I’ve been a bit critical of Nusa Dua in the past, mostly because, a few years ago, Matt and I spent a few nights at a resort and found ourselves feeling a bit bored and cut off from the rest of Bali. We felt like we could have been in a resort anywhere in the world and were missing out on experiencing Bali. So we didn’t stay in Nusa Dua again… until recently when we decided it was time to give it another shot, spending two nights at the Merusaka Nusa Dua.
Why stay at Merusaka Nusa Dua?
As I mentioned, my last visit to Nusa Dua left me feeling unsure why it was worth visiting. Nusa Dua is a big resort area and, once we were inside our last resort, we lost any sense of where we were, feeling cut off from the culture of Bali. Why bother visiting Bali if you find yourself in a place that could be anywhere in the world and offers no cultural experience?! Turns out, Merusaka Nusa Dua has done a fantastic job of capturing all the charm of Balinese culture and integrating it into the resort.
They’ve found a way to blend the luxury and exclusivity of Nusa Dua with the unique experiences you can only find in Bali. You’re spoilt with immaculately kept resort grounds and plush rooms, designed to meet your every need. Wander down to the beach and you can get cosy on a beanbag or hang at the beachfront bar, watching the sunset while eating Balinese BBQ and drinking ice-cold Bintang. Try fantastic traditional Indonesian food at the on-site restaurant, experience the famous Balinese hospitality, peruse on-site street vendors or catch some Balinese dancing… all within the resort!
If you want to experience Bali in a luxury setting without the hubbub and chaos of its famously busy streets, Merusaka Nusa Dua is the ideal escape. I also just want to take a moment to comment on the service because the staff at Merusaka Nusa Dua were exceptional, they were so friendly, welcoming, attentive and professional, and they really made the stay wonderful.
So, where the heck is it?
You’ll find Nusa Dua in the southern part of Bali, a gated enclave of five-star resorts and luxury beachfront accommodations tucked far away from the bustling streets of Bali. Merusaka Nusa Dua is one such resort, a sprawling resort that takes your breath away with the grandeur and size of its grounds and buildings. The resort is located right on the beach, offering absolute beachfront access as well as the famous Nusa Dua escapism.
How would I even get there?
Matt and I arrived in Bali at around 1 am exhausted after catching two flights and a long layover. Rather than tire ourselves out further we spent a few hours sleeping at an affordable hotel (see below) near Ngurah Rai International Airport before checking out and hopping into a Bluebird Taxi out to Nusa Dua. It takes around 25 minutes or less to get from the airport to Merusaka Nusa Dua, thanks to the new highway. It should cost between AUD$5-$10 (IDR50,000 – 100,000) to get there, plus AU$1 (IDR11,000) for the highway toll.
We booked our stay at Grand Sovereign Kuta Bali here
What are the rooms like?
We stayed in a Deluxe Pool Access room and fell in love with it as soon as we saw it. The room was a generous size with a big king-size bed to sprawl out on and sink into after a big day swimming, eating and exploring. The bathroom was also huge, with a spacious rain shower and a gorgeous big bathtub to soak in. Step through the lounging area onto the deck and you’re greeted with private pool access.
The pool really is the hero of the room, it’s absolutely beautiful, wrapping around the front of a small number of deluxe pool access rooms, giving you the feeling of having your very own pool. Surrounded by lush, tropical gardens with the bright blue sky overhead it’s easy to lose entire days swimming and making the most of it. It’s refreshing to have a room you don’t feel you need to get away from.
I loved waking up each morning and jumping straight in for a swim, being able to get in and out whenever I wanted without having to worry about ‘getting down to the pool,’ and taking all my gear with me. It was so easy and, honestly, just so relaxing. It really, truly felt like a holiday, which is rare for me because it usually still feels like work but even I couldn’t help but switch off and unwind! The room just oozes luxury, relaxation and all things tropical vacation.
Talk me through the food situation!
We made a point to eat one meal at each of the four on-site restaurants (not including the bar lounge) because one of the problems I faced on my last visit is the seclusion of Nusa Dua. Once you’re at your resort, you’re kind of ‘in’ your resort, if that makes sense. Of course, you can leave and go out whenever you want but it’s not really practical to do it a lot and, when you’re staying at a luxury resort, you kind of want to stick around and make the most of it. So it’s really important the resort offers great food options and I was very happy to discover Merusaka Nusa Dua do just that!
Homaya Restaurant serves fantastic Indonesian food, meaning you won’t miss out on experiencing all the wonderful flavours of Indonesia. (If it’s your first visit to Bali it’s a great opportunity to try all the local favourites without the worry of an upset tummy.) My favourite spot to eat was Gading Restaurant, which offers a concise menu of top-notch dishes from a small range of cuisines. Basically, they’ve chosen a few key dishes from a select few cuisines and done them really, really well. I loved the Japanese options!
You can also dine at Ja’jan Bistro, Ja’jan by the Sea and grab drinks and snacks from the bar lounge. While we were there Gading Restaurant put on a special BBQ dinner complete with a cultural performance. Wander down to the beach and stop in at the beachfront bar where you can sample cocktails, and cold drinks and get yummy food from the on-site restaurants delivered. Needless to say, the breakfast buffet each morning is quite spectacular.
But what is there to do?
I got the feeling you can do as much or as little as you please at Merusaka Nusa Dua. I was in the mood to relax, so Matt and I spent our time swimming, sleeping in late, watching sunsets on the beach and eating a lot of delicious food. It is the perfect place to spend a really relaxing week having one of those totally chilled out holidays where you just unwind. If that sounds a bit too slow-paced for you, no worries, it’s super easy to take a stroll on the beach and head up to the water blow or you can just jump in a taxi and explore more of Bali before coming back to the resort to relax again. Merusaka Nusa Dua provides a great base for whichever type of holiday you’re in the mood for.
Part of me was worried I’d find myself bored or feeling couped up but when the time came to leave the resort, I really didn’t want to go! Sitting on one of the big bean bags on the beach, watching the beautiful sunset, I gained a newfound love and appreciation for Nusa Dua. Merusaka Nusa Dua combines all the things I love about Bali, the lazy starts to the day, delicious food, gorgeous beaches, spectacular sunsets and incredible hospitality, with the luxury of a five-star resort.
It’s the perfect place to experience Bali for the first time if you’re a little nervous about visiting and unsure what to expect. You could easily spend a few nights or a week at Merusaka Nusa Dua and get a really good taste of what Bali is all about, hopefully inspiring you to see more of Indonesia. I’d also recommend it as a great spot for a couple in need of a week of total luxury and bliss, just an escape from life and a completely relaxing holiday to recharge the senses.
The deluxe pool access rooms are a must, but if you’re looking to kick things up a notch and indulge in a super fancy getaway, the one and two-bedroom villas are pretty spectacular and would be perfect for a special occasion getaway like a honeymoon. I’d also recommend looking into the half and full-board packages, if you really want to bliss out and take things easy.
We LOVED our time at Merusaka Nusa Dua, it totally changed my opinion of Nusa Dua and gave me a newfound love and appreciation for the area. I really feel the resort has done a fantastic job of capturing the heart and spirit of Bali, combining it with the luxury of a resort while still maintaining the personal touch and excellent service. We loved our stay and it’s the kind of place I would recommend to my family and friends.
Book your stay at Merusaka Nusa Dua here
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