Princess and The Rock

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Monday, 12 August 2013

Bali Gems - Accommodation Review

I've previously written about my rejuvenating vacation in Bali and I promised that I'll share about the gems we came across there.

First up will be the accommodation. I'll say more about the restaurants we dined in and attractions we visited in my later post.

The Stones Hotel - Legian Bali, Autograph Collection®

What I like about it:

  • Spacious room (32 sqm) - There is ample space for luggage and the extra space ups the luxury score. 

    Spacious king-sized bed

    Bathtub on the balcony

    Vanity area with the full range of amenities

  • In-room espresso machine with Illy capsules - Almost essential for coffee-lovers like my husband and I, especially when the coffee at breakfast is so-so.
  • Large pool with pool bar - The free form pool is enticing and the pool bar is great for a hot afternoon treat. There is 1-for-1 offer during happy hours too!

    View of the swimming pool from our room

Shallow wading pool

Last photo of The Stones before we left for Ubud

  • Clean Spa and skillful massage therapists - We had the best massage in Bali at Celestine Spa! 'Nuff said.
  • Good food - We had our first dinner at Big Fish Bar and Grill by the pool and every dish was satisfying. Service was also top notch; I ordered a Philly Steak Pizza and it came with cream sauce and they changed the dish with no question asked when I told the waitress I do not take cream. She even apologised for not having "cream" stated on the menu! Breakfast was good too, with a good variety of hot dishes, live stations and my favourite juice bar. I believe the juice bar helped prevent constipation. :P 

    A flavourful duck appetiser with interesting mix of textures

  • Commendable hospitality and service - Thumbs up! EVERY staff member that we came across greeted us with a smile. 

    First time having welcome popsicle!

    Welcome appetizer - yummy

    Complimentary birthday cake - delicious again

  • Exclusive location - Hotel is set further in from the main road so it's feels of exclusive and quiet.

What can be improved:

Bathtub at the balcony is only a good idea, not a practical one. It is cumbersome to have to draw the curtains to use the bathtub and not to mention wetting the balcony area while using it. I can imagine it being a great soaking tub if my children were there though as it is less claustrophobic soaking in a tub with a view to the outside than within four walls.


We did not see many children during our stay but I would not hesitate to bring mine there. The pool and the extra space in the rooms are great for children. The thing to note though is the deluxe and premium rooms do not accommodate extra beds.

The Samaya - Ubud

Welcome flower leis

What I like about it:

  • NOTHING is impossible - 24 hour butler service. They try to meet any guest request as far as possible. When we mentioned that the pillows were too soft for our liking, we found firmer foam pillow on our beds in the evening. The spa hours were extended for us because our dinner ended late and we were kindly offered complimentary afternoon tea while we were waiting for our transport to the airport (this is after we checked out). 

    Complimentary afternoon tea which we opted to have in-room.

  • Gnomes in the house - My husband and I joked that there must be gnomes living somewhere in our villa as every time we went back to the villa, it was back to immaculate order! 

    Living area | Bed is behind the couch

    In-villa pool that is big enough for a swim

    Luxurious two-person bath with bubble jets
  • Exclusivity - There are only 19 villas in the whole resort. In fact we would have thought we were alone in the resort if not for the few hotel guests we saw at breakfast and when we used the shuttle service.
  • Complimentary shuttle to and fro anywhere Ubud area - Most hotels usually provide one-way shuttle to town but The Samaya provides shuttle back to the hotel as well, so this saves the trouble of having to get a taxi and money too.
  • "You are special!" - Yes, we were made to feel special every minute we were at The Samaya. Everyone knew our names even though we have only mentioned it once during arrival. Feedback were sought often but we never felt intruded. Our warm and friendly buggy driver even told us, "I feel good inside when I serve you."

    Welcome fruits, drinks and anniversary that greeted us in our villa

Postcard-worthy views
 - Awesome views of the Ayung River accompanied us during afternoon tea and dinner at the Swept Away restaurant and we had our breakfast overlooking the padi fields. Did I mention our villa overlooked the Ayung River as well?

View from our villa
Breakfast overlooking padi fields
Afternoon tea by the Ayung River

What can be improved:

Tea and coffee making facilities

If I choose to be pernickety, I'll say I'd appreciate an in-room espresso machine but really it's hard to fault The Samaya on anything else. In fact I would say that I'll gladly go back for any celebration in a heartbeat!


Everything in the resort shouts, "R-O-M-A-N-T-I-C", whether the breath-taking views, the huge bath tub meant for two or the softly lit candlelight at the dining table, they all make for a romantic break for two. I would say it is ok to bring older children but definitely not younger kids who would appreciate more activities or a kids club. The Samaya is good for doing nothing, except "eat, sleep and spa", a phrase aptly used by the resort manager. And "eat, sleep and spa" was exactly what we needed. :)


  1. Hehe the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the bathtub at the balcony was "Geeee, how to undress with the whole public view on you!" Lol, and then u mentioned the curtains, ok thank god there are curtains, or else it would be like nude at every storey! Lol.

  2. Woah, this place looks unreal! The bathtub does look pretty spectacular, but agreed with your comments about drawing curtains and getting everything wet!

    I can see why you loved your get away!