Upon entering Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort,
I was escorted by a helpful front desk and greeted by their management in French
- it was only then I realized Sofitel originated from France.
They were not surprised, and explained that it can difficult to tell
owing to how its resorts and hotels around the world often blend in local elements into their designs.
The guided private tour began, predictably, in the main lobby.
We were instantly surrounded by distinctive décor which incorporated French influence with local Balinese artwork
- the wooden installation that occupied the central spot representing the circle of life is a meaningful and stunning piece that sets the tone for the resort; whereas the staircases are ones that you’d expect in a Parisian museum.
Staying consistent with the wooden tones and making good use of natural light,
the interiors of the resort give off a modern and contemporary impression overall yet
staying true to the local culture.
From there, we walked through the corridors and paths
(some were in a circular arrangement echoing the lobby’s structure),
leading to the gray and cream toned exteriors of the villas and suites that complement well with the main pool.
As a design fanatic myself, these details are very much appreciated.
Earrings - Venna.co / Top - Aanya / Skirt - American Apparel
Speaking of the main pool, it is connected to each of the ground floor rooms (as shown in second pic below)
- that means you can basically swim out from the room, get some sun, and
reach your room again without the trouble of walking around and leaving a trail in hotel floors.
I mean, why don't all resorts do that actually?
The poolside L'OH Bar was no doubt my absolute favourite spot to chill with rich ice-cream milkshakes,
and this picture is, pretty self-explanatory of the reason why.
I was famished by the time we reached Kwee Zeen,
the resort’s pan-Asian restaurant catering 24-7 helmed by Executive Chef Daine Gilbert.
For appetizers, we had the charred scallop with saffron chips, beurre blanc, micro herbs and roes;
as well as the smoked salmon with avocado and Indonesian vinegarette.
Next we ordered the Thai beef salad and Ayam Bakar Wong Cilik,
the latter being a rice dish with grilled aromatic chicken, fried bean cake, sambai terasi, and sambai ijo.
The salad was perfect for the weather – a sweet and spicy dressing mixed into thin rice noodles,
topped with marinated roast beef, freshly sliced red pepper, tomatoes, and corianders.
For drinks, I tried their take on the Balinese coffee,
which has a certain earthiness, nuttiness, and a mellow hint of chocolate that was well suited to my personal taste.
We also ordered tropical coolers
(pomegranate, passion syrup, lychee, black sesame seed & nata de coco coconut) to beat the heat.
Their menu does not only include authentic Indonesian and oriental dishes
(that were, by the way, very flavorful),
there is also a "De-light" menu for the health-conscious.
This was a huge relief since it is often difficult to stick to clean eating plans while travelling (and especially tasting).
"De-light" was developed by Quiberon Thaiassa – an expert in nutrition and wellness
located on France’s invigorating Atlantic coast, and on that account,
the menu allows us to savor exquisite, nutritionally-balanced dishes that feature fresh, seasonal ingredients.
The spinach and lentil soup was very hearty,
and the Pad Thai had all of the taste but was less oily than what you’d usually find;
both portions were just right.
Of course, you can also find desserts on their menu, and trust me,
I really wanted to order the lemon tart and hazelnut mousse if not for all the above dishes we tried and finished.
(Disclaimer: definitely not one of those who just eat one or two bites to taste - huge supporter of no food-waste!)
But don't they say the secret to happiness is having something to look forward to?
So we've decided to leave the tough work of choosing from all the tempting options till the next visit.
Sofitel's team of hospitable staff made sure we were attended at all times,
and our "Ambassador" (as fondly referred to by the French luxury hotel brand),
Ribka, was very friendly and informative.
Overall, the place made us felt welcomed and at ease
- and what is a meal without leaving you satisfied and feeling good?
Stay tuned x Part 2 of the Sofitel experience will be up soon!