6 ways the Courtyard Seminyak helped me enjoy Bali

Bali, hey? I was never really planning to go there but when the chance kind of fell into my lap, I finally thought it was worth a shot. The Courtyard Seminyak was a new Marriott hotel, they were looking for bloggers to enjoy a few days there, and who was I to say no to an intriguing way to help the long school holidays pass?

Courtyard Seminyak Bali review Marriott Hotels

I was somewhat sceptical about whether I’d enjoy Bali, and I have a lot more to say about tourism in Bali in an upcoming post, but for now, I need to tell you just what my lovely sponsor, the Courtyard Seminyak, did to help me enjoy Bali. And a word, first: they may have put me up, but my opinions can’t be bought, so everything I’m about to say is what I really think. Even if it is nearly all good.

Check the booking box below for availability at the Courtyard Seminyak in Bali:

1. Rooms with views

It’s not just the view over the courtyard – which has a small grassed area, and then a really long and well-landscaped pool – but the fact that our room also had a wide balcony, so we could sit out there in the evening watching the final swimmers of the day, and listen to the live music from the pool bar. My son even said to me – “Mama – the music is all the songs that you like!” – and it really was a bit like they’d read my Pandora playlist.

I really liked this courtyard style and it made the hotel feel small and cosy, when we could sit out on our third floor balcony and watch what everyone was up to. I guess there would be people who would say the music was too loud if they didn’t want to listen to it, or that the balcony wasn’t private enough, but for me, it was just right. I like to be a bit in the action – and the noise ended by 8pm anyway, so there was never an issue with sleep, even for my son.

2. The pool and its cocktails

I have very rarely spent any time on my holidays by the pool, apart from a short resort stay in Egypt and last year, during our two weeks in Penang. Given that we can swim a fair bit here in Perth anyway, I always felt that I should spend my travel time doing something else.

But. But! Being able to come home from a sightseeing outing in a rather humid country and spend an hour or two by the side of a really gorgeous pool, and hopping in whenever I needed to cool down, well, that turns out to be a very nice thing to do. I think we were in the pool every day, apart from the day we spent at Waterbom Park (when we were in their pools all day long). It’s a very long set of joined pools in the courtyard and it’s big enough that even though all the poolside chairs were taken, it never felt crowded in the water.

The poolside staff were also just the right level of attentive – I love that they had a button we could push when we wanted to order a drink or a snack, meaning that staff don’t need to hover around too much asking if you’d like to order something.

Courtyard Seminyak Bali cocktails by the pool

I confess: I did spend quite some moments sipping cocktails by the pool.

My only complaint about the beverage situation is that they don’t offer a Bintang Radler! (It’s like a shandy – but Radler, cleverly, is the much cooler German word for it.) Fortunately the small convenience store across the road did but it would have been handy to get it poolside. Oh my goodness! Here’s me sounding like a totally entitled traveller – one week of luxury and I’ve gone to the dark side!

3. To my heart through my stomach

We arrived in Bali early evening and wanted to get our son off to bed fairly quickly, so rather than go out and explore we picked up the phone and ordered room service. Totally delicious nasi goreng, so a great start. We also had breakfast in the hotel’s Seminyak Kitchen restaurant most mornings and there was heaps to choose from (both local and Western foods), great quality, totally hygienic, and super-friendly service. Actually, I wish I could think of a fault so this paragraph would sound more realistic.

4. Service with a smile and a chat

It’s not hard to start chatting with basically any Balinese, but the staff here seemed particularly well-trained in getting to know their guests and I think having a four-year-old with us also makes for an easy ice-breaker.

Several of the staff got to know us by name, and one in particular would stop to talk with us every day, and he completely won my son over by bringing him a farewell lollipop. Thanks Ngurah!

5. Luxury

I tried to find fault with the accommodation, because if I only say that everything is marvellous, it sounds like one big ad. I was having trouble, so I asked my husband. He had trouble too but eventually offered that the toilet paper was a bit difficult to reach. (He was right.) It’s a new hotel and so everything else looks gorgeous.

But seriously – I especially liked the attention to detail with the housekeeping. A branded bookmark slipped into my bedside book; my son’s teddy bear sitting on his bed; and they came twice a day, replenishing bottles of water if we’d been drinking up.

Courtyard Seminyak new hotel room - Bali hotels

A few snapshots of my hotel room before the whirlwind that is my four-year-old son returned from the pool …

Oh! I’ve finally found a fault! I just looked at my pictures again and was reminded that the table inside our room only came with one chair. (This might be because they’d added a rollaway bed for my son – not sure.) In any case, this wasn’t altogether convenient when we had room service. Although most times we just took it out on the balcony. But still. Glad I thought of something!

6.  Not too far, not too close

If you’re going to stay in one of the touristy parts of Bali, it sounds like Seminyak is a good one to pick. (My trips into Legian and Kuta confirmed this opinion.) What’s more, the Courtyard Marriott is just slightly tucked off the main thoroughfare, and is a very short walk to the beach. (The somewhat grotty state of the beach is another story, but for a meal or a sunset stroll, it’s conveniently located, at the least.) There are no less than three convenience stores basically directly across the road, so when we wanted to do a spot of self-catering it was very easy.

