Mulia hotel and Resort Bali
8 / 10
Nusa Dua, on the east coast of Bali, has been entirely purpose built for tourism. The beaches are fantastic - luminously white with clear calm waters you can swim in all year round - but with little other than fancy five-star hotels in the area, it does have that you-could-be-anywhere feel. Thanks to a three-lane toll road, the airport is an easy 20-minute traffic-free drive away.
Style & character
The sheer scale of Mulia gives it the feel of a resort you might find in Dubai or Las Vegas - a fact that is difficult to gauge from their strange artsy website. The entire complex is split into three sections; The Mulia Resort, a gargantuan 526-room hotel; The Mulia Villas, a collection of one-to-six-bedroom luxury homes tucked into the hillside; and The Mulia, a more exclusive all-suite wing which sits right on the beach. I stayed in the latter alongside Russian oligarchs, Chinese millionaires, and American tycoons. The vibe was hushed and rarefied, all white-gloved waiters, silver salvers, and string quartets - a touch too quiet at times - and the look lavish, with lashings of creamy marble and the most spectacular swimming pool guarded by giant stone maidens standing. The Mulia spa is one of the largest and most modern in Asia and worth splashing out on.
Service & facilities
7 / 10
The smiling staff are clearly very good at their jobs but seemed to have been trained to treat their guests in an insanely over the top manner, which crosses over into intrusive at times. At one meal I was fawned over and asked so many times “if everything was meeting my expectations?” that I felt like I had a starring role in a Blackadder sketch. Being asked to fill out a questionnaire after every meal, and then being bombarded with email requests to write a TripAdvisor review afterwards also felt far from five-star.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
- Tennis court
The Mulia’s 111 suites are spacious and sumptuous, with gold and copper-toned living rooms flowing through to grand bedrooms sporting jumbo beds with 1, 000-thread count sheets; bathrooms with twin sinks, over-sized bathtubs, and Toto toilets; and enough wardrobe space to keep Victoria Beckham happy. Fronting all of this are wide balconies with outdoor whirlpool tubs and dining tables perfect for a sunrise breakfast.
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Food & drink
9 / 10
Guests at The Mulia (suites) can visit any of the resort’s nine bars and restaurants, such as Edogin, a serene Japanese restaurant serving exquisite sushi, Soleil, a contemporary Mediterranean eatery, and Table 8, a chic Chinese establishment where dim sum is freshly steamed in front you and tea masters perform theatrical pouring ceremonies. The dining, although pricey, is definitely a highlight.