Review: Ayodya Resort Bali Nusa Dua

Jyaga likes 4/5

Ayodya Resort

Nearest Airport : DPS (12 km away)
Neighbourhood : Nusa Dua, Bali
Website : ayodyaresortbali.com
Address : Jalan Pantai Mengiat, Nusa Dua 80363, Bali, Indonesia
Chain : none/independent

Set on over 11.5 hectares of beachfront real estate, the Ayodya Resort Bali is an absolutely massive complex of five residential wings. Opened in 1989 as the Bali Hilton International Hotel, the resort was designed to mimic the look of a traditional water palace. In fact, the entire resort is enveloped in massive ponds that only add to the charm of the place. With its 537 rooms and suites, the resort is only seconded in room count by the sprawling Grand Hyatt Bali nearby.

Location

The Ayodya Resort is located within the exclusive ITDC Nusa Dua gated area. Being a planned community, there are not many points of interest within the direct vicinity of the hotel. In fact, apart from the area’s pristine white-sand beaches, there are only the Museum Pasifika and the Bali Collection shopping centre nearby. Apart from that, the area is littered only with other large ‘5-star’ resorts. As such, it is no surprise that the area looks different from the rest of the island.

Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua

Just a 10-minute drive northwards from the gated community is Tanjung Benoa, popular for its water sports activities. The beaches and cliffs of Uluwatu can also be traversed in around 20-30 minutes by car.

Arrival and Check-in

I arrived at the hotel by car at 12.40. As is standard in Nusa Dua, there was a brief flow of questions about the stay at the security checkpoint at the entrance. Once past, I was quite literally gobsmacked by the sheer scale of the resort. The driveway to the lobby isn’t like any resort I’ve been to in Bali, given how ridiculously immense it looked.

Entrance at Ayodya Resort Bali
Signage at the lobby

Whilst most resorts are already packed nowadays, the Ayodya was startingly deserted, mimicking the aura I felt when I stayed at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel. I was greeted by a single porter, who took my bags and brought me to the empty check-in desk. Given how grand and massive the lobby was, it felt quite eerie to be the only guest around at the time. Still, I marvelled at the sheer scale of the place.

Lobby at the Ayodya Resort

Shortly after, a lady appeared and welcomed me to the resort. As I completed the check-in registration, I was also brought a welcome drink of mixed juice in these cute glasses featuring traditional Kamasan-style artwork. After exchanging some more pleasantries, I received my keys and was escorted to my room by the porter.

Welcome drink
Lobby at the Ayodya Resort
Walkway between the residential wings

My Deluxe Room

I booked an entry-level Deluxe Room and received one as such. At 48 sqm, the room feels rightly spacious, but despite its ageing look interestingly it still felt quite airy. When I arrived the room was completely spotless and looked to be in excellent condition! The wooden floors in particular made the room feel warm and cozy, although it stayed cool thanks to the good air-conditioning.

Deluxe Room

Located in the entrance corridor are the closet, the minibar, and the entryway to the bathroom area. This entire section can be closed by a sliding door to be separated from the rest of the bedroom.

Deluxe Room foyer and minibar
Minibar

Bedroom

Right past the entryway is the bedroom, which consists of two single beds, complemented by individual nightstands, as well as a large sofa and a coffee table. Again, the room’s design looks very old, but I appreciated the warm feel exuded from the wooden flooring and blinds and the yellow-painted walls. Whilst I had many concerns due to the aged look, I was pleased to find that the room and the furniture are in excellent condition. For one, I found both the bed and the sofa to be comfortable, which I liked. This room is definitely a case of form following function!

Deluxe Room
Deluxe Room

Across the beds is a flat-screen television set atop a storage console, alongside a desk with a mirror. There is also a cushioned luggage rack, complemented by a very nice-looking traditional carved artwork. Additionally, WiFi is free and fast, which is definitely an important amenity nowadays.

Deluxe Room
Deluxe Room

As you ought to find in an old hotel from several decades ago, the room’s air conditioning and lighting are operated from a master control panel located on the nightstand. In the grand scheme of control panels, Ayodya’s iteration is a lot more simple, featuring just a few switches.

Room controls

Balcony

Right outside the room is a spacious clay-tiled balcony with two patio chairs and a table, alongside an ashtray. In the afternoon, this was a nice place to sit down, cooled slightly by the sea breeze flowing in. There isn’t much of a view, however, as most Deluxe Rooms view the resort’s perimeter greenery.

View from balcony

Bathroom

Located next to the doorway corridor is the full-marble bathroom, which was in relatively great condition. In a layout that reminds me a lot of Hotel New Grand Yokohama, the bathtub and toilet is separated from the sink in its own closed room. The sink area itself features a doorway, although it isn’t inherently enclosed by a door.

Bathroom

On the sink top are the bath amenities, which weren’t branded. Regardless, they were lemongrass-scented and were of decent quality.

Bath amenities

Located next to the sink is the unusual bath and toilet room, which often feels a lot more humid compared to the rest of the room. Whilst in excellent condition, I can’t help thinking how ancient this space looked. I had no complaints, however, since the shower and bathtub’s taps had great temperature and decent water pressure.

Toilet and bathtub

Hotel Grounds and Amenities

With its sprawling 11.5 hectares of land, it is without doubt that the Adodya is a massive resort. To illustrate just how large the place is, below is the official resort map that I photographed near the Waterfall Restaurant. Do note that during my visit, the entire North Wing was closed.

Resort Map

Pools

The resort has two pools open to all guests. The first of which is a beautiful infinity pool located near the beachfront. Complemented by several sets of sun loungers, the pool has a slightly obstructed view of the beach and the sea. Whilst it is quite small in proportion to the rest of the resort, I didn’t have any issues getting a seat by this pool during my visit.

Beachfront Pool
Beachfront Pool

There is also a much larger main pool located in the centre of the resort, enveloped by the massive lagoon. During my visit, this pool was completely under work, thus, I was unable to check it out as it was an active construction zone. Work on the pool has since been completed, however, as indicated on the hotel’s SNS channels.

Closed main pool

In addition to the two public pools, there is one extra pool reserved for guests of the Ayodya Palace Wing. This is Ayodya Resort’s equivalent to a club level. Due to the significantly higher price for a room at the Ayodya Palace, it is no surprise that this exclusive pool is a lot more quiet.

Ayodya Palace Pool

Notice that towels are not provided freely at the pool and beach areas (unless staying at the Ayodya Palace section). In place of this, towel cards are provided upon check-in, similar to the arrangement at Melia Bali. Each of these cards can be exchanged for a towel at the manned towel exchange station near the beach club. The card is reissued upon the return of the towel.

Towel Card

Beachfront

Compared to the resort’s massive scale, the Ayodya has a proportionally smaller beachfront, compared to the Grand Hyatt Bali for example. That’s not to say that it is small, however – there is a massive beachfront lawn that stretches the entirety of the resort’s beachfront. Most of the resort’s beachfront sun loungers and daybeds are located on this lawn. As is true with the pool, towels for these loungers can be requested in exchange for the towel cards provided at check-in.

Daybeds by the beach
Sun loungers at Ayodya Resort
Lawn and sun loungers at Ayodya Resort

Ayodya’s stretch of beach is shared by several resorts like Grand Hyatt Bali, Renaissance Nusa Dua, Courtyard Nusa Dua, Merusaka, and Aman Villas at Nusa Dua. Since all beaches in Bali are public, Nusa Dua’s beaches could get relatively crowded at certain times and on certain days. This is especially true for Ayodya’s beachfront, which is located right next to the main public entrance to Mengiat Beach.

Beachfront at Ayodya Resort

Whilst I personally love the pristine white sand of the beaches in Nusa Dua, I did dislike the regular flow of uniformed hawkers who proactively went about offering their products and services to resort guests. Some of these hawkers were very persistent and would only leave after a firm no. One who offered massages even came back after I said no, and started asking personal questions, which I very much disliked. Most interestingly, I noticed that these hawkers were most likely to target people occupying resort facilities, as opposed to the average beachgoer. As I similarly reported on my Sofitel Nusa Dua resort, this is an area-wide issue that can only be solved by The Nusa Dua’s authorities.

Beachfront at Ayodya Resort

Gymnasium

The gymnasium is located alongside the resort’s spa in the North Wing of the Ayodya. Whilst, much of the North Wing was being renovated during my visit, I managed to find my way to the gymnasium in an empty and eerily quiet part of the resort. When I visited, the gymnasium’s lights were turned off, although the provision of water from a dispenser implied to me that the facility was useable. In any case, the equipment looked reasonably well-maintained, though the space was much smaller than I was expecting.

Ayodya Spa
Gymnasium

Lagoon Garden

One last thing to mention is Ayodya’s lagoon garden. Inspired by the architecture of Bali, the garden is a welcome sight to see in the eyes of weary city-dwellers. Notable, a massive lagoon pond envelopes the entire central courtyard of the resort. When you consider how large the resort is, I think it is only fitting to describe this water garden to be nothing less than epic.

Balinese water garden
Central lagoon
Central lagoon

Breakfast

Breakfast is served between 07.00 and 11.00 at the Waterfall Restaurant located right under the lobby. Once we informed the staff of our room number, we were kindly invited to sit down wherever we’d like. In any case, there are seats both indoors and outdoors, the latter of which faces the resort’s grandoise central lagoon. Despite that, I don’t know how the restaurant’s name is derived, since I didn’t see a waterfall.

Terrace across from the restaurant
Waterfall Restaurant
Waterfall Restaurant

As you’d expect in a mega-resort like Ayodya, the breakfast was served as a buffet. The buffet spread starts outdoors and flows into the indoor section of the restaurant. Whilst the spread was not extensive, the food was of reasonably good quality. First, there is a helmed egg station located in the outdoor section, along the works like sausages and pancakes.

Sausages and meats
Egg station

Right inside is where the central buffet spread is located, featuring nine bain-marie and two soup tureens. During my visit, there was a choice of Indonesian rice congee, Soto Ayam (Indonesian chicken soup) for the soups. This was complemented by the typical Western and Indonesian buffet selections like fried rice, noodles, bacon, potatoes, and the like.

Indonesian congee and soto soup

On one side is a selection of juices, as well as a small salad bar and a selection of cold cuts. Sadly the juices didn’t taste especially fresh, although that’s not surprising. Across from this is the bread and pastry station, kept warm under heat lamps. The pastries were getting stale and didn’t taste especially great, however. Finally, there is also a fruit spread towards the back of the restaurant, alongside two choices of yoghurt and a bircher muesli.

Cold cuts, cheese, salad, and juices
Pastries
Yoghurt choices
Fruit spread

Lizards

What was perhaps the most surprising aspect of the restaurant were two monitor lizards that showed up on the terrace near the lagoon. Whilst I had no idea whether they were wild or kept by the hotel, the two lizards were large, catching the attention of a few guests. In fact, one guest even chucked a piece of chicken to one of the lizards…

Monitor lizard at Waterfall Restaurant

Service

The service at Ayodya Resort is well-intentioned and friendly. There is no doubt that the service is impersonal, given the size of the resort. Despite that, I still appreciated that Ayodya’s staff proactively greeted guests and helped out for anyone who got lost in the resort’s massive compound. Apart from that, I didn’t have much to say about the staff, since nothing really stood out.

Overall

Overall, I had a very pleasant stay at the Ayodya Resort in Nusa Dua. Despite its ageing look, I had a perfectly comfortable stay at this behemoth of a beach hotel. For one, I appreciated the resort’s beachfront location, which coupled with the clear and swimmable waters made it a great place to unwind. Frankly, my main qualm about staying at Ayodya was how old the rooms looked, although I’m glad to report that those fears are unfounded. As such, I have no hesitations about staying here and would return gladly.

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