Hotel review: The Mulia, Nusa Dua, Bali

Originally published on internationaltraveller.com

It’s one of Bali’s most luxurious beach resorts, complete with butler service and a Sunday brunch that’s the stuff of legends. So what’s it really like to stay at the Mulia in Nusa Dua? Danielle Norton checks in.

Details

The Mulia, Mulia Resort and Villas, Nusa Dua, Bali

First impressions

On arrival at The Mulia we’re greeted by a man proffering a bowl of frangipani flowers. He positions one behind each of our ears and then, as we cup our hands in prayer position, he pours frangipani scented oil into them. Rubbing our palms together, we step into the resort, our senses activated as we transition from the outside world to this new one.

At this 30-hectare property in Nusa Dua guests are far from the hectic crowds and bustling streets of Bali’s more tourist-oriented areas. Comprised of the Mulia Resort, the all-suite The Mulia, and the Mulia Villas, this property is refined and elegant, polished like a marble bust in a museum. In fact, it contains huge walls of rare blue marble and it’s the perfect place to escape from the world for a little while. We check in for two nights in the beachfront Earl Suite at The Mulia and two nights in the one-bedroom villa.

The suites

The Mulia suites are enormous, as is everything on the property. The rooms, the furniture, the grounds; all aspects of the hotel are grand. The suites are like mansions with a foyer, lounge room, powder room, bedroom, walk-in wardrobe and bathroom with separate toilet and shower. There’s also an outdoor balcony with a double day bed, a huge Jacuzzi and a breakfast table.

Sweet treats and fruit await guests in their rooms. After a long day of travelling, slipping into the Jacuzzi (run by one’s butler, of course!), eating macarons and contemplating the idyllic tropical beach and the garden lights twinkling below is just the ticket to refresh weary bones.

The villas

One of five options villa options including the Mulia Mansion, the 500-square-metre one-bedroom villa is completely private and secure. Guests have their own personal swimming pool, an outdoor pavilion, manicured garden, and an enormous house in which to bathe, sleep and relax. The indoor Jacuzzi is in a glass room, surrounded by lush plants and opens onto an outdoor shower.

The suites and villas at the Mulia come with full butler service. The butlers are internationally trained and all are skilled enough to attend to a president or royal who may stay in one of the exclusive pads (for these you must request access and the price is upwards of $20,000 per night).

The food

Each of the five-star restaurants in the resort has an overflowing smorgasboard of cuisines to suit every palate.

Japanese restaurant Edogin has a ramen noodle station as well as a mountain of seafood, sushi, sashimi, rice balls, lobster tails. In the centre of the room stands a spotless teppanyaki grill. On surrounding ledges are plates of fish, clams, mussels, scallops, chicken and beef. Once guests make decisions about their desired ingredients, the fresh delicacies are cooked by highly trained chefs and delivered to their table.

At the ice-cream counter choose from green tea, white sesame, ginger, raspberry, chocolate or vanilla and ask the chef to cut it through on the large ice bench with lychees, strawberries, chocolate sprinkles, toasted flaked almonds, macadamias, sultanas, mango, granola or kiwi fruit.

THE LOUNGE

Despite the enticing doughnut bar and collection of pastries, order one of two signature Mulia breakfasts: crab cakes with eggs Benedict, or wagyu beef on brioche, from the à la carte menu.
Afternoon tea (either a selection of Indonesian sweet and savoury treats, or a classic European high tea of sandwiches and petit fours) is also served here. With a view straight out to the poolside regal statues for which the Mulia is famous, it is a stunning place to enjoy a meal. Indulge even further and choose something from the cocktail list.

THE CAFE

This restaurant contains several mini restaurant kitchens. Guests can choose from Indian cuisine, Indonesian curries or noodles, Korean barbecue, Japanese sushi and much more.
The pièce de résistance of this restaurant is the dessert room, which is, in fact, two rooms. One contains a spinning wheel of ice-cream flavours, decadent toppings as well as cookies, cakes and slices. The other has a fairy floss machine next to a coconut pancake cooking station, windows filled with doughnuts and racks of cookies to choose from.

