Leighton Luke checks into the W Bali Seminyak Retreat and Spa.


On the beachfront in the upmarket Seminyak area.

How big? There are 229 rooms, suites and villas.

Room: A Marvellous One Bedroom Pool Villa decorated in a soothing colour scheme of green and grey tones. The outdoor area is an oasis of lush tropical greenery and giant frangipani trees that features a 24.5sq m private swimming pool, a cabana and daybed and, on the deck area, sun loungers and a table and chairs.


Price: Rooms start from around 3.4 million rupiah ($355) per night, plus charges and taxes. Villas are from $515. Not a bargain but you'll be unlikely to find better standards of accommodation and service anywhere.

Check-in experience: Even when arriving late in the evening, check-in is quick, polished and comes with a warm welcome.

What's so good about this place? The staff, villas, dining options and location are all first class. The W is one of those very rare properties where everything is done just right.

Neither is the hotel without a touch of humour - the spare toilet paper roll is labelled "back-up plan" and, not surprisingly, the letter "W" features prominently - the bathroom area is called "Wet" and the guest services department goes by the name of "Whatever, Whenever".

And the bad? Nothing at all. How great is that?

What's in the neighbourhood? Trendy Seminyak is a great area to be based in and has everything from fancy art galleries to market stalls, upmarket bars and restaurants that charge Auckland prices (or more), but also cheap-and-cheerful snack joints where you'll get change from $20 for generous food and drinks for two.

Food and drink: The W has a total of eight dining venues, plus room service. The Fire and Starfish Bloo restaurants both do Sunday brunch buffets that are among the best on the island. Regardless of where you eat, the food will be delicious and immaculately presented.

The bed: A very comfortable king looking out over the pool area.


Bathroom: Features a full-size bathtub and a rain shower. My wife loved the lemon-scented Bliss amenities.

Noise: Each villa is equipped with its own indoor and outdoor stereo systems, so the sound can carry but most people seem to keep that in mind. The resort even has a recording studio for guests who really want to get noisy.

Exercise Facilities: The 24-hour fitness centre is state-of-the-art and suitably impressive, but my visits to it were highly infrequent.

Perfect for: A top quality, relaxing break in Bali.

Would I return? Yes, absolutely. Can I go now?