The Royal Beach Seminyak, Bali review: The upmarket alternative to Kuta

The place

The Royal Beach Seminyak, Bali

The location

Seminyak is generally considered the upmarket version of Kuta, slightly less overrun with tourists (and, consequently, fewer touts) and filled with higher end shopping and dining options, though there are still bargains to be found if you seek them out. Seminyak's beach on the Indian ocean features dark sand, less pleasant than some of the white sand beaches to be found elsewhere on the island, but the surf is large enough to have fun in, though not big enough to be intimidating.

The place

The Royal Beach is a large beachfront resort of 128 rooms, with three restaurants, two swimming pools, a gym, shopping area and spa. Along with the rooms of the main buildings there is also a group of 17 private villas closer to the beach. The grounds are filled with tropical plants, making the space a pleasure to walk through. The main pool features ball games and other facilities to keep children entertained, with the garden pool further back in the grounds aimed at adults looking to enjoy a dip in a quieter environment. Live entertainment is provided, with a piano player at breakfast and performances at the beachfront in the evenings, ranging from traditional dancing and music to easy-listening cover bands.

The room

We start off in a grand deluxe room, a large space with a king-sized bed, comfortable divan, desk and small table. Although it's a grand deluxe, the main difference between this and other rooms appears to be the huge floor space (51 square metres), which is not really put to any particular use beyond showing off the parquet floors. The private balcony overlooks the garden pool. The marble-heavy bathroom features a large shower and separate bath.

For our final night, we upgrade to one of the private villas. Our beachfront space is huge, with separate bedroom and living areas, a courtyard with plunge pool and a gorgeous bath set in the wall in the bedroom corner. The marble floors keep the space cool and the four-poster bed features a sheer curtain that not only offers a sense of privacy but keeps any mosquitoes at bay.

The food

The three restaurants offer very different cuisines. The beachfront Capri's bistro offers Mediterranean, while Teppenyaki, as the name suggests, offers that Japanese style. Husk is traditional Indonesia and other Asian fare, where I indulge in a chicken and lobster pangsit (sweet and sour soup) and perkedel kepiting (sambal soft shell crab), followed by steamed baby grouper in a ginger, spring onion and fermented soybean sauce. Husk is also home to the buffet breakfast which offers an extensive selection of Western and Asian dishes.

Stepping out

Seminyak is home to three of Bali's hottest beach clubs, Ku De Ta, Potato Head and Mozaic, and though they're only a short taxi ride away from the hotel, the quickest way to reach them is to take a short walk up the beach. Ku De Ta is probably the best known of the bunch and we stop by for an evening drink. It's a popular spot so bookings are a good idea if you're hoping to get a lounge by the beach. There's a plunge pool at the front of the bar for those feeling hot and/or uninhibited while the DJs spin a mix of chilled out tunes.

The verdict

The Royal Beach Seminyak manages to strike a solid balance between family-friendly holiday resort and adult private escape. For a truly luxurious experience, a night in one of the villas is a must.

Highlight

The beachfront villas are magnificent.

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Lowlight

The standard rooms suffer by comparison.

Getting there

Jetstar flights to Bali 10 times a week from Melbourne, seven from Sydney, four from Brisbane and three times a day from Perth. See www.jetstar.com/au

Essentials

Rooms at the Royal Beach Seminyak start from $169. Villas start from $482 per night. See http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-5551-the-royal-beach-seminyak-bali-mgallery-collection/index.shtml

Craig Platt stayed with assistance from Accor Hotels and Jetstar.

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