The Intercontinental Bali is a resort located in Jimbaran, a quieter and less crowded district in Bali than say, Kuta or Legian which are known for their night life and night clubs. This area is a excellent place for a relaxing getaway and also makes for a great home base for exploring the top things to do in Bali.
Jimabaran beach is beautiful and while there can high waves here, most of the surfing done here is by those who are learning to surf. The beaches are also not very crowded, which makes sense why it's such a popular location for travelers who want to get away from the bustle of Kuta. Given these reasons and the proximity to the airport you'll find a handful of the other top luxury hotels in Bali in this area.
The resort is designed to resemble traditional Balinese style with stone carvings of gods throughout the property and in general the ambiance is very relaxing and tropical. It is a very beautiful property with amazing views of the sunset every night and the designers took advantage of the sea view and sunset in different aspects. Not to mention, the property is extremely massive and takes quite a bit of walking around.
Location and First Impressions
Given that the InterContinental Bali is located in Jimbaran you'll get a much quieter and more quaint than feel than Kuta Beach. That said, you'll also find much less to do around the hotel as far as dining, shopping and night life---but in turn will have a much more peaceful setting.
The hotel is ranked #6 out of 37 hotels in Jimbaran and has an 87% positive recommendation for hotels in the area. It also received a 2014 Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor.
The resort's entrance is very welcoming as is the lobby with a large open area. Every time a new guest comes into the resort to check-in a dong is rung to welcome them in.
Within the lobby area there are lots of seating areas that are also used for consultations for weddings and other events, as Bali is a popular location for destination weddings.
Also within the lobby's vicinity is a lounge area with a pool table that any guests can come in and use or get together with friends.
Bali is known for having some of the best beaches in the world, and while you may not be getting crystal blue waters off the coast of Jimbaran, the water is refreshing and clean. If lounging on the beach is not your cup of tea there are plenty of things to do in Bali that are easily reached from Jimbaran.
The InterContinental does not have a private beach, none of the hotels in Jimbaran do, but the sandy beach is right in front of the hotel and in general never seems to get crowded.
If you prefer to chill-out on a cabana or a lounge chair, there are probably a hundred chairs and a few cabanas along the ridge of the property facing the ocean. It's a great place to relax, tan, read, enjoy the sea breeze and order a cocktail or coconut drink.
For those looking to use Bali as the perfect time to finally learn how to surf or just want to sea kayak or stand-up paddle board, the Rip Curl School of Surf is associated with the resort and guests can take lessons or rent boards.
Though the lessons are not free and neither is renting kayaks or paddle boards, it's a great way to kill an afternoon after lounging in the sun!
Overall Jimbaran is a great location to stay in Bali with kids as the beaches are mellow and quiet.
The InterContinental Bali has a handful of pools that you can choose to swim in or lounge by and they are as refreshing and clean as they look.
The swimming pools are in one general area with the exception of the private Executive Club Level pool area which I did not take a photo of. Many of the smaller pools are creatively designed with water fountains statues that just so happen to work out to give pretty good water massages.
At the InterContinental Bali there are six restaurants in total, so given that it is somewhat of an isolated resort there is no shortage of food options. There are also great and cheap beachside cafes just a few minutes walk down the beach. We had breakfast at the Taman Gita which is the main breakfast area and features an international buffet style breakfast.
The breakfast spread was actually among the best I've seen among the six InterContinental properties I've stayed at on this trip. Breakfast options include fresh waffles and pancakes, as well as my favorite: made to order crepes! There is also a variety of fresh pressed juices made to order as well.
The buffet also has a great variety of baked goods, cereals, as well as eggs made to order, fresh salads, an assortment of cheeses and of course a variety of Asia food including Balinese curry, Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng. For those who love congee soup and sushi for breakfast, those were also options.
The Taman Gita's outside terrace was my favorite spot to have breakfast (rather than inside) because the scenery is beautiful and there were two people playing the Tingklik, which is a Balinese xylophone made from Bamboo. It offers a very peaceful setting and with the sound of the ocean in the background it's an absolute serene place to start your morning.
The Jimbaran Gardens is a restaurant and bar that is set between the swimming pools. In the evening there is live music and a variety of menu items including fresh sea food, pizza and Balinese food---though there are few cheap food options.
For a sunset view during dinner or cocktails, there is the Sunset Beach Bar and Grill and that looks spectacular in the evening with hanging lanterns. It's also a nice place to grab a drink during the day as it's shaded and provides great views of the beach.
The room types (Classic, Singaraja, and Club Rooms) at the resort are separated in different buildings and each building is only four levels, most with either a balcony or patio area. I was given a poolside Jimbaran room on the second level in building two which more or less facing the beach area. Given that I booked a Classic room as an IHG Best Rate Guarantee this was a next level room upgrade---I was also given free breakfast as a Platinum IHG member, which was a very nice perk.
From what I can tell Singaraja rooms are pretty much equivalent to the standard rooms, but you get access to a small lounge area that offers refreshments, coffee & tea, and cookies all day. It's really not a place you'd want to hang out long in, but is a great place to grab a snack or drink after coming back from the beach.
The area is an an open space and there is also a concierge. You can borrow DVDs and books from there you want to spend the evening watching a movie in your room.
The room I had was on the 2nd floor and was rather large with a nice king sized bed, a flat screen TV and a couch with a coffee table in the same area. Overall the actual bedroom was very spacious and was decorated with traditional Balinese paintings.
There was a welcome gift in the room that was a fruit plate with bananas, apples, grapes and snake fruit which tastes like a sour Starburst.
Compared to the room the bathroom was not overly large, but the toilet did have it's own section which was good because the space would have been cramped if it was organized any other way.
The bathroom did seem a bit dated wasn't anything special, but was clean and did it's job.
Right outside of the bathroom there is a closet and a small vanity area.
The closet space which was walled set against the vanity area was actually not that spacious and there was not any where to place a bag other than on the floor. It was actually a sort of a walkway/storage/hanging closet so while it was multipurpose, it felt like an awkward design.
The Bottomline on the InterContinental Bali
Overall my three nights at the InterContinental Bali was well enjoyed, and the property is well maintained and offers a great place to kick-back for a few days. It's right on the beach, it's a beautiful property (and large) and it has all the amenities you could ask for in a resort.
The room was nothing special, but since you'll most likely be spending the majority of your time on the beach or by the pool it shouldn't be a deal breaker. The staff was incredibly nice, always helpful and based on my overall impression I would definately recommend it to anyone looking for a resort type of stay within Jimbaran.