Review: The Apurva Kempinski Bali (Cliff Private Pool Junior Suite)

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Nightly rateIDR 3.3m (S$320)
Length of stay1 night
Date of stayNov 2021
Membership level
(GHA Discovery)
Titanium

What benefits to expect when you stay at The Apurva Kempinski Bali as a GHA Discovery Titanium member?

The Apurva Kempinski Bali opened in 2019 with a total of 475 rooms/suites/villas.

Here are some photos posted on our Instagram page:

Location

The hotel is located in Nusa Dua, a quiet area in south-eastern Bali. The long stretch of beach in this area is mostly connected to 5-star hotels like The Ritz-CarltonHilton and Grand Hyatt. It is less crowded (as compared to Seminyak beach) as it faces East (no sunset view). That’s not a bad thing as it is usually very quiet; perfect for evening walks/runs/cycles.

  • 25 mins drive to Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS)
  • 1 hr 15 mins drive to Ubud Town
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Arrival

I drove to the hotel and was offered complimentary valet service upon arrival. We then had our body temperatures taken and were assisted with our luggages before being directed to the reception.

I couldn’t help noticing that this hotel was a lot busier than the 35 other Balinese hotels that I’ve stayed in, in the past 8 months. And it was a Tuesday!

Discovery Black member benefits

Discovery Black members get 9am check-in and 6pm check-out upon availability as a benefit. I could confirm availability by texting the hotel’s Lady in Red team on WhatsApp and arrived at 10 in the morning!

On top of that, Black members also receive 2-category room upgrade as a benefit. As I wanted to check out the Cliff Lounge, which is only for guests staying in suite rooms, I booked the Grand Deluxe Ocean Court Rroom (2nd category) to get upgraded to the Cliff Private Pool Junior Suite (4th category).

Lady in Red

As a Discovery Black member, I was directed to the sofa area by a Lady in Red and offered welcome drinks. I was then told that my check-in process will be completed in the suite!

What/Who is Lady in Red?

The Lady in Red® is the embodiment of everything Kempinski stands for: a remarkable host and an enduring symbol of the finest European luxury hospitality.

Dedicated to please and educated to entertain, these brand ambassadors are alert to any opportunity to go one step beyond to craft unforgettable experiences for our well-travelled guests, acting as both the perfect host and a trusted companion during their stay with Kempinski.

And yes, they are always dressed in Red.

Ladies in Red (Photo credit: kempinski.com)

Hotel restrictions

You should also note that this hotel has more restrictions, compared to other luxury hotels that you may be used to. Guests are made to sign some restrictive documents upon arrival.

  • Outside food is not allowed (this includes food delivery service AND food that you personally buy from outside restaurants).
  • Photos with a “professional” camera is strictly not allowed (actively enforced!) in most parts of the hotel. I signed an additional media permit that only allowed me to use my camera in certain areas like my own suite and the grand staircase.
  • I was also stopped by staff for taking photos of the buffet using my phone. I feel that this was unnecessarily restrictive as there was no one else around and I was standing at a distance from the food.

Compared to other hotels that I have reviewed, this was probably the most challenging one for me to get good photos of!

Entrance to the lobby
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View of the ocean from the lobby
View from the lobby
Seats in the lobby
Outdoor seats near the lobby
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Welcome drinks
Walkway to the main lift
View from the lift lobby
View of The Ritz-Carlton next door (read my review)
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Corridor to the rooms

Cliff Private Pool Junior Suite

Room 2061 is 100sqm / 1,076sqft in size.

The beautiful suite had modern design, high-quality hardware and a large private pool facing the ocean. I was told that this 6th floor suite is the highest one in this category. It was also pretty central and offers a view of the ocean in the distance.

The hotel included delicious welcome amenities of local delicacies and a huge basket of fruits. They also sent us a chocolate cake as we were celebrating 1 whole year of pandemic-travelling!

