More about Sofitel Seminyak Bali
Sofitel is a Great Stay
sofitel seminyak bali - what an amazing place to land after our arrival (bali is
possibly the most fragrant place on earth). the grounds are beautiful, naturally
landscaped and atmosphere is relaxing. rooms are newly renovated, clean and
spacious, bed is humungous (two singles adjoined, so there's a split in the
middle which might bother you, it was fine for us) and very firm, so very
comfortable, with good down pillows. bathroom was also all marble, spic n span
clean, with separate shower and bathtub (useful when you want to rinse off sand
while drawing your bath, and when there's two of you). buffet spread is also
generous and of high quality -- you'll be stuffed into the afternoon. staff is
kind, we met our driver there, who we hired for a half day (at 400,000 rupiah)
through the hotel, to dreamlands (for pro surfers only), padang padang, and
uluwatu to watch the kecak monkey dance from 6-7pm at sunset. and then hired
independently for subsequent day tour (also 400,000 rupiah -- hire him
independently!), to the mtns, volcanos, natural hot springs, etc. -- he knows
all the sites as he's been driving full-time for 6 year -- the trip up to ubud
(he's a celuk native so can stay overnight with his family), back down to south
bali a couple days later, and then to the airport. he's a good driver, safe,
insured, nice and polite manner but not ingratiating and overly talkative, lets
you have your privacy and personal space (his name is brodin, may be contacted
through sofitel hotel). re. the sofitel, the location is excellent, though
you'll need taxi rides to even other parts of seminyak to dine (though gado gado
is right next door, and highly recommended for both food and ocean views) --
seminyak/legian/kuta is way more spread out than we thought. we booked our room
for $125/nite incl. tax and breakfast for deluxe with
partial ocean view. the black/grey sand beach is a wide swath, the colour didn't
bother us so much, though kuta's white/beige is obviously nicer. would
definitely stay at sofitel again and would recommend to anyone.
Upgrade to the villas - trust me
The Sofitel Seminyak is located at the end of a great restaurant strip in Seminyak. The hotel has direct access to the beach - unlike some Legian and Kuta hotels which have a road between the hotel and beach.
The hotel grounds are massive with divine private villas, the typical hotel room spread, lovely gardens and ponds. There are two pools - one big one that overlooks the beach, and a smaller private one in the gardens. There are heaps of sun lounges, with waiters coming around periodically to provide drinks, cool towels and fruit kebabs - yum!
I stayed in a 'Superior' room and wish I had spent the money for a villa. The room itself was huge - the biggest hotel room I've been in, and it had nice views, but doesn't compare to a villa. The room had a mini-bar, safe, big TV, balcony and outdoor setting. The king size bed was sensational. The bathroom was marble, but the paint a little chipped and made the bathroom look a bit tired.
Unusually, the bathroom only had one towel (king size) per person - not the usual two towels. Also, no face washers. But, good amenities (hair brush, toothbrushes, bubble bath, shampoo & conditioner, lotion).
Breakfast was average. Sure - lots of fruit and asian dishes. but I've travelled quite a bit to lots of 5 star hotels and am used to having direct access to the chef and watching them cook a hot breakfast. Eventually, I just had fruit salad every breakfast.
Seminyak is the BEST location for restaurants - they are really outstanding here. I recommend 'Bennys Bistro', just up the road. Not glamorous, but great food at good prices. And eating outside is nice. Also recommend 'Studio 5'. This is a sensational place - 5 star quality food at rediculous prices. I had a four course meal for what turned out to be AUD$8!!
Great hotel if you plan on staying in that area of Bali
Was here for a 4-night stay in early January 2007. Arrived there quite early in the day (around 12 noon) and they put me up right away (temporarily) in a ‘hospitality suite’ since my room was only to be ready around 6 PM that day. Got my room a little bit after 6 as promised. I had to get a deluxe room since all of their ‘superior rooms’ (the cheapest rooms) were booked. I had booked my room a few days before through passionasia.com, which allowed me to get a discount of roughly USD 40 per day (the base rate on Sofitel’s website for a deluxe room is USD 155 and I paid USD 135 per day including breakfast, for which the hotel usually charges USD 20 per day on top of the room rate).
The hotel is very well located: if you just walk 5 minutes on the main road away from the beach, you’ll find tons of places where you can eat or drink, as well as convenience stores and Internet cafes. I tried a few restaurants there, among others: the Indian place (called ‘Gateway to India’ – quite good!), the vegetarian restaurant (Zula’s – an interesting discovery) and Made’s Warung (a good 20-minute walk from the hotel – decent place to get a taste of some local specialties). A fact that may be of interest to some readers: there are a lot of gay bars that can be reached in about 10 minutes on foot (e.g. Q-Bar and MixWell), and the gay beach is located about 20 minutes north (on foot).
My room (#345) was quite nice, a very decent size with a huge and very comfortable bed, fresh fruit on arrival and 2 small bottles of spring water in the bathroom. One of the features I especially appreciated about the room was the larger than usual in-room safe (they have the same one in their superior rooms), which allowed enough room to store all of my valuables as well as my laptop, which is bulky by today’s standards.
