Grand Hardys Hotel and Spa is a 3 star hotel located on a quiet back street that is a 5 to 10 minute walk from some of Seminyak’s best shopping and food and beverage districts.
There are numerous stylish hotels and resorts in Seminyak, Bali, as well as more modest establishments such as Grand Hardys Hotel and Spa, which offers comfort and convenience as well as many of the services of a 5 star resort at just a fraction of the cost.
After spending more than one week at the Pop Hotel Kuta Beach, a budget hotel with a great swimming pool for doing laps, I decided to look for a hotel closer to my capoeira studio, which was situated in Seminyak.
It was a 20 to 30 minute taxi ride each way, which was getting tedious – and expensive. I also wanted to do some shopping, and I knew that Seminyak would offer more shops with the kind of stuff I was interested in buying.
If I had been in the market for a surfboard or a tattoo, I would have had no problem finding one in the many shops selling such items in Kuta.
In addition to the many shops and stalls that line the streets and alleys, Kuta had a great shopping mall, but the shops selling clothes there were mostly international chains such as Bull and Bear, the Gap, and Zara – all of which we have in in plentiful supply in the shopping malls that dot Hong Kong, where I live.
Seminyak had more independent shops, and I knew that many of the clothes that were sold in them were locally produced, with an excellent cut and using quality fabrics.
I discovered a hotel called Grand Hardys Hotel and Spa on hotel search website, and it appeared on the map to be well situated – within walking distance of the beach and Seminyak Square.
It was also just slightly more expensive than the hotel I had been staying at in Kuta, and it included a full breakfast.
The hotel had 5 storeys and 118 rooms, which were built around a central courtyard with a swimming pool at the centre. All of the rooms had small balconies, which were convenient for drying clothes.
I stayed in a room with a double bed, which was comfortable. There was a mini bar with an ALMOST empty refrigerator, and talk about attention to detail.
Not only were the 2 bottles of complimentary water placed inside – so were 2 glasses! None of the 5 star resorts I’ve ever stayed at have ever refrigerated the glasses.
This is one of those small – but thoughtful – touches that doesn't cost anything, but makes you feel well thought after.
There was a counter and chair, which made for a nice spot on which to put my computer. The lighting wasn’t good enough to work there at night, but I requested a table lamp, which was brought to my room within minutes, solving this minor short-coming.
The hotel also had more than 30 villas with one or two bedrooms, living and dining areas, and kitchenettes. I didn't ask to see any of them (my bad), but from the outside, they looked quite nice.
The hotel had a lovely swimming pool, which I should have nice things to say about, and I did like it … visually …
But I am one of the few people I've come across that like to do laps in swimming pools when I travel, so I was disappointed that it was very shallow at one end. I could still do laps, but I can’t give it top marks.
There was also a spa, and guests were given a voucher for a 20 minute treatment on arrival, which was an unexpected surprise.
I upgraded my spa treatment to a one hour treatment, which was more expensive than if I had gone to a day spa outside the hotel and had a one hour spa treatment.
I must say, however, that it was one of the best massages I have ever had.
Food and Beverage
When I booked my room, I opted to include breakfast, and I am glad I did. I’m not a big fan of hotel buffets, but I did enjoy this one, which was served in the Star Café, which was right off the lobby.
Rather than trying to be all things to all people, the buffet was limited in scope, with about 8 hot dishes as well as eggs cooked to order, breads and pastries as well as simple salads, yoghurt, soup, two kinds of cereal, have I forgotten anything?
What I liked was that the hot dishes changed each day. There were always potatoes, for example, but each day they were cooked in a different style – and they NEVER resembled the McDonald’s style hash browns I’m usually served at 5 star hotels in China.
There were always sausages – one day beef, one day pork, one day chicken. And there was always some kind of meat dish, some kind of seafood dish, and some kind of noodles.
I prefer this approach to the one that many 5 star hotels and resorts employ, serving a massive selection of dishes, which is essentially the same day after day.
By the 3rd day, you’re really sick of it and want to find someplace else to eat breakfast. I prefer to arrive at breakfast with a sense of, "Now, what have they got for us today?"
As long, of course, as those "breakfast staples" are still there …
The café served ala carte menus at lunch and in the evening. There was a 3 for the price of 2 cocktails happy hour, and special promotions 3 nights a week.
The hotel also had a pool bar with seats in the pool, and rooftop bar, which was under renovation during my visit. When it's up and running again, I believe that it will be the perfect spot for cocktails at sunset …
Photo Credits: Accidental Travel Writer.
The staff at the hotel were especially friendly and helpful, and it’s a good thing, because I had two issues that had to be sorted out during my stay.
First, I had a problem with my reservation. Then I discovered that my credit card had been blocked. Both of these issues required lengthy long distance phone calls, and the staff were very patient and cooperative in helping me sort things out.
Location, Location, Location
One of the downsides of my hotel in Kuta was the constant din of motor scooters in the distance. Because Seminyak is less popular with bikers – and because the hotel was located on a quiet side street – it was very quiet.
The hotel wasn’t perfect. Some of the fittings in the bathroom needed attention. There were also some VERY noisy swimmers one night (I won't mention what country they were from (it's a country whose tourists do NOT have a good reputation), but it wasn't the hotel's fault).
But overall, I think that the hotel provided excellent value for what I paid, and I WOULD stay there again. In fact, I DID stay there again.
I made a short trip to another part of the Bali for 2 nights. I liked the hotel so much that I left most of my things in the hotel's storage room while I was gone, returning to stay at the hotel for my final 2 nights in the Island of the Gods
Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
Grand Hardys Seminyak Hotel and Spa, Jalan Pangkung Sari, Banjar Taman, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia. Telephone: (62-361) 737-972.
Have you ever been to Seminyak? Can you recommend a good hotel there?
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