Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites review

A Review of the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites, Bali

My Review: Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites, Bali

They say you should never travel back.  Back to a place that exceeded your expectations.  The place that left you with such wonderful memories.  Memories that you have raved and raved on to anyone who would listen.  They say you should never go back because surely next time it will disappoint.

review: Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

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In 2015 we took a family holiday to Bali and whilst this holiday didn’t go quite to plan it was the then fantastic Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites that ensured we had the most wonderful family holiday.  Once we returned I spent a year raving about how fantastic this Bali resort was for the family traveller.

Obviously, word got around because as we check into the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites for this years Bali family vacation one of my son Lewis’s classmates is also checking in and we discover another classmate the next day – neither of which we knew were coming to Bali, let alone to the same place.

Had they come to, expecting to be wooed by an exceptional hotel?

Our Experience at Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

Booking

As we had stayed at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites before we became privy to special packages only offered to those who have previously stayed at the resort.  I book our accommodation at a special rate that includes breakfast and the 14-night stay benefits:

  • Free Wifi
  • Buy 1 cocktails receive 1 free
  • Buy 1 pizza receive 1 free
  • 1 free coffee and cake for 2 people
  • Complimentary 2 Bali Moon Cocktails
  • 1 free laundry bag
  • 250 000 IDR on checkout for food and beverage
  • One way airport transfer (departure)

I book flights directly through the Garuda Airlines website.  We will arrive into Bali at 11:25am and depart Bali at 7:10pm.  As we have an evening flight, I email the resort and request a late checkout.  We are offered two options a flat rate of $80USD or the late checkout package for $95USD (I choose this one) which includes:

  • Check out extended to 6pm
  • One time Balinese massage for 2 people
  • 4 pizzas and 4 Cokes (used at same time)
  • 1 free laundry bag
  • 4 ice creams (used at same time)
  • 1 bucket of Bin Tang beer

This is all organised with a minimum of fuss.

Arrival

It is midday as we walk into the bustling small open air lobby.  The atmosphere is jolly, yet there is an underlying current of frantic confusion as some are checking out, others are checking in and some are just waiting.  We make our way to the head of the queue, perch on the little orange ottomans as the guest services agent goes through our paperwork.  We are the lucky ones, even though our check-in process slows to a snail pace, the staff is on the phone pushing for a clean room, we are given a room key.  Others are told to come back in two hours once the rooms have been cleaned.

The 2 Bedroom Balcony Suite

We stay in the 120 sqm two bedroom balcony suite just like last year and it is one of the reasons for our return.  So much versatile space.

The living area is massive with its white gloss tiles, a dark wooden desk in one corner, large brown rattan couches to spread out on as you watch cable TV or a DVD.  Giving you and the kids plenty of room to play.

A review of the two bedroom suite at Sanur Paradise Plaza suites

The kids also get their own cosy bedroom with twin beds and writing desk plus a bathroom with a bath.

A review of the 2 bedroom suite at sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

Us parents have a massive bedroom with writing desk, TV, sitting area, and ensuite bathroom with standing shower.  A perfect retreat to escape the kids and the cable channel Disney Channel.

Though if I really need to escape I can pop onto the balcony overlooking the pool (though I tend to use it more just to hang out the bathers) that is located just through the glass sliding doors off the living area.

A review of the 2 bedroom balcony suite at Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites Bali

At the other end of the living space is the kitchen and dining.  The kitchen is fully equipped (well almost) with water cooler/hot water dispenser, tea/coffee/salt/pepper sachets, full-sized fridge, stove, oven, plates, cups, cutlery and some cooking utensils.

This time our kitchen is lacking a washing sponge (which I spend a day on the phone to get – as the cleaners DO NOT wash dishes).  I also find it odd that there are no tongs or spatula to use with the frypan.  Chatting to other guests, I discover we are not the only room missing these utensils.  Too bad if you wanted to save money by not including the buffet breakfast, hoping to cook your own eggs.

A review of the two bedroom balcony suite at sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

Food at the Terrace Restaurant

We on the other hand relish buffet breakfasts.  This is another reason for our return to the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites.  The buffet breakfast at the Terrace Restaurant whilst not huge is good.  With a choice of fresh fruits, cereals, cold cuts, bread, bakery items and hot foods including baked beans, tomatoes, potatoes, Asian dish, bacon and eggs made to order – from a queue that is only ever one to two people deep.  As many of the hotel guests stay at least a week I like that the buffet menu changes daily.

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The Terrace Restaurant also provides the food for poolside dining and room service.  Last year we found the food to be not only good value but also good quality.  This year however, it is another story.  The prices have not changed with most dishes ranging from 100 000 – 150 000 IDR but the quality of most of the dishes are poor to say the least.

During our first poolside lunch my husband Steve orders a toasted chicken sandwich, he takes a bite that has no chicken.  Opening the sandwich there are two thin slices not even covering the bread.  My club sandwich (which I had several times last year) is in a similar state.  That night we try room service the pizzas are a little biscuity and the Nasi Goreng bland.

