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Kick back at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua

You know you’ve reached peak holiday relaxation when it’s too much effort to leave your sunlounger to walk to the spa. But such is life at Sofitel Nusa Dua in Bali.

Just a 10-minute drive south of Denpasar Airport, the beachfront resort is the ultimate ‘fly-and-flop’ destination with over 400 guestrooms, three restaurants, two bars, a day-spa, excellent fitness facilities, lagoon-style pools surrounded by tropical gardens and so much more.

And while some people think “lie by the pool and do nothing” holidays are boring, I am not one of those people. In fact, I can’t think of a better way to spend the next four days.

Sofitel Nusa Dua.
Camera IconSofitel Nusa Dua. Credit: Supplied

Known for its sophisticated accommodation, amenities and service, Sofitel Nusa Dua is one of the few trusted resorts in Bali where prestigious international events are frequently held.

It’s also where Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his family have stayed numerous times, along with various other people of influence.

But you don’t need to be someone special to get the VIP treatment, the staff at Sofitel genuinely care about the experience they provide and treat all guests like royalty.

I especially need to single out the extremely generous and hospitable Yuli, who is my new Balinese bestie and go-to confidant. Not only has she booked dinner reservations and spa treatments for me, but she’s arranged someone to bring a traditional Balinese dress to my suite ahead of a ceremony I’m attending tomorrow.

For now though, I’m enjoying my moment in the sun before I make my way to the resort’s spa for a relaxing Balinese massage.

As someone who has trained and worked as a beauty therapist in my younger years, I have a fairly good idea of what you should look out for when attending a salon and/or spa. So, when I enter SoSpa at Sofitel Nusa Dua, I can’t help but look for signs of uncleanliness — smudged nail polish on furniture, beauty utensils not sitting in sterilising solution, a layer of dust on products and worst of all, rogue hairs or nail clippings scattered across the floor.

Thankfully, SoSpa passes my first-impression test with flying colours — the place practically sparkles it is so clean. The staff are also extremely professional and pay attention to small details that some of us notice like comfortable robes, clean slippers and being offered cups of tea.

And as for the massage itself, I felt so relaxed I actually fell asleep towards the end, which my masseuse says is a big compliment. Because of how good I was feeling, I went ahead and booked another massage for later in the week. Only next time the massage will take place by the ocean — apparently Sofitel’s gazebo massage on the beach is a signature treatment that everyone should try at least once while here.

Afterwards, I meet up with a friend who is staying in one of the resort’s pool-access rooms. What I like about her room is that the veranda backs on to a section of the main pool, meaning we can wade our way from her room to the resort’s swim-up bar.

Not only is this a good way to fit in some much-needed exercise, but going for a swim feels like the perfect antidote for my right arm, which started to ache earlier this morning after holding a magazine aloft for longer than five minutes. Perhaps I should consider attending one of Sofitel’s early morning yoga sessions, or use the state-of-the-art equipment in the fitness centre.

Yuli spots me in the swimming pool and comes over to ask whether I would prefer to eat breakfast in the main restaurant or have a floating breakfast delivered to my suite tomorrow morning. I opt for the latter, only because I’ve seen pictures of the floating breakfast online and it looks too good to pass up.

Floating Breakfast at Sofitel Nusa Dua.
Camera IconFloating Breakfast at Sofitel Nusa Dua. Credit: Supplied

When it comes to food, the venues at Sofitel do not mess about. There’s the main restaurant Kwee Zeen that offers a huge variety of Pan-Asian dishes, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Cucina, a fine-dining Italian restaurant which is open from 6pm to 10.30pm.

Toya Beach Bar & Grill, which sits along the beachfront and is open from 11am to 10.30pm.

Plus, the ultra-cool Manarai Beach House is nearby, which is open from noon to 8pm everyday and offers an eclectic open-air dining space with cabanas, sunbeds and a beachfront swimming pool.

For families, Sofitel Nusa Dua has an indoor and outdoor kids club that I hear is a real hit among parents and children.

You can also do a family cooking class, or take part in a cultural ceremony at Sofitel, where you learn about the rich culture of the Island of the Gods through a series of fun yet insightful activities.

Aside from that, there are plenty of other activities you can do outside of the resort. But if you’re after a hassle-free getaway that leaves you feeling completely relaxed — Sofitel Nusa Dua is pure bliss.

fast facts

  • Sofitel Nusa Dua is a tropical Balinese paradise with a big dollop of French flair on top.
  • The luxury beachfront resort is located within the exclusive resort area in Nusa Dua, Bali.
  • Rooms start from $US240 ($351) a night.
  • Visit sofitelbalinusadua.com for more.

Penny Thomas was a guest of Accor. They have not seen or approved this article.

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