Review: Melia Bali, Nusa Dua Resort

Jyaga okay (3.5/5)

Melia Bali, Nusa Dua

Nearest Airport: DPS (13 km away)
Neigbourhood : Nusa Dua, Bali
Website :
Address : Kawasan Pariwisata ITDC Lot N1
Nusa Dua, Bali 80363
Chain : Meliã Hotels

Melia Bali, Nusa Dua opened as Sol Bali in 1985. Upon its opening, the resort became Melia’s first resort outside of Spain and among the first hotels to be opened in the Nusa Dua area. Sure enough, a commemorative plaque by the entrance confirms that the resort was opened by then-president Soeharto in the December of that year. Following extensive renovations, Melia Bali’s complex is now divided into two sections: the main wing and The LEVEL club section, which includes its Garden Villas. The resort itself is set on a large 11-hectare plot, although much of it is occupied by its beautiful gardens. Additionally, like many older hotels in the area, the resort features direct beach access and facilities.


Melia Bali lies in the Nusa Dua gated community, reachable within a 20-minute drive from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. Being a gated community, Nusa Dua boasts one of the best infrastructure on the island, featuring wide roads and sidewalks set in lush gardens. Concurrently, it also lacks the charm offered by the wabi-sabi of the rest of the island, leaving it to be rather sterile. Whilst it is famed for its clean white sand beaches, there also isn’t much to do within walking distance. Food options are limited to those in the community’s many resorts and the Bali Collection shopping mall; in addition, there are several local warung eateries just outside the sprawling gates of Nusa Dua.

Thankfully, the trustworthy Bluebird Taxis are plentiful in the area (relative to other places), should you wish to travel elsewhere in the island.

Entrance to Nusa Dua

Arrival and Check-in

Following a quick security check of our car, we drove up to Melia’s beautiful porte-cochère. There, we were met by friendly faces, and a porter promptly took care of our luggage.

Melia Bali Porte-cochère

His colleague then walked us to the check-in desks, where we were soon offered glasses of their citrusy welcome drink. Only after completing the check-in registration process did I finally get the chance to marvel at the resort’s beautiful lobby.

Entrance hallway

The marble-clad lobby is designed to resemble a traditional Joglo house and is crowned by an impressive ceiling mural. As such, I was impressed by the sense of place incorporated into the lobby’s design.

Lobby at Melia Bali
Lobby at Melia Bali

After being handed our keycards, the friendly associate at reception called over the same porter, who would be taking us to our room. She also handed us a resort activities leaflet and towel cards (more on that later). Honestly, I was impressed by how effortless the check-in process was. Nicely done, Melia Bali!

We were assigned a room in Building 1, the wing located closest to the lobby. As is common in older resorts, the atriums hallways were massive. I also noticed that several areas and floors in the resort are being renovated progressively, although thankfully I never encountered any excessive noise.

Building 1 Atrium

Our Premium Garden View Room

Our room was a Premium Room Garden View, which is advertised to be 42 sqm. Given that size, I was surprised at how small the room looked and felt. It would seem that a good chunk of the space is occupied by the oversized balcony that sadly looked uninviting.


The room itself felt awkwardly designed and didn’t feel especially functional. There is a large gap between the two beds with an elevated electrical socket located there. Frustratingly, there was no surface where you could place the devices that are plugged into that socket. In fact, it would seem that a table might have been there at some point in the past.

Premium Room Garden View
Premium Room Garden View

Between the bed and the balcony door is an oddly placed chair that was uncomfortable to sit on. There is also a vanity desk next to the television and a built-in luggage rack. In addition, the canopy drape over the bed also served no purpose, since it is purely aesthetic. Sadly, it only made the room look less spacious.

I also noticed that the room felt unusually damp upon entering, although it gradually got better. Since there weren’t any unpleasant smells, the dampness probably came from the disinfectant sprayed all over the furniture when the room was being cleaned.

Bed and chair
Television, desk, and luggage rack
Desk with mirror

Despite the room’s flaws, I did like that it featured many local touches, like the nice wooden floors and furniture and Balinese artworks and crafts. As such, the room itself made me feel that I was in Bali, much unlike the design at Le Meridien Bali, for example.

Premium Room Garden View


The local marble-clad bathroom looks rather outdated but is very well-kept. It features a bathtub-shower combination, along with the typical sink and toilet setup. Bath amenities were Melia Bali-branded with an orange scent. It was of mediocre quality. The bathroom was pretty much spotless when I first entered it, although it felt quite small. This didn’t have to be the case though, since there is a lot of wasted space in the foyer that could easily have made the bathroom larger.

Melia Bali-branded bath amenities
Sink and toilet


One of the features of the Premium Room is its large balcony, which overlooks the resort’s expansive gardens. The space features two chairs and a table, along with a drying rack to hang swimsuits and the like. Whilst the balcony looks rather uninviting, the view towards the gardens is undeniably beautiful.

Balcony seating
Balcony seating
View from balcony

Resort Grounds and Amenities

Activities and Map

At check-in, we were handed a leaflet containing information about the resort’s amenities and activities. There are a lot of activities on offer, which I’m sure would be very helpful to guests travelling as a family! Funny enough, there is a section dedicated to photo spots for Instagram, and #Instagrammable does seem to be a theme the resort is going for. It noticeably did not include a resort map, although I did later find a map posted near the garden.

Resort Activities leaflet
Resort Map

In addition to the activities and amenities list, each registered guest is handed a towel card (chargeable if lost). This card is necessary to get a towel at the beach or the pool. Since each card is exchangeable for a single towel, that means you can’t get more than one towel per person at once. The card is reissued upon the return of the towel. It’s a smart system if not impersonal.

