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Inaya Putri Bali at the beach

Merusaka Nusa Dua is the perfect resort for travellers whose love of the finer things in life is larger than their wallet. However, with a dazzling array of room categories to choose from, it can be difficult to work out which accommodation option is right for you. It can also be tricky to decide what to do and where to eat, especially if you aren’t at the resort for long. Here are our hints and tips for a stay at Merusaka Nusa Dua, including advice on which room to book and the best dining options.

Merusaka Nusa Dua accommodation

Our family of two adults and a 12 year old gave a One Bedroom Ocean View Suite and a Merusaka Nusa Dua One Bedroom Villa a test drive when we were at the resort. We also looked at one of the Deluxe Pool Access Rooms with a view to future visits. We would definitely stay at this resort again. Our favourite room was the One Bedroom Ocean View Suite, for its stunning outlook and generous size. It had a very luxe feel, with soft colours and plush furnishing. Our family loved the huge couch in the lounge room which doubled as a bed for children.

Merusaka Nusa Dua
Merusaka Nusa Dua
One Bedroom Ocean View Suites are in this block at Merusaka Nusa Dua
One Bedroom Ocean View Suites are in this block
Indoor daybed which doubles as a kid's bed at Merusaka Nusa Dua
Indoor daybed which doubles as a kid’s bed

There was also a huge daybed area on the second balcony (yes, there are two!).  Our son loved this outdoor area and made it ‘his spot’, curling up there with a book or an iPad multiple times each day.  This gave his parents some extra space although we didn’t really need it as the suite was so large. Whether you are travelling as a couple or as a family, the Ocean View Suite room category is definitely our pick. This surprised us as it was the second room category – a villa with one bedroom – that we were most looking forward to before we arrived.

Outdoor balcony with double lounge at Merusaka Nusa Dua
Outdoor balcony with double lounge
One Bedroom Villa (viewed from the communal pool) at Merusaka Nusa Dua
One Bedroom Villa (viewed from the communal pool)
One Bedroom Villa at Merusaka Nusa Dua
One Bedroom Villa at Merusaka Nusa Dua

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One Bedroom Villas are designed for couples, and located in a private area of the resort. I wouldn’t recommend a One Bedroom Villa for families as there is no couch or room for a rollaway. You can book a Two Bedroom Villa but this costs more. The villas have a separate reception area and buggy service for getting around the resort. However, you can get to the main resort from the villas with ease once you know how. Just walk towards the ocean and take the stairs or the lift which brings you out next to the restaurants.

One Bedroom Villa entrance at Merusaka Nusa Dua
One Bedroom Villa entrance
Outdoor bathroom with deep tub in the one bedroom villa at Merusaka Nusa Dua
Outdoor bathroom with deep tub
Merusaka Nusa Dua gardens
Walk to this building then take the stairs or lift to the resort

We loved our One Bedroom Villa’s private outdoor shower and luxurious tub that was big enough for two. The chic outdoor area and beautiful plunge pool could be closed off from the main river-style pool by using the sliding wooden door. If you are travelling as a family and would like a room with pool access, or your budget simply won’t stretch to a villa, the Deluxe Pool Access Rooms have a balcony with direct access to a shared pool. If you are travelling with kids who love to swim, you can sit outside and keep an eye on them if you have one of these rooms.

Looking down at the Villas at Merusaka Nusa Dua
Looking down at the Villas

Time your Merusaka Nusa Dua breakfast

Merusaka Nusa Dua can be a popular hotel for tour groups which is great news for leisure travellers. While they are out exploring each day, you get the entire resort to yourself!  However breakfast can get very busy, especially between 7am and 8am before the groups head off on excursions. If you prefer a quieter breakfast, treat yourself to a sleep in and arrive at Gading Restaurant sometime after 8am.

It's the breakfast rush!
It’s the breakfast rush!
Made to order breakfast noodle at Gading Restaurant
Made to order breakfast noodles at Gading Restaurant

Merusaka Nusa Dua dining

Homaya Restaurant, which celebrates Indonesia’s diverse food culture, is the perfect spot for a special dinner. It is worth requesting one of the romantic tables for two on the terrace in advance. If the weather doesn’t play along, there is also inside seating. Look out for the monthly special which features one or two unique dishes from the surrounding archipelago. If you don’t see anything advertised at the restaurant, ask your waiter what is on offer. These meals are especially good and can be difficult to find at restaurants outside the resort.

Table for two at Homaya Restaurant
Table for two at Homaya Restaurant
Dinner at Homaya Restaurant
Dinner at Homaya Restaurant
Dinner at Homaya Restaurant
Dinner at Homaya Restaurant

Merusaka Nusa Dua activities

It isn’t well publicised, but Inaya Putri Bali has a terrific guest activities program. Even better, it is free!  You can find the schedule down at the pool desk. Choose from activities such as Yoga for Beginners, Water Exercise, or Pool Games. If you like to keep fit on holidays, these activities are a lot more fun than going to the gym.

Have a sunset drink

One of the nicest places to have a sunset drink is at the ‘beanbag bar’, an area filled with beanbag seats for two with a little table and umbrella at each spot. You can also order food from the Jajan by the Sea food carts and eat it here, accompanied by a cocktail or two.

Hang out at the 'beanbag bar'
Hang out at the ‘beanbag bar’

Soak up the sun by the beach

Grab a book or or a magazine and head down to the beach to read, relax and soak up the sun. The best time is in the late afternoon when you can people watch and take photos of the beach bathed in soft afternoon light.

Soak up the sun at the beach
Soak up the sun at the beach

Enjoy the Merusaka Nusa Dua pools

Merusaka Nusa Dua has three tiered pools, all of which overlook the beach. If you prefer a shaded area to relax and swim, the top pool is great as there is a roof over part of it. If that pool gets too popular, you can go to the pool at the very bottom. This pool is seldom used compared to the others for some reason but it is just as nice, with lovely ocean views. There are also two kids’ pools, one on either side of the pool towel cart. If one of the children’s pools is busy, head over to the other one with your kids. Both children’s pools have comfortable seats for parents watching their kids playing in the pool.

Shaded pool area
Shaded pool area
This pool at the bottom is seldom used
This pool at the bottom is seldom used
Have fun at the kiddie pool
Have fun at the kiddie pool

Merusaka Nusa Dua wedding

Merusaka Nusa Dua has an open air wedding chapel with stunning sunrise and sunset views. There is also a large grass area if you are planning a large wedding or you can have the ceremony down at the beach. If you are planning on getting married in Bali, it would be hard to go past this affordable resort.

Get married at the chapel
Get married at the chapel

Lunch or dinner with a difference

For a well-priced casual lunch or an early dinner, head down to the food carts along the beach in front of the resort. This pop-up restaurant is run by the hotel and known as Jajan by the Sea. Prices are reasonable with dishes such as a plate of chicken sate for AU$6 or nasi goreng for AU$6.50. Even if you aren’t staying at Merusaka Nusa Dua, it is worth strolling down here for a meal.

Disclosure: The writer was a guest of the hotel.

We’ve got plenty of hints and tips for travelling in Bali and also some great hotel and resort suggestions. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we’ve reviewed the Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort, Peppers Seminyak Resort, Apurva Kempinski Bali, Bulgari Resort Bali, Aria Villas Ubud, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, The Mulia Bali, Merusaka Nusa Dua, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Anantara Seminyak Bali, the InterContinental Bali for couples and those travelling with kids. We’ve compared the Singaraja and Club rooms at the InterContinental Bali and found the best luxury family hotels in Bali and the best honeymoon hotels in Bali.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.