This is our review of the Andaz Bali resort in Sanur.
After a few days in Jakarta exploring the capital (see my The St Regis Jakarta review here) it was time to head to the beach …. and relax. Bali is the obvious choice: this Indonesia island has become a tourist hotspot and is now one of the most-developed tropical destinations in Asia, beloved of backpackers and luxury travellers alike.
Bali isn’t for everyone. For one, it is very much ON the beaten track. This is not a hidden gem and you’re not going to find pristine, untouched beaches where you’re the first person to place tracks in the sand that day. (Gili Meno, our third stop and a 2.5 hour boat ride away, is much more off-grid.)
However, what it lacks in quietness it more than makes up for in the sheer number of value-for-money luxury resorts and hotels, with virtually every international brand represented here. And there are still plenty of charming, quieter corners outside the backpacker-party hotspots of Kuta and Seminyak.
…. which brings me to the Andaz Bali, which opened in 2021. The hotel website is here.
Hyatt kindly provided my room for review purposes.
Where is the Andaz Bali resort?
Andaz Bali occupies a beach front plot along Sanur beach on Bali’s east coast:
It is a 30-45 minute taxi from the airport – expect to pay less than £15.
It is right next door to the Hyatt Regency Bali, the island’s first international hotel. Both resorts are cross-chargeable, effectively extending each resort’s restaurants and amenities to the other (gym and spa are shared). Together, they occupy about 400m of beach front.
Despite being the location of the first international hotel, Sanur has lagged the more popular west coast areas of Bali including Seminyak and Kuta. This is, in my opinion, a good thing; Sanur is significantly smaller and quieter, making this a much more relaxing area to explore.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of local restaurants and bars around offering a wide variety of cuisines to keep you busy.
The distance from the party capitals of Bali means it is much more popular with families and, erm, boomers: there were far fewer people in their twenties and thirties here. It’s definitely noticeable if you head out to the local restaurants and bars, which also all seem to close at or before midnight.
That said, it is perfectly possible to head into Seminyak for the night. It is a 45-minute taxi away (less at 3am when the roads are empty!) which costs less than £5 each way. I recommend using ride hailing apps Grab or Gojek, which also let you select moped taxis.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather stay in a quieter area of the island and pop into the bigger towns if/when I feel like it than vice versa, and Andaz Bali offers exactly that.
Arriving at Andaz Bali
The taxi drops drives about 50m through some lush tropical jungle before dropping you off at the Andaz’s car port. Your luggage is quickly whisked away and you are taken to the open-air lobby via a courtyard with reflecting pond:
The buildings have largely been constructed out of local materials including red brick and teak to create an authentic, local atmosphere.
After being offered a seat and a welcome drink:
…. reception staff came to us to process our check in which was quickly sorted. Your keycard comes in this fun little pocket book:
They also explained the concept of the resort, which is modelled after a traditional Balinese village and centred around the village square, which in this case anchors the Andaz Bali with a number of restaurants as well as an open green space used for evening entertainment.
Whilst often these descriptions are more marketing guff than reality, it does ring true here: the ‘village square’ at the Bali does act as a central spot in the resort with the rest of the facilities fanning out. It feels much more residential than the Hyatt Regency block next door, which is a much more typical concrete construction from the 1970s.
In the mornings at breakfast you’ll often find local musicians playing music whilst in the evenings a range of activities take place.
Rooms at the Andaz Bali resort
The resort never feels big wherever you are, despite it occupying a fairly large site and fielding 149 rooms, suites and villas.
In total there are 15 room categories, including four large beachfront villas and 18 garden villas as well as a variety of rooms and suites, some with swim-up pools:
We were given a king room with pool view, which is just about middle of the pack for rooms. The majority are in four-unit pavilions with two rooms on the ground floor and two on the first floor.
The rooms are stunning and by far the highlight of the Andaz Bali, in my opinion. At 50sqm, including a spacious balcony, you have plenty of room to spread out.
Like the rest of the resort, the design is influenced by local traditions and culture. Overall, the aesthetic is darker and offers a counterpoint to the bright, sunny days outside.
Immediately upon entering you’ll find a walk-in wardrobe with large luggage rack. I loved this, as it kept the mess of the suitcases out of sight. There was an open clothes rail as well as an iron and ironing board, safe and some drawers.
The toilet is directly opposite in a small room separate from the rest of the bathroom, which is also on the left and features two wash basins, a walk-in shower and a large, free standing tub:
Bizarrely there were no bath salts or bubble bath provided, which was a shame. I had to take the bottle of shower gel from the shower but it didn’t do a good job of creating bubbles!
The washbasins were fashioned out of raw stone and were beautiful:
The rest of the bathroom was also clad in stone, with some stunning tiling in the shower:
Toiletries were Andaz-own branded in larger pump bottles.