The hotel promises ‘broadband Internet access’ should you need it, but it is rather expensive and was VERY unreliable during my stay. Sure, they could blame the Taiwan earthquake that had occurred just before New Year’s, but I did not have the same kind of problems in other properties in Bali before I arrived at the Sofitel Seminyak. You can buy a 3 or 4-hour block of time for in-room wired access or a full day’s wireless access useable in the lobby only. They also have a business center with a couple of Internet stations near the lobby, but people who used it told me the speed was terrible. I did not buy any Internet time but someone who did told me he was able to connect only on the last day he was there (he had tried to connect in vain during the first 3 days of his stay).
The rooms and villas are really spread out and the lobby is on the second floor, which makes finding your way around the resort a little tricky. The main pool is quite nice, with lots of shaded areas, but it did get quite busy there on a couple of days during my stay. The pool staff is very hardworking and attentive, so are the gardeners who work all day to keep the grounds impeccable. The beach can get dirty, but simply walk a little bit north and it quickly gets better. The water was a little rough but quite warm, so I stayed quite close to the shore (perhaps knee-deep) and had no problem. Try to swim only between the flags if you can help it – makes for a safer experience. Between 11 AM and 2 PM, the sand (which is a darker brown) can get really hot, so you have to run to the water in order not to burn your feet.
Can’t say much about the food at the resort, as I mostly ate outside the hotel (except for breakfast). Their breakfast is adequate but I found there was less selection here than at other similarly-priced hotels in Bali. You can order fresh juice along with your coffee or tea when you arrive – a nice touch. If you get there when it is busier (the 9 to 10 AM breakfast rush), you may find their service to be slow and quite disorganized. Other than breakfast, I tried their spicy shrimp-spinach pizza one day for lunch and it was excellent!
The staff is very gracious and attentive, the rooms are clean and comfortable and although you can do much better for the price in Bali, if you want to stay in that specific area of Kuta, I think you really can’t go wrong with this place!
Garden swimming pool is terrific!
Me and my girlfriend stayed here for 5 days around new year. The hotel is great. The beach is really dirty (OK we are somewhat spoiled spending most of our "beach time" in the South of Brasil), but the swimming pool and garden in front of the beach make up fully for this deficit. BUT the nicest is the garden swimming pool which most visitors probably never even noticed. Here you can sit very relaxed in the shadow, read and enjoy the pool.
The room is good, not too small with a clean bathroom.
The hotel restaurants are also good and reasonably priced, and of course there are more than enough eating options in the neighbourhood.
One tip: forget about the nearby located "trendy" club Kudeta (not part of this hotel by the way), this is such an overpriced non-experience.
Overall the price/quality (we paid USD 135 per night) was excellent.
good hotel if all you want is the swimming pool and smily face and mosquitoes
i have read many of the reviews on trip advisor and finally selected this hotel as my holiday destination for me and my wife. we did expect a lot as this was high regarded and it is an international chain hotel. but it was a let down.
very smooth, friendly staff. we were presented flowers and drinks upon arrival.
looks ok from the first glance. but many amenties look old and not well maintained, especially in the bathroom. as many users commented,
aircoditioning is anoher problem, too. there are a lot of mosquitoes in the room. we got biten all over the body. when was notified the front desk, all they did were to upgrade us to suite without any additional services or amenties.
but the problems still persisted for so many nights.
so, when you do stay here, do carry some sort of insect repellants if you want to have a good night sleep here.
ZERO knowledge in local tour information. non existent of concierge. they have no brochures or any tour information in the hote. whenever we asked hote for recommendation for shops or restaurants, they were just unclear as us. so plan your trip earlier. don['t rely on the,
beautifl setting. but selections are few and not so tasty. there is a separate menu for you to order eggs or french toast, plus only one glass of fresh jucies. all this costs USD20.
Loved the Sofitel
We stayed here in August, peak season and had a wonderful time. Initially booked 4 nights stayed another 3 and came back for our last night after a tript o Ubud for a few days.
Checkin was welcoming, room was fine....a bit dark but not spending much time here anyway. Staff were friendly and very welcoming and requests for ice/extra towels etc were always speedy.
Loved the pool, had a problem with the sunbeds being reserved early in the morning (not just the best ones!) and at 10am there were 42 saved beds with towels and no people and nowhere to sit. This was dealt with by pool staff and later by Leisure manager who was apologetic!
Can't agree with the comments re the buffet. Maybe the buffet is different during peak summer months but I have never had a better buffet. There was a huge range of fresh fruits, dried fruits, crystalised fruit, poached fruit, muesli, cereals, seeds, nuts, homemade yoghurt. Then there were freshly baked breads, the best croissants I have had outside France, pastries, cake, cheeses, cold meats, lots of Asian hot food and Yes you only got one freshly squeezed juice included but there was endless 'non freshly squeezed' on the buffet. The coffee was excellent, freshly made espresso coffee, unlike a lot of breakfast buffets where you get lukewarm filter coffee. The separate cooked breakfast a-la-carte menu meant you could have eggs, french toast, bacon etc freshly cooked to order insted of the usual overcooked buffet style. If this buffet changes off season, I will find out as we are returning in May!
