Close to the action but not smack bang in the middle of it, Mercure Bali Legian is surrounded by funky boutiques and bustling restaurants.
Mercure Bali Legian owes its casually cool vibe to a neat and contemporary fit-out with bright pops of blue and green. For example, lush hanging gardens cascade down the facade of the interconnecting buildings and tropical trees sprout in public garden spaces. The two pools (one on the ground floor and a rooftop-style pool on level four) add in another big dollop of aqua. Even the seats in the hotel restaurant – Ancak Restaurant and Lounge – come upholstered in soft shades of blue and green.
The open-air lobby is bathed in natural light and the check-in counter ceiling is adorned with bronze-coloured dangling lights in varying shapes and sizes.
Guests gravitate towards the two pools. The ground floor pool has plenty of shade overhang, but I favour the pool on level four because you can swim to the edge and watch holiday life unravel while immersed in the water.
There are 321 rooms split into five room categories, ranging from superior rooms at entry level to deluxe rooms with a private plunge pool at the top of the range. My room, a deluxe room with a balcony, suits me just fine. The brown and beige interior colour palette is nicely contrasted against the vivid blues and greens outside. Clean lined and well presented, all the mod cons are there – and in the right places. I've stayed in many hotels where power points are in hard-to-reach spots and turning off the lights is harder than it should be, so appreciate a thoughtful design.
In Legian, hotel restaurants don't generally get packed out because there are so many options outside, and to entice diners at Ancak Restaurant and Lounge there's entertainment on selected nights.
While eating dinner I first watch a three-man band perform rock classics. Then, traditionally dressed Balinese dancers groove out to techno music. It's highly entertaining and unexpected – the dancers execute conventional dance moves robotically and quickly to match the beat.
The food is a bit like that too. You read the description but the end product is a surprise – and this works in the restaurant's favour. I order rendang dagig bakar, chef's signature dish, expecting a traditional curry. Instead I receive three tender steaks, one on top of the other, doused in rich curry sauce crowned with fried onion shreds and served alongside steamed rice and sautéed veggies. It's a modern reinterpretation of a local dish and everyone at the table gives it rave reviews.
There's no such thing as boredom here. Kuta and Legian beaches are about a 10-minute walk away. Small shops are scattered all around. Beachwalk Shopping Centre and Kuta Square are close by.
Mercure Bali Legian is close to all the nighttime action, too. Sky Garden, one of Bali's biggest nightclubs, is about a 10-minute walk away and there are bars everywhere. The only thing you might struggle to find is solitude.
Sleek and stylish, Mercure Bali Legian is a good value hotel in a convenient location.
The pool on level four.
It's a bit of a trek to the beach: 10 minutes is still 10 minutes.
Jalan Legian No 328, Legian Kelod, Kuta, Indonesia. Rooms start from $65. See mercure.com.
Our Rating: ★★★★
TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★
Tatyana Leonov was a guest of Accor Hotels (accorhotels.com).