Friday, 7 November 2014

Maca Villas & Spa Bali Review

I must admit that I do not really do accommodation reviews often, maybe a mention of where I stayed and a brief mention of my thoughts of it. However, when a time comes that I have stayed in a place that is worthy of a fully dedicated review post, I will do so. Maca Villas & Spa is one of them.

It was my second trip to Bali, whilst it was my boyfriend's first time. In the past, I had stayed at a 3-star hotel in Kuta and thought that it was already good for the comfort rating, so I wanted to experience what a 4 1/2-star accommodation could offer in Bali. 

As a travel agent, I had gazillions of properties to choose from, in the popular suburbs of Bali - it took a very, very long time deciding and narrowing it down to a few options. Initially, due to budget constraints, we were looking at just a nice 4-star resort in Nusa Dua, Ubud or Seminyak. However, digging around a little bit and asking for a further reduction on the rates (perks of being a travel agent!), I decided that I liked the look of Maca Villas, plus with the obtained discount, it fitted the bill - who doesn't want a private pool villa? Plus, not to mention, the description on their website sold it to us:

"We proudly present a deeply personal brand of luxury that is ultimately experienced from the comfort of your very own private villa for two. The property is the perfect base from which to enjoy island life and spend leisure-filled days doing exactly as you please.

Awaken to your preferred choice of breakfast served by your unobtrusive butler. Dip your toes into the refreshing waters of your private pool. Lounge the morning away on your outdoor sun bed. Feel the gentle cares of the afternoon breeze as it drifts away slowly over your villa. Relax with a nurturing spa ritual. Indulge in social cocktails at the bar followed by an evening of wining and dining at our celebrated restaurant venue.

Time is all your own at Maca Villas & Spa Bali."

Upon arrival at Maca Villas, we were courteously greeted by the security guard/shuttle driver/greeter. The lobby had an interesting layout as it was technically open-air, with no doors, but tastefully designed. 

Not my photo of the entrance/reception. Shared from Tripadvisor

The receptionist had a massive friendly grin on his face and asked for our names. Here's an advice: Don't freak out when they ask for your photo identification, and they take a photo of it. It is part of their legal requirements to do so. I guess they take a photo as the reception did not have a back office to accommodate a photocopier. 

We were also welcomed with a refreshing drink (which tasted like a non-alcoholic mojito) and I was presented with a small bouquet of frangipani flowers. 

Then we were led to our villa: the pathway was littered with pebble stones and tiles in-between, with a fountain/small pond along the way. They definitely had the whole lush tropical setting going on, which was nice.
Lush tropical forest pathway

Oh, and I forgot to mention that they had another guy carrying our luggage to our villa (we only had one-checked luggage, thankfully for him!).

We stayed in a one-bedroom pool villa (we stayed in Villa No. 15). There is a one-bedroom deluxe pool villa, but the only difference is the shaded daybed almost literally on the pool. To be frank, I preferred ours, just simply cause there's a wall "waterfall, which provides the perfect trickling sound that boosts the whole tropical getaway experience (it does turn off at night, and some points throughout the day).

When the receptionist opened the massive wooden front entrance door, we were greeted with this site:

This photo does not do it justice!

I was quite ecstatic - I ended jumping around like a little girl.

 Yes, if you haven't noticed: The bedroom faces the pool and those doors do open! 

 I do apologize. I could not resist the welcome drink and managed to stop myself from finishing this to take a photo with my mini frangipani bouquet :)

Living space

 Bedroom: King bed :) Alright, the bedroom doesn't look as impressive, but it serves its purpose well in giving you a good night's sleep. Those pillows are to die for.

View from the bedroom

The bathtub! Big enough to fit a couple for those romantic soaks. Or, alternatively, by yourself. Yes, that's a small TV there too. Bath salts provided.

 Gotta love the rain-like shower-head from the ceiling. It is going to be a must-have in my own house one day.

 Photo of the sink area, plus a bonus included coincidental selfie of me. 

James chilling with a beer and getting relaxed

Photos aside, I will get on to what is provided in the villa rate. First of all, I must rave about the amenities provided - I am like an amenities nazi and will judge a place based on what is provided and the frequency of amenities replenishment.

The first place I always scope out is the bathroom. This is what I found:
  • 2 x Toothbrush & Toothpaste pack: Stock standard disposable toothbrush, but commendable toothpaste size - it's not one of those tiny, one-time-use sized ones (twice if you're lucky). This was even replenished the following day (great to take home for future travel, but I didn't)
  • 1 x Comb: Not a great comb. Sharp edges.
  • 1 x Cotton buds kit
  • 1 x Shaving kit: Provided the disposable Gillette razors, which is great, but comes with the tiny, one-time-use only shaving cream tube. Gentlemen, I recommend bringing your own or purchasing it whilst you're there. 
  • 2 x Sewing kit
  • 2 x Shower Caps 
  • 2 x Bottled Water (glass bottle which comes with caps; yes they are free)
  • 2 x Mini Soap Bars
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, & Lotion

The items mentioned above are replenished when needed aka like the next time the room gets serviced. Otherwise, here are the other basic amenities provided:
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath Salts
  • Bottle Opener (for the bottled water)
  • TV
  • Wall Phone: Yes, and it was conveniently located right next to the loo. I laughed a bit. You've got to be pretty desperate to call whilst doing your business.