Towel cards

Pools at Melia Bali

While Melia Bali has four shared pools, the majority of guests are only afforded access to a single large main pool. The two lengthy lagoon pools are strictly reserved for guests staying in their lagoon-access rooms, as stated by clearly-marked signs by the pools’ entrance. Separately, the resort also has a main pool dedicated to guests staying at its LEVEL club. Between the four pools, the LEVEL pool looked most inviting and was much quieter than the main pool. I imagine these arrangements give extra merit in reserving rooms in the lagoon and LEVEL categories.

The lagoon pools
The lagoon pools
Pool at the LEVEL Club
Pool at the LEVEL Club

Meanwhile, the main pool for regular guests looked akin to something out of the 90s. Even though it is quite large, the pool’s tile-colour and design sadly didn’t look especially inviting. Funnily enough, the numerous lounge sun loungers surrounding the pool reminded me of a summer scene in the Mediterranean. I guess Melia is quite serious about bringing Europe to Bali! On the bright side, that also means it is relatively easy to get an empty sun lounger here!

Main pool at Melia Bali
The pool from another angle
The pool from another angle
Loungers by the main pool
Sun lounger galore!


Across from the main and LEVEL pools is the resort’s beach. Like any other in Bali, the beach is publicly accessible although facilities are obviously reserved for hotel guests. Much of the beachfront is shaded by trees and only has a narrow stretch of sand. Likewise, all the sun loungers on the beach are shaded, so it isn’t ideal if you’re looking to get a tan. Echoing my experience at Sofitel Bali, there was also a steady stream of hawkers passing the beach hoping to make a sale. Whilst I had no issues with this, some of them were very pushy, sometimes making the ambiance uncomfortable.

Beach at Melia Bali
Hawkers at Melia Bali’s beach
Sun loungers at the beach

As Melia Bali’s beach is surrounded by a bay, the water is very calm most hours of the day. In any case, it makes it very appropriate for swimming and the non-motorised watersports activities offered for free by the resort.

The resort also installed a swing on the water, featuring prominent ‘MELIA BALI’ signage atop it. This is one of the several pre-set ‘Instagrammable spots’ at the resort, as suggested by the leaflet. Surely, this is a try to get increased social media exposure for the resort, which is all the rage now. Whilst it is not my cup of tea, I did see many guests using these photo spots to boast of their stay. Fair enough 🙂

Sun loungers at the beach and the ‘Instagram swing’

There are also two sections of the beach especially reserved for guests staying at the LEVEL. These sections are much quieter which again only makes an even more overwhelming case to book a LEVEL Club room. There is also the added benefit of much nicer beach seating and service here as well.

Level beach

Gardens and Restaurants

Where mediocrity is sadly the ongoing theme with the room, the beach, and the pool, the resort’s gardens are a remarkable exception. Much of Melia Bali’s 10-hectare plot is occupied by their tropical gardens, which just look phenomenal. I mean words don’t do justice when describing how nice they are.

Along the path towards the pool and the beach are a few more of the resort’s ‘Instagram Spots’, which were regularly used by other guests during my stay.

Garden path to the beach during golden hour
More beautiful gardens
Another Instagram spot
The resort’s pond

Whilst I didn’t dine at the resort, I’m sure those booked into all-inclusive packages are spoilt for choice with the resort’s 13 food and beverage establishments. In fact, that might even be too many, hmmm. Of those place, I did think that the beachside restaurant looked most appealing. It features a podium that extends near the seaside, offering great views (at the cost of the beach itself looking nice).

Beachside dining
El Patio restaurant
One of the resort’s many lounges


Located in the main building of the resort is also a well-equipped gymnasium. Disregarding the ominous red ceiling lights, the gymnasium looked quite standard, as expected from a resort of this size. Next to the gymnasium however is a great facility…


Arrivals and Departure Lounge

Despite the numerous amount of activities and amenities available, I struggled to find something that really sets the Melia apart from other resorts in the area. After all, while facilities can be very appealing to family travellers, virtually every other resort in Nusa Dua offers the same things, if not more. That is until I found out about the Arrivals and Departure Lounge.

While not huge, the resort has set up this space for guests to relax when they no longer have access to their rooms. Located next to the gym, the lounge is air-conditioned and has a reasonable amount of seating. There is an extensive bookcase featuring titles in several languages. Most impressively, lockers, changing rooms, and showers are also provided in this lounge, which would make night and day of a difference for weary travellers coming off or preparing for long flights. I think this thoughtful space is definitely the resort’s trump card. ¡Excellenté!

Arrivals and Departure Lounge
Arrivals and Departure Lounge


Everyone I encountered at Melia Bali were very friendly and well-intentioned. Some staff members were especially welcoming and even went so far out of their way to introduce me to the various features of the resort, including the expansive tennis/basketball/badminton courts and the many activities available at the beachside. As such, I couldn’t find faults with the service, which I found to be impressive for a resort of this size.

One note to make is about the resort’s housekeeping policy though. Room cleaning is done on a request basis, as opposed to something that’s offered proactively. In that way, you would have to inform the staff to have the room cleaned, which can be quite a hassle when in a hurry.


To be honest, Melia as a brand doesn’t really seem known for having many exceptional hotels; unfortunately, Melia Bali is no exception to that rule. Whilst the resort’s team of staff is very friendly and the number of activities and facilities are impressive, everything else is merely mediocre. Theoretically, you could receive much better rooms and amenities as well as personalised service by booking a LEVEL Club room or a Garden Villa; however, at the same time, I would probably stay elsewhere if that were what I am looking for.

Despite that, I imagine this resort will be very appealing for people travelling with children, given the many activities, and rightly so. I could also see Melia Bali as an excellent mid-priced resort to stay overnight before a red-eye flight, due to the guaranteed comforts at their Arrivals and Departure Lounge.

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