Here’s a video tour posted on our Instagram page:

View from the entrance
The bed
Reversed angle of the bedroom
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View from the room
View from the room
Private pool
View from the outdoor area
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Welcome amenities
Local desserts
Closet
Beverage area
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Tea bags and coffee capsules
Bathroom
Reversed angle of the bathroom
Toilet controls
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Bathroom amenities
Bath soaps
Bathroom amenities
Bath salts and moisturizer
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Complimentary chocolate cake to celebrate our special occasion
Sunrise from the suite

Hotel grounds

The resort has 3 main sections for different types of accommodations; villas, suites and normal rooms. All areas are easily accessible by foot and you can even request for complimentary buggy service from the Cliff Suite Buildings to the beach or restaurant.

Resort map of The Apurva Kempinski Bali
Hotel suites
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Long staircase down the middle of the main building
Complimentary buggy service at the bottom of the South Cliff Suite Building
Chapel
Walkway to the beach and swimming pools

Beach and Swimming Pools

The swimming pools are located down the middle of the resort, all the way to the beach.

From my experience in 35 other hotels in Bali, this property probably has the best beach in Bali! The colour and texture of the sand felt quite different from that of the Hilton and Ritz-Carlton next door. On top of that, breakwaters located just offshore greatly reduces the impact of the waves on the beach.

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Lounging area of the pool
Lounging area of the pool
View of the main building from the pool
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Beach chairs
Kids pool
Playground near the kids pool
Reef Beachfront Club
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View from the beach chairs
Beach
Beach

Afternoon tea at Cliff Lounge

The only way to have access to Cliff Lounge is to stay in a suite. Unlike some hotel loyalty programs, there are no GHA Discovery membership status that offer lounge access as a benefit.

Cliff Lounge has two floors and serves complimentary all-day refreshments for eligible guests. Afternoon tea was served from 3pm to 5pm.

There was a good variety of snacks available for afternoon tea and they were of very good quality.

I got to enjoy this benefit twice during my 1-night stay as I got a 6pm late check-out as a Black member benefit.

There is also a small pool and jacuzzi attached to Cliff Lounge.

Outdoor area of Cliff Lounge
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View from the sofa
Jacuzzi area of Cliff Lounge
Swimming pool of Cliff Lounge
Indoor area of Cliff Lounge
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Light snacks available all day
Afternoon tea snacks on display
View from Cliff Lounge
Afternoon tea selection
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Mini sandwiches
Local kuehs
Other snacks
Cakes
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Es campur
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Additional amenity for Discovery Black members

Discovery Black members get to choose an additional amenity upon checking in. They are Afternoon Tea, Jamu Tasting and Balinese Wine Tasting.

We already had Afternoon Tea included at Cliff Lounge and if you’ve had Balinese wine, you’d probably not want it again. So, we went for Jamu Tasting!

It was a 30-minute session held at the outdoor seats near the lobby. The staff from Selasar Deli shared the many benefits of different types of Jamu and ran through the ingredients used to make them. It was a lovely experience overall!

Jamu-tasting set
Cocktail/Mocktail after the session

Evening cocktail at Pala Rooftop Bar

As mentioned above, the only way to have access to Cliff Lounge and complimentary evening cocktail at Pala Rooftop Bar is to stay in a suite. Unlike some hotel loyalty programs, there is no GHA Discovery membership status that offer lounge access as a benefit.

As compared to the afternoon tea, and what is being offered in club lounges of other hotels, the evening cocktail was quite disappointing. Guests get to choose unlimited drinks but are served only 2 to 4 really tiny canapés.

Again, I got to enjoy this benefit twice during my 1-night stay as I got a 6pm late check-out as a Black member benefit.

Pala Rooftop Bar as seen from my suite
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Dining area at Pala Restaurant
Pala Rooftop Bar
Pala Rooftop Bar
View of the main building from Pala Rooftop Bar
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Sparkling wines
Canapes
Acaraki
Canapes
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Canapes
Evening cocktail menu

Breakfast at Cliff Lounge

Guests staying in suites can also enjoy breakfast at Cliff Lounge from 7 to 12pm. Yes, you read it right, 12 noon! We arrived at around 11.30am and slowly enjoyed our breakfast with the amazing view for the next hour or so.

Breakfast buffet
Our picks
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Egg Langoustine
Taiwanese Foie Gras Congee
Truffle Mushroom Scrambled Eggs
French Toast

Gym and sauna

The gym is large and offers a great view of the ocean. There is a sauna, small pool and shower attached to it.

