Movenpick Resort & Spa review, Jimbaran Bay, Bali

Our rating

3.5 out of 5

THE LOCATION

Celebrated for its thumping surf and fine sand beach, Jimbaran Bay is no longer Bali's best-kept secret. There are now several luxury properties dotted along this picturesque foreshore. The 297-room Movenpick Resort & Spa, which is perched high up at the southern end of the bay, is the newest arrival. The property is just 30 minutes by car from Ngurah Rai International (Denpasar) Airport.

THE SPACE

Anyone expecting the tinkle of gamelan music and the sight of traditional Balinese carvings will be surprised by the resort's cathedral-like lobby. The hotel's Swiss owners have been lavish in their use of white marble and local hardwood but have avoided too much folksy Balinese decoration, preferring a more contemporary look. For a mid-size property the Movenpick Resort & Spa offers an impressive range of facilities, including a day spa, lagoon pool, 24-hour gym and roof-top bar. Nearby Samasta Village has a small selection of wine bars, coffee shops and specialist retail outlets.

THE ROOM

While the public spaces here are monumental, the hotel's rooms and suites are pleasantly intimate. My Classic Pool View room was well proportioned and decorated with vibrant Balinese textiles, carved wooden panels and flamboyant light fittings. The king-size bed was superbly comfortable and I also liked the well-appointed bathroom. Classic Rooms are fairly compact, so I'd suggest a Junior Suite for longer stays – or a Family Room if you are travelling with kids. All rooms feature mini-bars, coffee- and tea-making facilities, flat screen televisions, free Wi-Fi, reading lights and writing desks.

THE FOOD

In Australia Movenpick may be synonymous with ice-cream, but no one expects you to survive entirely on frozen dessert. Balinese cuisine is served at Anarasa, the main ground floor dining space, throughout the day but for something a little more sophisticated, venture up to the rooftop bar and restaurant. Above Eleven Bali has taken a bold leap into Peruvian-Japanese cuisine. The menu features a quixotic mix of ceviche, churrasco, sushi, empanadas and sashimi. For me, the marinated beef heart, cooked on a skewer, was the stand-out dish. During the day JeJaLa pool bar serves healthy snacks, juices and cocktails, while the Movenpick Cafe stocks an impressive range of cakes, pastries and ice-creams. Coffee aficionados should drop into Katha Lobby Lounge, where guests can sample five different espressos and even more cake and ice-cream.

STEPPING OUT

While the Movenpick is designed to be a self-contained resort experience, it would be a crime not to walk along beautiful Jimbaran Beach at least once. There are surf boards and paddleboards for hire and a smattering of beachfront cafes serving ocean-fresh seafood and ice-cold Bintang. From here it's an easy walk to Jl. Raya Uluwatu, with its ceaseless traffic and mishmash of shopping malls, wooden huts, beauty spas and shops selling homewares.

THE VERDICT

Perfect for couples and families alike, this resort is friendly, well-equipped and offers great value for money.

ESSENTIALS

Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali, JL. Wanagiri No.1, 80362, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia. Phone: +62 361 472 5777. From $220 a night, including buffet breakfast and free Wi-Fi. See movenpick.com

Mark Chipperfield stayed as a guest of Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali.

HIGHLIGHT

Meera Kids Club is perfect for energetic offspring. Activities include aerobics, kite-making, language lessons and cooking classes.

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LOWLIGHT

Service was a little haphazard in the early days – but hopefully the hotel is now running as smoothly as a Swiss watch.

Mark Chipperfield stayed as a guest of Movenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali.