Review: Sakala Resort Bali, Tanjung Benoa

Jyaga unsure (2.5/5)

Sakala Resort Bali

Nearest Airport : DPS (15 km away)
Neighbourhood : Tanjung Benoa, Bali
Website :
Address : Jl. Pratama No.95, Benoa, Kec. Kuta Sel., Bali 80363
Chain : none/independent

The Sakala is an upscale resort in Tanjung Benoa that features 261 suites and villas on 2.5 hectares of land. The resort opened in November 2013 as a GHM Hotel called The Chedi Sakala. Less than two years under GHM’s management, the resort rebranded into the Mantra Sakala Resort in April 2015. This time, the resort was operated by Australia’s Mantra Group, which was acquired by Accor Hotels in 2018. Yet again, less than two years as a Mantra hotel, the resort dropped Mantra and became an independent hotel in February 2017.

In just over three and a half years, the resort went through two international operators before going independent. How wild is that?! I couldn’t find any stories or hints as to the cause of the rebrands, but I sure would love to know what went on at management.


The Sakala Resort is located in Tanjung Benoa, around a ten minutes drive from the gated Nusa Dua complex. Specifically, the resort lies near the tip of Tanjung Benoa, which also makes it the northernmost upscale hotel in this neighbourhood. As such, if you keep driving north from the resort, you’d find a dead end. In that sense, location is not a strength of the resort. There’s not much to do nearby, except for Tanjung Benoa’s many watersports attractions.

Outside The Sakala

Arrival and Check-in

As we drove up Tanjung Benoa, the first thing I could think was ‘Why is this resort so far up?’. We eventually saw the Sakala’s conspicuous buildings and pulled into the resort’s security checkpoint. There, we awkwardly waited for a bit before being met by serious faces. The security staff weren’t rude or aggressive per se, but they didn’t seem very welcoming either and just went through the motions.

The atmosphere changed completely once we stopped at the resort’s porte cochère. After hearing our car stopping, two reception staff hurriedly went down the stairs to help us with our bags and take us to the front desk. Nice!

Unlike much of the resort’s façade, the lobby was well-kept and looked stunning. Funny enough, the reception desk doubled as a bar and out of nowhere, the friendly associate took out a couple of welcome drinks.

Lobby at The Sakala
Lobby at The Sakala
Sunken pit by the lobby

Our Deluxe Suite

We were brought to our suite by the friendly staff member who took our bags at the beginning. After going down the lobby’s stairs, we walked down a corridor to the entrance of the resort’s hotel building. The corridors looked quite dark and dim, but evoked the sleek look of a GHM Hotel.

Hallway at The Sakala

We stayed in a Deluxe Suite, which viewed the resort’s reception pavilion. The spacious one-bedroom suite is sized at 63 sqm, divided between the bedroom, a living area with a kitchenette, as well as the bathroom. Since virtually nothing has been altered since its time as a Chedi, I was impressed with the look of the suite!

Living Room

As you enter the suite, you’ll find a partitioned area shared by the closet and generous kitchenette. Interestingly, the resort provided water in refillable containers, in a setup that reminds me of Plataran Canggu.


Past this is the living and dining area, which I found to be very spacious. In addition to the solitary sofa, there is also a table for two and a desk. Whilst I liked the design, I found the lighting to be quite dark, exacerbated by the table’s broken ceiling lamp.

Living Room
Dining table
Living Room
Desk and dining table


In front of the sofa is the entrance to the bedroom. The bedroom is probably the least spacious area in the suite, since it literally only contains the bed(s) and its nightstands. There is an oddly placed decorative statue on a console in front of the bed, which likely held a television at some point in the past.



Similar to the living area, the bathroom is very spacious although a bit dark. It is equipped with a bathtub and a separate shower cubicle, along with a single sink. Next to the bathtub is an exposed walk-in closet. The shower and toilet shared one area with a single sliding door. Additionally, the bath gels and shampoos came in refillable bottles affixed to the wall of the shower.


Sadly, the bathroom felt quite damp and wasn’t in the best condition. Likewise, the bathtub and shower’s water temperature only went up to lukewarm, which was kind of sad. The lamps by the sink also kept flickering and dimming whenever the bathtub is used, interestingly.


Finally, the suite featured a balcony that spanned along the width of the room. As the weather was gloomy for the entirety of my stay, we didn’t use it much. Regardless, it is equipped with two chairs and a convenient drying rack.

View from balcony

I really liked the design of this suite, but sadly it wasn’t in tip-top condition. For instance, a few lamps did not work as did the safety deposit box in the bathroom’s walk-in closet. In fact, for the latter, someone had to come to replace the box with a larger one that didn’t fit in its compartment. Furthermore, certain areas in the suite didn’t feel like they were properly cleaned…

Resort Grounds and Pool

The resort is separated into two sections – the main hotel area and the beach club (which I’ll be talking about later). The hotel area is itself divided into five wings comprising four hotel wings and a single villa wing. As such, despite the relatively small plot, the resort feels very large in a labyrinth kind of way.

Resort Map

As suggested by the above map, little of the resort’s land is dedicated to a garden. As such, a lot of the resort’s public areas feel a bit too built up and barren. This probably contributed to the gloomy look of the place.

Driveway to the ballroom


The resort’s main pool is perhaps one of the main selling points of The Sakala. The pool pretty much extends along the side of the resort’s hotel building, reaching an impressive length of 130m. As such, this is one of the larger-looking swimming pools on the island. But again, the lack of a proper garden or greenery did leave the pool feeling a bit desolate. In addition, the decorative artificial boulder walls did little to elevate the look of the pool… instead leaving it unfortunately looking like a sad attempt to replicate Bali in a sub-tropical country. Sigh. Perhaps it’s the orangeness of the paint that makes it look artificial.

Swimming Pool
Swimming Pool

Pool Deck

Just above the pool is a small deck that also houses the resort’s breakfast restaurant. Like the rest of the resort, it was devoid of guests during my stay. Despite that, the restaurant was staffed. There’s a bit of greenery on this deck, but it still doesn’t have a very good look either, likely due to the orange-painted artificial rocks. There are also some sun loungers spread around this deck.

Artificial Garden
Swimming Pool

Thoughts about the Pool

I imagine the place would look so much more inviting had the artificial boulders been painted in a softer-looking colour, and if there were a lot more trees and flowing greenery. Finally, I think the look of the swimming pool would differ night and day if the tiles were changed to evoke a green pool colour like at Maya Ubud! So much potential…

Some areas of the pool also looked a bit unmaintained, given the rust on some metal decorations on the hotel building by the poolside.

Resort building and pool
Swimming Pool

Whilst on the topic of questionable design choices, I saw this by the staircase leading to the pool’s toilets. Whilst I see the wholesome intent, it doesn’t instill a lot of confidence given how close this was to the spa. Regardless, I think it would have looked a lot better without it. Hmmm…

Questionable design choice hmmm


The resort’s website boasts about a four level fitness centre that’s open 24/7, but I frankly struggled to access it. First the signage from the suite to the gym was quite confusing as the signs just stopped(?). After a very long walk down the resort’s sleek but mostly unmarked corridors I finally did find a gym although it was dark and looked quite small. I strangely wasn’t able to access it either, and I could neither find the gym’s three other levels… I’m guessing I might have misunderstood?

Hallway at The Sakala
The Health Club (photo: The Sakala Resort)

Sakala Beach Club

Unlike most large resorts on the Nusa Dua Peninsula, The Sakala does not have direct beach access, at least in the literal sense. Instead, its beach club is located across the street from the resort’s hotel buildings, which can be quite a hassle. Thankfully, due to the location of the resort, road traffic is quite minimal, making it easy to cross.

View towards the Sakala Beach Club
Entrance to the Sakala Beach Club

Like the resort’s main section, the beach club didn’t look very well-kept… although to be fair, I did visit it in the morning. The beach club has an infinity pool that looks much nicer than the resort’s main pool. Given the greenery and the nice-looking pool, it is honestly a lot more inviting.

The Sakala Beach Club
The lawn at the Sakala Beach Club

In front of the the pool is a small lawn area which probably would house some lounge chairs and whatnot during livelier times of the year. Past this lawn is the really wide stretch of beach, which I think would be ideal for beach sports like volleyball and the like!

There are several sun loungers also placed by the beach.

Beach at the Sakala Beach Club

The beach itself, however, sadly did not look especially nice. Apart from the marine debris, there were a lot of boats anchored near the beach, making it not as ideal to swim in.

Beach view


Apart from the security guards at the resort’s entrance, I felt that many of the resort staff were honestly friendly and well-intentioned. To be fair, I didn’t really encounter many people during my stay, either, leaving the resort feeling a bit lifeless. Despite that, I do have to extend a special mention to the front desk staff, who were warm and chatty and made us feel welcome.


Honestly, how do I put this? The resort is placed in an objectively unstrategic location that doesn’t have much in terms of attractions or natural beauty. Furthermore, many of the resort’s hardware looked unkept and sometimes a bit tired. But at the same time, there’s so much potential with what The Sakala already has. The design of the interiors look beautiful and elegant (if not a bit dark), there’s the resort’s spacious rooms, and there’s also a large and expansive pool that can look inviting after some work.

I mean it won’t be an easy job, but this place honestly has so much potential! After some work to elevate the condition of the hardware, the place would look pretty great…

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