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Gym
Gym equipment facing the ocean
View from the gym
Small pool in the gym area
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Sauna
Changing room

Dinner at Koral Restaurant

Discovery Black members get 1 free Local Experience when they stay in a member brand for the first time every year (although this will change with the new program). I received one as it was my first stay in a Kempinski brand in 2021.

I redeemed it for Dinner for 2 at Koral Restaurant. I made a reservation at 6pm, right after checking out.

Food quality and presentation was great and we enjoyed the overall experience.

View of the aquarium of Koral Restaurant from above
Tunnel tables (Credit: Koral Restaurant)
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Non-tunnel tables (Credit: Koral Restaurant)
Non-tunnel tables
Breads
Hors d’oeuvre
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Hors d’oeuvre
Hors d’oeuvre
Hors d’oeuvre
Blue Crab
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Mahi Mahi
Grouper
Bali Chicken
Banoffee Valrhona
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Bedugul Strawberry Crème Brûlée
Desserts

Upsell and restrictions

I did not appreciate the restaurant calling me on WhatsApp early in the morning just to upsell the “tunnel table” for an additional IDR 600k (US$42).

I am glad that I did not agree to it as those tables seemed to lack privacy as they are located in a connecting walkway between 2 sections of the restaurant. There were guests and staff walking through most of the time and it looked less impressive in real life (check out the video in Suitesmile’s Instagram story highlights labelled “Bali Nov 2021”).

The restaurant also has strict rules that you should note:

  • Your table will be held for 15 minutes, after which, it will be released and any deposits are non-refundable.
  • Smart-casual dress code; no sandals and slippers for males.
  • You have 1 hr and 30 mins to finish your meal.
  • Seat requests are not allowed.
  • Photos can only be taken with phone cameras on the seated table and lounge area.

My ratings

Breakfast10/10
Service10/10
Location9/10
Room furnishing10/10
View
(from the room)
10/10
Peace & quiet10/10
Facilities10/10
Elite member recognition10/10
Value9/10

Bottom line

Although this was my most expensive cash stay in 1 year of living in hotels, there was plenty of value to be found, especially with the super early check-in, super-late check-out and free Local Experience that I could redeem for a free dinner for 2 at Koral Restaurant.

Is this hotel worth the hype? Yes, it was a phenomenal stay for me. I am sure that you will enjoy it as much as I did, if you are paying close to what I did for a similar room category and experience.

You may also want to compare the rates of this property with The Ritz-Carlton next door, where anyone can get free breakfast + US$100 of credit per stay, regardless of membership status.

11 thoughts on “Review: The Apurva Kempinski Bali (Cliff Private Pool Junior Suite)”

    • Hi, I think the Ocean Front suite offers an unblocked view of the ocean. However, it is located at the far end of the building, further away from the lobby and Cliff Lounge.

      Reply
      • Hi Fay, I assume the Ocean Front suite is closer to the beach access, is it right? What about the other amenities, i.e. the breakfast room – is it closer to the Ocean front or Cliff suite? And if you had to quantify in walking minutes, how far would you say is the beach from the cliff suite?
        Thank yoU!

        Reply
        • Hey, Cliff suite guests have breakfast at the Cliff lounge in the same building. I’m not sure about the breakfast arrangements for guests staying in the Ocean Front Suites. If I remember correctly, the beach is about 10 mins walk from the Cliff building. Guests can also simply call a buggy who will send them there for free, any time of day. Hope that helped!

          Reply
  1. Hi, i have also booked a Cliff private pool junior suite. Is there anything i need to specific request from the hotel? Higher floor hav better views right?

    Reply
  2. Amazing review, very thorough and has definitely helped me make up my mind about staying here.
    Thank you for your insight

    Reply
  3. hi i read you article for review Apurva Kempinski and Ritz Carlton. Both is great and very informative. i enjoy it so much. do you mind make another for Mulia Resort? also in Nusa Dua =) thankyou for your attention. Have a Nice Day

    Reply
    • Hi Raymond, thank you for your readership! I am actually not motivated to stay in Mulia Resort Bali as it is not a part of any attractive hotel loyalty program. Maybe in future!

      Reply

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