier on my knees.
And the construction made it not entirely sound proof. Which was useful in two ways. One we could hear the waves, which was nice. And we could hear the adhaan (at least in the morning, when it was generally quiet), which was very nice. The traffic noise was not so nice.
The height of the sink was okay for wudu (ablution).
We had a great time and would highly recommend this place.