A review of the terraces Restaurant at Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

Room Service

The only poolside dining we find reasonable is the lunch grill special.  A choice of burger or hot dog with chips and a drink.  Needless to say, we quickly alter our routine.  Whilst out exploring in the morning we include lunch at one of the many Sanur restaurants before returning to the pool for the afternoon.

Poolside in the afternoons includes Happy Hour with a DJ and half price drinks, it is very popular.  We also make use of our complimentary cocktails, which I happily find there is a selection to choose from.  What I am not happy about is having to find a staff member who understands the concept of complimentary – two drinks – not buy one get one free.

The Pools

Lucky the pools make up for the poor quality of the food and beverage staff.

There are two pools at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites.  The main pool is surrounded by lay lounges.  In one corner there is a toddler pool about 40cm deep with a basketball hoop, another basketball hoop is located within a deeper part of the pool.  To the other side of the pool is a volleyball net that is in constant use and everyone is always welcome to join in a game.  In the middle of the pool, it is very deep.  So deep that the kids have splash competitions followed by the parent competition.

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Though, our favourite swimming pool is the waterslide pool.  At one end there are shaded toddler and baby pools and the other is the 30m two storey high emerald-green water slide.  Lewis and all the other kids love using their own inflatable rings to get even faster traction down the waterslide.  I love that this water slide is available for both adults and kids alike.

A review of the pools at Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

Camp Splash Kids Club

A bit like the Camp Splash kids Club located adjacent to the water slide that has table tennis, giant chess, PlayStation 3, a soccer table and pool tables that both the kids and the adults can use.

This is not your typical kids’ club.  It is open for everyone’s use and as such it does not have a typical sign in and out of the kids club, therefore you must stay on the resort grounds or organise a babysitter.  This year Lewis is quite comfortable with walking down to the kids club on his own to play.  I just pop down periodically to check on him and if he wants to swim he come’s to get me.

If we are by the pool the Camp Splash Kids Club attendants round-up the kids for the scheduled activities throughout the day.  Every hour there is a different activity from a selection of craft in the mornings to more poolside ventures in the afternoons including learn to snorkel, splash competition, water volleyball games, marble diving, basketball hoop or land based activities such as soccer games, basketball, sack races and eating competitions.  Lewis enjoys them all.

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The Spa

Lewis also enjoys an experience at The Spa.  Making use of our day spa voucher I book a couple of days in advance – as it get’s very busy at The Spa.

Entering TheSpa Lewis and I are greeted and shown to the bamboo reception area.  Sipping our ice tea from olive-green leaf cups we choose which scented oil we would like for our massage.

After much deliberation, we make our choices, are shown to a massage room with twin burgundy beds and a large beige soaking tub (which we won’t be using), we are provided with disposable underwear and left to change.

Once we are settled discreetly under our burgundy sarongs our massage therapists begin.  My therapist’s coarse hands push, glide, and needle my tense muscles.  Both massagers check in with us as to our liking of the pressure.  Lewis’s therapist must have been exceptional as he falls asleep.  I enjoy mine – but it isn’t the best massage I’ve had.  However, with our massage room overlooking the tropical gardens with gentle music playing it is very relaxing.

A review of The Spa at Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

Resort Extras

At the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites there are a few extra services in and around the resort

Free shuttle bus

A free shuttle bus runs an hourly loop from the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel, to the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites, to Hardy’s supermarket, to Sanur Beach at the Sands Beach Club and back again.

Beach Access

As the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites and the Hotel are located a seven-minute walk to the beach complimentary use of lounges at the Sands Beach Club is provided for all in-house guests.  Just note this is a privately run club and therefore you must pay cash for food and beverages.

Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel

All guests of the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites can use the facilities at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel and vice versa.  If you are looking for a gym a better option might be to use the one at the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites has poorly maintained and dangerous equipment – so much so it’s just not worth discussing.

On-site mini mart

The Hardys supermarket is a five-minute walk down the back lane.  If you want something quick then there is an on-site mini-mart, a little bit more expensive but handy.

Coin operated launderette

Down in the carpark, there is a coin operated launderette with ironing boards.  I didn’t actually use it, instead choosing to go down the back lane and pay by the kilo for washing.  Which is OK, but the water in Bali does mark some of our clothes.

Tour bookings

A tip we learned from last year is to price up some tours with the resort’s tour bookings.  Some tours you will receive a discount through the resort.

Last year we saved 10% for the Bali Safari and Marine Park.

This year we saved 10% on Waterbom Park tickets.

Departure

Whilst much of the resort is still good, what has really left a sour taste in my mouth is departure day.

I went to reception to organise our airport transfer for 4pm.  The reception clerk asked, “Can you check out at 3pm to allow plenty of time, you can still use the resort facilities.”  Seriously I have paid an extra $95 to keep my room for fours and now they want me to reduce that to three hours.  I didn’t change my plans.