TABLE8

This Chinese restaurant has authentic, regional dishes, cooked to order. Honey-glazed pork, succulent roast duck, tofu, octopus, stir fries, dim sum, noodles and a selection of yoghurts and toppings to satisfy any craving. Try the oolong tea and watch, mesmerised, as the bud blossoms in the glass.

SOLEIL

The Sunday brunch buffet at this magnificent 230-seat restaurant is booked out weeks in advance. Always extravagant, there is an incredible array of delectable food displayed. Cheeses from around the world, an assortment of breads, and a dedicated vegetarian table piled high with spring rolls, salads, corn cakes, rice paper rolls and quiche co-exist with towers of oysters and prawns, platters of salmon, a carvery, curries, soups, mounds of cakes, slices, jellies, and even a chocolate fountain. Don’t miss the tortellini on the à la carte menu.

There are also a range of bars to discover, including beachfront Sky Bar, which serves up a tapas menu alongside cocktails, spirits and wine.

Services

WELLNESS/THE MULIA SPA

The Mulia Spa has 20 plush treatment rooms. Guests can choose from an extensive menu of facials, scrubs, massage styles and beauty services to create their perfect spa day. Therapists are trained to exacting standards and the massage and beauty treatments are world class.

All Spa Daymaker program options start with an hour of access to the hydrotonic pools. With distinct zones offering spa jets to different parts of the body, bathers move from cool to heated hydrotonic baths and back again, according to preference. From there they can enjoy the steam room and sauna before cooling off in the uber-cool ice room. Refrigerated to zero degrees, the room has the ambience of a futuristic science lab. The pile of ice on the centre dome, which guests can use to rub on aching muscles, glows as the lights change from pink, through to blue, then to green.

Pools

Guests have access to six pools across the property; the Oasis Pool and the Aqua Pool are exclusive to guests of The Mulia and Mulia Villas. Resort guests can use the other four magnificent pools which all have poolside service.

Gym facilities

The gym is a state-of-the-art facility open from 6am till 10pm. Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, water aerobics, core classes and a range of other balance and strength classes are available throughout the day.
We start our mornings with yoga on the grass facing the ocean, listening to the waves rolling in. Kundalini and Hatha breathing techniques help us sink further into our poses as we practise. We stretch our limbs then work on our abs. By the end of the session, the sun is bright in the sky and we head to breakfast feeling energised knowing we have already completed a decent workout.

Children’s facilities

Guests are able to bring a nanny into the resort to attend the fantastic Mulia Kidz club. Alternatively, your kids can be privately minded in their room and around the resort.

Nearby activities/tours available:

Tours can be arranged through butlers or the resort’s reception staff. We took a day trip to Ubud, only an hour away. The real Bali is not far from the luxurious paths and gardens of the Mulia, if you want to discover it.

The IT Verdict:

For privacy and exclusivity, the Mulia is a dream for travellers who want to fly in, enjoy the luxury of an international-standard resort, swim, eat well and jet home again.

LOCATION: 8/10

Beachside but out of town, the charm of this hotel is that there’s nothing else around.

STYLE/CHARACTER: 10/10

Every element, from the welcome chocolate treats, to the extravagant, plush decor, to the soft, spongy bath mats, is exquisite.

SERVICE: 10/10

ROOMS: 10/10

FOOD AND DRINK:10/10

VALUE FOR MONEY: 9/10

Even though you get what you pay for at the Mulia (incredible service, accommodation and food), the prices are a little steep.

PRICE: (PER NIGHT)

Mulia resort rooms start from $530, the Mulia suites start from $1049 and Mulia Villas start from $1370.

BEST THING

The final touch is the butlers pushing our luggage trolleys to the airport check-in desk, then directing us to the immigration gate. From the first moment to the last, it is this kind of spectacular attention to detail that makes the Mulia so special.

GETTING THERE

Chauffeur service from Denpasar airport.