For my first few nights in Bali I chose the Holiday Inn Express Bali Raya Kuta (Review).
The property is located to the east of the touristy Southern Kuta. The area feels suburban and there are two busy roads in front and behind the hotel.
Check-in was very friendly and quick. I asked for a room that is ‘away from the street’ and quiet. Little did I know that the road behind the property is the bigger and louder one. The front desk agent was happy to help me out with the room away from the (front) road but he did not mention anything about a quiet room!
The hotel has done a great job appointing the rooms – they look modern and are in great shape. The AC in my room worked perfectly and all the furniture looked like it was just installed.
The bathroom had a great rain shower that worked without issues during my stay. I feel like I had half a dozen showers every day given the 120 degrees and high humidity in Bali.
However the road was quite audible as traffic in Indonesia in general is really loud.
The WiFi initially was pretty decent with about 1.5 Mbit but would come to a standstill after that – most of the time it would be around 0.1 Mbit.
In the morning I walked down to breakfast but none of the items looked appealing in any way. That was a complete #breakfastfail.
The good news is that right across the street is a decent bakery called ‘Bali Bakery’ and the cafe Senza is also very close – both have good pastries and decent espresso.
There is a decent pool but I never actually made it in there.
Since Uber is so cheap in Indonesia and traffic moves somewhat briskly around this area I found it a great base for exploring Bali by car. Less than $2 in an Uber and you are anywhere you want in less than 20 minutes.
The property is also really cheap with most nights just around $30. While this is normal for a 3star hotel in Bali the property lets you take advantage of many IHG promotions non-chain hotels do not.
In sum the hotel has great rooms and a decent location for a great price. It has a lot of flaws too (Internet, breakfast, noise) but for $30 and the ability to accumulate nights for the IHG promotions make it a great base for exploring (not enjoying) Bali.
You can book the Holiday Inn Express Bali Raya Kuta here.