However at midday when I return to our room I am locked out.  It takes three trips down to a busy reception desk to get the room key reactivated correctly.

At 4pm, we make our way down to reception.  Last year when we checked out all our inclusions had been accurately included.

This year the quality of the service just isn’t the same.  I look over the bill (struggling to read without my glasses) I advise the reception clerk that “the laundry service is included in our 14-night stay.”  She replies, “No it’s not.”  I then I have to retrieve my paperwork to show her the inclusion.  It is such a kerfuffle that I forget to check the 250 000IDR food and beverage rebate.  Only once I have returned home, I notice it is not included.  Whilst, not a huge amount of money it is more the principle.  I shouldn’t be having to fight for rebates that have been part of a special package that has been available on the hotel’s website for well over 12 months.

As such it has dampened my whole memory of the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites and lets’ just say I’m not raving about it anymore.

Top Trip Tips

  • Website

Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

  • Location

  • Currency Conversion

The currency used in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)

10 000IDR = $0.75USD
10 000IDR = $0.97AUD

Review: Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites

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Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you have a better holiday with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel tips and destination inspirations.

24 Responses to “A Review of the Sanur Paradise Plaza Suites, Bali

  • It’s such a shame that your experience was soured. Where will you go next time? we are considering Sanur but this hotel was not on our list! (before your blog… now it is definately not!!!)

  • I am desperate to go back to a hote I went to with my hubby but my greatest fear is having the memory ruined if it isn’t as good #fearlessfamtrav

    • I suppose the trick could be going with an open mind and not allowing those previous memories to cloud your new ones. This could be made easier if last time you visited as a couple and this time you go back as a family. Two entirely different scenarios.

  • Service is everything

    We are going to Bali next year and can’t wait

    Thanks for joining #fearlessfamtrav hope to see you again next month

  • I’m sorry that the experience wasn’t the same the second time around. It just goes to show how important service is, and all those little details! #MondayEscapes

    • So true Lauren. Service can make or break a business, I think many businesses, not just hospitality forget this as they too concerned about getting the initial payment, forgetting about repeat business and word of mouth.

  • I’m glad you still had a good holiday regardless, it is always a shame when you don’t get the same experience twice. Thanks for linking up to #MondayEscapes

  • Hopefully they’ll take note and turn things back around again. It’s a shame the hoteliers seem to be letting themselves down. It seems it has a lot going for it. #MondayEscapes

    • It is a shame, Tania. I could see the hotel were making improvements to some of the aesthetics of the resort. I think they had forgotten they also need to invest in training. The staff that were still there from the previous year were still all excellent and remembered us from the previous year. However, many more staff were newer and less skilled.

  • Ah that is such a shame, food is a big part of a holiday isn’t it? Its a good job there were some positive for you. Thanks so much for linking up #mondayescapes

    • On the plus side Sarah, it just made us try even more of the local restaurants our and about within the town. Most of that food was all very good.

  • I know it is sad but free wifi that actually works is always a high factor inn booking holidays with us, whether it is me trying to work on holiday or the kids keeping up with their social media it has become part of life. Looks like here ticks that one off leaving you to enjoy all the wonderful facilities that tempt kids off the wifi! #MondayEscapes

    • I hear on the need for free WiFi Fiona, I don’t understand hotels that don’t offer it these days. Fortunately, this resort did offer free WiFi (2 devices per bedroom) the speed was OK for free hotel WiFi.

      • That sounds fair, no I don’t understand not having wifi or charging for it, I know it costs us thousands to have a good system in place at Coombe Mill for our holiday guests but I wouldn’t dream of charging for it, it is just part of the holiday now.

        • Just as you do Fiona, I think that in this day and age accommodation places should just accept that supplying WiFi is part of their supply costs. Just like back in the 1970’s including a colour TV in hotel room became commonplace later followed by cable TV. Now customers expect the Internet – it is part of our everyday life in the 21st century.

  • It’s too bad they couldn’t live up to their own established quality level from your previous trip. Thanks for the excellent review! Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration, see you next week!

    • It was a bit of a shame Jim. Yet due to the main facilities being good and they were what we wanted we still had a nice holiday.

  • It looks like a fun resort for kids regardless…

    • It is a great resort for kids Lydia and that was why we returned again. As we have an only child if we can find a place that we know he will be well entertained then we will al have a great holiday.

  • It is sad when certain places start to be sloppy after they have been good for a long time. Seems like this hotel started on the right path and has lost a little bit of shine as it gets more popular. Businesses do not realize they loose clients in this way. Recently, I have had to cancel certain services after being more than 10 years with companies. Would not keep paying to companies that do not appreciate clients. #wkendtravelinspiration

    • I totally agree Ruth, it is not just hotels that loose loyal customers if they become sloppy. I am currently in the process of severing contracts with a couple of companies I have been using for years due to the poor customer service.

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