To sum up the Courtyard Seminyak:

This hotel is the place for you if:

  • You want to spend at least part of your holiday relaxing poolside, because they do this very well.
  • You don’t mind being in a reasonably touristy part of Bali, but you don’t want to be in Kuta or Legian.
  • You enjoy that slightly spoilt feeling of being in a really nice room (I’m surprised how much I enjoyed that. I’m supposed to be a budget traveller!).
  • You want to be able to walk to lots of restaurants, or be a short taxi ride away.
  • You’re in pretty much any demographic – there were couples, families with kids, multi-generational families, and quite a mix of nationalities. We felt very comfortable being there with a young child, but I didn’t get the feeling that there were loud, screaming children running around all over the place. (Incidentally, there’s also a kids club there which I heard was good, but my son is not a fan of being on holidays without mum so we didn’t try it out.)

Start to finish, we had a great stay here, and I do heartily recommend it. Yell in the comments if you have any questions!

 

This is a sponsored post as the Courtyard Seminyak offered this stay to me and my family this month. But regular readers know I always say what I think.

Comments

  1. Gracias Amanda!!

    It is funny but I have been having a look at this hotel for days (before you mentioned your trip to Bali) and you just giving me all the information I needed to make my mind. Hopefully, we will be traveling in May. It would be our first time too, since in our time here we never have felt keen on visiting Bali. But we need holidays and there is not much money to expend.

    Any restaurant or place you would like to recommend?

    Claudia

    • Claudia – it’ll be a very relaxing, good getaway holiday, which is probably what you guys need, plus of course it’s close to fly from Perth and not expensive. I’ve got more posts coming but would recommend Waterbom Park for sure. There are heaps of restaurants – we tried Lucky Day and Bestest Cafe near the hotel and they were both good – it’s a very touristy area and so it’s easy to find both cheap and expensive places. The meals in the hotel aren’t super cheap but compared to Perth prices they still are very cheap!

  2. As a traveller, I used to struggle with lolling around a resort pool when I still hadn’t seen and experienced ALL OF THE THINGS! But since kids, the explorations have had to slow a little as they get too tired to go at mama pace, so I too have learned to embrace cocktails by the pool as part of my travel experience. Turns out it’s pretty easy 😉

    • Oh yes Aleney, so true! We were away for six days: for the first three I was very anxious about seeing ALL OF THE THINGS and for the second three, I had figured out that cocktails by the pool was, as you say, pretty easy 😉 Although I couldn’t do it every trip. (Although I hear there is a lot of swimming to be done in Iceland’s thermal pools …!)

  3. Hi Amanda!

    Great review. I think I may be tempted to return to Bali after 12 years! Resort/pool/cocktail type holidays were also never my thing before I had children, but with our two young kids they just work. As you know we’ve done them twice, to Thailand and Fiji. Both times though we managed to fit in a lot of sight seeing outside of the resort, but it was at a definite limited toddler pace 😉

    I just need to wait until the kids are old enough to climb Macchu Picchu with me!!!

    I’m interested to know if you got hassled a lot to buy stuff by the locals outside of the hotel. That was my number one major irritant about Bali and why I much preferred Thailand. We’ll chat soon xxx

    • Yep, resort/cocktail combo isn’t as bad as I thought and pool time sure does work with kids around!

      I didn’t feel like we got hassled much at all but I’m not sure if I’ve got quite a high tolerance of it! I feel like we were virtually never hassled but if I think about it more, there were lots of guys on bikes stopping to sell/promote, lots of horns, and a fair share of hassling walkers but I think I’m just oblivious and they were also way less persistent than in other countries. So to answer your question: I’m not sure!

  4. Hi Amanda enjoyed your post Bali not on the radar yet but I do like the Marriot chain. Have stayed with them in U.K.Amsterdam and Moscow

  5. Hi Amanda
    thank you for this article!
    You didn’t mention the beach and the sea… was it nice?
    Thank you!
    Silvie

    • You’re welcome, Silvie! In regard to the beach and the sea, though, I have to be honest, that all the beaches around Seminyak/Kuta/Legian didn’t really impress me. There was often a lot of rubbish there, and too many people! (But my hometown has miles and miles of perfect beaches with nobody on them, so I am especially fussy!)

  6. My lucky kids have already been to Bali with their Dad and his family, so they definitely want to take me! I’m a single mum to a 14 year old and 12 year old, who don’t like crowds, so this sounds like a good location – they like hanging out at one resort/hotel, but still taking in the sights and then getting back to the quiet of their room. And yes, plenty of pool relaxation is a must. For me, on my own, I like to have a place where we can all relax and I still get a break AND we all feel safe. The kids are at the stage now where they are happy to spend a lot of time in the pool with instant friends, and I can read a book by the pool and just join them when they want to (or when they are hungry). And then we can do trips out when they want. Would it suit older kids and a single parent do you think?

    • I think it’d be ideal for older kids and a single parent, and especially for not being too crowded, it’s a relatively small resort and not too crazy with lots of pools or anything. As much as I am in two minds about the whole Bali thing, this was definitely a great place to stay. And there were plenty of other families there – actually lots with kids around that age – so easy for them to find some mates.

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