Baleka Beach Hotel – Legian,
Bali, Indonesia – part I
The Baleka Beach Hotel is located in Legian, 20 minutes from Ngurah Rai international airport. For couples and families wanting an affordable hotel in the heart of the downtown tourist scene, this is perfect. The hotel is owned and operated by the family who started building it in 1975.
Situated next to The Courtyard Hotel on Jl. Rum Jungle, guests can stroll right outside and rent a car, grab a bite to eat or go shopping. Busy Jl. Legian, Jl. Melasti and Jl. Padma are within a 3-minute walk in either direction. The beach is also a 3-minute walk from the hotel.
Driving into the small parking area at the front you will see the reception desk is located at the right of the lobby. The double-tier wooden roof is Balinese in design and the lobby is decorated with Javanese-style large couches and a massive wayang painting on the wall.
The atmosphere in the lobby is of a small Balinese hotel that has been around for a while. The reception area is low-key, but the system used to track guests and service their needs is advanced. General manager Ngurah D. Putra is also a computer engineer and has organized a database of customer likes and dislikes. He tailors his service to fit returning guests and has a profile on each customer. That is pretty customer oriented in my book!
At the front of the hotel next to the street is the restaurant, which is compact. They serve a combination of western, Indonesian and Chinese food. A small Bintang is 10,000rp, sirloin steak is 28,000rp and nasi goreng chicken is 15,000rp. All in all a very reasonably priced menu.
Extending back from the reception area are blocks of rooms with a central garden. The brick pathway and well-kept gardens are pleasant. The grounds are fairly small and contain 45 rooms in 3 class, which are Standard, Superior and Suite. The exterior of the rooms is decorated with Balinese stonework and carvings. The interiors are quite simple with plain walls and maybe a traditional Balinese painting. All rooms have the same facilities that include AC, TV with satellite channels, mini-bar, and bathtub with hot water. Extra beds can be added to all room and the family suite can be set up with 2 extra beds, making a total of 1 king size, 2 single and 2 extra beds.
The pool is long and looks decent, the pool-bar and street-side bar are at the far end. Along one side of the pool is a block of rooms, which is in a tighter arrangement than other rooms on the property. Families with older people or really young kids might want to choose a different area as this can get noisy. There are several recliners and sunshades around the pool.
The Baleka Hotel is located next to the Courtyard Hotel on Jl. Padma Utara in busy Legian. Guests arriving at the airport will have a 20-minute drive. Jl. Padma Utara is a busy little side street and you will not have to walk very far at all to find a restaurant, bar or shopping. The beach is only a 3-minute walk.
The Baleka Hotel has a traditional Balinese design and the atmosphere reflects this. The hotel was started in 1975 and has continued to grow. Two-storey rooms and bungalows surround a central garden extending back from the lobby to the pool and poolbar.
While I was there I saw family groups and 40+ Australians enjoying the pool area. The manager told me this is the usual scene here and that he can accommodate, families, older people as well as the younger crowd.
The feel of the grounds is quite pleasant and I would definitely go for a room away from the pool if you want space and quiet.
What makes this hotel unique:
The main selling points of this hotel are: Location as already mentioned, staff friendliness and affordability. I think the fact that the owner / manager is hands on really makes a huge difference and this hotel is not just free-wheeling, its improving.
This hotel started out as just one cottage. The owner's father wanted a cottage in Legian in 1975. The place grew steadily until today.
I talked mainly to the General Manager Ngurah D. Putra who was extremely helpful and courteous. He is on site and has a very progressive style, encouraging his staff to be friendly.
The hotel was started in 1975 so it does not have that shiny new look for sure. The management has built new parts of the hotel steadily over time and has renovated. The hotel has a Spa a swimming pool, restaurant, bar and pool bar. Each room has TV with satellite TV, AC, mini bar, telephone, hot water and bathtub.
Why would you stay here:
I would stay here if I had a young family and wanted a friendly Balinese style hotel for an affordable price. The location means you can get to the beach in minutes, shop till you drop on Jl. Legian, Jl. Padma and Jl. Melasti and find places to eat and drink all around you. The lack of Balinese stuff outside the hotel is made up for by the Balinese staff and atmosphere inside the hotel.
Why would you stay somewhere else:
I would stay somewhere else if I wanted to be out of budget touristville. Kids are okay if they are your own, but for a single person with a choice, you might prefer a place that does not get some many families. Also not everyone wants the standard Balinese hotel anymore. Maybe somewhere like the Conrad in Benoa might fulfill your holiday needs better.
The location on busy Rum Jungle Rd (Jl. Werkudara) creates daytime traffic noise, especially in the restaurant. The property is large enough that this won't be a problem in your room. Rooms located next to the pool will get some noise from that area in the daytime.
Proximity to the action:
The Baleka Hotel is located between busy Jl. Legian and the beach. It is bordered by Jl. Melasti and Jl. Padma Utara that are busy places with shopping, restaurants and bars. The real party scene starts around the Melasti area to the south with places like Bali Rock and Peanuts. Kuta's newer places like EmBarGo and Fuel are further south. Seminyak is a 7-minute taxi ride up Jl. Legian.
How do the rooms feel:
The room I looked at felt decent. The doorway was it was large, clean and the bed was a queen-size.
The room felt reasonably bright with a brown speckled stone floor and light colored walls. The furniture was simple with a bedside table and lamp, desk for the TV and wardrobe built into the wall. The bathroom featured the usual bathtub, shower, and western toilet set-up. The porch area featured 2 rattan chairs and table along with a rattan clothes rack.
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