Checking Out Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak
During my recent getaway to Bali, I checked out newly opened Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak. I love Bali and have visited the beautiful island so many times, I'm losing count. I guess this had to be my 11th visit after taking a 5 year break from the Island of the Gods.
Main Pool & Sunken Bar in the evening
Although I spent most of my stay in Ubud, I chose to spend my final night in Seminyak as it's closer to the airport so it would be less of a hassle to make it to my flight. I guess missing my flight home from Bangkok during Thai Coup in May has made me more cautious. Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak opened on 1st August 2014 and is having an opening offer so even though I was attracted by a few other hotels, I chose to check out the newest kid on the block. By the time I got to Seminyak and checked in, it was almost 6 pm but it was still pretty bright so I snapped a few quick shots before sunset.
The check-in experience was fast and the friendly staff were eager to please. Each guest was welcomed with a layered popsicle made of 3 types of fresh fruit juices, a cup of chilled Iced Lemon Tea and a cool moist towel. The popsicle is a cool treat to savour on a warm afternoon.
The room was fairly spacious yet cosy. After a long ride from Ubud because we were caught in pretty heavy traffic, I contemplated napping before dinner but decided against it I didn't have much time left in Bali.
The armchair and ottoman next to the balcony were comfortable but as the weather was pretty cool that evening, I thought it was nice to chill outdoors and take in the sounds of the "waterfall" in the pool below.
I love checking out new hotels because the furniture's still new and the facilities are generally a lot cleaner. The plush sofa in the balcony was a nice place to chill at whilst a cool breeze blew.
The pool at Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak is fairly long and joins up to to a smaller fountain pool area.
The iPod dock and alarm clock is Apple Lightning ready. Awesome!
Though there wasn't a vanity in the room, that was made up for by a well-lit make up mirror in the fairly long and spacious bathroom. When I booked the hotel, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't going to be a bath. However, the rainshower and shower bench made up for it.
Post-dinner Pampering at Spa Bali
The hotel is a short walk away from shops, restaurants and spas. If you didn't manage to secure a slot with the hotel's spa or in my case, one of my favourite spas - Bodyworks, check out Spa Bali. They have a 2 hour Massage & Body Scrub treatment (aka Javanese Mandi Lulur) going for IDR 380,000 (about USD 32). During my visit, they were offering a 30% discount. If you haven't tried a Mandi Lulur yet, I'd say this is a Must-Try for all ladies visiting Bali. An ancient royal beauty treatment, Mandi Lulur was a purifying ritual for Javanese princesses lasting 40 days prior to their wedding. Only natural ingredients are used for this treatment. It starts with a foot bath and scrub followed by an hour-long massage. The therapist then applies a paste called Javanese Lulur, which is made from finely ground nuts, rice, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and sandalwood bound together with some Jasmine oil and water. When the paste dries, it's rubbed off the skin to exfoliate it. Natural yoghurt is applied next to soften the skin and stimulate cell renewal. Finally, you'd be left to soak in a warm flower bath with some warm ginger tea by the tub whilst you check out the different flowers in your tub - Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Gardenia, Frangipani & Tuberose. I make it a point to have at least 1 Mandi Lulur treatment each time I visit Bali and I must say that the therapist here was rather skillful.
Poolside Breakout Area at Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak
This is the poolside breakout area. This place looks so much prettier at night than in the day. The music had stopped as it was 11 pm, closing time at the Pool Bar. The vibe around the pool bar reminds me of W Hotels, especially with the music playing during operating hours.
I loved the view of the main pool and the Pool Bar from my balcony. It was a cool August night with a gentle breeze blowing. If only I could stay a little longer but I guess it would have to wait for another visit.
At breakfast, all guests were offered an Amuse Bouche of poached chicken that had been tossed with what tasted like Sambal Tomat (a Balinese tomato-based sambal).
Brioche French Toast @ IDR58,000 (about USD4.92)
With little time to spare before heading for the airport, Seminyak Kitchen was the best option for a quick bite. I ordered one of their signature dishes, the Brioche French Toast. I loved the fluffy and buttery Brioche, the smoky caramelized bananas and the rich dark chocolate bits but wasn't too hot on the Vanilla Ice Cream. I wished there was a little more egg mixture that had been fried to a crisp while preparing this dish but in all, this is worth a try.
Eggs Benedict are apparently a popular item from Seminyak Kitchen's All-Day Breakfast Menu. The poached egg and Hollandaise sauce on a crusty toasted muffin were delicious but the lean bacon was overdone. The restaurant was full with many guests milling around the buffet line while some (like me) ordered a la carte, so I guess it's due to teething problems. In spite of how busy they were, the service crew were friendly and attentive. While clearing my dish, one of the staff noticed that I didn't finish it and asked for feedback. The service crew must have given Executive Chef Billy Costoglou my feedback because I soon found myself having a chat with him about how they can do better the next time. I was really surprised when he took the Eggs Benedict off my bill and gave me some Signature Granola as a souvenir. If only the service was half as good in Singapore!
CY Seminyak Signature Granola
Made with locally grown produce from the north of Bali, the granola contained rolled oats, grated coconut, dried banana, cocoa, palm sugar, cashew, coconut oil & sea salt. It was fragrant, chocolatey, crunchy and flavourful. The cashews were roasted beautifully and added a lovely smoky crunch to the mix. Though I'm generally not the healthiest eater around, I was hooked onto this for days. Trying to reduce my intake of milk, I had this on its own. The granola is so good, like C says, adding milk would be a waste. Seminyak Kitchen's signature granola is a Must-Try!
This shot was taken before breakfast. The attentive pool attendant was diligent about making his rounds offering guests chilled water. I look forward to staying here again when I next visit Bali even though I've never actually stayed at the same place twice. It's not often you encounter exceptional service and this new hotel is definitely on the right track.
Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak is running an Opening Promotion (limited rooms available) @ USD130++ inclusive of FREE breakfast for 2 and pool view upgrade till 31 December 2014. Do note that if you change the dates (like I did), the rate may not be applicable for the amended booking. I booked through Agoda to enjoy a similar rate without breakfast included.
Jalan Camplung Tanduk No 103 SP, Dhyana Pura
Seminyak Bali, 80361 Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 8499 600