>  Destinations   >  Indonesia   >  The Apurva Kempinski Bali review

From being warmly welcomed as we got out of the taxi to our escorted walk to reception, everything about the Apurva Kempinski Bali is designed to dazzle you – and it works. The grand foyer isn’t just impressive in size but also in its sheer opulence, with towering hand carved Gebyok partitions and a marble floor that seems to glow and move with you. If the foyer’s Javanese artistry doesn’t impress you, then the view will.

Apurva Kempinski Bali Reception Hall
Apurva Kempinski Bali reception hall

Located on a hillside in Nusa Dua, the Kempinski hotel in Bali is layered like the rice paddies of Ubud to offer the best views out to the beach and Indian Ocean. After taking in the immense foyer area, we were approached by a Kempinski Red Lady, one of the signature staff at all of the Kempinski hotels. The Red Ladies are on hand to assist and guide guests to any facilities or venues at the hotel, and generally just make them feel comfortable and welcome.

Our Red Lady escorted us to the Club Lounge, making conversation and also making us feel like special guests as she pointed out the hotel’s facilities and services. We noticed this happened to every guest when they arrived, either as they were escorted to the main check-in area or, like us, when they were checking into the Club Lounge. It got our stay off to a great start and gave us a chance to ask some questions about the hotel.

Apurva Kempinski Bali Club Lounge
Apurva Kempinski Bali club lounge

Just when we thought we were already impressed enough, the Kempinski Bali raised the bar again. As we were booked into a suite, we had access to the exclusive Club Lounge area which comes complete with several pools, a dedicated Club Lounge restaurant, and indoor and outdoor bars and lounges. The lounge is immense and housed over two floors with views of the resort, beach and ocean that we never got tired of looking at. There was even a separate spa pool (similar to those we had used in Europe, except with cold water) that was complimentary for Club Lounge guests to use.

Apurva Kempinski Bali Club Lounge Pool
Apurva Kempinski Bali club lounge pool

Check-in was seamless and efficient, but our room wasn’t available due to our early morning arrival before the 3pm check in time. However, this is where having lounge access is worth every cent as within moments we were offered a delicious late breakfast, coffee, water and use of all the facilities while we waited. Not missing a beat, we were soon laying by the pool, coffee and a sweet pastry in hand, and ready to dive into the pool. Do pack your swimmers in a beach bag like we did in case your room isn’t ready so you can start enjoying all the impressive facilities at this hotel immediately.

Apurva Kempinski Bali lobby view
Apurva Kempinski Bali view from the lobby

The hotel is vast with nearly 500 rooms, suites and villas, with 60 per cent of these featuring their own private plunge pool. Room and suite choices vary when it comes to the size, view and price, with almost every budget catered for. There are also eight Kempinski Bali restaurants to choose from. The hotel’s facilities are also impressive with a large signature spa, huge pool complex including a fabulous waterpark for children, kids club, gym area, beach club and the Apurva Kempinski Bali chapel for those wanting to get married at the hotel.

Apurva Kempinski Bali with kids
Apurva Kempinski Kids Club

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Apurva Kempinski Bali Pool
Apurva Kempinski Bali main pool

Our Ocean Front Prestige Suite was ready just before 3pm and we were impressed with its immense size – coming in at a mighty 200sqm – the king size bed, spacious bathroom, outdoor patio and to-die-for plunge pool. Our suite was located on the club lounge level for easy access and made for an indulgent stay. While this can’t be guaranteed, it’s worth requesting a room on the club lounge level for extra convenience.

Apurva Kempinski Bali Prestige Ocean Suite Living Room
Apurva Prestige Ocean Suite living room

After more swimming in our plunge pool, we dressed in smart casual wear for evening drinks and canapes in the club lounge. Club lounge inclusions are generous with a large buffet breakfast and an additional a la carte menu, afternoon tea, all-day non-alcoholic drinks and an evening cocktail hour with free alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and upmarket canapes. Waitstaff circulate with canapes occasionally but if you are hungry or want more, it’s can head upstairs to the club lounge and help yourself from the canape buffet.

Apurva Kempinski Bali Club Lounge Afternoon Tea
Apurva Kempinski Bali Club Lounge Afternoon Tea

You can sit anywhere in the club but we chose to kick off our shoes and relax on one of the luxe sunbeds to watch the sunset. This also allowed us to enjoy some romantic time together, away from the many young children at the lounge. The kids didn’t bother us during the day but the sheer number of them wasn’t so great during the cocktail hour. We found ourselves wondering if a child-free period in the club during this time, as we experienced at the InterContinental Bali, would be a good idea.

Apurva Kempinski Bali Pool
Apurva Kempinski Bali Pool

If you are looking for some romantic time without the pitter patter of little feet, Koral Restaurant offers an adults-only dinner seating in its aquatic dining room surrounded by an aquarium. Other Kempinski Bali restaurant options include Izakaya By Oku (Japanese), Bai Yun (Chinese hot pot) and the Reef Beach Club for seaside dining. Prebook dining before you arrive at the Kempinski in Bali as popular venues like Koral book out. Koral doesn’t let guests go inside just to take a look around so if you want to see this restaurant, you’ll need to book a table. We dined at the Reef Beach Club for lunch and loved the food and the view. We also ate at Bai Yun and Izakaya, with the Chinese winning out for its attentive service and high-end hot pot experience.

Apurva Kempinski Koral Restaurant
Apurva Kempinski Koral Restaurant
Bai Yun at the Apurva Kempinski Bali
Our Chinese hot pot dinner at Bai Yun

Some Bali hotel spas aren’t that great but indulging at the Apurva Kempinski Bali spa is a must-do. There are multiple spa studios, complete with plunge pools and bathing areas, and an extensive list of treatments, plus immersive half-day and full-day treatment options. Entering the spa area is like entering a temple with flowing water, soft lighting and a beautiful signature scent in the air. We had a one hour couple’s Balinese massage which was over way too quickly. Next time, we will book one of the longer treatments.

Apurva Kempinski Bali SPA
View from our spa suite at the Apurva Kempinski Bali Spa

We loved our stay at the Apurva Kempinski Bali but didn’t relax as much as we were expecting due to the many things on offer at this impressive hotel. On reflection, you really need to book a minimum of three nights to make the most of the Apurva Kempinski and next time we’ll do exactly that. Definitely book a room with club lounge access, even if it costs a little more than you would normally spend, as the Apurva Kempinski Bali has the best hotel club lounge in Bali. 

Disclosure: The writers stayed as guests of the Apurva Kempinski Bali and would not hesitate to return to this beautiful Bali 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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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.