All in all, I would highly recommend the Sofitel as a great international style hotel, not particularly Balinese in style but beautiful gardens and great relaxing pool.
The restaurants were relatively expensive compared to local eateries but great food especially in the Thai restaurant.
More like a Novatel
As long-time visitors to Bali, we have always stayed in the Jimbaran Bay area, but this time decided to try beachside life closer to the shops and restaurants of the Seminyak/Legian area. Of all the 5 Star hotels in the area, The Sofitel offered the best rates in a superb location.
This hotel, we later realised, is the old Imperial Hotel (of Tokyo fame) and was quite dated and in need of a facelift when taken over by Sofitel - and it still is.
The Lobby is newly redesigned, of course. The rooms however have been redecorated superficially, and the old bathroom fittings remain (complete with those squirty toilet seats the Japanese used to love so much in the Eighties), the old parquet flooring remains, as does the dark built-in furniture.
Earlier reviews have mentioned problems with checking in, and for us it was deja vu all over again. Despite planning our arrival from Ubud for 3pm, we were advised we had been upgraded to a suite "for one night only, then you must move to a single room", and that the suite was not yet available, and "could we please wait for 1 hour?" We did not wish to appear ungracious about the 1 night upgrade (although I would rather have declined than move twice) so took that opportunity to forego the upgrade for a room immediately. Not available. When I showed signs of exasperation, however, a room miraculously appeared.
In the end, we were upgraded to a suite, and for the duration of our stay. Personally, I preferred the earlier room. It was bigger and better appointed than the bedroom of the suite, and the "living room" of the suite was more like a corner corridor. Had I paid for a suite in a 5* rated hotel, I would have been most upset.
Elsewhere, the shabby lifts, poor lighting and ordinary facilities underlined the need for major renovation.
On the good side, the grounds and pool areas are beautiful - especially the Garden Pool, a little gem tucked away and consequently quieter and serene. Sadly, a whopping great Condominium complex is being constructed right beside and overlooking the main pool, with the swimming and sunbathing guests providing the main source of entertainment for the hordes of building site workers.
The beach is right there, of course, and is fine. Black sand here, but still a pretty sight, especially at sunset.
The location certainly lived up to our expectations. It is a 10 minute walk up to the main shopping street, and lots of restaurants nearby, including Gado-Gado next door, which is a must for a sunset dinner.
The Accor Group, to which Sofitel belongs, grades its hotels by name - Sofitel, then Novatel and on down through Mercure and Ibis, etc. This hotel is branded a Sofitel, but is most definitely not a 5* hotel, in the same league as other Sofitels worldwide. At best it is 4*
Stayed for 10 nights at Sofitel, this was our return to Bali after 3 years absence.
we were so disappointed, major building construction going on next door, very noisy hammering etc. up until 10.0pm every evening, large majority of hotels facilities we not avilable. one food and bar outlet for entire resort. I would imagine construction could continue for at least another 6 months. Staff very friendly but in lots of cases not properly trained. Beware of the money changer his exchange rate is criminal!!
beware construction noisy ++++ AVOID
Got a good deal from Perth of 6 nights for 1.200 aus. with breakfast.
Rooms Ok but a little tired. Grounds lovely. Staff great. Probably = to a 3 - 4 star hotel. Definately not 5. Some resturants in hotel closed. Big problem however was the huge construction site next to the hotel. Very, very noisy and it overlooks the pool area, not very nice beeing leered at by workmen. We moved to the Padma after 2 nights at our own cost. Much better. Avoid the sofitel at the moment
The latest on the Sofitel
Stayed here three nights in late May. Was very wary of the reviews before staying. Got an excellent deal at asiarooms.com. Here's the latest:
Rooms are fine except for the the bathrooms, which could use an overall update that is more thorough than the finish-only updates that have occured (i.e., infrastructure).
Service was good, including the reception. Contrary to reports below, there is bar service at the pool, and the standard offerings of complementary fruit kebabs in the afternoon. It seemed multiple restaurants were open, but with the great diversity of restaurants in Eat Street (nearby) and along the beach, why anyone would stick only to the hotel I don't know. One would pick a Seminyak hotel for its proximity to restaurants and nightlife. If you want an isolated experience, go to Nusa Dua or Jimbaran.
Construction continues on both sides of the complex. The smaller construction is just a small villa-sized building. The condos being built next door are the larger project. It is definitely noisy, but not ear splittingly bad. Most of the heavy construction seems to be completed , thus really noisy items like piledriving, heavy machinery, etc, seem to be completed now that the framing is essentially complete.
Facility seems to lack a fitness center, which is expected in a place claiming to be a five star. They also have an odd taxi arrangement, where its far easier to walk to the front gate and get a cab from the BlueBird (best metered taxis -- the pariahs of the old system of negotiated/rip-offs on the island). Also, the internet access is lacking, which is very strange for a modern hotel.
Pluses include an excellent breakfast, beautiful grounds, a good location, nice access to the beach (especially if you walk on down towards KuDeTa), and a good value compared to the more expensive (but likely nicer) Oberoi and Legian.
Getting ready to go shopping!