Planning a trip to Bali means planning a trip to paradise, but you’ll also need to be prepared for the slightly dirty Kuta Beach its dirty tourists. To be honest, it depends what you’re looking for out of your Balinese vacation. If you want to shop, party and lounge at the hotel pool – then the Kuta area is the perfect place for you. If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience away from the dirty tourist shops and the hawkers who endlessly hassle you, then I would suggest finding a different area of Bali altogether.
If you have decided Kuta Beach is the area for you, then the Rama Beach Resort is a comfortable place to stay. For the price, the hotel is fantastic and the service is outstanding. However, the cleanliness and condition of your room depends on how much you’re willing to pay. We secured an online rate of about $60.00 US/night.
It was approaching the midnight hour when our plane touched down, which at any other time would be worrisome. However, away from the crush of cabs and drivers yelling at passengers leaving the airport, we found two representatives from Rama Beach exactly where they said they would be – near the Baskin Robins. The inclusive one free airport transfer is a definite plus. The two men lugged our heavy bags all the way to the van and later into the hotel and all the way to our room. Rama beach is a very short drive from the airport, and with little luggage and a map, you could most likely walk it in a matter of twenty or so minutes, but the one free transfer is easy and if you opt to use the hotel service back to the airport, it’s a nominal fee.
Rama Beach boasts a quaint, open-air lobby with a small seating area of made of slightly older and worn Balinese furniture. Behind the small front desk is is a set of beautifully carved wood doors and stone bowls filled with floating, fresh flowers make for a nice, traditional touch.
Possibly because we secured a cheap online rate, we were placed in a room located in one of the older buildings to the side of the resort near the front lobby. While the room and bedding were clean, everything inside was rather old and worn. The mat beneath the bed was dirty and slightly torn, the bathroom was old with mold around the caulking in places and the shower curtain was too long for the tub forcing you to step on the orange mold along the bottom while showering. Still, for the price we paid we were pleased as outside of the room, the resort and its facilities are great including free wifi and breakfast.
In fact, to allow us more time to explore some of the nicer areas of Bali (outside of Kuta Beach), we decided to extend our stay by a day. Rama Beach tried to raise the room rate on us and when we told them it was the same online and we would simply book another night through their website – a phone call was made and moments later, the price online had changed. As we packed our bags to head out, the front desk called to inform us that we could in fact stay for only a few dollars more than the original price, but we would have to switch rooms. Frustrated and tired, we allowed one of the staff to lug our bags to a building at the back of the complex. It was like night and day.
Although we were told the room was the same category as the one we were in previously, it was vastly different and immensely better. The furniture was newer, the bathroom was updated and overall, the room was much nicer and cleaner. We were extremely impressed, again considering the price. There are higher priced bungalow rooms, which from the outside looking in, look fantastic.
The resort itself, outside of the original older rooms, is wonderful. There is a large, beautiful pool in the center of the complex with several pillars of waterfalls. A great pool bar is nearby and there are wonderful stone pool showers and bathrooms. Lining the pool you’ll find very nice wooden lounge chairs with exceptionally soft padding, and a poolside stand hands out fresh towels daily. It would be easy to spend entire days by the Rama Beach pool.
Rama Beach is home to a nice, open-air restaurant with live music some nights. The food is reasonably priced, although you can find meals much cheaper outside of the hotel, and it tastes great. If you want your meal in your room, you can call the front desk and they’ll bring you a menu and your order will be delivered from the main restaurant.
Each morning, the inclusive breakfast buffet is also served at the restaurant. For a “free” buffet, it’s great! There are several hot dishes served including fried rice, fish, portage, pancakes, sausage and freshly made omelets in addition to an array of fruits and pastries. We were actually shocked by the great selection.
The location could be better, but we actually liked that it was slightly out of the main tourist areas. The hotel does offer a free shuttle that will take you to a nearby mall, but honestly – you don’t need it. You can walk almost everywhere you want to go. The beach is about three minutes away, but it’s not the main tourist area where you’ll most likely want to be. To reach that portion of the beach, it’s about a ten to fifteen minute walk.
Overall, we’d recommend Rama Beach Resort to some of our friends – not all. It’s a great place to stay if you’re looking to keep costs down, but still find a slice of luxury in paradise.