In the bedroom:
  • 2 x Pairs of Flip-flops/Thongs: When the receptionist was giving us the initial brief tour of the villa, he presented us with a brand new pair of flip-flops/thongs each - obviously do not expect a pair Havaianas' quality - to wear around the villa, if we needed (ended up not using them and walked around barefooted). 
  • 2 x Bathrobes
  • Safe
  • Power converter plug: OH YES YOU DID NOT READ THIS WRONG. We forgot to pick some up at the airport, so I asked the receptionist during the briefing if they had one. He looked at me, smiled, and pointed it out on the bedside table. WTF. Impeccable to the max.
  • TV: They do have some movies loaded, and no charge for the movies.
  • Electric Air Freshener
  • Alarm Clock
  • Cordless Phone

In the living space/mini-kitchenette/dining table:
  • Mini Bar: At your own expense
  • 4 x Bottled Water: Great tip, is to chuck it in the mini-fridge, so you have cold water for later. They replenish these in the kitchen & in the bathroom, so you LITERALLY NEVER RUN OUT. Seriously, my boyfriend drinks so much water, and the poor man who services our villa kept bringing more, and more. At one point, we had 4 bottles in the bathroom and about 7 in the kitchen. No, it's not from accumulation - they just replenish each time we had none/a couple of bottles left. I think they just brought more cause they were sick of replenishing a few at a time. lol
  • Bottle Opener (yup, another one in the kitchen for convenience. Love it!)
  • Fruit basket: Ours had local bananas, passion fruit and apples
  • TV: A total of 3 TVs!
  • 2 x Swimming/Beach Towels

Last but not least, if not, most importantly: FREE WIFI -Pretty decent connection and speed too. They provide logins upon arrival.

After scoping out the villa and chilling for a little while, it was time for dinner. Maca Villas do have a restaurant & bar: MASE Kitchen and Bar

For any wine lovers, they do have quite a large range of wines. If not, there are plenty of other options in the drinks menu.

 Chose to sit outside, next to the public pool

Candlelight dinner by the pool. Quite a romantic setting indeed <3 

 First meal in Bali: Ayam Panggang Bali. OMFG best chicken ever!

Now, onwards to the services Maca Villas provides as well:
  • Free shuttle (more like a private car!): From Maca Villa to Seminyak Square: one-way only. However, if you need to go for a quick stop at a convenience store/pharmacy, the driver is willing to wait for you and bring you back.
  • Spa: Treatments at your own expense. Note: They have a bathroom facility in the spa which guests can utilise after checking-out should they require a shower. Just remember to set an appointment though.
  • Breakfast service: Breakfast is included in the rates, but the best part are the options. You could choose to dine at the restaurant OR get it delivered to your villa, when you want. I am going to elaborate further on this later.
  • Day Trips: At your own expense. Prices listed in their guest information book.
  • 24/7 Room Service
  • Free Afternoon Tea 
I have to admit that we were bloody well pampered for breakfast. Here's why:

The option of going to the restaurant is normal, but why do it when they offer to bring your breakfast to your room at the time you request it?! Upon check-in, they provide you with a sheet, detailing the foods they have to offer for breakfast. Freshly squeezed juices, patisseries, Western breakfast options and Balinese local favourites. Think a huge range from just eggs, bacon, salad, on toast to Nasi Goreng. You can also order 1 coffee per guest - just write how you like it.

Nasi Goreng is A-amazing! Served with Kicap Manis, Achar & Sambal (my favourite chilli sauce!)

Worst case scenario, if you had forgotten to fill the sheet out and drop it off at the reception, but you know some of the items on the menu, you could always ring reception and put a phone order in. They are also pretty efficient with that last minute service, but for obvious reasons, do not abuse it.

The last word of advice, and please take note: REQUEST A MOSQUITO NET TO BE SET UP ABOVE THE BED.

During the day, those bloody suckers aren't to be seen much (maybe an odd couple). However, more of them come out from no where during the evening hours. 

I was lucky enough to get a few bites and I was somewhat more tolerant to the Asian mosquito type bites. I don't know if they differ from different parts of the world, but I get small, itchy bumps that disappear in two days. In Australia, the bites I get swell to an equivalent of a large walnut lump - intense itching and they bruise! :(

James, on the other hand, suffered the way I do when I get Australian mosquito bites: Lobster red large itchy lumps. He was eaten alive.

The sliding doors in our villa had gaps, even when locked & closed, were big enough for mosquitoes to pass through easily. I think if they could manage to fix this, there'd at least be less mosquitoes (1 is better than 4 or 5, but none is best).

I do have to state that Maca Villas are doing their best in getting rid of mosquitoes by doing whatever they do to kill mosquitoes. 

Anyways, in summary, just get the net set up. It does also provide quite a romantic feeling somewhat. I liked it, so it was an added bonus.

So, this is what I thought of Maca Villas:

Ambience/Presentation: 4.5/5 (I personally didn't fancy the open-air reception concept, but everything else was great!
Value for Money: 5/5 (I thought the normal price was just a little bit pricey, but for what I paid, it was completely worth it!!)
Convenience/Location: 4.5/5 (Although it is walking distance to the beach - 15 minutes walk - it is easier to catch a cab or take the free-shuttle!)
Service: 6/5 (Overly exceeded my expectations: smiling faces and on time. Cannot ask for more!)

If you do not believe me, head on over to TripAdvisor and read the comments for yourselves!

Maca Villas & Spa Bali
Jalan Lebak Sari, No. 7 | Petitenget
Seminyak, Bali | Indonesia
(P): +62 361 739090


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