Great value and close to Eat Street
With its god-awful footpaths, sorta-upscale boutiques, trendy restaurants and sophisticated beachside bars, Seminyak may not be the sort of place you’d think of as being terribly family-friendly. And well, on those fronts, perhaps it’s not.
But there’s a great little hotel tucked behind Jalan Laksmana/Oberoi/Eat Street that actually makes this corner of Seminyak very accessible — and it’s rather well priced, too.
Mutiara Bali Resort isn’t a hip offering by any means, but it’s quite stylish without being poised to win any design awards. It has about 30 fairly spacious motel-style rooms in three double-storey complexes surrounding a large pale-blue pool. There are also nearly 20 villas in a separate area in the complex, but for what you’d pay for them we’d suggest going upmarket elsewhere in the Yak.
Our US$75 room had twin beds pushed together to form a spacious double (that slept four of us — otherwise it would have been an extra $25 for an additional bed), large flat-screen TV with loads of international channels, a small desk/dresser, large storage space, large balcony with three chairs (not suited for climbing-prone kids, though our two- and four-year-old were fine with supervision) and a dinky shower (no tub) set under an odd sort of skylight that was somehow reminiscent of school camp circa 1984. Toiletries were supplied, along with a bar fridge boasting modest drink selections. The bed linen was fresh and clean, the lamps worked and cast just — just — enough light to read by. Lots of boxes ticked right there.*
As well, the free WiFi actually worked: in the rooms, on the verandas, and even poolside, which is a lot more than many $300 per night places in Bali can offer guests. You can also rent a bike gratis too — though you can imagine which activity may be more popular among guests.
Staff were friendly and obliging — another surprise for Seminyak hotels, come to think of it — and the expansive pool had a good shallow area for the kids, though our two-year-old only just managed to keep his lips above the water. It stretches down to a deep end with a jacuzzi for the frolicking adults, and is partly shaded by frangipani trees that have an endearing habit of dropping their fragrant flowers into the pool (though there’s not too much shade in the middle of the day).
Our breakfast included a range of generously-portioned selections, from pancakes through to noodles and English breakfasts, with juice or a fruit plate plus drip coffee or tea, in an open-air and modern restaurant that lacked any sort of view but served its purpose well enough.
Aside from being very comfortable digs, Mutiara is just a five- to 10-minute walk away from a stretch of yummy restaurants on Laksmana, such as Cafe Bali, Press Ban Cafe and Zuitton. Or, walking in the other direction, it will take five minutes to get to Grocer and Grind (pick up a menu on the first day of your holiday and get their scrumptious sambos and salads delivered throughout your stay).
Word of warning: We found the pool area remained sedate and quiet, but if by chance a group was staying at the hotel and wanted to party by the pool at night, it might get a tad noisy. On the other hand, we suspect the staff might move people to bed if they were causing too much of a scene.
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.