Michael Taylor is staying at 10 hotels and resorts at various price points during his three-week stay in Bali. And the first hotel on his itinerary is the Grand Mirage Resort, which is located in Nusa Dua, Bali, but outside the gated community. So what sets it apart from most other resort hotels? In fact, it offer all-inclusive packages. He spends three nights at the all-inclusive resort.
My arrival in Bali was a bit traumatic because my suitcase had not accompanied me from Hong Kong to Denpasar. To clarify, I made the flight, but my checked-in luggage didn’t. Following a long wait at baggage claim, my name was called over the public address system. It was bad news.
Therefore, it was a bit reassuring, when I emerged from the terminal and found my name along with the words “Grand Mirage Resort” neatly printed on the screen of a large smart phone. Since all of the other greeters had names printed on paper signs, it made me feel special. Translation: this must be a classy joint.
And say what you want, first impressions DO count!
In a travel destination as competitive as Bali, each hotel or resort has to find a unique selling point. In the case of the Grand Mirage Resort, it is called “all inclusive”. When I asked about this, I was informed, “It’s similar to Club Med.” In other words, meals were included. But there were three packages. And not all packages were created equal.
Firstly, the Grand Mirage Resort’s basic packages include bed and breakfast, which seems standard throughout much of Asia. In other words, a buffet breakfast is included in the price of the room.
If you splash out a bit more, you get access to three buffet meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
And if you really want to indulge, you can go for gold with a package that allows you to order ala carte at all of the Grand Mirage Resort’s food and beverage outlets as well as room service.
In addition, you get free access to non-motorized water sports. Moreover, there is a 30% discount of alcoholic beverages, among other privileges.
In terms of demographics, it’s hard to say who the Grand Mirage Resort caters to. During my stay, I noticed a lot of French and Russian being spoken. In addition to English with Australian accents, I also heard Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.
When I inquired, I was told that it depended on the season. For example, during school holidays in Indonesia, there would be more domestic guests.
Surprisingly, the average length of stay was quite long. For example, Australians often spent one month at the resort. But Northern Europeans and Russians could spend as long as three months there to escape their long, cold winters.
The Grand Mirage Resort was lively. To clarify, the beach, the swimming pool, and the lounge chairs were chock-a-block with humanity. However, because of the resort’s sprawling grounds, it was not overwhelmingly crowded. And I got the impression that this resort had a loyal following of guests that came back year after year.
I was flattered – and surprised! – when one of the swimming pool attendants greeted me by name. When I asked how he know my name (was he the same person to greeted me at check in?), he said my presence had been shared on the hotel’s Intranet page.
Adjoining the business centre, the hotel had a games room with TV games, board games, ping pong, billiards, and tabletop football, among other amusements.
There was even karaoke equipment. Thankfully, however, nobody took advantage of it while I was working on my computer in the business centre! This could definitely described as a “family friendly” hotel!
Food and Beverage
Served at the Jukung Seafood Grill, the Pineapple Carpaccio with Smoked Salmon had cucumber, mixed lettuce, and a creamy dressing. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
In terms of food, I was definitely spoiled for choice as there were multiple food and beverage outlets. And they all offered very inviting menus.
I had breakfast all three days at the Grand Cafe, an all day-dining restaurant, which had both indoor and outdoors seating overlooking the gardens and swimming pool. There were both international and Indonesian choices on the buffet tables. And eggs were cooked to order.
At lunch, I dined each day at the Jukung Seafood Grill, an outdoor eatery on the beach. In terms of recommendations, I’m not sure if I liked the smoked salmon or the grilled salmon better! The chicken dishes were also very yummy. And the salads were both innovative and satisfying.
Regarding dinner, I enjoyed a themed buffet dinner at Rama Live Entertainment on my first night. In addition, a Balinese show was included. And there were photo opps with members of the cast after the show finished.
On my second night, I returned to the Jukung Grill. On my third and final night, I had dinner at La Cascata, the hotel’s fine dining Italian restaurant, which has now closed. And it has been replaced by Julie’s Italian, which opened in 2019.
I opted for a set menu. Thickly and generously cut, the veal was flavourful, juicy, and oh so tender.
The dessert was absolutely decadent! After two bites, I asked the waiter to take it away. He looked a bit disappointed, asking if I’d like him to wrap it up so I could take it back to my room.
I’m sure the waiter thought I didn’t like it. But the fact was, I liked it too much. And I was afraid I’d succumb to temptation and finish it off one bite at a time. I always gain weight on trips despite my best efforts not to. And this was only day two of a 22 day trip.
All good things must end. And I was reluctant to check out of the Grand Mirage Resort. I bid adieu to my charming hosts. But I also knew that other hotels and resorts awaited.
Have you ever stayed at an all-inclusive resort? If so, did you like it? Or do you prefer dining off site?
Grand Mirage Resort – Jalan Pratama No. 74, Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.