On the other side of the bathroom wall is the bedroom, with one of the biggest beds I have ever seen. It must have been about 3m wide:
The head board features batik motifs. There are plug sockets on both sides, as well as two USB-A ports each, and the controls also allow you to dim the lighting to suit your needs.
Opposite the bed is a large wall-mounted TV, whilst the mini bar is underneath. This includes a Nespresso coffee machine as well as a kettle and tea bags, plus a selection of snacks, soft drinks and beers in the fridge.
Remember that as this is an Andaz, the snacks and soft drinks are free and are replenished daily. This is an Andaz brand standard and a nice touch, with sparkling water, coconut water, coca cola and a local cold tea all available. Snacks included some delicious salted banana chips, dried fruit and peanuts.
The room also features a large day bed and coffee table:
There is another day bed on the very spacious balcony which overlooks the quiet, adults-only pool:
Overall, I thought the rooms were stunning. The combination of locally-inspired design, high quality materials and modern fittings (plenty of plugs around!) is just what I look for in a hotel room.
Pool, beach, gym and spa at Andaz Bali
The grounds of the Andaz Bali form a lush tropical jungle. I’m told that few if any mature trees were felled to accommodate the resort facilities, with the architects choosing to construct the hotel around them in order to preserve a more natural-looking landscape.
This is an approach we’ve also seen taken at the Conrad Tulum in Mexico (review here) recently. Personally, I prefer it to the manicured lawns of many properties in the past which always felt very artificial to me. I’d much rather hotels and resorts embrace their local environment than try to fight it.
There are three pools at the hotel: the main infinity pool by the beach:
Next door to which you’ll find a very shallow kids’ (baby, really) pool:
The third pool is not designated as adults only but is called the quiet pool. This is tucked away and shaded by a beautiful tree whose branches reach out across virtually the entire thing to create a lovely, dappled shade:
The pools were lovely, although I do think the distinction between kids/quiet pools is quite blurred. Because the designated kids’ pool is so shallow (about 30cm I’d say) it’s only really useful to families with very young children. Older children prefer to splash about in the deeper waters of the main pool, whilst the quiet pool is mostly shaded and therefore less useful if you’re trying to get tanned.
One annoyance at the pool was that it was basically impossible to get free water. Despite the hotel providing plenty of bottles in the rooms every day, anyone at the pool has to cough up and pay which seems a bit stingy. I ended up just bringing the refillable glass bottles from the room, which is clearly not ideal near a pool.
As mentioned above, the Hyatt Regency and Andaz share a fairly long stretch of beach. It’s worth noting that there are no private beaches on Bali and there is a two metre wide public boardwalk between the hotel and the beach which stretches for 5km up and down Sanur beach.
Both the gym and the spa are next door in the Hyatt Regency – a five minute walk through the gardens. The gym is in its own pavilion and quite spacious:
Whilst the spa sits above a number of water lilly ponds:
There’s also a kids club at the Andaz Bali, with all in-house guests getting two hours of free childcare per day.
Breakfast and restaurants at Andaz Bali
There are five restaurants at the Andaz Bali, although as I mentioned above you can cross-charge any of the Hyatt Regency restaurants too.
At the Andaz you have a choice of:
- Wok Wok (Indonesian)
- Blue Oven (Meditterenean)
- Fire Fox (steakhouse)
- Fisherman’s Club (no clues needed)
- as well as a deli and bakery
You also have a little coffee shop serving free teas and coffees all day long:
Most of the restaurants, bar Fisherman’s Club, are around the Village Square. For breakfast, these are all combined into a single entity with the Andaz serving an unlimited a la carte menu rather than a breakfast buffet. It’s basically everything you’d expect at a buffet, but brought to you rather than available to self-serve.
Virtually all the dishes are relatively small, which lets you try a whole range of things, including a large range of local and Asian dishes:
We also ate at Wok Wok and Fisherman’s Club. Wok Wok was delicious, serving local Indonesian food:
Whilst at Fisherman’s Club we enjoyed the sunset and had the sea food platter featuring spiny lobster, prawns, mahi mahi, tuna and more:
There are no fine dining restaurants at the resort – it’s all fairly casual, which matches the laid back style of the resort and the number of families here.
I really enjoyed my stay at the Andaz Bali resort. It’s a beautifully designed resort nestled on the beach; the rooms are spacious and well laid out.
I loved the quieter side of Sanur – there was enough going on that it was interesting but not so crazy it felt you were overwhelmed and being hounded in the streets.
Bear in mind that it is very family-friendly – don’t expect an adults-only idyll, although for the most part the kids are well behaved!
Rooms start from £200 per night whilst redemptions will set you back from 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night.
If you are booking Andaz Bali, I’d strongly recommend using Hyatt Prive which comes with great extra benefits at no extra cost, with all rooms being ‘pay on departure’.
Our luxury hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas is a Hyatt Prive agent – full details of Hyatt Prive and our booking scheme are here.
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