A GRAND ESCAPE Grand Nikko Bali
AFTER CELEBRATING THE REBRANDING OF NIKKO BALI RESORT & SPA TO BECOME GRAND NIKKO BALI, IT IS FAIR TO SAY I WAS INTRIGUED TO SEE WHAT CHANGES THAT PRECEDING ADJECTIVE BOUGHT THIS ALREADY-IMPRESSIVE BEACHFRONT RETREAT.
Perhaps the most anticipated addition to the five-star resort is the cluster of nineteen exclusive private villas, perched at the top of the 40-meter cliff. Inherently romantic, the one-bedroom Ocean Pool Villa beckons with its own private infinity pool, outdoor living area and magical amenities that make for an idyllic honeymoon getaway or romantic escape for holidaying sweethearts.
Guided by our attentive personal butler to our luxury hideaway via a stylish golf buggy, we arrive at a palatial wooden door, towering above our heads almost twice over. Inside, the perfectly cooled room is a welcome reprieve from the warm Bali sun, topped off with a frosty glass of fresh “Harmony” juice and a chilled scented towel. Some naughty-but-nice sweet treats also await, making the check-in process particularly undemanding.
It seems that nothing is too much to ask of our delightful butler, who strives to make every aspect of our stay as extravagant as the perfectly-appointed villas. Attentive little touches go above and beyond the call of duty. From the elaborate turn-down service where his and hers fluffy slippers and bath robes magically find their way to each side of the squishy king-size bed, to the continuous and seamless restocking of the room with a daily newspaper, fresh towels, juices and anything else you could wish for.
The luxurious bathroom is a particular highlight for me, adorned as it is with his and hers sinks fully stocked with organic bath amenities in the huge vanity counter. In the centre of the room stands a magnificent egg-shaped bathtub, sheltered under a dramatically beautiful chandelier. It is quite a decision choosing which bathing amenity to favour, when a spacious shower booth with four showers (including two rain showers) compete with the bathtub and the outdoor rain shower in the tropical garden.
But with the sun beginning to set beneath the distant horizon, the semi-open gazebo in the garden area beckons with a spacious day-bed and complimentary freshly-brewed coffees. Our own private infinity pool begins to glow as daylight turns to night, encouraging romantic twilight dips and endless stargazing at the twinkling sky above.
Dinner with a Show
Dinner time strikes and our butler promptly arrives at our villa door to transport us to the resort’s buzzed about Japanese restaurant, Benkay. Cultural trinkets and the smell of fresh meat cooking on the iron grill greet us at the door, together with a welcoming smile from the authentically-dressed staff.
We choose to sit at the Teppanyaki Counter, enticed by the acrobatic chefs flipping succulent steaks, spinning eggs and creating giant fires in the form of crêpes flambé – not to mention the stylish little aprons worn by each enthusiastic guest. The culinary performance begins with a colourful spread of masterfully prepared sushi and sashimi, washed down with a slightly sweet and perfectly warmed sake. Each slice and every chop is performed with military precision, right down to the mix of grilled vegetables served with the garlicky Wagyu Tenderloin steak, meticulously chopped into juicy little cubes.
Impeccable attention to detail surprises us once again, from the unmistakeable one-on-one interactions with the chefs to the subtle little touches like origami offerings and coasters that conveniently hold your wine glass in place; the service and overall consideration is truly impressive. We leave not only with full tummies and an origami souvenir, but with minds echoing superlatives and excited compliments. An evening to remember indeed.
The Grand Nikko Bali Experience
After an uninterrupted and peaceful night’s sleep, we wake to an indulgent American breakfast delivered to our sun-kissed villa terrace, completed with jams and cheeses, pastries and muesli. The soft sound of the rolling waves draw us out of the comforts of our villa to the resort’s remarkable lagoons and surrounding pristine beach fifteen stories below, accessible by the hotel’s Cliff Tower.
The view across the resort is simply breathtaking, where sweeping manicured gardens sprinkled with tropical flowers meet brilliant blue swimming pools and dazzling white sands. Charming bridges arch over the swimmable lagoons, connecting the luxurious Mandara Spa to the beachfront restaurant, The Shore, and the kitted out fitness centre beside the Grand Nikko Club Lounge. As a guest staying in the lavish villas, we can enjoy the club benefits of the Club Lounge. Romantic cabanas are dressed in bright white drapes, surrounded by an infinity pool to dip your feet into while you admire the ocean beyond. Complimentary drinks are served throughout the day and late into the night, so you can toast to another perfect day, ready to do it all over again tomorrow.
A Final Thought
With a chic new name that it certainly lives up to, Grand Nikko Bali personifies beachfront elegance. As one of the island’s favourite holiday retreats, the five-star resort has truly perfected the art of understated luxury. Honeymooners can have it all with the seclusion and romance of the private villas, while families and leisure travellers can revel in the world-class facilities and endless opportunities to make the most of this paradise island.